Christmas | Cookies | Healthier Desserts | Vegetarian

Chocolate Orange Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies are delicious, and this version simply bursts with chocolate orange flavor! Also known as meltaways, Mexican wedding cookies, or Russian tea cakes, this chocolate orange snowball cookies recipe is popular at Christmas. However, the chocolate orange flavor of these almond flour cookies makes them a healthier sweet treat any time of the year!

chocolate orange low carb snowball cookies sitting on a bed of powdered sugar

Every year, I say to myself that I’m going to make LOADS of Christmas cookies to give as holiday gifts. The problem is, I can’t seem to stop myself from eating them while I’m boxing them up. #holidayproblems

I already have a few favorite Christmas cookie recipes here on the site, but over the next 2 weeks, I’ll be sharing quite a few new ones with you! Making Christmas cookies should be fun and stress-free, so most of the recipes I make are quick and easy to prepare. I thought about making rosette cookies, but I’m too lazy to deal with a deep fryer and oil splattered everywhere. If you’re up for the challenge, my blogging friend Liz’s tutorial on how to make rosette cookies is wonderful.

A favorite of mine are meltaway cookies. Most popular around the Christmas holiday, meltaways are typically almond flour cookies with a thick coating of powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.

You will notice that there is no coconut flour used in this low carb cookies recipe. Because I’m allergic to it, I have to make low carb cookies without coconut flour. So, I use almond flour in this recipe, but the cookies are still soft and melt in your mouth just like they should!

Tips for Making Snowball Cookies

To get the best flavor and texture in the snowballs follow these important tips:

  • Use finely ground almond flour not almond meal. This will keep the texture smooth versus grainy. Of course, if all you have is almond meal, it will work fine, too. I like the quality and value of Bob’s Red Mill products, so that’s what I use.
  • Having a pure orange flavor is important to assure that the chocolate doesn’t overpower the overall taste of the cookie. To achieve this, I use wild orange essential oil, which is more concentrated than pure orange extract. Use pure orange extract if you prefer.

Low Carb Snowball Cookies, also known as meltaways or Russian Tea Cakes

About Orange Essential Oil:

I use orange essential oil and pure orange extract in my almond cookies meltaways. Primarily because wild orange essential oil has benefits that orange extract doesn’t provide. Orange essential oil is cold pressed from the peel of the fruit, whereas orange extract has water and alcohol added to the peel. Do you know that extracts are about 75% alcohol?!

Although medicinal use of essential oils is not endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), studies show that orange oil has the ability to boost your immune system. Many of us take a daily dose of Vitamin C to help keep our immune system functioning well, and the oils do the same thing, but with the addition of better flavor and no added chemicals! Essential oils are an all natural way to get great flavor and health benefits!

Oh, and orange essential oil is awesome for purifying and cleaning, too! I add a drop to my dish washing soap and to the washing machine when I do a load of laundry.

plate of chocolate orange low carb snowball cookies

OK, let’s get back to baking, because I’m sure you want the low carb snowball cookies recipe.

Hey, if you love meltaway cookies and would like to try some other flavors, check out these recipes from my blogging friends. However, keep in mind that these are not necessarily low carb like my low carb snowball cookies are.

  • Peanut Butter Cinnamon Meltaway Cookies from Taste and Tell. This is an interesting recipe, not just for the flavor combo, but because the cookies aren’t rolled through powdered sugar like my cookies are.
  • These lemon meltaways from Saving Room for Dessert have a yummy coating of icing on the top.
  • I can’t wait to try these cappuccino melting moments cookies from The View from Great Island. They’re like having your coffee and your cookie in one bite!

What are your favorite easy Christmas cookie recipes?

Low Carb Snowball Cookies - also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Meltaways - the chocolate orange flavor makes these Christmas cookies great any time of year! #christmas #cookies #recipe

Chocolate Orange Snowball Cookies

Soft and buttery chocolate almond cookies with a punch of orange flavor, baked and coated with powdered erythritol. Low carb and gluten free!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 1 hr 32 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 servings (2 cookies each)
Calories 148 kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups superfine almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered erythritol
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract
  • 2 drops wild orange essential oil optional



  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the powdered erythritol, butter, orange extract, and wild orange essentail oil (if using) until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm (at least an hour).
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Form cold dough into 1 inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown.
  • Remove pans from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire cooking rack that is placed over a sheet of parchment paper to cool completely.
  • Once the cookies are completely cool, put the powdered erythritol into a bowl and roll the cookies through the it a few at a time, placing them back onto the wire cooling rack after they've been coated. Place the remaining powdered erythritol from the bowl into a fine strainer or sieve and sprinkle the tops of the cookies with another coating.
  • If desired, just before serving, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with more powdered erythritol.


These cookies store very well.
Place in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper and they will keep well for a couple of weeks. Freezing them is not recommended unless you do so before coating the cookies with any powdered erythritol.


Serving: 2cookiesCalories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 34mgPotassium: 39mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 315IUCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.7mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!
Titled photo collage (and shown): Low Carb Orange Chocolate Meltaways


Titled photo (and shown): Orange-Chocolate Low Carb Almond Cookies

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    1. Actually, there is no cornstarch used… that is a typo. My apologies for that. It calls for unsweetened cocoa powder, as listed in the ingredients.

      I’ll edit the error in the recipe now. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

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