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 (31g) 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. This recipe is so darn easy Sally! Need to give it a try 🙂
    I am hosting Christmas this year aswell 🙂
    Nothing beats having good food and family around this time of the year x

  2. Esther Longchar says:

    Is the shredded coconut you use the same as desiccated coconut? or is it fresh? If I use freshly shredded coconut, do I add sugar according to my taste?

    1. Hi Esther! This is a great question. The coconut I use is sweetened shredded and it retains a lot more moisture than desiccated coconut. I do not recommend fresh. Use sweetened shredded.

  3. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    I love that these are no bake. So while the oven is baking other cookies, I can make these at the same time. Plus, I already have all the ingredients which makes it all the better. How is the texture of these? Are they more fudgey or can you taste the oats?

    1. Hey Andrea! You can definitely taste the oats. They’re like no-bake oatmeal cookies. Sort of fudgy, but very chewy!

  4. This looks like swedish “Chokladbollar”, kind of the first thing we learn how to bake in Sweden.
    But we just mix butter (don’t melt it) with oats, sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract and cold coffee. And then you make them in to balls and coat them in coconut. You should try it Sally, I think you would love it 🙂

    1. I like the sound of these. I love coffee. I love foreign cookie recipes. So what is your coffee, chocolate recipe?

    2. Ahhh I WOULD LOOOOOVE to try that!!! 

  5. Thank you for making it nut-free! I’m allergic and hardly ever get to make/eat “no-bake” goodies. Can’t wait to try these!

    1. Awesome. I hope you love them!

  6. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    No bake cookies are some of my favorites!  Every year my husband and I spend one evening making cookies, usually from dough I’ve previously made.  And that means we eat cookies for dinner that night, hehe

  7. These look awesome! What would I be able to use instead of coconut?

    1. I suggest making my no-bake chocolate pb cookies instead 🙂

  8. Hi Sally, I’m absolutely with you on the choice of venue for christmas: the year we had our firstborn we decided to celebrate at our place and it’s become a tradition by now. I love to stay at my own home, having everything for the kids the way they (and I!) are used to – the festivities are exciting enough… And of course, every guest wants to help the “young family”, so we usually get lots of cookies, dessert and other additions to our festive meals and we don’t feel overly stressed with feeding a crowd. So, I think you made a very good choice!
    Concerning today’s recipe: do you think coconut oil would work in these instead of butter? Thanks in advance 🙂 Sina

    1. Thanks Sina, I completely agree. Plus, it’s always nice to spend such a special day in your own home. I can’t wait!

      Coconut oil will work, though the mixture may be a little oily as you roll them. And, obviously, you will lose the butter flavor. Let me know how they are! 

  9. Another easy one – wonderful!! These are very similar to my Great Grandma’s no-bake recipe. I love your Cookie Palooza! Now to find time to bake all of these 😉

  10. Yehoshua Paul says:

    This is such an Israeli recipe!
    Everyone here knows how to make it. I did it as an activity for my son’s birthday party in kindergarten.
    The only difference between your recipe and the Israeli one is that instead of oats people here use crushed biscuits.

    1. Yum! I might try the biscuits in this recipe as well. Thanks for the suggestion!

    2. I bet the texture in the Israeli version is incredible!

  11. Hi Sally! Thanks for this recipe. I’m not a fan of coconut, can I simply leave it out?

    1. Hi Laila! I suggest making my no-bake cookies instead 🙂

  12. Barbara Carter says:

    Oh my! These are being added to the list of cookies to be made. One of my favorite parts of Christmas!

  13. My daughter is GF, and it is often difficult to find cookie recipes she can enjoy.  This looks so delicious and perfect for her! Can’t wait to try it!

