Coconut Dream Truffles

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Who made up the rule claiming dessert has to be an unhealthy indulgence?

Vertical image of a pile of snack balls in mini muffin liners, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Not that there’s anything wrong with occasionally dipping your toe (or tongue) into a final course of cake smothered in fat-laden icing, or cookies with a sky-high sugar content.

But wouldn’t it be nice if you could satisfy your sweet tooth with a treat that actually had some nutritional benefits?

Well, now you can!

Vertical image of a pile of healthy snacks in a blue bowl next to whole almonds, whole coconut, and a colorful napkin.

If you’re on the same page with me and you believe a sweet, poppable bite packed with flavor doesn’t have to be loaded with junky, refined ingredients and empty calories, you’re going to fall for these coconut dream truffles. Hard.

What makes them “dreamy,” you ask? Come talk to me after you’ve chomped through your first one. I have no doubt you’ll agree this description is actually an understatement.

The advantages of these almond-laden spheres are countless, but let’s start with the fact that there are only six ingredients required to make these, and they require absolutely no cooking.

Unless you want to toast the coconut that coats the outside, of course. And in that case, we’re still only talking about a few minutes on the stove.

Vertical image of truffles in white liners on a plate on a colorful napkin.

Both almonds and coconut have a nutty flavor and taste even more delicious with just a touch of natural sweetener.

Does this familiar combination remind you of something, but you can’t quite put your finger on it? Let me help you out.

Two words: Almond. Joy.

If your brain didn’t produce that connection on its own, don’t worry. I didn’t realize how closely these crunchy, craveable treats resembled the classic candy bar – sans the chocolate, of course – until after my first bite.

I’ve always been more of a peanut butter cup enthusiast, but it’s hard to deny the nostalgia induced by an Almond Joy.

The bright blue wrapper. The explosion of tropical flavor. The snap of the almonds.

Come on!

Vertical close-up image of snack balls in mini muffin cups on a wooden plate.

And whereas those childhood favorites are made with corn syrup and refined sugar, our truffles feature zero refined sugar.

This recipe reaches for honey to sweeten things up, and boy does it ever.

No, really. Honey is actually sweeter than sugar since it contains more fructose than glucose, so you can use less of it. Which means using it in more recipes, like my peanut butter honey rice treats. Hooray!

It also comes with the added benefit of having a lower GI value than sugar, so it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels as quickly.

Vertical image of small snacks in white paper muffin liners on a plate next to almonds and a halved fresh coconut.

These bites also boast a twofold layer of fruity nuttiness from the shredded coconut. The flakes are first pulsed into the mixture before being rolled, then snowballed through even more shreds for a tasty coating on the outside.

Sounds like paradise to me.

A pinch of salt enhances all of the sweet flavors to be their best, most sweet selves and a drop of vanilla extract delivers that woody, musky undertone that’s a delight in dessert.

Some might even say it’s dreamy.

Print
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Horizontal image of snack balls in white muffin liners on a white plate on top of a colorful napkin.

Coconut Dream Truffles


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 truffles 1x

Description

Sweetened with honey and rolled in coconut, these tasty truffles packed with ground almonds are a healthy take on candy that you’ll dig.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup whole raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Add the almonds, 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut, the honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt to a food processor or high-speed blender. Using 1-second pulses, pulse for about 10-15 seconds, scraping the sides down as needed, until the ingredients form a cohesive paste that still has some texture.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the mixture until slightly hardened, about 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Place the remaining shredded coconut in a shallow bowl. 
  4. Using a tablespoon as your guide, form the paste into a ball with your hands, and then roll it in the shredded coconut to coat. Place the ball in a mini cupcake liner and transfer to a large plate or platter. Repeat with the remaining almond-coconut mixture.
  5. Cover the plate of finished truffles with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill and harden for at least 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Nuts
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: Snack

Keywords: coconut, ball, almond, snack, honey

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Gather, Prep, and Measure Ingredients

Measure the almonds, shredded coconut, and honey.

Horizontal image of six separately measured ingredients.

Measure the coconut oil into a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until melted, about 15 to 20 seconds. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Measure the vanilla extract and salt.

If you’d prefer to toast the shreds that coats the outside of the truffles – which will give them a roasty, nuttier flavor and a darker color – add 1/4 cup of the shreds to a small dry skillet and place it over medium-low heat. Toast, tossing occasionally, until the flakes are golden-brown, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer the toasted shreds to a shallow bowl.

Step 2 – Pulse Ingredients in the Food Processor

To the bowl of a food processor or a high-speed blender, add the almonds, 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut, the honey, oil, vanilla, and salt.

