Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Truffles

Miraculous things happen when almonds, dates, and dark chocolate come together!

Intensely satisfying dark chocolate truffles made with healthier ingredients!! Easy recipe found on

Greetings from San Fran! From east coast book signings to west coast book signings, it’s been a wild ride this week. Meeting you, wandering the streets of both Manhattan and San Francisco within 24 hours, catching up with old friends, and indulging in some really-good-it-should-be-illegal chocolate gelato…

Thank you everyone who came to Green Apple book store last night! And, of course, to all the readers who saw me in Jersey City earlier this week. I have another San Francisco book signing on Saturday at Omnivore Books from 3-4pm.

Speaking of… bay area readers: where should Kevin and I eat while we’re here for the next 2 days? And, more importantly, where can we find some chocolate gelato fitting the above description?

Intensely satisfying dark chocolate truffles made with healthier ingredients!! Easy recipe found on

If you couldn’t tell, I’m on a maaaajor chocolate kick. Usually I’m all like “nah, fruity desserts are the bees knees” but ever since these luscious pools of dark chocolate entered my life, I’ve been all like “can I put chocolate in my grilled cheese?”


Since we can’t eat chocolate gelato every night of the week (we can’t, right?), I decided it was high time to share a healthier chocolate treat on my blog. These healthy dark chocolate almond truffles defy all laws of chocolate. Healthy chocolate desserts usually taste like sand dust or completely artificial, boring, blah, etc. But these truffles? They actually taste like you’re cheating. I know a ball made from dates and nuts running around calling itself a chocolate truffle takes a lot of guts. But friends… THIS IS REAL. And IT IS GOOD.

How to make healthy dark chocolate almond truffles on

How to make healthy dark chocolate almond truffles on

The secret’s in the dates. Have you ever made food with dates before? Or even eaten dates before? With their brown wrinkly exterior, they certainly don’t win any beauty contests. But they’re a miracle ingredient when you’re whipping up healthier treats. They’re called nature’s candy: naturally sweet with subtle caramel-like flavors. It hardly tastes like you’re eating a fruit! I make a ton of no-bake treats with them, one of my favorites (and reader favorites) being these chocolate truffle energy bites.

The trick to working with dates when you’re processing them is to soak them in warm water before starting. Why? They’re a little hard and dried out. Soaking them in warm water makes them extra soft and sticky– just the texture you need in order for the truffle ingredients to come together. Other ingredients you’ll need: almonds, seeds, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Nothing more, nothing less. Except for maybe a pinch of sea salt because salty chocolate is my weakness.

It’s all mixed together in a food processor. A blender works too, but shorter food processors are key. I currently have two that I use for recipes like this: my beloved food processor and the mighty Ninja. All the ingredients go in, pulse/process, then roll into balls. It’s that easy.

Intensely satisfying dark chocolate truffles made with healthier ingredients!! Easy recipe found on

(Let me back up for a sec because I know what you’re thinking. Ew, how can a ball of dried fruit and nuts actually taste like a truffle? Sally have you lost your mind!!!??? Well, yes. But I’m thinking straight with this healthy truffle business. It’s all in those magical dates. They’re very sweet and because we soak them in warm water, they get all sticky. This makes the truffle filling super moist. Moisture mixed with the cocoa powder = naturally sweetened chocolate goodness. Then, when it’s all coated in real dark chocolate? Yep. Heavenly.)

How to make healthy dark chocolate almond truffles on

Unlike regular truffles, there’s no waiting for the filling to chill. You can begin dipping, dunking, rolling right away. You’re going to dip these almond truffles into melted dark chocolate. I like to use semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use bittersweet instead. Milk or white chocolates work too!

Here’s my secret to dipping pretty truffles: candy dipping tools! You’ve seen me using these a lot in the past year or so. I discovered them when I was writing Sally’s Candy Addiction and I can’t dip candies without them. Like a complete weirdo, I’m even traveling with my dipping tools on this book tour for cooking demos.

