Coconut Date Balls

Coconut date balls on a small red plate

Christmas cookie season has officially begun! And I am excited to share this one with you. It was one of my favorites of the many cookies my mom used to make every Christmas season. They are unique, old fashioned cookies which are not baked, but cooked on the stovetop. Mom called them “Skillet Cookies” but that seems to refer to a whole different cookie these days. So instead, I am calling these Coconut Date Balls, since dates and coconut are the most prominent tastes in these sweet little treats.

Ingredients needed

  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Dates, diced
  • Butter
  • Rice Krispies cereal
  • Walnuts, chopped
  • Vanilla
  • Shredded coconut

A note about a few of these ingredients. First, the dates. The first time I tracked down my mom’s recipe and tried to make it, I used a package of pre-diced dates. How convenient, right? The cookies turned out great! The first day, that is. The second day, they seemed all. . . dry. Lost all appeal for me. Therefore, I do not recommend using pre-diced dates. Instead, I now use nice juicy Medjool dates. It’s a little more work: each date must be pitted and diced by hand. But it is worth it to get a cookie that is moist and delicious.

Medjool dates whole, pitted, and diced

The coconut was another question for me: sweetened or unsweetened? Mom’s recipe didn’t specify. I’ve made them both ways and it turns out, it really doesn’t matter whether or not the coconut is sweetened. I honestly could not detect a difference in the taste.

And then there are the walnuts. Mom’s recipe actually just said “nuts” but as I recall she considered walnuts a staple for baking. I did make one batch without any nuts at all, as I didn’t have any in the house. They turned out just fine. The taste difference is subtle, and the nuts do provide a little extra crunch. But if nut allergies are an issue, feel free to make these cookies without any. You’ll still enjoy them! 😀

How to make these coconut date cookies

Begin by mixing beaten eggs with sugar and chopped dates. Melt butter in a large skillet and then add the egg mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the cereal, walnuts and vanilla.

Drop teaspoon sized amounts onto wax paper (or similar surface) and allow to cool slightly. Usually by the time I have them all spooned out, the first portions are cool enough to handle. Then, roll each into a ball (about walnut sized) and immediately roll in coconut.

Allow to fully cool, then store in an airtight container.

pin for coconut date balls

Enjoy the goodness of this old fashioned cookie!

coconut date balls on a small red plate
Print Recipe
5 from 19 votes

Coconut Date Balls

A vintage cookie that should not be forgotten!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 36
Calories: 82kcal
Author: Sula


  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c chopped fine dates
  • 2 TB butter
  • 2 c Rice Krispies cereal
  • ½ c chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c shredded coconut


  • Mix eggs, sugar and dates together. In a large skillet, melt 2 TB butter over low heat. Add the egg mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients (except coconut) and mix well.
  • Drop by teaspoon sized amount onto wax paper or similar surface, allow to cool and then roll into balls (about walnut sized) – roll each ball in coconut. (Lightly greased hands help with this step)



Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

If you liked these coconut date balls, try some of these other holiday treats:


20 thoughts on “Coconut Date Balls

  1. 5 stars
    Awww, thanks for sharing this recipe with us, Sula! Sounds like it’s a special one to you. <3 Also, you had me at balls.

  2. 5 stars
    These cookies were so easy to make and everyone in my house LOVED them! I’m glad you mentioned the different types of dates, the Medjool was definitely the way to go.

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