Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Mexican Wedding Cookies

These bite-sized, shortbread-like Mexican wedding cookies are flavored with lime, coconut, and ground pecans.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

I’m not usually gushy or overly sentimental, but I’ve been feeling nostalgic this week. Fifteen years ago today, Michael and I were married on Cinco de Mayo. The picture below was taken right before our wedding when we were both in our twenties — when we had a lot less wrinkles and a lot more hair! I distinctly recall Michael being on his lunch break during that photo session, and none too thrilled to be posing for cheesy engagement photos (believe me, I spared you the really cheesy ones)!

mike-jenn-2001Anyway, I thought it’d be fitting to share a recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies this week. Also known as Snowballs, Butter Balls or Russian Tea Cakes, they’re crisp, shortbread-like cookies made from ground nuts, flour, butter and sugar. This version is flavored with lime, pecans and ground coconut. The recipe originally comes from Fine Cooking, although I’ve tweaked the method significantly to make it an easy, one bowl recipe. 

How To Make Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

ingredients for Mexican wedding cookies

To begin, combine the flour, salt, confectioners’ sugar, pecans and coconut in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

coconut, pecans, flour, sugar in bowl of food processor

Process until the pecans and coconut are finely ground, and the mixture looks like sand.

ground mixture resembling sand

Add the butter, lime zest, and vanilla extract.

adding butter, lime zest and vanilla to food processor

Process until the mixture comes together into a cohesive dough.

cohesive dough ball in food processor

Remove the dough from the bowl onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and chill until firm enough to roll, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

dough wrapped in plastic ready to chill

Measure the dough into heaping teaspoon-size pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

dough balls on cookie sheet

Bake until the edges of the cookies barely begin to brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

baked cookies

Let cool on the baking sheets, then roll in the confectioners’ sugar while still warm.

rolling Mexican wedding cookies in confectioners sugar

Let the cookies cool on a rack. Then roll again in confectioners’ sugar once they are cool.

rolling Mexican wedding cookies again in confectioners sugar

Serve and enjoy!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

These bite-sized, shortbread-like Mexican wedding cookies are flavored with lime, coconut, and ground pecans.

Servings: About 30 cookies
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes, plus about 45 minutes to cool


  • 1 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus about 3/4 cup more for coating
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 packed teaspoon lime zest, from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, salt, confectioners' sugar, pecans and coconut. Process until the pecans and coconut are finely ground, and the mixture looks like sand. Add the butter, lime zest, and vanilla extract; process until the mixture comes together into a cohesive dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm enough to roll, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Measure the dough into heaping teaspoon-size pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the edges of the cookies barely begin to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then roll in the confectioners' sugar while still warm. Let the cookies cool on a rack, then roll again in confectioners' sugar once they are cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. To serve, arrange the cookies on a platter and use a fine sieve to dust with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Cookie Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 65
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 28mg
  • Cholesterol: 9mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • These are amazing! So easy to whip up. Saving this recipe!

    • — Lesley on September 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Unfortunately I don’t have a food processor. Might you have another method for making them?

    I love your recipes!

    Thank you!

    • — Jennifer Patzer on November 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, I think you could do this by hand; just be sure to chop the coconut and pecans very finely.

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2019
      • Reply
    • Thank you Jennifer, made this cookie today loved & shared with my friends …will be making some more tomorrow Yummmmmmy!
      Keeps me busy while being home 🏡 and helps me put a smile & cheer with my family & girlfriends …

      • — Renika Darbar on April 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • These were great but not as “limey” as I had hoped. Granted…my lime was pretty small so next time I will zest two. Nevertheless still a great recipe. Thanks again Jenn!

    • — Janet on October 6, 2019
    • Reply
  • Delicious as usual from Jenn! Was looking for a treat to bring to Mexican themed gathering; glad I checked your site. Made as directed! Fresh twist on pecan balls. Xo

    • — Donna E on July 7, 2019
    • Reply
  • This was a miss… from the beginning the dough never seemed a good consistency as it was too soft and fell apart. I chilled per instructions and then baked later. The cookies tasted good but 5 of them crumbled apart when I dipped them in confectioners sugar. Any ideas why? I measured everything (including spoon and level method). Would over processing cause this?

    • — JoAnn on May 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi JoAnn, So sorry you had trouble with these. I actually that under-processing might cause this, as the nuts need to be quite pasty to stick together.

      • — Jenn on May 6, 2019
      • Reply
    • These are addictive! I actually prefer them cold though, so I store them in the refrigerator or freezer. So different from your run of the mill cookie!

      • — Karen on May 24, 2019
      • Reply
      • Sorry, didn’t mean to post my comment as a reply.

        • — Karen on May 24, 2019
        • Reply
  • did I miss something? what are the amounts of the ingredients that are shown?