Horizontal image of pulsed dry ingredients in a food processor.

Using 1-second pulses, pulse for about 10 seconds, scraping the sides down as needed.

At this point, if some of the almonds are still only halved or quartered, continue pulsing for about 5 more seconds until they’re more broken down and the mixture becomes a more cohesive paste with a gritty texture.

If you’d prefer the truffles to have a smoother consistency, pulverize the mixture in the food processor longer until it reaches the desired texture.

Step 3 – Chill and Form the Truffles

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until slightly hardened, for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will make the balls much easier to form.

Horizontal image of measuring out a dry mixture in a teaspoon.

The warmer the paste is, the more it will stick to your hands. You can also wet your hands with water to keep the mixture from sticking too much.

If you didn’t opt to toast the coconut, add the remaining shreds to a shallow bowl now.

Using a tablespoon as your guide and pressing lightly as you shape so the mixture sticks together, form the paste into a ball with your hands.

Horizontal image of a hand holding one ground almond bowl over bowls.

You can also use a tablespoon-sized cookie scooper as your guide to make sure you get evenly-sized truffles. A heavy-duty, stainless-steel scoop is a great option, like this one that’s available via Amazon.

Step 4 – Roll in the Shreds, Chill, and Serve

Prepare a plate or platter nearby. Set out the mini cupcake liners if you’re using them.

Horizontal image of a hand holding a rolled ball covered in shreds over bowls.

Roll the truffles in the shredded coconut to coat, pressing slightly to make sure it adheres, and then place each in a mini cupcake liner,or directly on the plate or platter.

Cover the plate of finished truffles with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge. Allow the truffles to chill and harden for at least 1 hour before serving.

Horizontal image of truffles in white paper muffin liners on a wooden platter.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Love that Liquid Gold

Not only does honey have some great health benefits, but with so many different varieties available, you’ve got plenty of flavor profiles to choose from.

Horizontal image of snack balls in white muffin liners on a white plate on top of a colorful napkin.

Bring in a hint of citrus by reaching for orange blossom. Lean into the lovely floral aroma of wildflower. Cling to the clean and pure notes of acacia.

If that rich coconut essence is what draws you into drooling over these truffles, tap into that nuttiness even more by adding a dash of coconut extract in place of the vanilla. And if I got in your head with all that candy bar talk, don’t let me stop you from attempting a melted chocolate drizzle.

Dreaming of taking these truffles on the go? They’re perfect for a picnic. Where will you enjoy them? Share your dreamy moments with this dessert in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

If you’re nuts for almonds and looking for new methods to help them shine, you’ll love these recipes:

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on July 10, 2012. Last updated on July 12, 2022.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

41 thoughts on “Coconut Dream Truffles”

  1. I often look for a day between projects and leave my calendar open. On this day off I walk the city, with no real plan. I visit my favorite coffee shop and enjoy a good book, or take myself out to lunch at my favorite restaurant and order dessert- even a glass of wine. Invariably, I run into a good friend and that makes the day even better. This is how I renew my creative energy. Oh, and the coconut dreams look divine.

    Reply
  2. first, your vacation pictures are so magically dreamy. they’re hazy and lazy and so perfect. second, your header so precious. 🙂

    to answer your question, i find i’m most creative when i listen to music, sometimes it’s something new or something that has been around for awhile, i ignored it because it was popular and then discovered when it lost its shine. it happens at the most random times, and often, if i don’t stop to make a note of it, it will pass me by, which is unfortunate.

    these coconut dreams look lovely, perfect to make in this heat, as it requires no turning on any stove or oven.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lan! I wish you could have seen me and Tim in my hometown’s downtown area, setting up a tripod and taking photos for this header idea we’d talked about, ha! : ) And thanks for your thoughts on creative energy—I am exactly the opposite and often want total quiet to think, so it’s fascinating to hear what works for you!

      Reply
  3. Shanna, I love this post so much that I want to curl up in it and take a nap. I was idle a lot last week, and inspired, and came up with so many creative ideas. Now I’m back from vacation and feel stupid busy trying to get caught up. I’m exhausted. Thank you for this post, for this reminder. Lastly, those coconut dreams look and sound heavenly.

    Reply
    • You are too generous and I can’t tell you how much I love knowing that someone else gets it. Love how you wrote ‘stupid busy’ – that is exactly how the online/social/life clutter makes me feel, too.

      Reply
  4. I wish I were there for vacation too, in that beautiful place, with those coconut dreams to munch on next to the water. The Husband accuses me all the time of not being able to put my iPhone down. It would be fabulous to go away, shut the phone off and really relax! It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

    Reply
    • For the first day, I kept reaching for my iPhone, just out of habit–I think that’s what made me see my dependence most. The beauty of going to the cabin is the lack of Internet actually forces me to disengage. How I need that!

