Scottish snowballs are the perfect sweet treat, from their coating of pristine white coconut to their oozing strawberry jam in the centre. These snowball cakes are just perfect with a cup of tea and kids adore them too. Plus they are super easy to make.
The inspiration for these snowball cakes
The cake I remember most from my childhood has to be traditional Scottish snowballs. These dense coconut covered cakes with jam oozing from the centre were our Saturday morning treat when my Mum and I went to the local bakery.
I couldn’t wait to eat mine the minute I got home and would try to pinch my brother’s snowball cake too.
This recipe is taken from my book Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes where you’ll find over 50 fabulous Scottish bakes of all types. The book is available from Amazon both as hardback, paperback and Kindle editions and at bookshops too.
Scottish snowball cakes
So what are these snowball cakes? Well, Scottish snowballs are almost like a cross between shortbread and a scone. They aren’t out and out cake-like in texture.
Yes, you’ll find coconut snowball cakes in the shops (even Aldi has them now) but they are cakes with coconut around them. They are not the traditional Scottish snowball which dates back many years and isn’t a cake at all really, it’s more of a scone.
There must be an oozingly sweet jam centre.
That all-important coconut covering of ‘snow’ to make it a real honest-to-goodness snowball!
Traditionally it’s strawberry jam that is inside a Scottish snowball cake. I’ve tried them with all sorts of fillings and I think any nice flavourful and rich red coloured jam works best.
Ingredients for Scottish snowballs
There are only a few basic store-cupboard ingredients in this coconut snowball cake recipe.
For the cake dough – Self-raising flour, caster sugar, butter and egg.
Filling – jam (see list above for ideas)
Finishing – icing sugar and desiccated coconut
How to make snowball cakes
This Scottish snowball recipe couldn’t be easier really. But I must warn you folks, this gets messy!
First, you want to make the dough for the snowball cakes by sifting your flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. This gets rid of any bits and pieces that shouldn’t be there in the first place and airiates the flour too.
Now rub in the butter till you get a nice breadcrumb like texture.
Add the egg and egg yolk and mix to form a dough. If this is a little too loose then just add in a little more flour.
Pull off pieces of dough about the size of a walnut and place on a lines baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes till golden.
Now it gets messy and it’s a great time to get the kids involved.
Sandwich the snowball cakes with your jam.
Now make up a thin icing with water and icing sugar and dip the cake snowballs into this. I told you this was going to get messy!
Lift them out and roll in the coconut to cover the little cakes completely and create Scottish snowballs!
Leave them to set completely for about half an hour before eating or you’ll get covered in coconut and icing
How long do Scottish snowballs keep?
Once you’ve made your coconut snowball cakes they will keep for a few days in a sealed container, but I bet they won’t last that long…..
Can you freeze Scottish snowballs?
Yes, you can freeze the actuals snowball cakes before you get to the jam filling and icing stage. Just wrap them well in cling film and a freezer bag and they will keep for up to 3 months.
Defrost thoroughly before filling with jam and finishing off the snowball cakes with coconut and icing as above.
Looking for more fun wee Scottish bakes to try? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Traditional Scottish Snowballs
- 225 g self raising flour
- 90 g caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 90 g unsalted butter
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 50 g jam of choice
- 180 g icing sugar plus water
- 50 g desiccated coconut
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and grease and line a large baking tray.
- Sift flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and rub in the butter till you get a crumb like mixture.
- Whisk together the whole egg and the extra yolk in a cup and add this to the mixture and mix thoroughly to form a dough
- Break the dough in half and then half again. Now pull off pieces of the dough to make five little balls from each batch of dough. This will give you 20 balls about half the size of golf balls.
- Place these on the prepared baking tray about 3cm apart as they will spread as they bake. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spread jam on one flat side and sandwich another cake on top, do this will all and you will have 10 snowballs.
- In one bowl mix a little water with the icing sugar and mix till it is a glaze and in another bowl have the desiccated coconut. Dip the cakes into the icing and roll around to cover completely and then dip and roll in the coconut. Set aside to dry completely