Almond Butter Date Balls
Almond Butter Date Balls

Have snacks, travel! These Almond Butter Date Balls are made with just dates, maple syrup, almond butter, and nuts. They come together quickly in the food processor. I dare you to eat just one!

In the afternoon when the hungry kids come running off the bus and throw open the fridge or pantry doors and declare with the utmost urgency, “I NEED FOOD!!!!” I must be armed. Lest I face the Hangry’s wrath.

Enter these Almond Butter Date Balls.

A kid-friendly afternoon snack

I love to quickly throw together a snack that will keep in the fridge for days. Bonus points if it can be made with ingredients I already have on hand. And double the bonus if it’s relatively “healthy” as long as it’s not loaded with sugar. (There’s a time and a place for things that contain sugar, and you’ll never see or hear us preach at Simply Recipes. But sometimes you want something that’s a little less, um, indulgent.)

These Almond Butter Date Balls tick all the boxes— and then some because they feed the kids thanks to the protein in the almond butter and nuts. And the balls are just sweet enough to satisfy the sweet tooth my kids inherited from both sides of the family.

Triple bonus? If my two boys like it, that means they’ll be looking for it – which means they’ll eat it without being reminded it’s there. And that’s the case with these date balls.

Easy protein balls in the food processor

This recipe would not be possible without a food processor. It’s exactly what you need, and there’s no real way to do it without one. But it happens so fast and you can let your kids lick the bowl. Reward!

A few pieces of advice

There is a small margin of error with this recipe. A few Tipps!

  • Do not pack the dates tightly in the measuring cup. You have too much and the ingredients aren’t coming together properly in the food processor. This can cause the engine to stall, creating a sad ending to a delicious start.
  • Don’t be tempted to add more liquid. You’ll think you can fix the problem by adding more liquid (e.g. maple syrup), but trust me, I’ve learned the hard way that this recipe isn’t very conducive to course corrections! You will only create new problems – ie a slippery dough.
  • Stop the food processor once the mixture comes together. Failure to do this will inevitably result in the food processor motor stalling and all work coming to an abrupt halt. Again.

Have snacks, travel

Because these babies are so quick to make and because they’re cute and small, they’re the perfect after-dinner snack or treat when you don’t want something really sweet but want to indulge a little.

They also travel well— I often shared them with my yoga classes.

Dates and nuts are incredibly good for you anyway (magnesium, fiber, protein, etc.), but whatever, these just taste great. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, if those are two areas of concern.

How to Store Those Date Balls

These date balls will keep well covered in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I’ve kept them longer, mostly when testing recipes and forgetting they were in them, but honestly they go away pretty quickly most of the time.

They’re fine at room temperature, and you can keep them covered in a room temperature container for a few days. But when it’s hot, or even a little warm, be prepared for them to splatter a little and warp a little.

Try these other delicious snacks!

  • Energy balls with chocolate chips and peanut butter
  • Perfect popcorn
  • Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas
  • Herb-spiced nut mix
  • Edamame and avocado dip

Almond Butter Date Balls

preparation time
5 minutes

30 minutes

total time
35 minutes

up to 16 date balls

I sometimes like to add a tablespoon or so of dried cranberries to give it a bit of a tart flavor.


  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1/2 cup pitted dates (about 4 to 5), cut into quarters

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, any kind (I usually use Hershey’s Special Dark)

  • About 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup almond butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds

  • cooking spray (optional)

  • For topping/rolling the balls:
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

special equipment

  • food processor


  1. Make the date balls:

    Place the walnuts and dates in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the blade and pulse several times until well combined. The pieces should look like coarse crumbles.

    Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt and pulse until mixture is smooth and thick; it begins to detach from the edge of the bowl.

    In this case, stop the food processor; If it keeps buzzing, it can get stuck because those ingredients are, well, gooey! Keep a close eye on this as it will come together quickly.

    Add 2 almonds: Add the almonds and pulse a few times to incorporate. You want them to be irregular in size so some pieces will still be quite crunchy and offer a variety of textures.

  2. Roll the Date Balls:

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place the coconut in a small bowl and the cocoa powder in another bowl.

    Using a about 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop (like this one) and spray with cooking spray for easy loosening, scoop out the mixture, roll into golf ball shapes and roll in the shredded coconut or cocoa powder. (I usually make some in coconut and some in cocoa powder and just leave some.)

  3. Refrigerate and store the date balls:

    Place the date balls on the baking sheet and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight if needed. Once set, transfer to a plastic-topped container and refrigerate for several weeks, but I’ve never had them last that long. They are usually used up too quickly.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!