Coconut Snowballs {Recipe}

There are certain recipes that just taste like Christmas to me… this is one of them.  My mom has been making these Coconut Snowballs at Christmas for as long as I can remember.  Often, she would tint the coconut red or green for an extra festive touch.  In our house we have always called them Coconut Date Balls… I’ve adjusted the title for two reasons, one, for some reason many people are turned off by the thought of dates, and yet once they try these they change their mind!  Secondly, I’m not a super big fan of desserts called “balls”, and somehow sneaking it in next to “snow” works a bit better  =)

So, call them what you will, these little treats are sweet, crispy, flavorful and delicious!

Coconut Snowballs

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/8 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon milk

1 cup finely chopped dates

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups rice krispies cereal

Coconut (about 1 package)

Directions ~

1.  Combine butter, salt, sugar, milk and dates in a large saucepan.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and using a whisk to mash the dates a bit.

2.  In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork, then add a spoonful of the warm date mixture to temper the egg a bit.  Add egg mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly, cook about 2 minutes.

3.  Remove pan from heat, add vanilla and stir, then add rice krispies and stir.  Allow mixture to cool about 1 minute.

4.  Pour about a cup of coconut into a bowl, then use a 1 tablespoon sized cookie scoop (or a spoon) to scoop a ball of date mixture into the bowl of coconut.  Use your hands to press coconut onto the date mixture, until fully covered with coconut, shaping into a ball as you work.  Refill small bowl with coconut as needed.

5.  Set finished Coconut Snowballs on a baking sheet or casserole dish.  When all the snowballs have been made, serve immediately, or cover until ready to serve.  These can be stored (at room temperature) 3-5 days.  Recipe yields 30-34 balls.

Recipe Source- My Grandma (She has been making these over 40 years, previous source unknown)


For serving ideas, you can see how I’ve included these Coconut Snowballs in my

Vintage Pastel ChristmasTropical Luau Party, and Classic Holiday Dessert Table.

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32 Responses to “Coconut Snowballs {Recipe}”

  1. #
    Karen - Trilogy Edibles — November 20, 2011 at 11:44 am

    My gran use to make similar "snowballs", such an awesome memory for the holidays!

  2. #
    Josh-s-mom — November 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! My mom had a snowball recipe as well but it was more of a mint shortbread type of recipe. She colored the coconut as well! Ah, the memories!

  3. #
    Silvia — November 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Sono,invitanti! Molto contenta di aver ricevuto questa ricetta accontenterò i super golosi della mia famiglia.

  4. #
    ButterYum — November 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I have to agree with you on both points.

    I love the new name you've given to these cookies… they look so festive, and I think they resemble snowballs beautifully.


  5. #
    Katie, Julep and Derby's Mom — November 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Yummy — Yummy — I'm a cookie baker and will give these a try.

    All the best for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Katie from

  6. #
    HeroCakePops — November 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    These came out so lovely!

  7. #
    Cecilia — November 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I don't think I've ever had these! All these years and you've been holding out on me! ;0)Love you!

  8. #
    tina — November 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm


  9. #
    Maria — November 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    A great Christmas cookie! I make coconut lime snowballs and love them, I can't wait to try these!

  10. #
    SweetSugarBelle — November 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I'll try yours if you try mine! These sound amazing!

  11. #
    LoveMySeabee — November 21, 2011 at 5:17 am

    I love these. I have to make half of them without the "snow" though. There are crazy people in my family that don't like coconut. My granny and I used to make these every Christmas, and now that she has passed, it is my duty to carry on the tradition.

  12. #
    miss b — November 21, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for the recipe!I'm looking for some new Christmas recipes to try!

  13. #
    sue — November 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Well what ever you call them they look yummy.

  14. #
    Cookbook Queen — November 21, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I have never heard of these but they look so good! My favorite recipes are the handed down kind for sure.

  15. #
    Mindy — November 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

    These sound really, really good. I'm adding them to my Christmas baking list!

  16. #
    Anonymous — November 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Hi Glory, your presentation & photography are amazingly beautiful and ohhh, so tantalizing!
    I can't wait to make these wonderful Coconut Snowballs!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours & also, to all your lovely Blog followers and readers!

  17. #
    17 — November 21, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Whoops, why does it say anonymous?
    I must have clicked on the wrong choice of identity…these always confuse me. I'll try again. :-)

  18. #
    Gloria — November 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    look delicious:)

  19. #
    cookies and cups — November 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    These sound delicious! Perfect for my Christmas platter this year!

  20. #
    Clara Turbay — November 22, 2011 at 4:17 am
  21. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — November 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    These are beautiful! I love snowballs for the holidays and love your recipe! I like how you incorporate coconut.

  22. #
    kyleen — November 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    These are adorable! I love bite-sized snacks.

  23. #
    Lissa (Bellenza) — November 23, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Couldn't be more perfect for those upcoming holiday parties!

  24. #
    Jane — November 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    My grandmother used to make these as well, and I learned to just call them "Edna's Krispy Ccconut Balls" because of all the date-haters as well. But if they don't know what's in 'em, then they love 'em. One bite and they instantly transport me back to her kitchen during the Holidays.

  25. #
    BrooklynRymer — December 31, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Can't have Christmas without these, my mom has made these for years. We call them Humdingers though, haha! She has never used coconut though, just rolled them in powdered sugar. The coconut seems great, will definitely make this way!

  26. #
    Jaime — November 14, 2012 at 4:05 am

    is this supposed to be cooked over medium heat or high heat? your recipe does not indicate

    • Glory replied: — November 14th, 2012 @ 4:30 am

      Since the recipe does not require any boiling, you can use any temperature that is hot, but below a boil. Medium to medium/high would probably be appropriate.


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