This easy gluten free Russian tea cookie recipe is a delicious holiday cookie. These buttery, nut-filled treats are the perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of tea, making them a beloved classic for generations. My Russian tea cookies melt in your mouth and have an incredible light airiness.

Six gluten free Russin tea cookies on a wooden serving dish.

I hope these scrumptious, gluten free Russian tea cookies will help add some cheer to your day. Whether it is a holiday or any day, cookies make the days sweeter! These cookies are so light they melt in your mouth. They are full of delicious flavor. This recipe is tried and true. You can also read through many reader comments and see all the fun flavor variations my readers have created.

If you love cookies as much as we do, you will want to check out all of my delicious gluten free cookie recipes.

Love making these cookies with the grandkids. Some don’t like nuts so we substitute Enjoy Life mini chips. We always make these on Christmas Eve for them to leave for Santa. I had tried so many horrible GF recipes and a waste of expensive ingredients. Thankfully, I found you! I share them with others who need GF recipes. This was such a game changer because I knew nothing about gluten free! Thank you!”

Carol., Blog comment

Allergen Information:

These cookies are gluten-free, soy-free, and egg-free. To make this recipe dairy-free, use plant-based butter. To make this recipe gum-free, use my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend. It uses psyllium husk instead of xanthan or guar gum.

A stack of three Russian tea cookies on a slate tile.

If you want more Christmas-style cookies, check out my best gluten free Christmas Cookies recipes.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF Blend. Other blends should work, but every gluten free flour blend has a different grain-to-starch ratio. This can affect the moisture level, so you may need more or less flour or liquid.
  • Xanthan Gum – A binder is essential, especially in this recipe. Add one teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum if your blend lacks a binder.
  • Powdered Sugar and Cane Sugar.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – Readers also like to use almond extract.)

Can you use different nuts?

Although pecans are traditionally used in this easy tea cookie recipe, walnuts or pistachios.

I made these this past weekend and I’m in love!! they truly just melt in your mouth. I substituted the nuts for a dried cherry, cranberry, and blueberry mix since I can’t have nuts and they still turned out really well. definitely going to have to make these again with how addictive they are.”

Jeanette K., Pinterest comment

You can also make a nut-free crinkle cookie like these gluten free honey crinkle cookies.

Tips For Sucess

1. Don’t forget to chill the dough. This will help prevent your cookies from spreading when baked.
2. Don’t take a hot cookie sheet and put the batter on it, or I promise the cookies won’t turn out. They start baking immediately, and it messes with the shape of them. Use a couple of sheets and rotate them out when making large batches of cookies if needed.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Cookie batter in a stand mixer.

Step 1: Slowly cream the butter with the powdered sugar in a stand mixer. You can also use an electric mixer or mix this by hand in a large mixing bowl.

Chopped pecans on a cutting board.

Step 2: Place the nuts onto a cutting board. Chop up the raw pecans into small pieces with a chopper. I have this chopper, and it chops the nuts easily.

Tea cookie dough in the stand mixer bowl.

Step 3: Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixer bowl. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough for 30 minutes. Chilling helps the cookies hold their shape when they bake. Chilling also softens the rice flour in the blend, eliminating grit.

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

Step 4: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 350º F.

Step 5: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to scoop up uniform amounts of cookie dough and roll the cookie dough to make balls.

Cookie dough balls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Step 6: Your dough will be firm enough to roll into balls. Bake at 350º F for 8-10 minutes.

Step 7: When you remove them from the oven, allow them to cool briefly on a cooling rack.

Step 8: Roll them in powdered sugar!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you make cookies without a standing mixer?

You can easily make these cookies in a bowl. Put all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend them. Add the wet ingredients to a smaller bowl. Mix the two and then scoop onto the cookie sheet.

How do you store Russian tea cookies?

Store these cookies in an airtight container. They will keep fresh for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze these cookies?

Yes, you can easily freeze these cookies. We like to make a double batch and freeze the extras. Then, all we have to do is defrost them and roll them in the powdered sugar.

The top view of six tea cookies on a wooden serving board.

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Six gluten free Russin tea cookies on a wooden serving dish.

Gluten Free Russian Tea Cookies

Sandi Gaertner
Easy buttery, melt in your mouth gluten free Russian tea cookies.
4.74 from 61 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
soy free allergy icon
vegetarian icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 118 kcal


  • 1 cup unsalted butter very softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • dash salt
  • ¼ cup raw pecans chopped


  • In a mixing bowl, add butter, vanilla and sugar. Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
  • Slowly add flour on low speed and mix until blended. Add pecans and mix on low. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  • Place dough balls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove GENTLY with a thin spatula onto a cooling rack. These cookies are very crumbly when hot.
  • Allow to cool 15 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar.


  1. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend, and Authentic Foods Multi Blend in this recipe. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
  2. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum, please add 3/4 teaspoon.
  3. To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
  4. These cookies will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 6mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 236IUCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

Note: this post is updated from an older January 2017 post with more recipe details.Save

4.74 from 61 votes (53 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. These are really good but I had to bake them for almost double the time, it was exactly 24 cookies so they weren’t too big, and I checked my oven temp with an oven thermometer.

  2. 3 stars
    I used pecans instead of walnuts and King Arthur measure for measure flour. These were so dry I couldn’t swallow them. And the flour still tasted uncooked after baking. The nut portion was so small you really did not get the pecan flavor in the cookie. I’ll never use this recipe again.

    1. Hi Leslie, I am sorry you didn’t end up with perfect cookies. Can I ask how you measured your flour? It sounds like they were too dry and you maybe had a bit more flour than needed. Did you pack the measuring cups?