Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Date Balls, inspired by Ferrero Rocher are made with hazelnuts, dates, pumpkin puree, and cocoa powder.
Homemade Ferrero Rocher (Hazelnut) Date Balls
These are so fun! Naturally sweetened date balls are a no-bake sweet snack or dessert made primarily from dates. They’re popular for their simplicity and nutritional value and are easily customizable to personal tastes or dietary requirements. Ferrero Rocher is my favorite which inspired these date balls made with hazelnuts, Medjool dates, pumpkin puree, and cocoa powder to make these healthy, energy-packed, high-fiber treat. I like to keep them in my fridge or freezer for a quick snack on the go. More date ball recipes are Chocolate Brownie Date Balls, Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls, and Fudge Snow Balls.
Are energy balls healthy?
These healthy Ferrero Rocher date balls have 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 90 calories. They’re perfect for a quick snack or dessert when you just want a couple of bites of something chocolatey and sweet. Plus, they’re vegan.
Ferrero Rocher Date Ball Ingredients
Ferrero Rocher has a hazelnut in the middle with a Nutella filling (a creamy chocolate hazelnut spread) and a thin wafer shell that’s covered in chocolate and hazelnut pieces. Here’s what’s in my easy Ferrero Rocher date ball recipe:
- Hazelnuts: I used the hazelnuts three ways – a whole nut in the middle, finely ground hazelnuts in the date mixture, and coarsely chopped ones on the outside.
- Dates: Medjool dates are my favorite, which are sweeter and bigger than regular dates, also called Deglet Noor dates. If you want to swap them with regular ones, you may need a few extras since they’re smaller than Medjool.
- Pumpkin Puree: Canned or homemade pumpkin puree adds creaminess and fiber.
- Sea Salt: All you need is a pinch.
- Cocoa Powder: My favorite cocoa is Dutch process, which is darker and less bitter. Regular unsweetened cocoa will also work.
- Vanilla Extract for flavor
How to Make Ferrero Rocher Date Balls
- Hazelnuts: Place a third cup of nuts in a food processor and process until they’re chopped. Set them aside in a small bowl along with 16 whole hazelnuts. Pulse the remaining nuts in the food processor until finely ground.
- Remaining Ingredients: Add the dates, pumpkin, cocoa, salt, and vanilla to the processor with the finely ground hazelnuts.
- Form the Energy Balls: Using a spoon or your hands, scoop out the date mixture and roll it into 16 equal balls, placing one whole hazelnut into the middle. Roll each ball in the remaining nuts. Serve.
How to Store Ferrero Rocher Date Balls
Refrigerate these chocolate hazelnut date balls for seven days or freeze them for up to three months. If frozen, store them in the refrigerator before eating or set them on the counter for a bit to soften.
- Dates: Swap Mejool dates with regular ones, but add a few more since they’re smaller. You can also use prunes.
- Nuts: Use pecans or walnuts instead of hazelnuts.
- Nut Allergies: If you’re allergic to nuts, substitute pumpkin or hemp seeds for the hazelnuts.
- Pumpkin: Sub mashed banana or applesauce for pumpkin puree.
- Cocoa Powder: Switch out the cocoa powder with chocolate protein powder for extra protein.
More No-Bake Dessert Recipes You’ll Love
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- Frozen Banana Pop
- No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding Popsicles
- Banana Split
Chocolate Hazelnut Date Balls
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts, 3.5 oz total
- 9 pitted Medjool dates
- 1/4 cup canned or homemade pumpkin purée
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Dutch process
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place 1/3 cup of the hazelnuts in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
- Process until nuts chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- Set 16 nuts aside. Then add the remaining hazelnuts to the food processor and process until finely ground.
- Add the dates, pumpkin purée, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract and continue to process until ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Using a spoon (or your hands), scoop and roll the mixture into 16 equal balls, placing 1 whole nut into each one.
- Then roll each ball in the remaining hazelnuts and serve immediately or store in the freezer or the fridge.