Almond Butter Date Balls

I sometimes like to add a tablespoon or so of dried cranberries to give this a bit of a tart twist.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Chill time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 to 16 date balls


  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates (about 4 to 5), cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, any kind (I usually use Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • Scant 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • Cooking spray (optional)

For topping/rolling the balls:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder


1 Make the date balls: Place the walnuts and dates into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade, and pulse several times until well combined. The pieces should look like a rough crumble.

Add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt and pulse until the mixture is smooth and thick; it will start to peel away from the edge of the bowl.

When this happens, stop the food processor; if it keeps whirring away, it may get stuck because these ingredients are, well, sticky! Keep a close eye on this, as it will come together quickly.

Almond Butter Energy Balls add the dates and walnuts Date almond butter coconut balls pulse the dates and walnuts Chocolate almond butter balls add the maple syrup, almond butter

2 Add the almonds: Add the almonds and pulse a few times to incorporate them. You want them sort of irregularly sized, so that some pieces are still pretty crunchy and offer a variety of textures.

Almond Butter Energy Balls add the almonds

3 Roll the date balls: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place the coconut in a small bowl and the cocoa powder in another bowl.

Using a cookie scoop measuring about 1 1/2 tablespoons (like this one) and sprayed with cooking spray for easy release, scoop out the mixture, roll it into golf-ball shapes, and roll in the shredded coconut or the cocoa powder. (I usually do some in coconut and some in cocoa powder, and leave some plain.)

Chocolate almond butter balls roll the balls No-Bake Date Balls roll the balls in cocoa powder

4 Chill and store the date balls: Transfer the date balls to the baking sheet and chill them for a few hours or overnight, if needed. Once they've firmed up, transfer to a plastic lidded container and keep in the fridge for several weeks, but I've never, ever, had them last that long. They are usually consumed too quickly.

Chocolate almond butter balls line the balls on the baking sheet