These soft and delicious date balls are filled with wholesome goodness, but they taste like a sinfully decadent dessert – sweet, rich and chocolatey.
They’re date balls, filled with wholesome goodness, but they taste like a decadent dessert – sweet, rich and chocolatey. I think they actually taste, and give the mouthfeel, of eating chocolate cookie dough! 🍪
Needless to say, I feel much better about giving these to my kids (and enjoying them myself on occasion) than commercial truffles.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty treat. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Pitted Medjool dates: These dates are large, soft, chewy, and VERY sweet. They are amazing – the diamond of dates.
Natural almond butter: The only ingredient should be almonds.
Unsweetened cocoa powder: I like to use natural cocoa powder, but you can use Dutch-processed cocoa powder if you prefer. It’s milder and not as acidic as natural cocoa powder.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing – pure vanilla extract – and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Ground cinnamon: Make sure it’s fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Toppings: More cocoa powder, and unsweetened shredded coconut.
How to make date balls
It’s easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Process the ingredients (except for the topping ingredients) in your food processor. They will turn into dough.
2. Quickly knead the dough. Divide it into 16 balls and roll them in the toppings.
3. Refrigerate them for an hour before enjoying them.
Tips for making this recipe a success
It’s important to use Medjool dates in this recipe. These are large, soft, very sweet dates. Non Medjool dates might be too dry for this recipe and not sweet enough.
I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe. You can also use Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s darker and milder than natural cocoa powder. But it’s not necessary. I think these are excellent with natural cocoa powder.
As for toppings, I usually use shredded coconut and cocoa powder. Other options include chopped nuts and almond flour. You can certainly leave the date balls without any toppings at all. They are excellent either way, just not as pretty. 🙂
You can use peanut butter if you’d like
If you’re not opposed to peanut butter, you can certainly use that instead of almond butter. While the almond butter has a fairly neutral taste, the peanut butter is more noticeable in the final product. If you do use peanut butter, I recommend omitting the cinnamon.
A low-carb option
Date balls are high in (natural) sugar and in carbs because of the Medjool dates.
I do feel good about serving them to my kids, or enjoying one of them myself – especially post-workout. But my husband eats a stricter low carb diet. For him, I make these amazing keto chocolate coconut truffles instead.
How to store them
Keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 4-5 days. Remove them from the fridge an hour before you plan on serving them. You can also freeze them in freezer bags for up to 3 months.
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- 15 medjool dates (10 oz), pitted
- 1/2 cup natural almond butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
- Place the dates, almond butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and cinnamon in your food processor. Process until the ingredients come together into rough dough.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and shortly knead it with clean hands.
- Divide into 16 balls, each weighing 1 oz.
- Roll the balls in the toppings.
- Arrange the chocolate date balls on a tray or a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hour, to allow them to set and flavors to meld.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove from fridge 10 minutes before serving.