Chocolate coconut balls are an easy one-bowl recipe with no cooking or baking time needed, and lots of fun for kids to help with mixing and rolling. Adapted from Swedish chocolate balls, they’re similar to the classic but with a couple key differences.
This recipe is made with coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut mixed in to the dough, both of which heighten the taste of coconut. I’ve also used coconut sugar (you don’t have to) which adds a slight caramel flavour that pairs well with the chocolate – I think it replaces the coffee in a nice way.
These have a special place in my holiday routine alongside vegan chocolate truffles and coconut sugar cookies. Like those, they keep really well and can be made in advance so you can relax over the holiday period, and make a nice gift.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Coconut: I prefer to use desiccated coconut rather than shredded, but both work well. Be sure it’s unsweetened in either case.
- Sugar: cane sugar can be substituted for coconut if you don’t want that caramel flavour. You can also use maple or date sugar here.
- Coconut oil: you can sub butter (vegan or otherwise) for coconut oil if preferred. You will need to refrigerate the mixture before rolling in this case.
- Milk: if you’d like a more traditional flavour, you can sub a couple tablespoons of the milk for cold coffee. This will make for a stronger chocolate taste with a hint of coffee.
- Add-ins: Add a handful of mini chocolate chips or cocoa nibs, a few drops of peppermint, spices like cinnamon and cardamom, or the zest of an orange if you want to change things up.
Step by Step
1. Use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and use your hands to mix into a firm dough.
3. Roll into small balls, about a tablespoon each.
4. Roll in coconut and store in a sealed container.
If you can’t see the recipe video, please watch it here on YouTube instead.
While traditional chocolate balls need to be refrigerated before rolling, using coconut oil instead of soft butter means these can be shaped immediately. They can also be kept at room temperature a little longer.
Use a mix of half rolled and half quick-cook oats to best imitate the texture of the porridge oats pictured. If you can get this style of porridge oats (it’s like a half-blended rolled oat mix) it’s ideal.
How to Store
Storage: for serving, the balls should be at room temperature. They can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week in a sealed container and can be served cold, but taste best at room temp.
Freezing: after rolling in coconut, freeze the balls in an airtight container for up to a month. Thaw before serving.
- Don’t reduce the oil: it’s key for the balls to stick together properly when rolling, and can’t be reduced or omitted. Use unrefined for more coconut flavour.
- Coat immediately: roll the balls in coconut immediately after shaping, when that bit of warmth will help the coconut stick. Don’t refrigerate first.
- Any kind of cocoa is fine: Dutch process, baking cocoa, raw, it doesn’t matter. Make sure it doesn’t contain sugar (drinking cocoa), though. Dutch is a bit milder so it may be preferable here, depending on what you like.
More No-Bake Treats
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No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Balls
- 120 grams porridge oats
- 80 grams coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 50 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 80 grams coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Extra coconut, for coating
- Fill a shallow bowl with shredded coconut for coating and set aside.Extra coconut, for coating
- Add the oats, sugar, coconut, cocoa, and salt to a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.120 grams porridge oats, 80 grams coconut sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 50 grams unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Add the coconut oil, milk, and vanilla. Use your hands to mix into a firm dough.80 grams coconut oil, 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Use your hands to roll the dough into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Drop each ball into the coconut and roll it around to coat, repeating until all the dough has been used. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in December 2015. It has been updated with improvements to the recipe and text as of December 2022.