No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

stack of no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs on a red plate

Welcome to day 3 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza!

While recipe 3 in 2017’s cookie palooza may not look like a traditional cookie or taste like a traditional cookie, it can most certainly find a place on your holiday cookie trays. Why? You need a little variety!

It’s hip to be square. Errrr…. round.

no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs

I’m hosting Christmas this year. I know I know… I have a newborn. I’m crazy. But I truly enjoy entertaining. Nothing makes me happier than gathering our families together for meals and memories. And if it can be done at my own house so I don’t have to travel with a car packed full of dog stuff and baby stuff, that’s even better. (MAN ALIVE my children require a lot!!!) But not only that, it means a lot to me to spend Noelle’s first Christmas at our own home. And I can wear my slippers all day, which is clearly the most important of all.

But entertaining means I need to come up with some menus. I’ll share our Christmas brunch and dinner menus when I plan them out, but I’m mostly concerned with dessert at this point. Those other meals? Ehh. Do they even matter? The Christmas dessert tray has to be epic!!!

overhead image of no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs on a red plate with various other types of Christmas cookies

Pictured: Christmas tree and snowflake sugar cookies using this sugar cookie and royal icing, today’s snowballs, and cake batter chocolate chip cookies

Let’s discuss this.

How to Make an Epic Christmas Dessert Tray

  1. Enlist help. Why not invite family and friends over to help you actually make the desserts that will go on the tray?! Not only will it be more fun if baking’s a family affair, it’ll be a heck of a lot easier too. Extra hands = faster baking. You can even make “Christmas cookie baking day” an annual event.
  2. Prepare some items ahead of time. There’s plenty of time between now and Christmas, but we all know that our calendars fill quickly and things get real hectic, real fast. So do your future self a favor and begin soon. Freeze baked cookies and cookie dough now, you’ll be thankful you had a head start!
  3. Pick up a Christmas platter. I just bought this one and this one. They’re even more beautiful in real life. Nice and big too! Here’s another one I have my eye on.
  4. Use varying shapes, sizes, and textures. That’s where today’s recipe comes in. Make different shapes with cookie cutter sugar cookies, add some red in there, lots of sprinkles, gingerbread men, triangles, cheesecake brownies, fudge, stars, and balls. Different shapes and sizes not only makes a beautiful tray, but guarantees there’s something for everyone.

These no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs cover all the bases. You can make them now and freeze ’em for later, they’re easy, and they add a festive look to the entire tray. Plus, they’re SO DARN GOOD. Watch how I make them:

Aren’t they fun???

Here’s The Plan

  • Heat butter + sugar + cocoa + milk on the stove
  • Pour over oats and coconut
  • Shape into balls
  • Roll in coconut
  • You’re done

Told ya, so easy.

ingredients for no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs in bowls and measuring cups

2 images of chocolate oat mixture with a cookie scoop and rolling a chocolate snowball into shredded coconut

The mixture is pretty sticky, so it’ll have to chill out in the refrigerator before you shape into balls. You WANT a sticky foundation. Why? If the chocolate-oat mixture is too dry, the finished snowballs will taste dry.

no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs on a baking sheet with a bowl of chocolate oat mixture

stack of no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs on a red plate

The chocolate coconut snowballs are a lot like my no-bakes, Kevin’s favorite cookie of all time. Though today’s snowballs don’t include peanut butter. The horror!!!! But even without peanut butter, Kevin still loved them. He saw me typing up this post and he literally just said “those things were awesome.” Coming from a man who usually says “that was good” … “awesome” says quite a lot!

(PS: want to add peanut butter? See my recipe note!)

no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs

Have fun no-baking!

See all cookie palooza recipes.

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stack of no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs on a red plate

No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 55 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 balls
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


These no-bake chocolate coconut snowballs are easy to make and freeze wonderfully.


  • 3 cups (240g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 cups (240g) sweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (any milk works; I use skim milk)
  • 6 Tablespoons (32g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place the oats and 1 cup of shredded coconut in a large bowl. Set aside. (Reserve the remaining coconut for step 3.)
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, milk, cocoa, and salt together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter melts, then bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute without whisking. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract, then pour over the oats/coconut. Stir until combined. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes and up to 2-3 days.
  3. Meanwhile, pulse the remaining coconut in a food processor to break it down. It’s easier to coat the balls when the coconut shreds are broken up/smaller.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. And make sure there is enough room in your refrigerator for the baking sheets.
  5. Using a 1-Tablespoon cookie scoop (or simply a spoon), roll into 1 Tablespoon balls. The mixture may get a little sticky as you work, but just form it into a ball as best you can. Roll balls in coconut and place on the baking sheets. Refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes to “set.”
  6. Snowballs will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the mixture and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days before rolling in balls. Snowballs freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving.
  2. Special Tools: Ninja Food Processor | Measuring Cups | Glass Mixing Bowls | Cookie ScoopSilpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet
  3. Want to Add Peanut Butter? Go for it. I wanted today’s snowballs to be nut-free, but you can add 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter. Simply add it to the saucepan in step 2. Reduce butter to 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp).

cookie palooza logo image


  1. Absolutely great! So easy, thanks for the recipe!

  2. This was a bit hard to follow without the specifics, lots of guessing on my part. not done chilling ( in the fridge which i hope is right ) but I think the recipe is fantastic despite.

