maltese coconut ball recipe made healthy

Chocolate Coconut Balls – The Best Healthy Recipe

I don’t know who invented chocolate coconut balls, but I guess we can all agree that whoever did is a total legend! According to wikipedia these coconut candy balls can be credited to the Scandinavians, they seem to have originated in Denmark.

As with countless other recipes, the Maltese just love giving recipes their own twist. And these no bake coconut balls are no exception! We usually eat more of these around Christmas, along with Baci and Christmas Log. Nevertheless, they’re very popular options to bring over to parties and BBQs, since it’s such an easy recipe to make. 

Delicious maltese chocolate coconut balls

How to make chocolate coconut balls the Maltese way

The Maltese coconut balls recipe is definitely one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Apart from the usual desiccated coconuts and dark chocolate cocoa powder, we use two secret ingredients.  Crushed biscuits and sweetened condensed milk.

The Maltese version is not like coconut snowballs. These treats are dense, rich, chocolatey and satisfying. 

It’s not surprising that the Maltese coconut balls come out so great, given the amount of refined sugar found in sweetened condensed milk right? As a kid, I used to love hanging around the kitchen when my mum was baking sweets. Especially when she was making something with sweetened condensed milk. 

That’s because I used to steal spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk straight out of the can. Am I the only one who did that? 😂

hand holding a bitten chocolate coconut ball

Nowadays I’ve cut out that habit and don’t really stock up on sweetened condensed milk anymore. I’ve since learnt how to make sweets using much healthier alternatives. 

For this recipe, I did retain the biscuits though, since they’re a key ingredient for the Maltese no bake chocolate coconut balls. Nevertheless, I went for a sugar-free option. 

When I created this recipe, my intention was to get the taste as close to the Maltese version as possible, while using cleaner ingredients. Meaning there is an element of compromise and they’re not the holiest of treats to feast on. But on the plus side, you’ll never even realize that the coconut bites you’re stuffing your face in are actually a healthier alternative. 

If you want to omit the biscuits completely, you can replace these with a crunchy cereal for a ‘close enough’ result. 

Healthy chocolate coconut balls

How to make coconut balls without condensed milk – the healthy way

These healthy coconut balls really couldn’t be any easier to make! You basically crush the biscuits and oats, using a food processor. You then add shredded coconuts, cocoa powder, dried fruits and date syrup and pulse a little more. Finally, you add the coconut oil, melted coconut butter and vanilla essence and mix well to achieve a dough consistency. 

If your mixture is still a bit crumbly, you can use unsweetened coconut milk to bring everything together nicely. 

The magic ingredient replacing sweetened condensed milk in these easy coconut balls is coconut butter. The consistency is identical to that of sweetened condensed milk. It’s creamy, rich and subtly sweet. 

This gorgeous ingredient is made from the meat of the coconuts. You’ll find it sold in most health shops as a solid block. You then melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it creamy. 

A bite out of a healthy chocolate coconut ball

The sweetness in these healthy balls comes from dried fruits and date syrup instead of refined sugar. I opted for sultanas this time round, since I use medjool dates in most of my other recipes anyway. You can always make date and coconut balls though by simply switching sultanas to dates if you prefer.  

This recipe will work with any dried fruits of your choice, as long as they have a sticky consistency that will hold the mixture together. Just make sure the dried fruits you choose don’t have an overpowering flavor. Medjool dates, juicy raisins, figs and papaya all work well.  

The other sweetener in this recipe is date syrup. Ever since I discovered this liquid sweetener, it has become my go to! 

Although date syrup has a low GI, it is not calorie free sweetener. I do suggest using it sparingly, mixed with dried fruits or other low calorie sweeteners. Nevertheless, it packs in significantly more minerals than other sweeteners and is one of the least processed syrups on the market. 

The syrup is made by heating dates in water, blending them, and then evaporating the water so you’re left with just the date nectar. This process ensures the vitamins and minerals present in the dates are still intact. 

Don’t worry If you don’t happen to have date syrup at hand, you can always use maple syrup, agave or another alternative. 

If you prefer coconut date balls that are really bursting with coconut flavor, you can add some coconut extract. If healthy chocolate balls are more your kind of thing, use a strong flavoured dark chocolate cocoa powder for an extra chocolate kick. 

Maltese style chocolate coconut balls

How to make healthy coconut balls without a food processor

If you don’t have a food processor I honestly suggest buying one. It saves you so much time during food preparation and is an incredibly versatile kitchen tool. 

If you want to make these healthy coconut balls without a food processor, you can crush the biscuits by hand using a rolling pin. You’ll also need to replace the dried fruits with either powdered sweetener or more date syrup. They won’t be as clean but at least you can make them anyway. 

If you love easy no bake desserts, you’ll probably also enjoy these other healthy recipes!

maltese coconut ball recipe made healthy

Chocolate Coconut Balls – The Maltese Way

Geraldine Bartolo
 If you’ve never tried chocolate coconut balls done the Maltese way, you’re seriously missing out! This secretly healthy recipe has your chocolate cravings covered.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Christmas, european, Maltese, scandinavian
Servings 38 balls
Calories 90 kcal


  • Food Processor


  • 220 g Sugar Free Biscuits
  • 75 g Oats
  • 30 g Cocoa Powder
  • 150 g Desiccated Coconuts set aside 50g for coating
  • 75 g Juicy Raisins or sultanas
  • 75 g Date Syrup
  • 120 g Coconut Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 3 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Milk – the carton type if needed


  • Add biscuits and oats to your food processor and blitz until you have a flour consistency
  • Add in cocoa, coconuts, and sultanas and process until well blended
  • Mix in date syrup, vanilla essence and melted coconut butter and process until the mixture reaches the consistency of wet sand
  • Transfer your ingredients to a mixing bowl, mix in coconut oil and stir to form the consistency of a crumbly dough
  • If the mixture is still crumbly, add a few tablespoons of unsweetened coconut milk until you can easily form balls. Add a little at a time so your mixture won't become too watery.
  • Coat your coconut balls in desiccated coconuts and refrigerate for a couple of hours


If you use My Fitness Pal to log your food, you can find this recipe listed on the database as ‘The Healthy Malteser Coconut Balls’.

Have you tried this recipe? Leave a review below and tag @thehealthymalteser on Instagram to show us your creation! 🙂

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