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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

28 Responses
  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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