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Coconut and Date Balls

Coconut and Date Balls

You may know my son has reactions to palm oil, an intolerance of some kind. Because of this, I make almost everything at home, including all desserts and treats. While I love baking with dates, I love no-bake date desserts even more. 

No-bake desserts are so easy. These are a favorite in my house. If you are looking for an easy-to-make snack, these coconut and date balls are perfect. They take 5 minutes to make with a blender or food processor. You can substitute ingredients but one thing you need is pitted dates. The dates bind the ingredients together. 

Please keep reading to also learn about buying ingredients and what to look for as well as what to avoid.

Coconut and Date Balls

I think they taste better cold but you can serve them right away. They also freeze well. Take them out in the morning and by lunchtime, they’ll be cold but mostly thawed. You can add in raisins, dried cranberries, real chocolate chips, etc. as you wish.

This recipe makes around 18 balls, depending on how large or small you make them.

You can make these into bars or balls. If you prefer bars, lay the mixture out in a baking pan, and put parchment paper on top. Gently press down to flatten. Cut into squares. I prefer rolling them because it’s easy and less to clean up. I just put them in a container or on a plate to serve.


  • 1½ cups pitted Medjool dates
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut 
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt (optional); I like sea salt

How to Make Coconut Date Balls

  1. If necessary, put shredded coconut in food processor to chop it smaller. Set aside in bowl.
  2. Make the sure dates don’t have pits; remove any stems.
  3. Put dates, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in food processor; blend.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until combined.
  5. If it’s too thick, you can add a bit more maple syrup.
  6. Shape into balls.
  7. Chill and serve.

Tips for Buying Ingredients

Using Medjool dates

While there are hundreds of varieties of dates, the ones you see in supermarkets generally work best for baking and snacking.

Medjool dates are often referred to as “the fruit of kings”. They are known for their sweet, caramel-like flavor and chewy consistency. If you use Medjool dates and salt, these bliss balls will have a salted caramel taste. 

Buying coconut

To be sure these remain palm oil free, choose unsweetened coconut. Sweetened coconut often contains Propylene Glycol which is usually made using palm oil. Before buying any bagged coconut, read ingredients.

If you can’t find desiccated coconut (which is finely diced coconut), buy shredded coconut, and put it in the food processor to chop up.

What to know about vanilla extract

To keep these palm oil free, be sure to buy pure vanilla extract. Imitation vanilla, vanilla flavoring, and vanillin usually contain palm oil ingredients in the form of Propylene Glycol and/or Glycerin. “Pure” vanilla extract is just the vanilla, no additives.

Use pure maple syrup when you can

If your budget allows, choose 100% maple syrup. It’s a much higher-quality product than buying syrup with corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, etc. I personally think using pure maple syrup combined with the dates and sea salt make these balls taste like salted caramel, especially when you serve them chilled. 

If you want them to be gluten free

Oats by nature are gluten free but be sure to use certified gluten free oats if gluten is an issue. Oats are usually processed in a facility that handles gluten and wheat-containing grains. 

How to Blend Dates without a Blender or Food Processor

I think it would be hard to blend dates by hand. Instead, I recommend chopping them up into smaller pieces and using them that way. 

After researching this, I learned you can soak them overnight in hot water. When you are ready to use them, drain them, pat them dry, and then combine them with the other ingredients. Measure all the ingredients in a bowl, and mash them with a fork. 

Date coconut balls recipe

Date coconut balls recipe ~ Image credit: Dawn Head

Note about Dates and Date Palms

Even though dates grow on palm trees, called date palms (Phoenix dactylifera), they are not the same thing as palm oil, which is extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis). The two types of palms are different species and used differently in foods, etc.  

Using Dates to Make Desserts

Dates are naturally sweet and work well in desserts to hold ingredients together. I love baking with dates and making no-bake, raw treats with them too.

I wish I found recipes like this when I first started to make everything at home. This bliss balls recipe and other date ball recipes (like my carrot and date energy bites) are so forgiving and easy, it’s a great way to build confidence if you are new to making things from scratch. 

Thanks for being interested in this recipe. I hope you will take a look around the site, whether you are looking for palm oil free recipes or easy things to make, or if you are interested in learning more about palm oil.

Please feel free to leave comments below, and let me know if you added anything to them and how they tasted. 

Love coconut? Try these recipes:

Featured image credit: Dawn Head

coconut and date balls

Coconut and Date Balls

These are easy to shape into balls or make them into no-bake bars buy pressing in a pan. Serve chilled for the best taste.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut date balls, coconut date balls recipe, coconut date bliss balls, easy coconut date balls, salted caramel balls recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Servings 4
Author Dawn Head


  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Food processor or blender
  • Spoon
  • Bowl if chopping coconut
  • Parchment paper optional


  • cups pitted Medjool dates
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut can blend shredded coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  • If necessary, pulse coconut in food processor to chop it smaller. Set aside in bowl.
  • Make the sure dates don't have pits; remove any stems.
  • Put dates, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in food processor; blend.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Blend until combined.
  • If it's too thick, add additional teaspoon of maple syrup.
  • Shape into balls.
  • Chill and serve.


For best results, chill before serving. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze in safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw before eating. 
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