Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes) 👰🏻 gluten free & keto

Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies

Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes 👰🏻

i.e. Russian Tea cakes/Polvorones/Snowball Cookies

These gluten free and keto Mexican wedding cakes are some of the easiest (and yummiest!) keto cookies around. Think just 5 ingredients and a handful of easy-peasy steps. The result? Melt-in-your mouth and totally aromatic cookies.

In fact, these guys are some of the best Christmas cookies around the block. You’ll know what we’re talking about as soon as you take the first bite. After all, it really is no wonder these unassuming cookies are worldwide favorites.

The Deets 🔍

These might just be the cookies with a thousand names (Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes, polvorones, snowball cookies…). And their actual origins are very much muddled throughout history. With an almond version found in Russia, to a pecan one (with a light cinnamon sprinkle) hailing form Mexico.

This keto version here is true to the Mexican origins (we’re half Mexican after all!). And down here, these scrumptious little cookies are known as polvorones. Which literally translates into crumbly ones. i.e. they’re supposed to crumble easily, even when held (which is why you’ll often find them wrapped up in colorful papers… all crumbled up inside!).

So the lack of gluten actually works in your favor here, and this version might just be easier than the original (where you have to be very careful with overworking the dough and developing gluten = hard cookies). You want them to actually melt in your mouth, rather than bite through them. And this keto version does just that.

And feel free to make them small (24 a batch) or large (12-15). These will also spread somewhat during baking, true to the original version from south the border here.

Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies

The Flours

Mexican wedding cakes are traditionally a wheat cookie, with either pecans (the Mexican version) or almonds (the Russian version) thrown into the mix. So to make them gluten free and keto, we cooked up a version of the two and use both almond flour and finely ground pecans (i.e. pecan flour).

And you must toast the nut flours beforehand, something which is missing from most mainstream versions. This is, in our book, the thing that makes polvorones be, well, polvorones. The moment the toasted nut flours are incorporated with the butter, the distinct aroma of the polvorones emerges. Pure magic really. ✨

In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds.

Oh, and no xanthan gum or anything else required here, as we actually want the cookies crumbly and soft.

The Sweetener 🍯

The cookies themselves are lightly sweetened, to take into account the powdered coating after baking. The original version calls for 1/4 cup for the cookies themselves and 3/4 cup for the coating, to give you an idea of the exorbitant ratios.

Having said that, we find that 2 to 4 tablespoons are more than enough to get the coating job done right. Think a light sprinkle on top, rather than an allover roll (which is simply too sweet for our tastebuds). Powdered Swerve or xylitol work best for the coating, and we’re also very keen on a pinch of cinnamon here.

However, for the cookies themselves, Swerve or Pyure are the sweeteners of choice. But they must be powdered. Xylitol takes forever to dry out, so you end up with chewy cookies for aaages (think up to a day!).

So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.

Or you can always grab a bag of Powdered Swerve (i.e. confectioner’s).

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕

Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes (i.e. Russian Tea cakes or Polvorones) 👰🏻 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies

Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes

Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: European, Gluten Free, Ketogenic, Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 73 kcal

These gluten free and keto Mexican wedding cakes are some of the easiest (and yummiest!) keto cookies around. Think just 5 ingredients and a handful of easy-peasy steps. The result? Melt-in-your mouth and totally aromatic cookies.

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Customary at the bottom of the ingredients for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

For the powdered 'sugar' coating

Instructions

  1. Add pecans to a food processor and process until finely ground, being careful you don't over-blend or you'll end up with pecan butter! 

  2. Add pecan flour and almond flour to a skillet or pan, and toast over medium heat until golden and fragrant (3-6 minutes). Remove from pan, whisk in salt and set aside to cool completely (very important!). 

  3. Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, 2-3 minutes. Add in sweetener and continue to beat until thoroughly mixed and much of the sweetener has dissolved. Add in vanilla extract and beat until just combined.

  4. With your mixer on low, add in half of your nut flour mixture- mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the rest.

  5. Wrap cookie dough with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

  6. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  7. Divide dough into either 24 small rounds or 12-15 if doing larger cookies. Place shaped cookie rounds on the prepared baking tray and place in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to baking.