      Reply
  5. Writing for pleasure. Stopping to take a photo of a single moment. Reading blogs. Cooking a meal for which there is no real hurry. Sitting outside and drinking a beer. These are ways that I find ways to rest and relax in my everyday. I don’t think it needs to be a vacation. Funny that you mention getting rid of your iPhone when I am thinking about getting one finally!

    Reply
    • So it sounds like, for you, it almost happens organically, as a natural part of your lifestyle? I love that. My goal.

      Reply
  6. “The idleness of being quiet.” I love that, Shanna. Recently, I’ve been super busy, and I looked at my computer this morning and it said it was July 10th and it blew my mind! Half the summer is gone and I feel like I’ve been holed up doing work.
    Strangely enough, I am often struck with my most creative thoughts and moments in the shower! At least I have time to do that fairly often!
    I have shredded coconut leftover from another recipe, shouting out to be used. I think I just found a winner in these Coconut Dreams. Maybe I’ll make them, pack them up and then get lost in a park somewhere.

    Reply
  7. Yes, yes. I need to print this and hang it on my fridge. The [few] times I take for myself – to get away, not check emails, or twitter, and just relax, are always time of inspiration and reflection. It’s so good to be reminded to slow down.

    And, I’m glad you had a lovely time away!

    Reply
  8. My husband recently read an article about napping and how all of the most successful people napped, and he’s started to do it! He says it gives him a lot more energy, and one of his friends who is doing it says that weirdly enough he sleeps better at night. I think just being able to shut off our brains, whether we are awake or asleep, is such a huge need that we forget about so often. I mean, God has been telling us for generations that we need rest! I try to take at least a few hours out of the weekend and disregard my to-do list, because if I don’t I’ll just spend my whole weekend working. Here’s a good article on rebuilding your schedule: http://theresurgence.com/2012/06/18/rebuilding-a-healthy-schedule

    Reply
    • Ah, so true, your husband is definitely on to something because, like you wrote, we were made to need rest! Just read the article you linked to and really liked how it emphasized that our need for rest shows us our own finiteness and limits. I think about that a lot when I’m tired—how I eventually become so unable to function, dependent on sleep and how it’s humbling really. I am not sufficient to always work. I am not strong enough. I need to rest. Also – without boundaries between work and rest, we become less effective. That is what I’m learning.

      Reply
  9. Those coconut dreams look amazing. Almond butter is amazing, and it looks like basically homemade almond butter plus honey and coconut — what could be better? Yum, I want some right now…

    I’ve been meaning to tell you that about 2 weeks ago, my mom called me all excited because she had been reading the Publix Greenwise magazine’s article about bloggers and turned the page to see your face! She was so impressed! I told her that I am also very impressed with you. You do such beautiful work, and I’m so happy that you’ve found a wonderful guy who’s so perfect for you and who loves you so much. The Lord is good!!

    Reply
    • That is so crazy that your mom saw it! I’m kind of amazed at the reach of Publix Greenwise, as that’s what your mom’s seeing the piece really shows me. Thanks for your encouragement, both of you. : )

      Reply
  10. I cannot express how much I like this post. This is something I think about *a lot*. We live in a culture that makes us feel guilty when we take this time. My partner and I make a habit of sitting on the front porch and having long conversations over cups of coffee and have to constantly remind myself that this is good and okay, that I’m not being lazy or irresponsible, that this is the point of life. And that all the other work I do will be better because of it. It is admittedly a conscious effort to relax and be still, and I have personally found that practicing yoga and meditation helps my perspective greatly. I’m all for quality not speed and quantity! Truly a great piece.

    Reply
  11. I always think that progress is a great thing, but it´s going on for too long. There´s little possibility of a fullfilled life if we´re rushing permanently and don´t take the time to enjoy it.
    My way of disconecting and finding perspective is walking. My last post is about that. I walk when I´m mad, excited about good news, tired, worried, need to make decisions, I simply get out and start roaming the streets, sometimes stop at a park and sit down for a while, all the time keeping to myself like I´m alone in the world. it´s my way of meditating. I read that it´s in the silence where answers and the right images appear. I totally agree.

