Russian tea cakes

I hope you all here in the United States had a wonderful past few days of eating well and being thankful–and I hope that those of you in the rest of the world who weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving did too. I certainly am feeling quite thankful these days for all the amazing things I have in my life (especially the people: my kids, my family, my friends, and all of you who are reading this now); but since I was am nursing a slight illness, I didn’t get to do as much cooking (or eating!) as I would have liked. So, I have a lot of catching up to do.

I plan to bake a lot during the next few weeks, and I’m kicking it off with these beauties. Back in 2009, I made a similar version of these cookies, using a pre-made gluten-free flour mix. I do believe they may have been my first attempt at gluten-free baking. Ever. So, they weren’t my best. However, this new and improved cookie is right on the mark as far as flavor, texture and familiarity. To me, they taste exactly like traditional Russian Tea Cakes (or Mexican Wedding Cookies, or whatever you may call them)… and they melt in your mouth just like the real thing too.

Russian Tea Cakes

Yield: 15 cookies

  • 3/4 cup nondairy margarine
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup additional confectioner’s sugar for rolling

Preheat your oven to 325 ºF.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Add in the sea salt, almond meal and vanilla extract and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the margarine mixture until a clumpy dough forms. Shape into 1 inch balls and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes in a preheated oven. Let cool about 2 to 3 minutes, and then coat the entire cookie with the additional confectioner’s sugar. Let cool completely before serving.

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19 Responses to Russian tea cakes

  1. Tina Joy says:

    here is the thing. my husband has made these cookies for two christmases now. and you should have comments about these cookies exploding the internet. i have been gluten free for about 8 years and vegan for 2. i cannot find a russian tea cake that even come close to this one. SERIOUSLY, i have looked a lot. These cookies taste so buttery and sweet, but not too sweet. AND the best part, they don’t poof with dryness in your mouth. THESE COOKIES ARE SO SO GOOD. Forget the holidays, i want this cookie in my life. every. day.

  2. Leslie says:

    Could you swap out the three gluten free flours for a GF baking blend?

  3. Leslie says:

    These came out perfectly! Our friends had no idea they wer go or vegan! Tank you for sharing so we could have an even better holiday party!

  4. Natalie says:

    Can’t believe how good these looks and fairly easy to make!

  5. susan says:

    can you recommend a substitute for almond flour–i have a peanut allergic son and we have to stay away from all nuts.


    • Lori says:

      Hi Susan,

      My daughter is allergic to peanuts too. We also stay away from all nuts. In the LivingWithOut Magazine, they suggest these options for replacing tree nuts or peanuts (an equal amount to replace the nuts):
      Toasted coconut,sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds (only 2 to 3 Tablespoons), crushed cornflakes, crushed crispy rice cereal, crushed potato chips, pumpkin seeds.
      Hope this helps. Plan to use crushed corn flakes or the toasted coconut in mine.

  6. Kate says:

    I am FREAKING out. I can’t wait to try these!!

    Thank you. =]

    – Kate

  7. Vanessa says:

    Hi Alyson is there any substitute for the almond flour since it is so expensive? could I ground almonds for example or use another but? The Bob’s Red Mill is like $8bag out here and each bag is like 16 oz.

    • Jeffri says:

      You can definitely grind up almonds! I did it that way and the fresh nut taste was amazing! Thank you to Allyson for the wonderful recipe, they are the perfect Russian tea cakes!

  8. I’ve never had russian tea cakes, but they do look wonderful! I have large amounts of both potato starch and almond meal sitting in my cupboard so this could be a wonderful way to use them up

  9. alicia zaludova says:

    i am excited to make these and have all the ingredients but one! can coconut oil be used instead of vegan margarine?
    p.s. i love your recipes and your paintings as well.

    • allyson says:

      Hi Alicia! Thank you SO much for your sweet words! Yes, coconut oil would be a perfect replacement.

      <3 allyson

  10. You are so talented. My goodness, these look absolutely divine, and the fact that they’re gluten-free AND vegan to boot? I’m simply blown away.

  11. Lia says:

    Mmmm! These look great. I’ve finally come to the point where I’m really checking out a gluten-free lifestyle for my body. To see how it feels, so thanks for always having great recipes like this for reference!

  12. shannon says:

    I love russian tea cakes! I am sure the almond meal makes them have the best flavor! My grandmother use to make a nut flour from pecans when she would make them.

  13. aubrey t says:

    hi! so do you melt and/pr soften the maragine? or is it just cold right out of the fridge? thanks! they look delicious:)