Cardamom Walnut Snowballs

These Cardamom Walnut Snowballs illustrate how much I love cardamom. Love it.

I seriously considered putting a sachet of cardamom pods under my pillow at night, but then I decided that was kind of weird. Don’t tell anyone else. It’s our secret.

12 Days of Christmas Cookies

In these Cardamom Walnut Snowballs toasted walnuts blend perfectly with warm cardamom. Plus who can resist a cookie coated in powdered sugar?!

Plus is there anything better than eating a cookie absolutely coated in powdered sugar? It gets on your nose, lips and fingers, which you then have to lick clean. Obviously.

It also inevitably gets on your black pants but I will endure white powdered pants for a heavenly bite of powder sugar coated cardamom cookie.

In these Cardamom Walnut Snowballs toasted walnuts blend perfectly with warm cardamom. Plus who can resist a cookie coated in powdered sugar?!

The warm cardamom flavor pairs beautifully with the toasted walnuts and the buttery cookie. The flavors just melt in your mouth starting with the powdered sugar and ending with the warm, nutty cardamom walnut flavor.

So good.

So Christmas.

In these Cardamom Walnut Snowballs toasted walnuts blend perfectly with warm cardamom. Plus who can resist a cookie coated in powdered sugar?!

I toasted the walnuts to enhance the flavor, because otherwise the cardamom might overpower it. Walnuts have a way of getting lost.

These snowballs have that characteristic sandy texture that inspire nostalgia in even the most hard-nosed New Yorkers.
I’m not naming names but I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

In these Cardamom Walnut Snowballs toasted walnuts blend perfectly with warm cardamom. Plus who can resist a cookie coated in powdered sugar?!

These cookies are….let’s call it…cardamom forward, which is fancy chef speak for they taste like cardamom. And I LOVE it. It’s not overwhelming – you can still taste the walnuts and sugar. I asked everyone at the restaurant what they thought and they all agreed they were delightful the way they are (including said nostalgic New Yorker).

Phew. I’m not alone of the cardamom train.
If you are new to the spice or you open up your jar of cardamom and think “Woah! That’s different,” cool, just back down the measurement to 1 teaspoon. We can still be friends.

In these Cardamom Walnut Snowballs toasted walnuts blend perfectly with warm cardamom. Plus who can resist a cookie coated in powdered sugar?!

These Cardamom Walnut Snowballs are for the third day of my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies! You won’t want to miss the Cranberry Cinnamon Jam Bars or Rum Refrigerator Cookies !

Cardamom Walnut Snowballs
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Cardamom Walnut Snowballs

  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 48 Cookies 1x


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts, toasted and divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, for coating


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor pulse half of the walnuts until they are finely chopped; remove and set aside. Add the remaining nuts to the food processor and pulse until finely ground (no big pieces remain).
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, walnuts, cardamom and salt; whisk to combine.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla until well combined. Add all the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together.
  5. I used a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough and then roll into balls.
  6. Bake until the bottoms are golden and the tops are beginning to brown, 12-18 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake them or they will be intolerably dry and crumbly.
  7. Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  8. Place powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Working with two cookies at a time. Toss gently to coat and place back on the wire rack.
  9. Allow the cookies to sit at least an hour, up to overnight, and then repeat the tossing in powdered sugar.
  10. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. I wrapped mine in layers of wax paper and then covered them with foil and they did not get as soft and soggy as they can in other containers.


If you refrigerate the balls before baking they will retain their shape a little better during baking.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
Cardamom Walnut Snowballs

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  • Medha @ Whisk & Shout
    December 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    These snowballs look awesome- cardamom is definitely the best!

  • Nikki
    December 8, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    These cookies and BIG mug of Chai tea sounds like a perfect way to start and end the day and for a pick me up in between!

  • marcie
    December 9, 2015 at 1:07 am

    It ain’t Christmas without snowball cookies, and I love this cardamom-walnut spin! Cardamom pods under your pillow is NOT weird either. 🙂

  • Mary Beth
    December 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I just made these Cardamom Walnut Snowballs. Just wonderful! I wasn’t sure if I had ground cardamom on hand , but I did. I’m sure it was quite old too, but it smelled fresh enough. Just in case, I did what you suggested and I added less in case the flavor was too foreign. I’m glad I did that as you get just enough to wonderl what that new flavor is, but still get the familiar buttery walnut taste.

    • Lindsey
      December 21, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Haha! I am sure my cardamom is old too! It takes while to go through a whole jar of it. I’m glad you liked them and pulled back on the spice to make them less intense. Happy holidays!

  • Dee
    July 2, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    I love this recipe! It’s definitely become a family favorite and my go to cookie recipe! I have to be careful when I make them because I cannot stop at just one. Making them again tonight to take to a 4th of July gathering… Hopefully they last until tomorrow! 🤤

    • Lindsey
      July 3, 2021 at 6:58 pm

      I can’t stop at just one either! 😅 I hope they enjoy them at the gathering!

  • cyndee
    February 5, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    i made the snowball cookies had no taste

    • Lindsey
      February 11, 2022 at 10:20 am

      Oh no! Everyone has different preferences, I personally love the cardamom spice in these!


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