    Reply
  12. I feel more relaxed just reading this post. We spent a week with my father in law recently and I commented to my husband that I felt like a dry sponge soaking up rest. I left there full of excitement and energy for my regular life. I find that I have to go all out on both sides – work work work then reeeelax. I just accept it as my cycle. I’m not sure I would appreciate the relax part without feeling I really needed it.
    The coconut dreams look so delicious – I love little no bake sweets and these look like a perfect little afternoon pick me up. And one more thing, you made me so happy when you mentioned chicken pot pie. I posted a recipe just a couple of days ago for it and felt like a nutball posting such a thing in July. 🙂

    Reply
    • And the thing was, we LOVED it. I’m even planning to make it here, again, in bloody hot Nashville sometime this week. You’re not alone! : )

      Reply
  13. I’ve wrote about this exact thing before. People look at me like I’ve gone crazy when I say I hate how technology can make me feel. I went to a concert at Alpine (since you are familiar with the Illinois/Wisconsin area, I can only assume you know the area.) I didn’t have my phone, camera, or anything else. I just had the music, nature, and love. I really need to incorporate more of that in to my life. Great post and wonderful reminder.

    Reply
  14. Happy sigh. What a breath of fresh air this is. I can feel the lazy, relaxed movement of your days at home. I absolutely adore these raw little bites and can’t wait to make them when I’m craving something sweet.

    Reply
  15. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post!!! Quiet time is needed and often times is such a luxury when we finally manage to disconnect from the everyday. I find, when I am teaching in the midst of the school year, that coming to the kitchen at night, with music playing quietly in the background, that creating something (even if it is a grilled cheese!) is so important in centering and grounding myself. Now that I am on summer vacation I am trying to do more in terms of quieting the mind – listening to the world around me and responding as needed. Reading books, trying new recipes, listening to music, stepping outside to be with nature, and gathering inspiration with every moment!! Thanks again!

    Reply
    • I am liking everything you suggested, especially reading books—returning to reading has been one of my summer gifts, something that’s really helpful in trying to unwind.

      Reply
  16. oh! will definitely make these dreams – ANYTHING coconut and i am in! 🙂

    and to the time for quiet – it HAS to happen, every day. it might not look like what i’d imagined, but i do try to find it. it might be swimming in our lake, or sitting outside watching the sunset. it might be stirring things very slowly for a meal, so that i have time to breathe. and it might be reading a poem, and resting between lines. but it is critical, isn’t it?

    Reply
  17. I love the feeling of retreating to my parents’ home in the Oregon countryside… It’s less than an hour from life in the city, but it’s a world away. My husband and I are gone from the U.S. for a year, and tonight after reading your post I’m especially craving coconut and time with family. xo

    Reply
    • Gone from the U.S. for a year! What a cool opportunity! I clicked over to your site and saw you’ve really been all over—sounds like a dream… and yet, if I were there, I’d be craving time with my family, too. Hope you two find some time for rest and quiet in the midst of your travels!

      Reply
  18. Shanna, this is something I think about so often (and just blogged about myself). I recently returned from a peaceful vacation (no noise, no Internet, no responsibilities) and vowed to find the quiet in my everyday life. I’m taking action by actually scheduling it in; that’s right, I’m grabbing a chair and going someplace quiet, once a week, right here in my own (not very quiet) neighborhood. In regards to idleness and how it relates to creativity, as Brenda Euland said, “..do not feel, anymore, guilty about idleness and solitude. With all my heart I tell you and reassure you: at such times you are slowly being filled and re-charged with warm imagination, with wonderful, living thoughts… For what we write today slipped into our souls some other day when we were alone and doing nothing.”

    To being alone and doing nothing, I gladly join you! Thank you for such a thoughtful post (and amazing recipe; I’m addicted to coconut!).

    Reply
    • Lovely quote, Joanne. I’m so glad you shared it. Guilt is exactly the issue here and exactly what we need to not feel for taking time to rest. Yes.

      Reply
  19. Love the Kreider excerpt you chose, such a great article. I feel like this article was an exceptionally well-written version of the speech I give my partner, Shaun, on a weekly basis. He was raised with that sort of do-do-do mindset and often becomes overwhelmed, overloaded, and forgets to take care of himself. Guilt is such a big word in this discussion. What is it, really? Who created it? Where and when does it manifest? What are we really trying to prove? I have bouts of it from time to time, but I tend to stand on the other end of the fence, relishing idleness when the opportunity is there for the taking… Love that you’re sparking the convo.

    Reply
  20. The coconut dreams look so delicious! You made me stop and think for a while. Everyone should always have a day of rest and — be idle. Being out in the outdoors and commune with nature is actually a better way to revive your spirit and refresh your mind. Great share!

    Reply
  21. I definitely don’t take enough time to step back. Sometimes it happens naturally, but often it doesn’t. I’m not really sure how to make sure it happens though…I feel like if I were to schedule it in, it would just be another thing I have to do.
    I think the key might be just making sure my to-do list is manageable every day.

    Reply

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