Russian tea cake

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Russian tea cakes
Russian teacakes (8307560889).jpg
Russian tea cakes coated in confectioner's sugar
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsnuts, butter, powdered sugar

Russian tea cake is a kind of pastry, often eaten around Christmas in the United States.[1]


Russian tea cakes have a relatively simple recipe, generally consisting entirely of flour, water, butter, and ground nuts, the nut variety depending upon the cookie type. After baking, they are rolled in powdered sugar while still hot, then coated again once the cookie has cooled.[2]

European-based recipes rely upon coarsely chopped hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts.[3] Mexican wedding cookies traditionally use coarsely chopped pecans.[4]


A reason for the common name "Russian Tea Cake" or any connection to Russian cuisine is unknown.[1] Some have speculated the recipes either derived from other Eastern European shortbread cookies, may have migrated to Mexico with European nuns, or may have been associated with cookies served beside Russian samovars (tea urns).[1] By the 20th century, they were a part of wedding and Christmas and Easter traditions in the U.S., known by their popular "Russian tea cake" or "Mexican wedding cookie" name.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Schrambling, Regina (2013). "The One Christmas Cookie That's Made the World Over". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  2. ^ Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst, 3rd edition [Barron:New York] 2001 (p. 385)
  3. ^ "Russian Tea Cakes". Bon Appétit. December 1990. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  4. ^ "An Incomplete History of Mexican Wedding Cakes". Bon Appétit. December 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.