Chocolate orange balls

These are the perfect treats to serve during the holidays. Made with only six ingredients, these chocolate orange balls are tangy, nutty and chocolaty. Naturally sweetened with dates, they are delicious and easy to make with the food processor. You can roll them in desiccated coconut, ground nuts of choice or powdered cacao. They hold perfectly and can be kept stored in the refrigerator.

Merry Christmas!

Chocolate orange balls

  • Makes 18 – 20+ tablespoon-size balls
  • Equipment: a food processor


  • 1 cup packed medjool dates, pitted (225 grams)
  • 1 cup raw cashews (150 grams)
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans (70 grams)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice


1. Remove the pits from the dates and weigh / measure them. Place pitted dates into a small bowl and cover them with hot tap water. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to soak (the dates have to be soft).

2. Meanwhile, measure and prepare the remaining ingredients, having them ready to go.

3. Drain and discard the hot water from the dates and put the dates into your processor bowl. Add the cashews and pecans and pulse several times until the nuts are coarsely chopped and mixed with the date flesh.

4. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse several times, stopping and starting or sometimes moving the mixture with a spoon, if necessary. Pulse until the nuts are smaller and more combined with the dates. The mixture should be sticky and start to gather to the side of the bowl.

5. Remove the blade. Scoop out the mixture with your hands and place it into a bowl. Wash and cool your hands by rinsing them under cold tap water. Then, with dried hands, gather the dough in small handfuls and intermittently squeeze it all over to further mix it. Form a mass, cover the bowl with a lid or foil and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill.

6. Wash your hands and shape into balls. Gather about one tablespoon of dough per ball and roll each one between the palms of your hands. If need be, from time to time, wash and cool your hands under cold running tap water and dry them. Roll each formed ball into desiccated coconut or ground nuts (you can roast them before grinding) or cacao powder or a mix of cacao powder and cinnamon (your choice).

7. Arrange the balls in a deep dish, cover with foil or lid and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least one hour to set and chill.

8. Serve and keep balls stored in a covered container in the refrigerator and select as many as you want. You can also make them ahead of time and store them in the freezer.

They are so pretty and so delicious! Enjoy!

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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