Chocolate Bliss Balls are a healthy sweet snack that will satisfy all your chocolate cravings. Made with dates, cashew nuts and cocoa powder, they are soft, rich, chocolatey and nutritious.
If you are a chocolate lover, like me, you will really like these bliss balls. I like to think of them as healthy chocolate truffles and my 3-year-old daughter refers to these balls as “brownies” which I think should be a sign that although there is no refined sugar or bad-for-you ingredients in them, they may as well be categorized as candy.
When creating this chocolate bliss balls recipe, I wanted them to be sweet and smooth, like truffles. I experimented with different textures of nuts, coconut and seeds and came up with a base formula that works: dates that are soaked in water (for extra softness) + cashews (for their neutral taste and creamy texture) + coconut flour (for making the “dough” less sticky while adding a nice flavor).
The chocolate truffle flavor comes from good quality cocoa powder, vanilla, sea salt and a last minute addition of dark mini chocolate chips. The last ingredient is optional but I love the slight chocolatey crunch they provide.
For another great bliss balls recipe make sure to check out my Peanut Butter Bliss Balls made with only 5 ingredients.
ARE BLISS BALLS THE SAME THING AS ENERGY BALLS?
Essentially, yes. Bliss balls, energy balls or protein balls and protein bites are usually healthy snacks made with dried fruit, nuts, seeds and other whole ingredients that are blended in a food processor and rolled into balls. You can also describe them as raw chocolate balls, date and cacao balls or healthy chocolate truffles. I love the idea of all three which is why this is one of my favorite bliss ball recipes! If you like the idea of bliss balls, be sure to also check out my Apricot Bliss Balls made with toasted coconut. So good!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- Medjool Dates: this kind of dates is large, soft and exceptionally sweet. You can find Medjool dates in most grocery stores or on Amazon.
- Cashews: use raw unsalted cashews for this recipe.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: my favorite kind of cocoa to use is Baking Dutch processed cocoa.
- Vanilla: use real vanilla extract for best results
- Sea Salt: to round up the flavors and enhance the chocolate flavor
- Maple Syrup: to add some sweetness to the chocolate bliss balls. You can also add honey or agave if you prefer.
- Mini Dark Chocolate Chips (optional): to add a bit of crunchy texture to the smooth balls. You can skip them if you prefer a completely smooth texture.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE BLISS BALLS
Step 1: Start by soaking the dates. This will help the dates soften for a smooth a silky texture of the bliss balls.
Step 2: Process softened dates and raw cashews until mostly blended. The mixture will be sticky and a little bit wet.
Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips. Process until the mixture resembles smooth dough. The dough will form a ball, at which point you can stop processing the mixture.
Step 4: If you are using mini chocolate chips, add them now and pulse just a couple times, to get the chocolate chips incorporated but not blended. You want the chips whole for a nice, chocolatey crunch.
Step 5: Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop make 20-22 balls and roll them with your fingers. Place the balls on a baking sheet or directly into an airtight container.
Step 6: Chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up and enjoy.
EXPERT TIPS AND FAQS
HOW LONG WILL THEY KEEP IN THE FRIDGE?
These chocolate bliss balls will stay fresh for two weeks if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
CAN I FREEZE BLISS BALLS?
Yes! I actually like these balls frozen the best so I store them in an airtight container in my freezer for up to 4 months.
CAN I MAKE BLISS BALLS IN A STANDUP BLENDER?
No. A standup blender needs liquid to process sticky and tough ingredients and this recipe does not call for any liquids. Use a good food processor instead.
ARE THESE ENERGY BALLS PALEO?
Yes, they are since there is no dairy or grains on the ingredients’ list.
WHAT ARE MEDJOOL DATES?
Medjool dates are larger, darker, softer than "regular" dates called Deglet Noor. Their flavor is also a bit different, almost caramel-like. What's more, Medjool dates are actually considered fresh fruit as they are harvested in the same form as they come at the grocery store. Unlike the Deglet Noor, they are never dried or processed. This makes them an excellent healthy and delicious snack and an exceptional base for any bliss balls. You can read more about Medjool dates in this article from Eating Bird Food.
WHAT IS DUTCH PROCESSED COCOA?
Compared to raw cocoa powder, Dutch processed cocoa is smoother and milder in flavor. The "dutching" process involves treating cocoa solids with alkalizing agent which makes the cocoa powder less bitter and darker in color than regular cocoa.
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE COCONUT FLOUR WITH?
If you don't have coconut flour, use almond flour instead. You may have to add a bit more than the recipe calls for because coconut flour absorbs moisture easily so you only need a little bit to form bliss ball "dough". Another fine substitute is oat flour but again, you may need to add more of it to achieve the right texture.
CAN I USE DIFFERENT NUTS THAN CASHEWS?
I like using cashews in this recipe because they have a neutral flavor and soft, creamy texture. However, you can swap cashews for almonds or walnuts as long as you keep in mind that the flavor of the chocolate balls will be somewhat different.
OTHER HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS
- Apricot Bliss Balls
- Peanut Butter Bliss Balls
- Almond Butter Brown Rice Cups with Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Chocolate TikTok Baked Oats
- Healthy Rice Cake Snacks
- Protein Blondies with Chocolate Chips
- Flourless Banana Peanut Butter Cookies
- Purple Blueberry Lemon Cookies
If you try these Chocolate Bliss Balls and love them, or if you have any questions about this recipe please leave me a comment below!
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Chocolate Bliss Balls (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free)
- Soak the dates in boiling hot water for at least 15 minutes, then drain on a sieve. See note 1
- Place the soaked dates and raw cashews in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until mostly blended. You will still see tiny pieces of nuts which is fine.
- Add coconut flour, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and process until a ball of smooth, sticky dough forms.
- Add mini chocolate chips (if using) and pulse a few times. The chocolate chips are supposed to stay mostly whole so don’t overprocess. See note 2
- Form 20-22 balls using a small spoon or a small cookie scoop, then roll into balls using your fingers.
- Chill the balls in the fridge or freezer and enjoy!