    • — beth owens on December 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Beth, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an icon that looks like a notepad – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, my husband is allergic to all nuts but almonds and cashews. Do you think I could substitute either of these nuts for the pecans?

    • Hi Pennie, either will work here (any nut will really work in place of the pecans). Hope you enjoy!

  • These cookies are absolutely addictive. I took them to a Derby party and folks couldn’t stop eating them. They are easy to make and the second time I made them I doubled the recipe and froze half. They freeze beautifully -no crumbling when they defrost. We don’t like food that is super sweet so I just rolled the cookies once in powdered sugar. I think that enhanced the flavors of the line and coconut.

  • I wanted to make an easy dessert for a Cinco De Mayo potluck and decided to try this recipe. Yup, this was an easy one to put together. My kids were the taste testers and asked, with their lips all covered in powered sugar, “can I have another one?” I had to tell them no, since the rest were going to the party, but I promised I’d make them another batch.

  • Made these for Christmas along with many other desserts and cookies and these were my favorite . Rich with the fresh flavor of lime and coconut, they are super flavorful and a breeze to make.

  • I have never liked wedding cookies but I had the ingredients on hand and was intrigued by the combination! They were so good I have made 5 batches and given them away as gifts! I think they are the best cookie I have ever made!! Also easy to put together in the food processor!!
    My husband asked if there were any more ( he does not usually eat desert) tonight after dinner and I told him I had given them all away as gifts with one more batch chilling in the fridge to make later he and would just have to wait! Have to add I did use kosher salt which I felt complimented the cookie well !

  • I made these for a cookie exchange and they were a huge hit. The lime is a great addition and makes it an even lighter cookie. These will be my go to for Mexican wedding cakes. Thanks!

  • Jen, do you think leaving out the coconut will affect the end result? My husband is allergic to coconut but loves lime desserts. Thanks!

    • HI Mila, Yes, I think you could omit the coconut and use more pecans in its place. Hope your husband enjoys!

  • These are very unique cookies! They turned out great. Rolling them in icing sugar while they are warm still melts the sugar and creates a solid coating around the cookie. Lovely recipe.

  • Made these yesterday and they were a HUGE hit!! Everyone said they had so much more flavor than regular Mexican Wedding Cookies and I agree. I love all of your recipes and the way you’ve tweaked them to perfection. Thank you!!

    • — Terri Van Scheltema
    • Reply
  • I made these cookies last night and they are super scrumptious! I only had unsweetened coconut flakes and that did not seem to affect the taste or texture of the cookie. Thank you again for another great recipe!

  • Hi there, I only have unsweetened coconut flakes. What adjustments do I have to make to the recipe in this case? thanks, Sandra

    • Hi Sandra, I think unsweetened coconut would work here with no adjustments. Please LMK how they turn out!

  • Hi there 🙂
    I’m making these for a Spanish Christmas party and I was wondering about the quanity. .. how many does this recipe make and if not alot, How would I make enough for a couple of Christmas tins? Thank you

    • Hi Nichole, this recipe will give you about 30 cookies. Not sure how large your tins are, but hopefully the benchmark of 30 will give you a sense as to how many batches you’ll need. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • Thank you sooo much for your quick response! I love your stuff ! And I know they will be a hit, if i don’t burn them lol ..happy holidays!

  • I was wondering if you could substitute lime zest purchased at a spice store for the fresh lime zest in the recipe?

    • — terri Van Scheltema
    • Reply
    • I think that should be fine – enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn. Would it be ok to use lime juice instead of the zest or would that throw off the consistency?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Mia, I think it would be best to stick with the zest here; it has a much depper lime flavor than just the juice.

  • Hi Jenn,

    Can these be frozen?

    • Yes Eileen, I think they’ll freeze nicely. Enjoy!

      • Thank you! These are divine!

  • Incredibly refreshing, delicate, buttery & packed with flavor all in 1 little cookie. Stirred mine by hand (no food processor available yet). Love lime & worried the lime zest wouldn’t add enough flavor but was wrong. In the last powdered sugar rolling step, I added 1 tsp of True Lime (powder) to the Powdered Sugar, shook it up & rolled ’em for an extra punch of lime. Didn’t add as much lime flavor as I thought it would on the outside, the real lime flavor shined through from the lime zest. Simply delicious! Everything I’ve tried from your site turns out fabulous. Thank you again for your generosity in sharing recipes & wisdom with everyone. I’m most appreciative.

  • Excellent taste, will make more!

  • These are one of my favorite cookies. And I have never made them myself but always devour them at parties! I was looking for a recipe to use some ingredients I had left over from other meals. Coconut and walnuts! So I made a substitution (something I’m used to living overseas). I had to stop my 7 y.o. from eating them up. Packed some away for the neighbors just in time! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Absolutely delicious! Just made them tonight and had to taste them while they were still warm.

    Also congratulations on your anniversary.