    1. Hi Nora, If you scroll down to the actual recipe there is a list of detailed step-by-step directions that should help you (right under the list of ingredients).

      1. I did, hard to follow

    2. Nora, once you’re done with this recipe, I thought I would alert you to a couple of new inventions that may help you through your day.
      You can now get watches in a ‘digital’ format which makes telling time a breeze, AND they have shoes WITH VELCRO now…woo hooo! Yer’ welcome

  3. First try was a……….SUCCESS!
    Will try other recipes of yours and will give you a shout!
    Thank you!

  4. These are very delicious and easy to
    take!! I made them today successfully halving the recipe (I only needed half the allocated coconut topping around so just poured it into a plate little by little to avoid wasting it), I think they can be enjoyed year round. Thank you Sally!

  5. Really good!

  6. What can I substitute butter with instead?

  7. Chanel Liberatore says:

    Obsessed with these have made them over and over. Totally easy to follow no guesswork!

  8. Great recipe ! Thank you 🙂

  9. Annika Barrett says:

    This recipe is very similar to something I used to make in Sweden! Choklad bollar, a great swedish dessert ! Tastes super yummy!

    1. I was wondering if this recipe is similar – I ate Chokladbollar at every Scandinavian bakery I passed! 🙂

  10. Hi Sally,
    I’ve made many of your delicious treats before, all turning out beautifully. For some reason, the oatmeal mixture does not hold together well. This is after refrigerating for almost an hour. Ive got it back in the fridge. Do you think there’s still a chance they’ll hold together better after more chilling?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Betty, The mixture should be sticky before going in the refrigerator. Does the mixture feel too try? Did you by any chance use quick oats instead of old fashioned oats?

      1. Hi Sally,
        I used old fashioned oats and I thought mixture was too dry (ish) when I put in fridge, but it just needed more time in fridge to set. I also added a little melted butter when ready to roll and this really helped to form balls. Also ran my hands under cold water when fingers got too sticky. Worked beautifully and chocolate balls are fantastic!

  11. I want to make ahead and freeze, do I roll into balls and roll in the coconut first or just freeze the batter and roll them when I unfreeze?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dee, You can freeze the completed snowballs after they are rolled in coconut. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

  12. Can you make this with quick oats and unsweetened coconut flakes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sil You can use quick oats, but the snowballs will taste a little dry from their powder-y consistency. For best taste and texture, I recommend sticking with whole old-fashioned oats.
      You can use finely shredded unsweetened coconut, but you will likely want to increase the sugar. Let us know if you try anything!

  13. Noelia Carrera says:

    Hi Sally! I love your recipes and i have been looking for a recipe to no bake chocolate coconut cookies. I have found recipes of this on other websites, but i prefer to use one of yours! This specific one looks very similar to the ones i have found. Do you think i can adapt this one to make into cookies instead of balls?

    1. Hi Noelia, what an interesting idea. You can certainly try these as cookies, but you may want to scale down on the oats or coconut so they flatten out a little easier. (This dough is very thick and would be difficult to flatten into cookies.) Or you can try adding a little more milk to add some moisture.

  14. Samantha Odhiambo says:

    I love them recipe is easy to follow and they are quite tasty not too sweet just perfect. Thanks you for the recipe

  15. I liked these but the oat mixture wasn’t cooperating. I could have put them in the fridge for a bit longer but u didn’t have the patience, so I pressed the oats into a 9 x 13 pan and sprinkled the remaining coconut on top.

  16. I love that you are using old-fashioned oats. Lost my recipe years ago, using this wonderful ingredient.
    Comments read earlier, ‘yes’ year-round sounds like an excellent idea!
    Sally you bake from your heart. Thank you.

  17. Elizabeth Langmead says:

    My suggestion is to use 1 cup of shredded coconut in the mixture then use desiccated coconut to rolls the balls. I don’t think you would need more than a cup to do this.

  18. Hi Sally, do you know if the recipe works with substituting the milk with coconut milk?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Faye, coconut milk (from a carton) should work just fine here. Let us know how you like these!

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