Chai Spice Almond Snowball Cookies

These almond snowball cookies are spiced Christmas cookies with a twist: they’re naturally gluten free, made with almond flour and cozy chai spices!

Chai spice almond snowball cookies | spiced Christmas cookies | chai spice cookies

It’s easy to judge a cookie by its appearance. For every good recipe we share, there’s usually several behind-the-scenes failures. And that’s absolutely the case with these chai spice almond snowball cookies! These cookies were months in the making. The challenge: we wanted to create a tasty, gluten-free Christmas cookie with normal sounding ingredients. After a few attempts that were complete bombs, a new idea for chai spiced almond snowball cookies surfaced. After numerous attempts and melted cookies and lots of taste testing and maybe a little cursing (oops!), this recipe came to be. Keep reading for this chai spiced almond snowball cookies recipe.

Chai spice almond snowball cookies | spiced Christmas cookies | chai spice cookies

How to make chai spice almond snowball cookies

What came from all the trial and error is a buttery, rich chai spice cookie that got rave reviews from friends and family alike. The cardamom is the star of the show–I never realized cardamom is what gives chai spice its familiar zing! Try to find some ground cardamom for this recipe. With the leftover cardamom, you may find yourself wanting to add a pinch in all of your baked goods! We’ve used coconut sugar an alternative sweetener that’s still sugary but a bit lower on the glycemic scale; you can feel free to substitute brown or white sugar. This is our first spiced Christmas cookie recipe of the season, and it’s one I know we’ll be making for Christmases to come.

Important: when you’re rolling out the cookies, work quickly to avoid the butter softening, which results in a melted cookie in the oven. We recommend refrigerating half of the dough while rolling out the first half of the cookies.

Almond flour vs almond meal

This chai spice almond snowball cookies are made using almond flour (ground almonds). We like to use almond flour in our naturally gluten free desserts. Some grocery stories carry both almond flour and almond meal. What’s the difference: almond flour and almond meal? Both are made from ground almonds. Almond flour is ground finer and made from blanched almonds, which have no skins. Almond meal is coarser ground, and contains the skins of the almonds. Because the texture of these cookies is dependent on the light and fluffy texture of almond flour, make sure to only use almond flour in this recipe.

Since almond flour can be a little pricey, here’s a coupon for $1 any Bob’s Red Mill brand product. Happy Baking!

Chai spice almond snowball cookies | spiced Christmas cookies | chai spice cookies

Chai spice almond snowball cookies | spiced Christmas cookies | chai spice cookies

Looking for Christmas cookie recipes?

Aside from these chai spiced snowball cookies, here are a few of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes:

This recipe is…

This Chai Spice Almond Snowball Cookies recipe is gluten free and vegetarian. See the note in the recipe for a vegan variation.


Chai Spice Almond Snowball Cookies

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x


These almond snowball cookies are spiced Christmas cookies with a twist: they’re made with almond flour and cozy chai spices!



  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (such as Bob’s Red Mill, or substitute white sugar)
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)*
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (no substitutions!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix together butter and sugar until fully combined. Add the remainder of the ingredients (except for the powdered sugar) and mix again until a cohesive dough forms. Turn out onto plastic wrap and shape into a ball; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (make sure the temperature is true; adjust if your oven runs hotter than normal). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Roll into approximately 20 1-inch balls, pressing together the dough as necessary where it is crumbly. Important: Work quickly to avoid the butter softening, which results in a melted cookie in the oven. We recommend refrigerating half of the dough while rolling out the first half of the cookies.
  4. Place the cookies onto the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, turning the pan halfway through for even baking, until the cookies are light golden brown but still soft. (Be careful not to over bake or the cookies may start to lose their shape.) Remove the cookies from the oven and cool them on the pan for 10 minutes (avoid touching; the cookies will solidify as they cool). Once hardened, transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  5. When completely cool, place ¼ cup powdered sugar on a plate and roll each ball in the sugar until coated.


*Do not substitute almond meal, which is a different product; use only almond flour here!

For a vegan variation, use 1/4 cup melted, room temperature coconut oil in place of the butter; mix together all ingredients (except powdered sugar) in a bowl with a wooden spoon, then bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. The resulting cookie is not as rich and has a more crumbly texture; you may want to consider adding a bit more sugar in this variation to make up for the lost richness.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Almond Flour, Snowball Cookies, Almond Snowball Cookies, Chai Spice Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Gluten Free

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All opinions are our own; we’re huge fans of their products and use them often. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who keep A Couple Cooks in action! 