  • These cookies are really delicious. There are a number of cookies that look very similar to this, but everyone is surprised with this coconut lime pecan version. Very fresh and not overly sweet considering they are rolled in powdered sugar. Fantastic cookie. You should probably just make a double batch…they are that GOOD!

  • Could i substitute gluten free flour
    for regular flour?

    • Hi Norma, I haven’t tried them with gluten-free flour so I can’t say for sure, but I think it would work. This is a good gluten-free baking mix. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  • This is a great recipe for my favorite cookie. You can omit the lime and add a bit of cinnamon or almond extract for a different flavor profile.

    • These were great. I got 30 (1&1/2 teaspoon) cookies. I followed recipe to the letter, but added a tablespoon of zest instead of a teaspoon.

      • — Michelle on May 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi, can I make the dough and freeze ahead of time? Looking forward to trying these!

    • Sure Jeanette, that would work. I’d suggest rolling them into balls before freezing. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, I love your recipes and blog. I have some fresh limes from the garden and wanted to try these. Can I make these with unsweetened coconut?

    • Hi Darlene, so glad you hear you like the recipes! Yes, I think unsweetened coconut would work here. Enjoy!

  • These are excellent! Easy and very effective. My Latin friends loved them:)

    • — Lora Tchekoratova
    • Reply
  • Fantastic recipe !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • — Carol Czuprynski
    • Reply
  • These were absolutly fantastic!! We always make the traditonal version at Christmastime. These are super light and very refreshing! Make a great summer cookie! They don’t last more than 2 days in our house!

  • Hi Jenn. Can I use lemon or orange zest instead of lime? Will there be a significant difference in the taste? I live in the Philippines and I don’t usually see limes in the grocery stores in our area.

    Thank you!

    • Sure Gayle, that would be fine!

  • Hi Jenn, all of the recipes I have tried from your site are home runs. Thanks for sharing your gift!

    Can I use salted butter in this recipe instead of unsalted butter? How will that affect the amount of salt?

    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes Monica! I do think this is best with unsalted butter, but if you only have salted, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope you enjoy!

  • These cookies are addictive, delicate, and so full of fresh flavor. They were super easy to mix up in the food processor! I toasted my nuts as I prefer them that way.
    Thank you for another awesome spin on one of my favorite cookies. They will not last long in this house!

  • I have made several different tea cake recipes and none of them used flour. Does this make them heavy? Crunchy?

    • Hi Sara, that’s interesting because all of the tea cake/wedding cookie recipes I’ve tried have flour! These cookies definitely aren’t heavy- I’d describe them as tender but crisp- like a texture similar to shortbread.

  • The recipe is easy to follow and the cookies are awesome. The addition of lime and coconut makes the traditional Mexican Wedding Cookie even more delicious. Thank you for another great recipe.

  • Oven temp? Can’t wait to try it

    • Hi Karen, It’s 350°F. Enjoy!

  • So yummy! Just made them this afternoon and I couldn’t even wait for them to cool before I started sampling. Great flavors! I used the food processor to grind the lime zest with the rest of the ingredients, since I love the taste of lime, but am not crazy about the texture of lime zest in foods. Other than that, I made it exactly as written. Next time I’m going to double the recipe. In my house, these aren’t going to last till tomorrow. Another homerun recipe Jenn!!!

  • Wow these are amazing!!! These will now be my go to recipe for Mexican wedding cookies. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!!

  • Great cookies! Didn’t have limes so used orange zest. Sprinkled a tiny bit of kosher salt over baked cookies. Will make these for granddaughter’s graduation party. Thanks for another good recipe.

  • I don’t have a food processor. Will doing everything by hand affect the texture of the cookies?

    • Hi Patsy, I think that would work; just be sure to chop the pecans and coconut very finely.

  • Hi Jenn. Happy Anniversary! I love your recipes and your website.
    Mexican Wedding Cookies are a favorite of mine so I wanted to make these right away. They’re super simple to make and delicious! I love the addition of coconut and lime zest which definitely gives them a tropical edge. They’re light and refreshing.

    • Glad you enjoyed them (and thanks for the anniversary wishes :)!

  • Congratulations on your anniversary and many more. I have all the ingredients on hand….and I should have the time too. Will let you know how they turn out, but imagine they are awesome. Thank you!

    • Thanks for the anniversary wishes and hope you enjoy the cookies!

  • Happy Anniversary Jenn! These cookies look delicious so look forward to making them 🙂

  • No questions, Jenn. Just congratulations on your anniversary. I have a grandson and his wife who are also celebrating their anniversary today. My best to you and my thanks for all the delicious recipes you send us.

  • Hi, Jen. Can I omit the coconut to make these for a friend who dislikes it but loves lime? Should I increase another ingredient? Thanks!

    • Hi Marlene, Yes, I think you could omit the coconut and use more pecans in its place. Hope your friend enjoys!

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