To dip pretty truffles:

– Place truffle in melted chocolate.

– Scoop out with the spiral candy dipping tool.

– Tap tool against bowl and allow extra chocolate to drip off.

– Flip truffle over onto lined baking sheet.

– Quickly lift tool off truffle.

Baddabing baddaboom. Truffle prettiness.

Intensely satisfying dark chocolate truffles made with healthier ingredients!! Easy recipe found on

I know you’re all probably indulging this Valentine’s Day weekend, myself included (I’m being serious about that chocolate gelato business. Taking all suggestions.) but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to a box of chocolates, these dark chocolate almond truffles hit the spot!

Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Truffles

Miraculous things happen when almonds, dates, and dark chocolate come together!


  • 14 Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (70g) Diamond of California whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup (70g) sunflower seeds (I use salted)1
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon salt2
  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet or bittersweet quality chocolate3

Special Equipment


  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Place pitted dates, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, almonds, sunflower seeds, and salt (if using) into your food processor. Blend/pulse until a moist dough forms, as pictured above. This will take a minute or two of blending. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add 1-2 more soaked dates or even a teaspoon of pure maple syrup.
  3. Once dough is formed, scoop out 1 Tablespoon of dough. Roll into a smooth ball and place onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Set aside as you melt the chocolate in the next step.
  4. You can melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. I like to use a liquid measuring cup. Its depth makes it easy for dipping. Melt in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Let the warm chocolate sit for 5 minutes to slightly cool before dipping.
  5. Dip each ball completely into the chocolate using a dipping tool. When lifting it out of the chocolate, remember to tap the dipping tool gently on the side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place each back on the baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 30 minutes.
  6. Make ahead tip: Cover truffles tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can freeze these truffles, too! Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Instead of using sunflower seeds, you can use 1/2 cup of whole almonds for a total of 1 cup (140g) whole almonds in the recipe.
  2. If salty/sweet is your thing, add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the food processor with the other ingredients.
  3. Make sure you're using quality chocolate. I prefer Lindt or Ghirardelli when dipping candies. Trader Joe's Pound Plus bar works too!

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

If you try these truffles, snap a pic and tag it #sallysbakingaddiction on Instagram so I can see how yours came out! I love seeing which recipes you make. 🙂

Intensely satisfying dark chocolate truffles made with healthier ingredients!! Easy recipe found on

I’m working with Diamond of California to bring you today’s recipe. Thank you for helping me work with brands I love! This post contains affiliate links.

Unlike ANY truffles you've ever had before, made with dates, almonds, and dark chocolate-- but taste just like the real thing!
How to make healthy dark chocolate almond truffles on Easy, healthy dessert recipe!


  1. my favorite sf spots! 
    san tung (richmond)- their dry-fried chicken wings are my favorite wings ever!
    b patisserie (pacific heights)- koiugn amann and any croissant (i love their chocolate banana almond croissant, and it’s perfect if you need a chocolate boost!).
    golden gate bakery (chinatown)- super silky dan tats (egg tarts) with the flakiest pastry. they are notorious for being closed all the time though, so it’s helpful to call ahead to check.
    ferry building (embarcadero)- i love walking around and seeing everything! the ahi burger from gott’s roadside and porchetta sandwich from roli roti are amazing, and the ice cream from humphrey slocombe is always tasty (haven’t tried their chocolate, but i bet it’s great, too!).

  2. For a chocolate fix head to XOX Truffles in North Beach. The most unbelievable hand made chocolates. It was a stop on a foodie tour I did in the city a few years ago. And it’s in San Francisco’s Italian neighborhood so I’m sure you’ll find gelato too. I wish I could make the drive to see you but I’m hosting a baby shower and have prep to do (the lemon bars from your cookbook are on the menu!). 