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table
    December 2, 2015 at 7:08 am

    I love these! cardamom is one of my favourite flavours, and these cookies, with their all almond-meal texture, sound like they would be an absolute dream. Perfection!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    December 2, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I am definitely a behind-the-scenes person. Thanks for the effort it took to get these cookies right, just for us. ;-) I can’t wait to try them! I bet they would also be nice with a dusting of coconut flour instead of powdered sugar to mirror the coconut sugar in the cookie. Will let you know!

    • Reply
      Katie @ Whole Nourishment
      December 4, 2015 at 2:43 am

      Made these last night for tonight’s dinner party. They are amazing and couldn’t be easier to make either. When mixing the ingredients I was afraid there wasn’t enough moisture to form a cohesive dough but I kept mixing like you said and it worked! :) I like both the coconut flour and powdered sugar dusting. I will definitely be keeping this recipe in my repertoire!

  • Reply
    Bethany @ Athletic Avocado
    December 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I totally feel for you! I’ve had countless recipes in my year of blogging that didnt turn out as well as I’d hoped! Im glad you found the light at the end of the tunnel with these beautiful cookies!! Im also happy that there are no weird ingredients that I have to buy to make them!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I am always on the lookout for easy holiday-themed cookies like this! I like the make big batches or “healthier” cookies so that I can sneak some of them in me before making the more butter-filled ones closer to the holidays to give away. The chai spice in these sounds great!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

    These sound delicious! But, do you think I can use regular flour? Sadly I am allergic to nuts…

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I love the sound of these! Anything chai gets my attention, and so little sugar! Must make. I’ll play with other options to coat them, though, and hopefully won’t ruin them. ;)
    Oh, and I certainly watch the DVD extras too.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Completely agree with the cardamom. I bought some a couple months ago for A Cozy Kitchen’s chai spiced snickerdoodles and I haven’t stopped using it, I love the flavor it brings! These look so perfect and unique for the holidays, and can you imagine the smells from the oven?! YES.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2015 at 2:31 am

    What a wonderful, wonderful recipe. I’m gonna make these!

  • Reply
    Tessa | Salted Plains
    December 3, 2015 at 10:27 am

    These look fantastic. Excited that there is coconut sugar in these little snowballs – I bet it goes wonderfully with those chai spices! Lovely!

  • Reply
    Cassie @ Almost Getting it Together
    December 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Snowball cookies are one of my faves… and they are always so overlooked! I’m going to have to make a batch this year as part of my holiday baking… love how much healthier this recipe is!

  • Reply
    December 5, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I am in love with your photography! These look so tasty, I can’t wait to try them.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    These look so tasty and healthy. I’m very tempted to try making them. Perfect for Christmas! Thanks for the post. Not to mention, anything with chai is my all time favourite.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 9:15 am

    These look and sound amazing! Did you use salted or unsalted butter? If using salted, should I cut the 1/8tsp salt out?

  • Reply
    December 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm


    I loved the look and idea of this cookie. I am still new to baking for GF + Vegan friends but I couldn’t wait to try these out for Christmas. When I made them they turned out very dry and crumbly , like I needed more wet ingredients…when baked they just crumbled in to sand. Do you have any tips or tricks for making these?

    • Reply
      December 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      I’m sorry to hear the cookies were too crumbly! Did you use almond flour (not almond meal)? Almond meal results in a much more crumbly cookie. Let me know and we can keep troubleshooting!

  • Reply
    December 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the reply! I did use almond flour but I also used coconut oil instead of butter…Could that have made a difference to the overall texture? ( Kind of like how when baking with butter the temperature and amount of time that you mix it can give you some different textures in your baked goods…?)

  • Reply
    December 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I never use corn starch. Could I just substitute with regular flour ? Thank you!

    • Reply
      December 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      I think that would probably work! We used corn starch to keep it gluten-free. I would go ahead and try that!

      • Reply
        December 14, 2017 at 11:17 pm

        Thank you Sonja! (had also sent a request for your vegetable lasagna:-)

  • Reply
    December 5, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    These are delicious! I made them last year at a holiday cooking baking party and it was requested that we make them again this year!

    • Reply
      December 5, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      No way! We love hearing that. Tell them all THANK YOU — and thank YOU for making them! :)

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Made these today and LOVE them!! One of my first times baking with almond flour. Everything worked perfectly, and the flavor was delightful. (Love the cardamom!) Will definitely be making these again! I think they’ll be fabulous with a cup of tea. :)

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