These bliss balls are loaded with chocolate, are no-bake and easy to make gluten-free and vegan. They only call for 6 ingredients and take 5 minutes to make!
Ever heard of bliss balls? The term is somewhat new to me but they’re the same thing as energy bites, protein balls, etc.
Up today we have these amazing chocolate bliss balls. And they are so darn addictive.
You probably already have the ingredients in your pantry! You just need cocoa powder, maple syrup, oats, vanilla, coconut and nut or seed butter.
Then you can toss in some add-ins if you’d like. I used dried cranberries but you can use something else or omit them. What I love about the cranberries is that they add little sour bursts to every bite.
These healthy bliss balls are also naturally vegan. If you don’t need them to be vegan, you can use honey. In these kinds of no-bake recipes, you often need honey to keep the ingredients together. But maple syrup really works just as well.
You’ll also want to make sure your chocolate chips or chunks are vegan. Most semi-sweet chocolate is (at least in Germany!).
And they’re of course gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free oats.
My favorite nut butter and sweetener combination is almond butter + maple syrup. They go especially well with the dried cranberries!
But it’s a flexible recipe. You can probably use any nut or seed butter you want in this bliss ball recipe. I’m all about precision and I rarely say that about nut butters.
It feels so freeing to say, “Sure! Use what you want.” 😂
Cashew butter is a bit thicker than other types of nut butter but I think it’d still work. You might need to add a little extra vanilla or water.
And if you’ve got some cashew butter left, go check out this caramel fudge candy. They are truly delicious!
Once it’s back-to-school time, whenever that may be, these healthy chocolate balls are great for the lunchbox! They pack and transport well.
They’re also easy to make nut-free. Just use sunflower seed butter. If you’re wondering what else to make with that, check out these paleo peanut butter bars. It’s one of my favorite recipes!
As are these paleo peanut butter cookies. Both those recipes should have the peanut butter in quotes as sunflower seed butter is used but those recipes are super close to their traditional peanut butter counterparts!
If you’re homeschooling or doing distance learning for the foreseeable future, this bliss ball recipe is an easy recipe for kids to make. Little ones can make them without any help as there’s nothing to melt, cut or bake.
Questions about this recipe?
- Can I use a regular peanut butter / other nut butter?
I think it’s way too firm and not runny enough for this recipe. You need natural nut or seed butter without added fat or sugar. If your runny nut butter has a little sugar but not much, it should still be fine.
- What can I use in place of the honey or maple syrup?
I think any liquid sweetener that you’d normally use in place of honey or maple syrup should work. I’m thinking brown rice syrup or agave.
Using a granulated sweetener wouldn’t work. You need the liquid to keep these healthy snack balls together.
- Can I omit the cocoa powder?
No, because then these balls would be way too sweet. What you’d need is a different recipe.
- Can I use X type of cocoa powder?
I’m pretty sure you can use whatever unsweetened cocoa / cacao powder you’d like. I’ve used Dutch-process and natural cocoa powder and didn’t really notice any difference.
- What type of oats can I use?
I prefer quick oats to rolled oats. I thought the rolled oat version was too oaty. Like, they were more difficult to chew.
If that’s all you’ve got, you could pulse them a few times in a food processor or high-speed blender (like a Blendtec or Vitamix) to make quick oats.
Steel oats, instant oats and oat groats will not work.
- Can I use something instead of oats to make these paleo?
I unfortunately haven’t found a good sub for oats in no-bake recipes. I’ve tried using shredded coconut but the result is usually very oily.
I do have these chocolate peaunt butter protein balls that you could make. Just use almond butter in place of the peanut butter to make them paleo.
- Do I have to use coconut? Can I just add more oats?
This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of coconut and that’s too much to omit. You can use other ingredients, though. Oat bran, ground flax, wheat germ (if you can have gluten) or ground nuts work.
I recommend adding 1/4 cup, mixing everything together, and then adding more as needed until you have the right consistency. You can’t just add 3/4 cup because all of those ingredients absorb liquid differently.
I have tried adding 3/4 cup of oats in place of the coconut but it was too oaty and didn’t have as nice of a texture. It was just too oaty.
One idea could be blending the oats to make oat flour and adding a little of that. I’d start off with maybe 3 tablespoons and go up from there. But I haven’t tried it!
If you’re worried about the taste of coconut, don’t be. Unless you really hate it. These bliss balls are nice and chocolaty – not coconutty.
I like coconut because it adds a little more sweetness. So if you use any of the above-listed subs, these bliss balls won’t be as sweet as intended.
It’s not exactly a bad thing. I do have quite a sweet tooth!
- What can I use instead of dried cranberries?
You can use any dried fruit or chopped nuts that you think would go well with chocolate. Raisins, chopped almonds or cashews sound especially delicious to me but whatever you like works.
- Do I have to use add-ins?
If you try these bliss balls, I’d love to hear how they come out!
Bliss Balls Recipe (vegan, gluten-free options)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: about twenty 1" balls
- 1/2 cup (128 grams) natural nut or seed1 butter (the kind with no added sugar or fat)
- 1/3 cup (107 grams) maple syrup (or honey for non-vegan)
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (29 grams) cocoa powder
- 1 cup (92 grams) quick oats (make sure to use certified GF oats for a GF version)
- 3/4 cup (64 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (assuming you used salted nut butter - if you used unsalted, you'll need about 1/4 teaspoon salt)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or another add-in, optional
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (make sure to use vegan chocolate for a vegan version), optional
- In a large bowl, mix together the nut / seed butter, sweetener, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the cocoa powder, oats, coconut and salt and stir until combined. Stir in the add-ins.
- My mixture was ready to roll into balls right away. If yours isn't, put into the fridge for a while. If the mixture is too dry, add up to another 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Roll into 1" balls.
- Can be kept at room temperature for a week. Can also be frozen for a few months.
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