An Italian Grandma's Classic Butter Balls Cookie Recipe Is a Family Tradition by Ann Marie Patitucci

An Italian Grandma's Classic Butter Balls Cookie Recipe Is a Family Tradition

Italian butter ball cookies always remind me of my mom and our big Italian family. Butter balls are one of my mom’s signature cookies and one of my favorites, by far. She always makes them at the holidays but she makes them at other times of the year, too, in part because family members request them. This Italian cookie recipe is perfect summer, spring, winter or fall.

I was surprised to learn how easy her butter ball cookie recipe is to make! I think because my mom is such a great cook and baker, I always presume that what she makes is difficult, and am surprised when it’s not. I suspect this is the result of thinking everything my mom did was magical when I was a kid. These moist cookies are a great example. They’re surprisingly easy to bake, too. If I can make them, so can you.

The cookie batter is made with butter (lots!), powdered sugar, flour, vanilla and chopped walnuts. The mixture is formed into balls, baked and then rolled in powdered sugar. The result is a dessert recipe you will not be able to stop eating.

Be sure to make copies of this easy Italian butterballs cookie recipe to share with friends and family. This cookie just may become a dessert tradition in your family, too. 

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: Makes 25 to 30 cookies



  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened (my mom uses a little extra)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

For Rolling

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Here's' how to make it: 

  1. Add all the cookie ingredients to a bowl and mix by hand.
  2. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (they don’t expand so don’t need to be spread out).
  3. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Let the cookies cool for a minute or two or until you can pick them up without breaking them. Pour the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into a small bowl. Roll the balls in the sugar. (They won’t fully coat yet.)
  5. When cookies are completely cool, roll them in the sugar again to get the full coating.

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Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

Baking Sheets $9 & Up
Powdered Sugar $2 & Up
Walnuts $3 & Up
Flour $2 & Up
Vanilla Extract $4 & Up

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So simple! Yum!! 😋
Elisa Schmitz
My mouth is watering, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead . What an easy, delicious cookie recipe. Thank you for sharing the yum!
Ann Marie Patitucci
My pleasure! My sister made these when I was home in NY recently! Delicious!
Classic cookie recipe that never goes out of style...
Laura Nuss
yummy! my mom always used pecans but i think it’s the same cookie!

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