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Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

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Lime and coconut give these Mexican wedding cookies a tropical flair.

Pile of coconut-lime Mexican wedding cookies.

Michael and I were married on May 5, 2001, coinciding with 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 this photo session, and he was not exactly thrilled to pose for these cheesy engagement photos (believe me, I spared you the really cheesy ones)!

In honor of the holiday, we served Mexican wedding cookies, known as polvorones or galletas de boda, at our wedding. These cookies are popular all over the world and known by different names, such as snowball cookies, butter balls, or Russian tea cakes, to name just a few. They are crisp, shortbread-like cookies made from ground nuts, flour, butter, and sugar. This version is flavored with lime, pecans, and ground coconut.

Woman hugging a man.

What You’ll Need To Make Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

ingredients for Mexican wedding cookies

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

Lined baking sheet of 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!

Pile of coconut-lime Mexican wedding cookies.

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Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

Lime and coconut give these Mexican wedding cookies a tropical flair.

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


  • 1 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar, plus about ¾ cup more for coating
  • ⅓ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 stick (½ 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 1½ 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 and then roll them in confectioners' sugar. 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.) Once they are cool, roll them in confectioners' sugar again. 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

Powered by Edamam

  • 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, Edamam.com. 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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  • Definitely planning to make these for a get-together. They sound like key lime pie wrapped up in a Mexican wedding cake cookie! 1. I would like to make the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight … will this work? 2. And do I have to warm them to room temp before scooping? 2. Can the butter be exchanged for vegetable oil at all? (Need to keep this as heart healthy as I can.) Or would that hurt the consistency? 3. After I take them out of the refrigerator, and then scoop them before rolling them into balls … what size scoop would you recommend? I have the OXO set, so small or medium? And 4. I plan to freeze them so what would you recommend for the first application of powdered sugar and then for the next application? I am so sorry about all the questions. I did read through the comments, and just want to be sure I understand it right. It looks pretty simple, so sorry about all this. Thanks, as always.

    • — Jane on January 27, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane in answer to your questions:
      1. That’s fine and they don’t need to come to room temperature before scooping.
      2. I wouldn’t recommend using oil in place of the butter.
      3. I’d use the small scoop for the balls.
      4. If you’re freezing them, I’d roll them in confectioners’ sugar once before freezing and once after thawing.
      Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 30, 2024
      • Reply
      • Thanks for your answers AND your patience! Super helpful.

        • — Jane on January 30, 2024
        • Reply
        • 😊

          • — Jenn on January 31, 2024
          • Reply
  • I only buy desiccated coconut. Do you think that would be OK if I added a bit more sugar to the mix? Thanks.

    • — Barbara T on May 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2023
      • Reply
  • So easy, so delicious! These little cookies are awesome! I didn’t realize until I got home that I had accidentally bought unsweetened organic flake coconut. I am not sure how much of a difference that made. Will pay attention next time and get sweetened. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

    • — Linda on May 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn, dusting the cookies…I used a lot more powdered sugar than called for to coat them well and thought that they were too sweet. Did I over do on the sugar? Loved the lime flavor and so easy to make

    • — Carol on May 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, it sounds like maybe you overdid the sugar a bit. If you make them again, just dust them lightly with a sieve. It’s okay if they’re not completely covered. Glad you liked them nevertheless!

      • — Jenn on May 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • Light and yummy cookies with a fresh lime taste, perfect dessert snack to go with all the rich Xmas foods around at this time of year – thanks Jenn!

    • — Mel on December 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • How many cookies will this make? I’m making these for a cookie exchange.

    • — Darcy McCabe on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Darcy, it makes about 30 cookies. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • I love your recipes— the ones I’ve made all come out perfect!
    However, I do not have a food processor (no room to store), but I do have a stand mixer. I’m hoping you can tell me how to make your recipes without the processor.
    Please include those instructions in your recipes.
    Thank you so much for all your generous sharing!

    • — Su on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Su, So glad you like the recipes! The only way to easily make these cookies without a food processor is to use almond flour in place of the pecans (unless you can manage to get the pecans very finely ground) — they’ll still be delicious with almond flour. And I will keep your request for adding alternative instructions in mind as I develop new recipes. Hope you enjoy the cookies if you make them!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • Could you use almonds instead of pecans? I have a person with a nut allergy and pecans is one of her worst besides walnuts.

    • — Meredith Brommer on October 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes definitely 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’m waiting on the coconut lime Mexican wedding cookies to cool so I can roll in p. sugar for a second time! I’m hoping they are delicious as I am wanting to make as a small gift for our guests at an upcoming wedding. I will need to make enough for 100 guests. Will the measurements change if I double or triple the ingredients? They smell wonderful….and they taste great!…I did find that using a sifter and dusting the cookies for the second application of the sugar makes them look prettier. Looks like I have a lot of cookies to make! Thank you for another delicious recipe.

    • — JJ on September 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi JJ, Glad you like these enough to share them with so many guests! The measurements/ratios will all remain the same if you double or triple the recipe. Hope everyone else enjoys them!

      • — Jenn on September 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Great recipe! The cookies are just as tasty as the recipe is easy. Thank you for such a well developed and tested recipe that delivers on flavor!

    • — Diana Lee on September 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love the photo, Jenn. You both look so young. Happy anniversary.

    • — Stella on May 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💕

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • To freeze after baking, would you still roll them in the confectioner’s sugar before you freeze?

    Thank you.

    • — Annette Buonacore
    • Reply
    • Hi Annette, Yes, I’d roll them in the confectioners’ sugar before you freeze and then again when you’re ready to serve them.

  • Mexican Wedding Cakes have been my favorite Christmas cookie since I first tasted them. The lime and coconut are flavorful additions, and now I love them even more! Thank you for all of your recipes that always turn out perfectly. So glad I found your site (when I was looking for a recipe for spinach quiche). I considered myself a good cook, but now I’m better because of YOU!

  • What size (cups) food processor did you use for this cookie dough?

    • Hi Mary, My food processor holds 14 cups.

  • Hello! Can I make the dough in advance and leave in the fridge overnight?

    • — Carmen Vandenbroeck
    • Reply
    • Sure, Carmen, that’s fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • These were decadent. I really loved the lime and coconut flavors together. I used less butter and sugar as I often do, but you’ve inspired me to bake more over doing the store-bought route!

  • Happy Anniversary!! Wishing you many many more.

    • Thank you so much!! 💗

  • These sound wonderful for my future daughter-in-law’s upcoming shower. Can I make them and freeze in advance? If so, when do I coat with powdered sugar? I was thinking once before freezing and once again after they defrost fully? Or do you not recommend it?

    • Hi Liz, I’d coat them with powdered sugar before freezing. If you’d like to sprinkle a little more on after they’re defrosted/before serving, feel free to. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • I was surprised at how EASY this recipe was and how much my whole family liked it!! The entire batch was devoured in 2 days. The lime flavour really made it stand out. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Having an engagement party that has a Mexican theme. These sound perfect except there are those with tree nut allergies. Any substitute or can they be omitted. Thank you

      • — Gloria on February 7, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi Gloria, the pecans add richness to the cookies, but you can replace them with more flour. Hope the party is fun!

        • — Jenn on February 9, 2024
        • Reply
  • Is it possible to make these a day in advanced and bake later?

    • Sure – enjoy! 🙂

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