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Date Balls

Date balls are a simple no-bake holiday treat filled with lots of flavor and crunch! These easy date balls are sweet and light in texture and rolled in shaved coconut for some festive flair.

Homemade date balls stacked in bowl

Anytime between Thanksgiving and New Years, my mother was likely to make up a batch of these festive date balls for guests or just for us when we asked nicely. They’re great for a little party dessert, a Christmas cookie tray, or even an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee.

Why You’ll Love This Date Balls Recipe

  • Crisp, sticky, and chewy. Date balls with nuts are a treat that’s all about texture! Each ball is chewy and sticky, with an irresistible crispiness from the rice cereal and crunch from the nuts.
  • No oven required. These Rice Krispie date balls are a no-bake treat, making them perfect for when you don’t want to turn on the oven or need something quick and easy for a holiday party.
  • Great for gifting. Coconut date balls are perfect for packaging up in festive holiday boxes and tins to give as gifts to friends and family.
Overhead view of ingredients for date balls

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

  • Egg – This helps bind the date balls together.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter – Using unsalted butter gives you more control over the flavor. Learn more: Unsalted or Salted Butter: Which is Better for Baking?
  • Salt
  • Dates
  • Crisp rice cereal – Such as Rice Krispies.
  • Pecans – Since you’ll be chopping the pecans anyway, use less expensive pecan pieces and save the pecan halves for candied nuts or chocolate pecan pie.
  • Sweetened shredded coconut or confectioners’ sugar

Which Type of Date Should I Use in This Recipe?

There are a few types of dates available, but Medjool dates are the sweetest, as they’re left to ripen longer. That said, you can use Deglet Noor dates instead and your date balls will still be just as delicious! 

How to Make Date Balls

  • Make the date mixture. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the egg, sugar, butter, salt, and dates. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dates are soft and the mixture thickens.
  • Chill. Set the saucepan in a sink or large pan of cold water for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is cool enough to handle.
  • Add the mix-ins. Fold the cereal and pecans into the date mixture.
  • Form balls. Working quickly, shape tablespoon-size portions of the date mixture into balls. 
  • Finish. Roll each ball in coconut or confectioners’ sugar, then place them on parchment paper or waxed paper to cool and set.
Overhead view of date balls coated in coconut and powdered sugar setting on sheet pan

Tips for Success

  • Save yourself some cleanup. Instead of beating the egg in a separate bowl, beat it in the saucepan before turning the stove on, then add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Fold in the cereal gently. If you stir too vigorously, you’ll break the cereal into small bits and you won’t get that nice crispy texture. 
  • Form the date balls with ease. I like to use a small cookie dough scoop to keep the date balls uniform in size. When rolling the mixture into the shape of a ball, it helps to have slightly damp hands to avoid sticking.
  • Roll again if needed. Traditionally, these date balls are rolled in coconut. However, some people don’t like coconut, so I usually roll half in confectioners’ sugar. If you go that route, keep in mind that they may need to be re-rolled in the sugar at some point because they seem to absorb it.
Overhead view of date balls in bowl and on countertop


  • Swap out the pecans for another type of nut, or a variety of nuts. Walnuts work particularly well.
  • For extra flavor and texture, add in some chopped dried fruit like apricots or cranberries.
  • Try rolling the date balls in crushed graham crackers or cocoa powder for a slightly different flavor.
  • For a boozy twist, add a splash of your favorite liqueur to the date mixture before shaping it into balls. 

How to Store

Store these date balls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. 

Date balls rolled in coconut and powdered sugar

Can I Freeze This Recipe? 

Yes, you can freeze these date balls for up to 2 months. Be sure to store them in an airtight, freezer-safe container in the freezer. To thaw, simply place them in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours before serving.

More Recipes With Dates

Date Balls

Yield about 4 dozen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Date balls are a simple no-bake treat filled with lots of flavor and crunch! Sweet and light and rolled in coconut or powdered sugar for some festive flair.

Date balls stacked in bowl


  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (226g) chopped dates
  • 2 cups (56g) crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/4 cup (30g) chopped pecans
  • sweetened shredded coconut or confectioners' sugar


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the egg, sugar, butter, salt, and dates. Cook, stirring frequently, until the dates are soft and the mixture is thick. This will take 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Place the saucepan in cold water until the mixture is cool enough to handle. It will need about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir the cereal and pecans into the date mixture.
  4. Working quickly, shape tablespoon-size portions into balls. Roll each ball in coconut or confectioners' sugar. Place on parchment paper or waxed paper to cool and set.

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    10 Comments on “Date Balls”

  1. I’m not a big coconut fan but love everything else in these. I’m glad there is an alternative. Your photo is great!

  2. They sound and look delish, and the recipe looks nice and easy too!

  3. The perfect little bite.. yum!

  4. I am so excited that you posted these. My step grandmother made these every Christmas and they were my favorite along with buckeyes. I have been looking for this recipe since I am no longer in contact with them, but couldn’t find anything that sounded right.

    You just made my day! Thank you so much!

  5. These look so cute! I don’t know if I have ever eaten a date before.

  6. My grandmother has made these for her Christmas Eve get together for as long as I can remember. They were always my favorite. I’ve made them the last two years. They are so easy to make and you’ll love them even if you’ve never had, or don’t think, you like dates.

  7. Love these! I prefer no egg and no coconut because they are so sweet. 
    They roll into balls beautifully and they are gluten free! I like to add a few more pecans.
    I will thank you for a delicious gluten free snack for all those gf people having difficulties 
    finding really good treats.

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