Chocolate Coconut Balls are easy, decadent and made in one bowl. They will be your new favorite guilt free treat!
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If you are a dark chocolate lover, these chocolate coconut balls are for you! And so is my latest creation – almond flour brownies!
Whenever I don’t have a 70-90% dark chocolate bar on hand, you can find me making these healthy treats. These chocolate balls are super easy to make and no food processor is required. One bowl and no bake!
I have heard from so many of you that this dessert recipe reminds you of haystacks, mounds bars and chocolate rice pop crackles. Whatever these chocolate coconut balls remind you of, they are healthy and satisfying.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy recipe requires only one bowl and no turning on the oven!
- Healthy ingredients include whole foods and can even be made with superfood cacao powder.
- Dairy free and can be gluten free when using gluten free oats!
- Stores well for up to 3 months in the freezer which means you can always have chocolate coconut balls when the craving hits!
Ingredients and Notes
- Coconut oil: For this recipe, you cannot substitute with any other oil. It has to be coconut oil because it is the only oil that can solidify.
- Cacao or cocoa powder: I use cacao powder. It is less processed than cocoa powder. But you can use either. Some readers have had success using carob powder.
- Vanilla extract and maple syrup or honey: I prefer maple syrup to honey because it mixes and tastes better (my personal preference). You can also use brown rice syrup, agave or date syrup.
- Oats: Quick, rolled or quick cooking steel cut oats. Gluten free if needed.
- Coconut flakes: Use unsweetened coconut flakes. You can’t skip the coconut flakes because they make the balls. You can’t replace them with coconut flour either because the flour is too “thirsty” and the recipe will not work.
Fun fact: Combining coconut oil with cacao powder and maple syrup makes dark chocolate. Did you know?!
How to Make Healthy Chocolate Coconut Balls
Just 5 ingredients and 4 easy steps and you will have the most delicious chocolate coconut balls. Did I mention that everything is mixed in one bowl or even the pot you melt the coconut oil in?!
- Melt coconut oil: In a medium saucepan on low heat, melt the coconut oil. Once melted, remove from heat.
- Combine the ingredients: First, mix in the cacao powder and vanilla into the coconut oil. Next, whisk in the maple syrup/honey. Finally, stir in the coconut flakes and oats until well combined.
- Freeze the mixture: Just 10 minutes in the freezer! If using refrigerated maple syrup, chocolate mixture will harden while mixing. You might not need to place it in a freezer before rolling. Also honey might require extra time whisking as it is quite solid.
- Make the balls: Use a small scoop and form the balls. Place the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then pop the baking sheet back into the freezer for another 30 minutes.
- Orange zest for an orange chocolate taste.
- Pinch of salt to enhance the chocolate profile.
- Dash of espresso powder for an even more intense chocolate taste.
- Pinch of cinnamon to add a warm spicy taste (like Mexican hot chocolate).
- Maca powder for an earthy taste.
- Dried sour cherry in the center for a ‘chocolate covered cherry’.
Tips for Best Results
- Use a round measuring spoon, cookie scoop or even melon baller to help shape your chocolate coconut balls.
- If you find your mixture too runny, add up to 3/4 cup of oats but note that the texture might change.
- Reduce cocoa powder if experiencing a bitter aftertaste.
- Remember to store these in the refrigerator or freezer – they are safe to place on a cookie platter for a few hours without worrying they will melt, though!
If using refrigerated maple syrup, you may need to skip freezing the mixture. The cold maple syrup with warm coconut oil will start to solidify immediately.
Depending on what type of haystack you grew up eating, they might be! Some versions of haystacks use chow mein noodles (which would be very different than these chocolate coconut balls) other versions are just coconut with powdered sugar which these may be similar to.
A lot of readers have reported back that they think this tastes like a healthy version of the popular candy bar or like a healthy Almond Joy. With similar ingredients of coconut and chocolate – but no refined sugar or processed ingredients, enjoy these healthy ‘mounds’ bars guilt free.
Do not worry about runny consistency because it is just melted coconut oil – that will solidify in the fridge/freezer. However, adding extra oats are OK too, your chocolate balls might just be thicker.
Some readers have used this, I have not tested it. Carob powder does have a unique sweeter taste, your coconut ball might differ in taste.
A reader has reported back that they added a small amount of unflavored protein powder and these became chocolate coconut protein balls. I have not tested with protein powder, so proceed with caution and if you use a flavored protein powder, the taste will turn out much different.
Unfortunately, no. Balls have to be refrigerated in order to keep their shape otherwise they will melt (coconut oil problems).
To enjoy the chocolate coconut balls, warm them up on a counter for 5 minutes. Hard chocolate can damage your teeth, so please be patient and careful. That’s why a few minutes to warm up is perfect.
- Enjoy with a cup of tea like Europeans do! Or love cake pops? Insert a cake pop stick in the center of a ball half way through before freezing the balls. Just make sure you have enough room in the freezer beforehand. Kids will love this treat!
- Place these treats on a healthy dessert platter with an assortment of healthy Christmas cookies during holidays.
Can I Make These in Advance?
Store: Best to keep these chocolate balls of goodness in an airtight container in the fridge. They will remain fresh for up to 7 days (if they last that long).
Freeze: Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw on the counter for a an hour or so or in the fridge overnight before enjoying!
More Healthy Chocolate Desserts to Try
- Healthy chocolate bread
- Healthy chocolate muffins
- Healthy chocolate cake
- Healthy rum balls
- No bake nutella pie
- Banana bark
- Strawberry bark
Healthy Chocolate Coconut Balls
- In a medium pot, melt coconut oil on low heat.
- Remove from heat and whisk in cacao powder and vanilla extract. Whisk in maple syrup or honey.
- Add coconut flakes and oats; stir until well combined.
- Place mixture in a freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Line flat sheet or platter with parchment paper. Using small scoop, form and roll golf size chocolate coconut balls placing on a platter.
- Freeze for 30 minutes. Enjoy chilled straight from the freezer or fridge.
- Serve: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Warm up on a counter for 5 minutes.
- Freeze: For up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter for an hour or so or in the fridge overnight before enjoying!
- Can I ship them? Unfortunately, no. Balls have to be refrigerated in order to keep their shape otherwise they will melt (coconut oil problems).
- Coconut oil substitute? For this recipe, you cannot substitute with any other oil. It has to be coconut oil because it is the only oil that can solidify.
- Maple syrup or honey: I prefer maple syrup to honey because it mixes and tastes better (my personal preference). You can also use brown rice syrup, agave or date syrup.
- Oats: Quick, rolled or quick cooking steel cut oats. You can use 1/2 cup of oats for more hearty balls.
- Coconut flakes: Use unsweetened coconut flakes. You can’t replace them with coconut flour because the flour is too “thirsty” and the recipe will not work. I like to use coarsely shredded organic coconut flakes.