  3. Two words: Lush Gelato.

    Freak flavor combos, but always unbelievable delicious. And they always have a chocolate based something. Also, even though you’ll probably stick to the city… I’ve gotta say the eateries over the Bay in Oakland/Berkeley are better. 🙂

    Ici Ice Cream in Berkeley, best of your life. Worth the BART ride. 

    Avoid Gelateria Naia in SF.

    Seven Hills Restaurant is a hidden San Francisco gem. 

    I’m trying these truffles tomorrow. Your Fruit & Nut Balls are probably my favorite recipe in SCA. I keep a constant supply in my fridge!

  4. It was sooo nice to finally meet you tonight, Sally! I’ve been such a fan of your blog for years. And I’ve tried so many of your recipes! These healthy truffles look amazing and I love that they’re healthy! Considering that I’m a dental hygienist and I have a major sweet tooth, now I won’t have to feel so guilty! 

    As for good eats in SF, you need to try brunch at Sweet Maple near Japantown! And then you have to order anything with Millionaire’s bacon. It’s sooo amazing and absolutely terrible for you. But how can you resist thick cut bacon baked with brown sugar and cayenne pepper? I recommend the Asparagus Blackstone Benedict.

    Then you can head to Sift Cupcakes for cupcakes that have been featured on Cupcake Wars. Highly recommend the Pink Champagne! Or ice cream at Smitten ice cream which are made to order using liquid nitrogen.

    And on Saturday, you should go to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. So many fresh produce and baked goods. You can also do some olive oil tasting at Stonehouse Olive Oil and cheese tasting at Cow Girl Creamery. There’s also amazing coffee at Blue Bottle, macarons at Miette, and unique ice cream flavors at Humphry Slocombe.

    Have fun while in SF! And again, thank you so much for inspiring me to blog! 

    • Andrea, when I met you the other night I didn’t put it together that YOU were the Andrea who I’ve come to know through comments! Yes, it was so nice to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to give me all these suggestions! That millionaire’s bacon sounds absolutely ridiculous in the best way possible 🙂 I have to check out Miette for macarons! xoxo

  5. I love making sweets/bars/truffles with dates, they’re such a magical ingredient! 

  6. Sally – I love using dates in desserts. Last year, one of the teachers that I work with brought in Yolo Balls, which have similar ingredients to your recipe. Everyone loved them. I can’t wait to try these. I love almond and know these would be a hit for a Valentine’s treat. 

  7. I’ve been on a HUGE almond kick this week, so these are really calling to me. When is almond anything other than fabulous? Hope your vacation is going great! San Fran has the best fish and the best restaurants.

  8. I’m dubbing these as my next afternoon pick-me-up because CHOCOLATE and ALMONDS. So they’re the perfect energy balls!!! 🙂

  9. When you find the chocolate gelato I suggest pairing it with a scoop of lemon.  It is my absolute favorite combination that I discovered one year while visiting Italy.  Enjoy the hopefully warmer weather on the West coast!

  10. I think you just need to come back to Jersey City for some serious gelato 😉 My treat, and we can talk about dogs & sprinkles the whole time!!

  11. Sally, can you please tell me how much 14 medjool dates are in grams? I have a different variety of dates that I need to use up and they’re much smaller than regular medjool dates, so any feedback would be tremendously helpful. 

  12. Dates + salted almonds is one of my favorite snacks, but I’d certainly say you just improved it! Adding chocolate has a way of doing that.
    I know it’s been said, but definitely check out the Ferry Building Marketplace if you have time! Not only are there a bunch of cute foodie stores with everything from cheese to fancy olive oil, but there’s also a Humphrey Slocombe ice cream place in there that’s delicious. I had no idea fudge sorbet could exist, but it’s (somehow) creamy chocolate bliss! I’d also recommend 4505 Meats for “The Best Damn Cheeseburger”. So good!

    • I’ll put Kevin in charge of trying the cheeseburger while I test out the ice cream! Thanks for the recommendations Ellen!!

