Pin It!

Coconut Krispie Date Balls

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details

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!

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 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

62 Responses
  1. Bonny

    These appear to be GF. Is that correct? I checked the rice cereal box and it does not list flour in the ingredients, but it also is not marked GF.
    Thank You.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Bonny- I would do some research on Google. If it’s not marked gluten-free, they may be using some ingredients that contain traces of gluten, such a malt. If you are making these for someone who cannot eat gluten, it’s best to consult direction with the customer service company.

  2. Leanne

    Thank you so much for this recipe although it’s June 5, 2023 I almost started crying when I saw the recipe as my mother passed away December 5, 2021 and she made these every Christmas and I just did not have the recipe I do now thank you so much

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Aww Leanne, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I am thankful this recipe may bring back special memories for you.

  3. Lorie

    I used to make these delights over 30 years ago then I forgot all about them I have the hand written recipe in one of my very old recipe boxes I dug out of a box. The only difference was that they were made with whole Corn Flakes. Can’t wait to make them again

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Martha, I have not experienced that either. Did you use prechopped dates? Perhaps the mixture was overcooked? I am not certain because in all the years we’ve been making this, I am not sure what would have caused this.

      1. Jennifer

        Mine would not stick together either. Actually, I saw this comment while the mixture was cooling and my heart sank when I read your reply.

        I wish there had been a warning about using pre-chopped dates. Oh well. I pushed them into a parchment paper lined pan like rice crispy treats and topped it with the coconut.

        I’ll still eat it, it still tastes delicious. But I had planned on giving some away. Not this time.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Jennifer- I’ve never used prechopped dates so I can’t speak to how they perform. This recipe is so old (generations) that I have always made them the way I learned, which is pitting and chopping the dates myself. Troubleshooting on Google tells me that prechopped dates may or may not work, and there seems to be a variety of types online. For instance, Walmart sells some that are coated with oat flour and another variety that isn’t. It’s just not possible for me to test all the variation available. I can go back to my post to see if it needs to be more clear about the dates that I use.

    2. Judy

      Depending on Where You Live, Humidity plays a BIG Role in making…just about any No Bake Cookie‼️ The Less Humidity, the Better Your Cookies Turn Out‼️

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Once the butter and dates are warm, add some of the hot mixture (about 1-2 tablespoons) to the egg mixture (milk, eggs, vanilla). Immediately stir it quickly to incorporate it into the eggs, then throw the eggs back into the saucepan with the dates and butter and whisk vigorously until it’s well blended.

      There is a video of this recipe, and if you allow it to load, you can watch and see how I do it

  4. Jo Ann Jackson

    I bought chopped dates. Since your recipe is for 11 oz whole dates with pits, I am assuming that I need less than 11 oz. Looking at other similar recipes online, it looks like 2 cups of chopped dates should work. This was a family favorite when I was growing up, but I no longer have my mom’s recipe, and this seems really close to hers. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Sue

    My daughters favorite cookie. She is gluten and dairy free. So I substituted almond milk for the milk. I also used generic Rice Krispies this year. Wear disposable rubber gloves because the mixture is pretty sticky as you roll them into balls. Freezes well.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Dates are what hold these together, I have never tried something different, so I don’t have a great suggestion

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Mary Nelson

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

  8. 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!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        I buy them in bagged/packaged. Like Traders Joes has them in the refrigerated section but whole foods has them with the other dry nuts and fruits.

  11. 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.

  12. Jane

    Meant to do this last year and forgot…this is just to make it easier for myself (and anyone else that was wondering). Up here in Canada we have the metric system, which sucks when my favorite recipes – and utensils – are all imperial. All our packaging is in grams etc so trying to find 11 ounces is time consuming because it means having to drag out the scale (which is a pain in my behind lol) to figure it out. 11 ounces of chopped dates equals 2 1/2 cups. So much easier to figure out this way 🙂

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you for sharing Jan! Usually dates are prepackaged here, so it’s easier to list the size of the package instead of trying to guess how much you’ll need to “1 cup” or what have you. This is super helpful, so that you for sharing!

  13. Rhonda

    Thank you for the recipe! My gramma used to make these for us, but her recipe was lost. she would roll hers into logs and slice them! these were my favorite as a child and I would always find a container of them with my name on it when I got home and unpacked my other gifts. Such wonderful memories!

  14. Esta

    Yumm amazing, if you don’t have time to roll the balls, just push down into a square tray and generously sprinkle with coconut, 30 minutes in the freezer, slice into squares and serve ! 😂

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yes!!! I ship these every year! I think they are best cold, so when your sister receives them, tell her to put them in the fridge.

  15. Debra Marshall

    Thanks for this – I couldn’t find my recipe! (Here’s a tip: add 1/4 finely chopped walnuts as a variation)

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Oh I love that Debra!! I am so glad I could help you out! We love this recipe. My mom often brought them to the cookie exchanges when we were kids because it makes a lot!

  16. Jane

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been looking for this recipe for years! My mom used to make these every Christmas and when they moved the recipe seemed to have been lost. Her recipe was called Frying Pan Cookies, and no matter how I searched I couldn’t find it again. This tastes exactly like her recipe! Just made these today for Christmas and my scoop must be a bit smaller – I got nearly 6 dozen! Now to make sure I don’t keep eating them frozen to make sure I have some left by then……lol

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      OMG Jane, that makes me so happy!!!! These are perfect for freezing, but I totally agree, at least half of them never make it to the cookie tins LOL

  17. Teresa

    Funny that you should post this today, I just made these yesterday, but we’ve always called them “skillet cookies”. They are also a must for us every Christmas. Hope you have a great holiday.

  18. SkinnyMe

    These are a really nice holiday treat although you can enjoy it any time you choose. I will make this recipe this Christmas for my family.

Subscribe to my newsletter and get my fav tips to take your cakes & cupcakes to the next level.