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Coconut Krispie Date Balls

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These No-Bake Coconut Krispie Date Balls are made with dates and Rice Krispies and rolled in coconut. This classic Christmas cookie is a requirement in my house!

An overhead shot of a bunch of coconut balls sitting in a cake tray

Coconut Date Balls- Easy Christmas Cookies

I know it’s mid-December but I decided we’re going to share cookie recipes all week because all I’ve been doing lately is making batch of batch of cookies for all my holiday gift baskets. Seriously, my freezer is about to bust open.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a batch of Mom’s Coconut Krispie Date Balls. She also calls these “adventure cookies”. Every year my mom makes a big batch of these no-bake cookies. These never last long in our house.

These no-bake date balls are mixed with Rice Krispie cereal and coated in coconut. These popular cookies have been around for as long as I can remember. This recipe was passed to my mother before I was born, but I know I’ve seen it all over the Internet, but that’s okay because for me, these “cookies” mean it must be Christmas time.

I love these because they freeze well, which means you can prepare them in advance and gift them to family and friends. I always include these cookies in my holiday gift baskets. This recipe also makes quite a large batch, making them ideal for cookie exchanges.

A vintage baking tray filled with coconut balls, and a few scattered on a wooden plank

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Dates- pitted and chopped
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Milk
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Rice Krispie cereal
  • Sweetened shredded coconut

How to Make Coconut Balls

  • First melt the butter, sugar and dates together until it’s lightly boiling.
  • In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Temper the eggs. Since you will be adding the hot date mixture to the eggs, you want to work quickly to try and prevent them from scrambling.  Add some of the hot mixture to the eggs first and stir it quickly to incorporate it into the eggs, then throw the eggs back into the saucepan and whisk vigorously until it’s well blended. 
  • Stir in the Rice Krispies and mix until thoroughly combined and allow the mixture too cool until you can handle it to the touch.
  • Use your hands or spoons to make the balls and then roll them in coconut. They will be very sticky, so I like to use gloves.
3 coconut balls sitting on a piece of wood with a napkin draped in the background

Tips for Success

Kitchen gloves: Dates can be super sticky, so I recommend using a pair of gloves when pitting and chopping the dates and when rolling these in coconut.

Don’t cook the eggs! The mixture of butter, dates and sugar will be warm when you add the eggs and milk. Stir constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking into a solid.

Spray your spatula: This mixture is very sticky. If you spray a silicone spatula with cooking spray, it helps prevent the mixer from sticking to the spatula.

How to Store Them

These cookies are best once they have had a chance to set and cool completely, I also prefer them to be cold, so I keep them in the refrigerator or even the freezer, then I can pull out just a few at a time!

These Freeze Well

Prepare the coconut balls as directed and place in the refrigerator to set. Once they are set, transfer to an airtight container. To prevent them from sticking together, place a layer of parchment or wax paper between them.

A close up shot of a vintage cake pan filled with coconut balls
A vintage baking tray filled with coconut balls, and a few scattered on a wooden plank

Coconut Krispie Date Balls

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 42 cookies


These No-Bake Coconut Krispie Date Balls are made with dates and Rice Krispies and rolled in coconut. This classic Christmas cookie is a requirement in my house!


  • 11 ounces (311g) dates, chopped
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons (15ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (160g) Rice Krispie cereal (or similar cereal)
  • 1 bag (7 ounces/ 198g) sweetened shredded coconut


  1. Remove pits and chop dates into small pieces, about the size of a dime. Dates are very sticky, if you have latex gloves, I would suggest using them.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and sugar together, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add chopped dates and cook until mixture is boiling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent mixture from burning.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Once the mixture is boiling, take about ¼ cup of the mixture and pour it into the eggs, and whisk constantly to temper the eggs.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. You will want to work quickly so they do not become scrambled.
  6. Return mixture to the stovetop and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the mixture from the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine rice cereal with date mixture and stir until evenly coated. Allow the mixture to cool until it can be handled.
  7. Shape date mixture into balls (1 to 2 tablespoons in size) and place on a sheet pan. For a higher yield, reduce the size of the balls.
  8. Place the shredded coconut in a separate bowl and roll each date ball (one at a time) in the shredded coconut, gently pressing coconut into the dates. Refrigerate the date balls for one hour. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated or frozen.
Nutrition Information:
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Coconut Date Balls, No-Bake Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Rice Krispie Date Balls

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

30 Responses
    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I’ve always made the recipe the way it’s written, so I can’t speak to the results with reducing the sugar

  1. Daian

    This recipe is supurb. Melt in your mouth wih excellence. I WILL MAKE THIS FOR Chrismas, New Year, weddings,Birthdays, anniversaries. I have gotten rave revues. Thank you so much 💓 for sharing 💯 deliceous.

  2. Mary Nelson

    Love these! Made these as part of Christmas cookie gifts. Several people asked for the recipe.

  3. Erica Olsen

    I made this today. It was so easy and they turned out perfect! I was slightly intimidated about tempering the eggs at first as I have never had to do this before. I followed the directions and they came out perfect! Thanks for the awesome treat!!

  4. Sandra

    I am a experienced baker and the butter content was too high the dates ended up frying as they were cooking making the date balls grainy

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      This is the recipe my mom has been making for 25…30 years maybe, so I don’t think that’s an error. It does say to cook over low heat and stir frequently to prevent burning. So sounds like maybe your stovetop was up to high or you let them sit for too long if they fried.

  5. Susan J Bursaw

    Good recipe and family favorite – I modified a bit – added 2- 8oz bags of chopped dates. When adding the krispies – I also added 1 cup of chopped pecans. Yielded 5.5 dozen

  6. Richard

    My Gram used to make these when I was a boy in the 50s, she called them snowballs,… I used the holiday Rice Crispys for a little more colour.

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        You know, I’ve never tried it, so I am not totally sure, but if you want to try 1/4 cup, taste it and see if you want to add more. I would probably add it in step 2.

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