  13. Hi Sally! 

    I would highly suggest Bi-Rite Creamery for some sinfully good ice cream. It’s not gelato, but they’ve got unbelievably good ice cream (my fav is Ricanelas which is a cinnamon ice cream with chunks of snickerdoodle cookies in it). The roasted banana flavor is pretty good too and they have chocolate of course. This place is actually very close to Omnivore Books (about 5min away)!

    Another place I recommend is the Frozen Kuhsterd food truck. Frozen custard is very similar to gelato but creamier and maybe even better if I may be so bold to say! 😉 They also have unique flavors that differ from day to day. They will be in South San Francisco today from 11am to 2pm!

    Enjoy your stay in SF! Im going to try stop by on Saturday to see you! 🙂

  14. I LOVE bars and balls made with dates! SO deliciously fudgy and juicy. I’m seriously addicted to them, I keep sneaking ball after ball off the plate saying “just one more”, “this will be the last” 😉 Will have to try these… 😀

  15. DATES ARE PURE MAGIC! I’m loving this slightly healthier truffle! I’ve made lots of indulgent date balls in my day, but whyyyy have I never thought of dipping them in chocolate? You genius, you 🙂 

  16. Even if it’s not for Valentine’s Day, I have to try this. Chocolate is my weakness and I know how good dates taste in dessert. I imagine a couple of these would be a great snack to eat after a workout or have stuffed in a bag for long trips! 

  17. I absolutely LOVE dates and have been looking to try some some desserts that are on the healthier side–looks like I will be making these this weekend! 

  18. I adore using dates in baked treats as well as in no-bake treats and your’s sound fantastic, Sally! When I was younger, we ate fresh dates by the handful – even had them with tea, but never baked with them.

  19. Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern downtown is a MUST.

  20. Sally!! I can’t believe you’re in the Bay Area! I lived all over the bay for decades!! (I grew up there). There are so many wonderful places to eat there, and many new places sprouting up every day. There’s a place called Holy Gelato in the Inner Sunset (neighborhood in SF) that serves some really fun flavors (think goat cheese and honey lavender), along with your beloved chocolate. 🙂 Have a great time on the book tour and a wonderful Valentine’s Day! <3

  21. If you want dessert, you HAVE to go Tartine and one of my favorite pizza spots, Little Star. I miss living in the Bay Area. Have an amazing time! 🙂 

  22. I really want to try making these! They are so pretty, and I love that you made them with dates. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  23. Warning: This recipe has delicious flavors, but it literally took an hour of blending and scraping in my cuisinart, which couldn’t handle it, and then my magic bullet, which finally sort of handled it, before coming together into almost the right texture. As you might imagine, this much blending was not good for the magic bullet – the base of the machine started smoking and part of it near the blade melted. Melted plastic does not smell or taste good. 

    I soaked the dates for 30 minutes and even added more liquid while blending. But this mixture was just too thick and sticky for all of the food processors and blenders within a 2 block radius of my apartment. I probably would never make this again.

    • This is the exact recipe as my brownie date truffles posted a few years ago and I’ve never heard of this issue before. Did you change anything about the recipe?

    • I found that adding a teaspoon or two of Maple Syrup (as Sally suggested) really helped in getting the ingredients to blend well. Hope that helps 🙂

  24. I’ll never cease to be amazed by the miracles dates can perform in sweets! These truffles look so decadent but they’re not bad for you! HOORAY!

  25. You are the truffle QUEEN, Sally! These look insanely delicious – I lovelovelove the dark chocolate-almond combo 🙂

  26. Oooh! I think I want one of those spiraly things to make these truffles. They are so gorgeous!

  27. Sally, I have so many SF food recommendations for you. 

    For the chocolate gelato, Lush Gelato is decadent and delicious! If you’re okay with ice cream as well, Bi-Rite Creamery in the Mission is amazing. CREAM has amazing ice cream sandwiches (think tons of ice cream choices, warm & fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies, and the ability to mix and match things however you’d like!)

    I know you love pizza. Tony’s Pizza Napolentana in North Beach is hands-down the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. The Eddie Munster is my favorite (it has honey and this delicious crisped up kale on the pizza. YUM). Tony has beat out Italian pizza makers at various international pizza making competitions. I highly recommend.

    North Beach is near Chinatown, and Golden Gate Bakery sells the most delicious egg tarts every. They’re always warm and freshly made. The only downside is that they’re open at very odd hours, so check this page to see if they’re open:

    Tartine Bakery in the Mission makes the most incredible pastries and bread. They’re super famous for a reason!! The morning bun, the croissants, the tarts; everything is delicious! 

    And one more delicious dinner recommendation: Cha-Ya (in the Mission on Valencia Street). They serve healthy vegetarian Japanese cuisine. Everything there is so freshly prepared; the portion sizes are pretty large, but the food they make is so light and healthy 🙂

    I have so so many recommendations, but those are some of my favorites from my absolute favorite city. Have a blast this weekend, Sally! <3

  28. Hi Sally, These truffles are fantastic. I just made them. Love your healthy recipe! You can see how they came out in the link below. (I do not have Instagram account yet)

    ……………………………..Thank you for all your good recipes.

  29. I’ve never eaten a date in my life, but I have been searching for healthier snack and dessert items for my family.  I came across these and made them today.  Not gonna lie…the dates looked like cockroaches soaking in the bowl…but OMG, these are to die for! I used unsalted sunflower seeds, but I did add a generous 1/4 tsp. Of salt.  I also did one tsp. Vanilla extract and one tsp. Almond extract (YUM). I used Hersey’s Special Dark cocoa powder.  I had to add 2 more dates and a teaspoon of maple syrup to get them to come together.  I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate melting wafers and gave them all one turn of my sea salt mill after placing them on the parchment. These are better than any truffle or cake pop I’ve ever had.   I will definitely use dates again for desserts, even if they do look like roaches!  lol.  Thank you for the awesome recipe!!

  30. These were so frickin good! Received many compliments from friends and family. Will definitely be making them again! 

  31. These are absolutely amazing! I just made them for the second time this week. The first batch disappeared pretty quickly between me, my sister and my husband, especially since I ate a bunch of the filling before I could get around to dipping it. For this second batch, I rolled some of them in Rice Krispies before dipping in chocolate for a little bit of crunch. SO GOOD! Thanks for this fabulous recipe!

  32. Oh my goodness Sally you have truly outdone yourself here! I am beyond excited to try these. My family and I are planning on taking a trip to Colorado this week and will not be able to make them for the car ride down, but I am planning on making these for the ride back! These would be perfect for camping, car rides, walking… Yes These will be in the pantry for the summer! <3 it! 

  33. Ok Sally –  I’m looking at these truffles – wondering how the chocolate coating looks so good without tempering the chocolate.   I just made truffles for a wedding and practiced a lot to learn to temper chocolate, using high quality milk and dark chocolate.  I thought when chocolate is melted and sets, the chocolate gets light and streaky looking. Looking at your truffles, this isn’t the case.  Why?!

    • The chocolate is freshly melted here– by day 2, the streaks began forming. Still edible, of course, but not quite as lovely as pristine tempered chocolate.

  34. WOW! Sally you have outdone yourself here! I am SO excited to use this throughout the holidays this year. My little boy just started having sensitivities to ALL grains and this will be a perfect sweet treat that he can indulge in, and my husband and the rest of the family won’t feel like they are missing out either. I can just tell by the pictures and ingredients that these will be a hit! I need to buy your books because all of your recipes that we have tried have been just superb! Thanks for all your hard work lady! 

    • Kailey, I think you will all LOVE these! They really do taste indulgent. I hope you enjoy my books if you pick them up. 75 recipes in each; Sally’s Candy Addiction has several chapters of naturally grain free recipes since candy isn’t made with any 🙂

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