Gluten-Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

These melt-in-your-mouth gluten-free Mexican wedding cookies, traditionally called “polvorones,” boast a long and fascinating history. While not technically originating in Mexico and definitely not originally gluten free, their journey began centuries ago in medieval Arab kitchens, featuring butter, sugar, nuts, spices, and gluten-laden flour. By the 17th century, these confections arrived in Mexico, likely brought by European nuns or conquistadors. They quickly found a home in celebrations, particularly weddings, symbolizing happiness, purity, and unity with their delicate dusting of powdered sugar.

Today, these wedding cookies remain a nostalgic taste of tradition. For gluten-free baking, this recipe keeps the flavor but loses the gluten by using brown rice flour and tapioca flour to make them a delicious and inclusive treat for everyone to enjoy, regardless of dietary restrictions.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Flaky, light, and buttery, these tea cookies by the great Heather Hardcastle of Flour Craft Bakery are the perfect combination of salty and sweet, which, in our option is the difference between good polvorones and great polvorones. Take note: the dough needs to rest at least 2 hours before you shape and bake it. Also, you can easily make these vegan by swapping regular butter for vegan butter.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Resting time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 48 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Calories 161 kcal


  • 2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14 tablespoons 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Combine the pecans, flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and cinnamon in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal and no large chunks of pecans remain. Add the butter all at once and pulse until the mixture forms into a dough.
  2. Divide dough in half and shape into disks. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pinch off 1-tablespoon pieces of chilled dough and roll between your hands to form balls. Space the cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Chill the balls until firm, about 10 minutes.
  4. Bake until cookies are set in the middle and just golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely, then roll cookies in powdered sugar until fully coated.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 161 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 82mg4%
Potassium 55mg2%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 168IU3%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Photo Maren Caruso

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