  14. Hi Sally,
    This recipe looks and sounds delicious to me! A definite addition to our holiday eats. And this is gluten-free, too, I believe. At least my boss says she can eat it . . . another win for me. ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. Yes! Use certified GF oats to ensure they are GF 🙂

  15. These look delicious and couldn’t be easier! Will definitely be trying these!! Thank you!

  16. Hi I was wondering if I could add some rum to this recipe? How would I adjust the other ingredients?

    1. Hi Dolly! I suggest making my rum truffles. You can roll those in coconut!

      1. Dolly Bernard says:

        Thank you

  17. ….or, instead of peanut butter, how about some cookie butter?! lol! 😉 We are all clearly obsessed in your FB group. ha ha!

    1. HAHAHA yes!!

  18. Thanks for this recipe. I lost my copy for it and was just about to start the search for it and now I don’t have to. However, my family doesn’t roll into balls. We drop them by spoonfuls and call them “cow pies” lol. 

  19. This is definitely on my list for a fun holiday snack! I was wondering though- do you think I could pack some of the truffle dough (with the shredded coconut) into a pie pan and cut it into slices after it’s been chilled? Do you think it’ll hold okay? Thanks so much! 

    1. I can’t see why not! It *should* hold ok. But honestly, rolling into balls isn’t too tricky. Not sure if that is what is keeping you from doing it that way.

  20. Catherine Smith says:

    I would love LOVE to see a post about your Christmas meal plan! What will you be cooking? Anything we can prep for now and freeze (dinner rolls, etc)?

    1. I will share it when I have it all figured out! 🙂

  21. This almost sounds like a amped up better version of Preacher Cookies that I grew up with. How cool. Hmm i think i see these in our near future. Thanks again for all of your hard labor. Merry Christmas. And give your precious bundle of joy a hug for me.

    1. Will do! 🙂

  22. I can’t believe it’s so simple!

  23. Thanks Sally, these sound great! Can’t wait to try 🙂 

  24. I was wondering if you think this would work with coconut oil and non-dairy milk, instead of butter and milk? Thanks.

    1. Coconut oil and a non-dairy milk can work, but the coconut oil may make the mixture a little too oily and hard to work with. But let me know how they turn out!

  25. I love an easy recipe like this, when so many Christmas cookies can get a little complicated and time consuming. And I have a question – what type of salt do you use in your cookies? Iodized table salt, kosher salt, sea salt?

    1. Hey Debbie! I use kosher salt in most of my baking. Either that or regular table salt. If a recipe specifically calls for sea salt, that’s what I use 🙂

  26. Sylvie the French says:

    Thank you for your good mood and your sense of humor, it’s always a pleasure to read you.
    This year, I’m hosting Christmas and New Year Eve at home ( I’m a little crazy because I work ). So, I’m going to follow your tips and try your recipes.
    And, I’m going to make your sugar cookies, RDV on Instagram if I succeed.
    It’s a very good idea to celebrate the first Christmas of your lovely baby at home.

  27. It is so cool to see this recipe here! Snowballs are a traditional christmas cookie in Newfoundland, Canada (where i’m originally from). I grew up eating these at relatives houses and now make them every year. It’s not Christmas without snowballs! I still have to make them for this year. This recipe is so similar to mine but I use brown sugar instead of white in mine.

    1. Ahhhh I need to try them with brown sugar!

  28. These look delicious! And trust me, hosting holidays at your house is SO MUCH EASIER, we try to do it whenever possible! Being able to put babies down for naps and not have to pack half the house is just so much more convenient, plus we find we can enjoy a longer day with our family than if we had trekked with the kids, so good choice! You’ll have a great day! 🙂

    1. That’s all so true. And I’m REALLY looking forward to it all. I know your holidays will be extra special this year as you await the arrival of your 3rd! <3

  29. Can’t wait to see your little one pick-up your spatula and whisk and join you in the kitchen 🙂
    No-bakes are definitely a must for holiday menus especially it gets a lot busier during those times. Thanks for sharing the peanut butter option too!

    1. Agreed! No-bake options like this are a relief after all the cookie BAKING!

  30. These look so yummy and fun! I’m totally making these for neighbor gifts this year!


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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally