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

dark chocolate almond truffles

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?

dark chocolate almond truffles with a bite taken from one showing the filling

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.

ingredients in a food processor

almond truffle filling in food processor

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.

healthy almond truffles before dipping into chocolate

(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.)

melted chocolate in a glass measuring cup with a candy dipping tool for dipping truffles

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.

dark chocolate almond truffles

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!

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dark chocolate almond truffles

Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Truffles

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 truffles 1x
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


An easy recipe for 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 pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (70g) whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup (70g) sunflower seeds (I use salted)*
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon salt*
  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet or bittersweet quality chocolate*


  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.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Sunflower Seeds: 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.
  3. Sweet/Salty: If salty/sweet is your thing, add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the food processor with the other ingredients.
  4. Chocolate: Make sure you’re using quality chocolate. I prefer Lindt or Ghirardelli when dipping candies. Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar works too!
  5. Special Tools: Double boiler, food processor (I own and love this onethis one, and here’s the Vitamix you could use too), and dipping tool (highly recommended for dipping!)

Keywords: healthy truffles, dark chocolate almond truffles

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. 🙂

overhead image of dark chocolate almond truffles on a white plate

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. 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!

  2. 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! 

  3. 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?!

    1. 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.

  4. 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! 

  5. LOVED these healthier truffles, Sally! By using non-dairy chocolate chips and melting them down in the microwave with a bit of oil, I was able to keep this recipe vegan too 🙂

  6. OMG these were AH-MAZING . I cannot believe how delicious these are and to think it’s a healthy treat!! These were a huge hit at home so I’ll definitely be making them often . Thanks for sharing Sally

  7. Hey Sally,
    I want to make these as a Hannukah gift for my parents who we are going to visit in FL this Friday. Two questions – I have cocoa roasted almonds to use up – could I substitute these for the almonds and the cocoa? Can I use high-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips for the coating or will the stabilizers in them not work?
    Any advice for plane-ride transport?

    1. Hi Carly, You can use your cocoa almonds, but I would still use the full amount of cocoa powder as the almonds don’t have very much on them! Also, I don’t recommend chocolate chips for the coating as I find they are difficult to evenly melt due to the stabilizers! As long as you keep them out of the heat (most airplanes are cold!) they should transport just fine 🙂

  8. Do I have to change or add any ingredients to put the mixture into a pan and make bars instead of balls?

    1. These would be really great as bars also! Just press the mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper and for clean cuts I would refrigerate them before cutting. You can dip each bar in the chocolate coating after slicing or just pour it on top. Enjoy!

    1. No, Dates are the main ingredient and the reason these truffles work. You can browse all of my other truffle recipes on my site to find one that might work for you.

  9. These were fantastic! I honestly felt like i was eating dessert! I used them as a pre-workout snack and man they were heavenly! They definitely got me excited to workout, which is pretty hard! I definitely will be making these again and again!

  10. Solid recipe and amounts. I appreciate that. Felt very decadent without feeling like I was missing out on anything. Will make again. Thank-you

  11. Love love love these! Made them a ton when I was pregnant as an easier way to eat more dates! Do you think you could replace the almonds with other nuts? I was thinking specifically walnut

  12. Thanks Sally! Is it possible to replace the sunflower seeds with another ingredient?

    1. Hi Ronit, You can use additional almonds. See the recipe notes for details.

  13. I am so exited to try this recipe! I’ve been needing to make more gluten free and sugar free treats, and I was wondering, do you have any more recipes like this?

  14. Hi Sally. I immediately loved the recipe and want to try it out. Was wondering if I can skip the chocolate dip? Can I roll the bliss balls in cocoa or nuts??
    Thank you :))

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