Coconut Date Balls are a classic, must make cookie at Christmas. This easy, no-bake, recipe made with dates, pecans, rice cereal, and coconut has just the right amount of sweetness that makes them totally irresistible! They’re the perfect cookie to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea and ideal to give to friends and neighbors.
Christmas is just a few days away which means it’s time to make some cookies. Like most families at this time of year, we enjoy sharing homemade gifts from the kitchen and this cookie is always at the top of our list. Over the years we’ve had many debates about whether these date balls are really a cookie or should they be called candy. At the end of the conversation, we always come to the same consensus, we really don’t care what they’re called. We just want to make them and eat them. Over and over again!
My version of this old-fashioned recipe has a few updates. I’ve cut the sugar in half and added more dates so that the natural sweetness of the fruit comes through. The recipe is lightened up with the addition of puffed rice cereal. These subtle changes make this sweet treat a little bit healthier with all of the decadence you’ve come to love.
What’s In Coconut Date Balls?
- Chopped Dates
- Chopped Pecans
- Puffed Rice Cereal
- Sweetened Coconut
Tips For Making This Recipe
- This recipe comes together so fast that it’s best to get all of your ingredients measured and staged before you start cooking. I make an assembly line in the order of the recipe and let the fun begin.
- Make sure the dates and pecans are chopped. You don’t want large pieces of either in a small, three-bite cookie.
- As the dates soften while cooking, I use the back of my spatula to press them into the butter-sugar mixture.
- I use a medium-size cookie scoop to make the balls. For a couple of tricks to make this step super easy, first, place your coconut in a shallow bowl or plate. That makes it easier to coat the balls. Also, keep a bowl of water handy to keep your hands slightly damp to make rolling easier.
- After rolling the balls, place them on parchment or wax paper to cool completely.
More No-Bake Desserts To Try
- Classic Muddy Buddies
- No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie In Jars
- Banana Pudding Trifle
- No-Bake Butterscotch Cookies
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- 1 stick butter
- 2 large eggs - whisked
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup dates - chopped
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup pecans - chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups puffed rice cereal
- 8 ounces shredded, sweetened coconut (about half a bag)
- In a medium-size pot, melt butter. Add-in eggs, sugar, dates and salt. Cook over low heat until mixture has thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, mash dates into the mixture.
- Remove from heat and add the pecans, rice cereal, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Using a medium-size cookie scoop, measure out the mixture, and roll into balls. Roll in coconut, pressing some of the coconut into the ball. **Keep hands damp with water to make rolling the balls easier.
- Place balls on parchment. Let cool completely. Store covered until ready to enjoy.
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My daughter loves these. She can’t eat coconut so I roll them in oats that have been pulsed in the food processor
These are my husbands favorite. I struggle with my grandmothers recipe. I am glad I found a recipe that works well!
Thanks, Ashley! We love them, too. Thanks for the great rating.
I’m a NC girl too! My mom and I always made these date & nut balls and no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies around Christmas. We also made peanut butter balls and before my Granny passed we made icebox fruit cakes. They were the only fruit cakes I ever really liked. I’m so glad I found this pin. I haven’t made these in a while, so this is going to be on my list this year.
My granny & my mother made ice box fruit cake, it was so good. Better than candy!! Merry Christmas !
Hey there Pat!
Thank you so much for sharing, that sounds absolutely delicious! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
My mother in law used to make these, but she rolled them in powdered sugar. I have lost her recipe, so I am so glad that you posted this!
Merry Christmas, Stacey!
I am so glad I could help you out. Enjoy.