  8. Bake for 13-15 minutes for the small ones or 17-20 minutes for the larger ones. The cookies will be deep golden, but very soft and fragile to touch. Sieve a touch of powdered sweetener with cinnamon on top immediately (it'll dissolve into the warm cookies).

  9. Allow to cool for 15 more minutes before adding more powdered sweetener. The cookies will become less fragile as they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  

Recipe Notes

*Or powdered Pyure (at half the amount). Please see section on Sweeteners for more deets on powdering and sweetening options.

The shaped dough can be frozen for up to 3 months, and they can be baked straight from the freezer (adding 2-3 minutes more to the baking time).

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free & Keto Mexican Wedding Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 73 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 32mg 1%
Potassium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2.3%
Calcium 1.1%
Iron 1.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

SaveSave

SaveSave

24 comments

    • Mariangeles R. says:

      I wanted to write back, because we ended up making these last night and they were easily THE BEST polvorones we’ve ever had!

      The taste is simply so much more intense with the toasting, and I definitely get what you say about an aroma emerging as soon as you mix the nuts in with the butter. Simply WOW. Thank you for such a keeper Paola!

  1. Elaine says:

    Lovely, Paola! These were my favorite cookies growing up! They weren’t too sweet, which is what I liked. We called them Sand Tarts. One inch balls of goodness. Toasting the nuts should make these extra yummy! Although I think I’ll leave some of the pecans larger. 😉

    • Paola says:

      Oh nice Elaine! They seem to truly be the cookies of a thousand names, I’d never heard of Sand Tarts! Hope you enjoy them ;)! xo Paola

    • McDonna says:

      That’s why I grew up with, Elaine – Sand Tarts. I grew up in Alabama and Florida and have never heard them called Sand Tarts anywhere else but the Deep South. Regardless of the name, these are heavenly!

  2. Sandra M says:

    Would these turn out okay without the pecan flour i.e. using more almond flour instead? Thanks!

  3. Nora Nevers says:

    I live in Mexico – Merida YUC area – where can I find the Swerve here? It’s on Amazon but they won’t ship it to Mexico.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Nora! I live in Mexico as well and I order it from iherb.com (it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 1/2 months to get here but it eventually comes!) xo Paola

      • Nora Nevers says:

        I did a Google search on it and started checking everything for shipment to Mexico. I found http://www.luckyvitamin.com that will ship DHL express – 4-6 days. Shipping was almost as much as what i ordered. But I was determined to have this product. One of my greatest and fondest memories is the one of my grandmother’s Mexican Wedding Cakes – I loved them. It will be interesting to see how long it actually takes to get here. In the meantime I will check out iherb.com. Thanks for your response!

        • Nora Nevers says:

          It is about 30 pesos less on Iherb.com but they only ship postal – and that can take up to 8 weeks. Plus I have to stalk the Progreso post office to get it when it comes. There is no to the door delivery in the beach villages. My impatience was worth the extra costs from Lucky Vitamin.

          • Paola says:

            oh LOL! Don’t worry, slow postal service is not only a thing of beach villages…! I have to stock my post office as well 😉 thanks for letting me know where you bought it, I’ll check it out now as I hadn’t heard of it!

  4. Jennifer F says:

    They really do melt in your mouth! Without a doubt some of the tastiest cookies we have ever tried! Had to freeze half the batch to keep us from eating them, just couldn’t stop!!!

  5. Nora Nevers says:

    I ordered the Swerve from Lucky Vitamin but it was stuck in customs and finally at the shippers instructions sent to abandon customs. I have requested a refund but bet I won’t get it. So I just placed an order with iherb and we will see what happens.

  6. Karen says:

    Hi
    Can these be made with Icing sugar in areas of sweetener. If so what weight of sugar would be needed. Look great. Always on the look out for different Gluten free treats.

  7. Judy says:

    Thank you for this special recipe! I make the regular Russian Tea Cakes (almonds) all the time for my brother who loves them. When I saw a keto-version, I got real happy because I too love these little scrumptious, delicate, shortbread cookies. And now I can have them and eat them to my heart’s content! Happy me! 🙂

    • Paola says:

      It’s my absolute pleasure Judy! So happy to hear you enjoyed these guys so much (they’re probably my favorite cookie from my childhood!). xo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *