Orange Mexican Wedding Cakes

Made and devoured these fantastic cookies by Wen Zientek-Sico: "These traditional cookies, which also go by bridal cakes or Russian Tea Cakes, are a favorite of mine." Mine too!


Wen Zientek-Sico

Ingredients / Directions: 
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • *2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • powdered sugar for decorating

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease the cookie sheets. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the orange zest and extracts and mix until well blended. In a small bowl whisk the flour and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing continuously. Stir in the chopped almonds.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls with your hands and place two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until set. Cookies should not be browned. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for three minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

Frost if desired or roll in powdered sugar. Store in airtight containers.

*A note from Patty: you can use whole fine spelt flour instead or a gluten-free flour mix.

Nutritional Value: 


I have been dying to make

I have been dying to make these...but the butter content keeps me from it! Do you think I could replace 1/2 butter w slightly solid coconut oil & 1/2 butter with apple sauce or other fruit puree?

Hi there, The fat is very

Hi there,
The fat is very important for the texture of these crumbly
shortbread-like cookies. I think coconut oil would be an excellent
substitute for the butter - though I don't think a fruit puree would work here. If I wanted to reduce the fat + use coconut oil in this recipe, I would try this:

  • Instead of the 1c butter, use 1/2c coconut oil (slightly solid)
  • Instead of 1c chopped almonds, use 1/2c almond butter (or finely ground roasted almonds) mixed with the butter and sugar + 1/2c chopped almonds
  • Reduce the 2c flour to 1 3/4c initially. After combining all the ingredients, if the dough is still sticky, add the last 1/4c.

Please let us know how it goes!