Recipes | Cookies, Brownies & Bars

Low FODMAP Pecan Butterballs


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Learn How to Make Low FODMAP Pecan Butterballs

These cookies are easy to make in the food processor and combine ground pecans, sweet butter, powdered sugar and vanilla into a delectable snow-white ball that we call Low FODMAP Pecan Butterballs.

pecan butterballs on a baking sheet pan covered with confectioners' sugar

A Cookie By Another Name

Many countries have variations of this cookie (Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, and the like) and for good reason – they’re packed with ingredients that are addictively delicious: butter, nuts and sugar!

A Perfect Holiday Cookie – Or Make These Year Round

These are popular throughout the United States, but particularly in the southeast where pecans are harvested, and especially around the winter holidays.

vertical image of pecan butterballs cookies on a white plate

A Note on Sugar

These types of cookies, whatever they might be called, always call for a hefty amount of confectioners’ sugar to roll them around and coat them in a nice white blanket.

But don’t worry. You don’t end up eating all of that sugar; you just need it to roll the cookies around effectively.

Caution: Fragile

These cookies are fragile; there is no getting around the fact that you will probably lose a couple (but you can eat the crumbles!)

When they are hot, handle as little as possible. Once cooled, you will be rolling in confectioners’ sugar and I cannot emphasize enough that you should handle them very carefully.

Also, store them in single layers to keep them intact.

overhead image of pecan butterballs on baking pan

And check out our other holiday cookie recipes:

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pecan butterballs on a baking sheet pan covered with confectioners' sugar
4 from 4 votes

Low FODMAP Pecan Butterballs

Our Low FODMAP Pecan Butterballs are low FODMAP and gluten-free!

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 36 cookies; serving size 1 cookie

Makes: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson



  1. Place pecans, ½ cup (45 g) powdered sugar and salt in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade. Pulse on and off to break up nuts, then process until nuts are finely ground. Add butter a few pieces at a time, pulsing on and off to incorporate, then run machine until mixture is smooth; pulse in vanilla extract. Add flour and pulse machine on and off until incorporated, scraping the dough down once or twice. Process until the dough begins to form a ball. Remove dough from machine, form into a very flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm enough to roll into balls. Dough may be refrigerated overnight. (You may freeze dough up to 1 month; defrost in refrigerator overnight before proceeding).
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper.
  3. Roll dough between your fingers and palms with lightly floured hands into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls and place on prepared cookie sheets 2-inches (12 mm) apart. Gently flatten just enough so they don’t roll off the sheet.
  4. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges and on the bottom. Take care when checking, as they are very fragile when hot.
  5. Cool cookies on sheets placed on racks for 5 minutes, then sift about half of the remaining sugar over the warm cookies. Place remaining sugar in a small bowl. After cookies have cooled completely, roll them in the powdered sugar in the bowl to cover completely. Cookies may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I recommend arranging in single layers, separated by parchment paper - and no more than 2 layers tall.



  • Don't be alarmed by the amount of sugar used in this recipe. A lot of it won't make it to your mouth, as it is used to dust and cover the cookies, but a lot will be excess and left behind. Also, sugar is low FODMAP, so no worries!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.

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