Chocolate oatmeal balls are a Swedish delicacy known as chokladbollar. Imagine no-bake balls that taste like chocolate buttercream, rolled oats and coconut. Because that’s basically what these oat pralines are. Perfect to accompany a cup of coffee, these treats are ready in 10 minutes and can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
What I love the most about classic Swedish sweets is that they are easy and require the most basic kitchen equipment. While more elaborate cakes and pastries also exist, the staples of homemade baking in Sweden are recipes that call for less than 10 ingredients and a couple of utensils max.
You may have read my kladdkaka recipe, the ridiculously delicious gooey chocolate cake that requires 6 ingredients, 30 minutes and only a bowl and a fork to make it. It’s Sweden’s favourite cake, hands down. But what does a Swede choose when a whole slice of cake feels a little too much? The answer is: a chocolate ball (or “coconut ball”).
The Swedish chocolate balls
No-bake chocolate oatmeal balls are known in Swedish as chokladbollar (the singular being chokladboll). Every café that serves kanelbullar will also have chocolate balls. That means you can basically find them pretty much everywhere all over Sweden.
Chocolate balls come with two traditional coatings: shredded coconut or pearl sugar (or sprinkles). Despite being called chocolate balls, these simple oatmeal balls are made with cocoa. The main ingredients are rolled oats and butter. The combination of cocoa, a splash of coffee and vanilla give them the chocolate flavour. When coated in shredded coconut they sometimes go by the name kokosbollar (“coconut balls”, you guessed it).
Chocolate balls are very popular also in Denmark, where they are known as havregrynskugle (which means oatmeal balls). The origin of the recipe is disputed between the two countries, but the pralines taste delicious on both sides of the Øresund Bridge.
Ingredients and substitutions
To make the Swedish chocolate balls you will need the following ingredients:
- Butter – has to be at room temperature. Salted butter is recommended, if using unsalted add a pinch of salt to your ingredient list. Use your favourite vegan butter to make them vegan and dairy free.
- Rolled oats – classic oatmeal material. To make them gluten-free check that the oats are labelled so.
- Powdered sugar – for a smoother texture. If you don’t eat sugar you can sub with a sweetener of choice, as long as you process it to make it powdered.
- Cold coffee – wonderfully highlights the cocoa flavour. It’s in such a tiny amount that these balls are completely okay to eat for children. However you can choose decaf if you prefer.
- Vanilla extract – works with the coffee to deliver a fine chocolate taste.
- Shredded coconut – to toss the balls in. Sub with sugar sprinkles if allergic to coconut.
Please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for detailed quantities and proportions. Read on for step-by-step instructions with pictures.
Chocolate oatmeal balls recipe step by step
- Cream the butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer at medium speed for a couple of minutes. Room temperature butter gets fluffy pretty quickly and powdered sugar combines much quicker than granulated sugar, so you really don’t need to beat this longer than 2 minutes.
- Add the rolled oats, cocoa powder, coffee and vanilla extract and mix again until all is combined, about 1 minute.
- With slightly wet hands divide the mixture into 13 balls, rolling them between the palms of your hands. I weighed mine at 36 g each.
- Pour the shredded coconut into a shallow bowl and toss each ball around in the coconut until coated all over.
- Set the balls on a serving plate and enjoy immediately or place in the fridge to firm up. Handling the chocolate balls in warm temperature may result in rather soft pralines. For a firmer texture, chill 30 minutes (optional).
Storage and serving tips
The easy chocolate oatmeal balls are a great pairing to a cup of coffee. That’s a favourite way of serving them in Sweden – for fika, the coffee break ritual.
Chocolate balls taste their best at room temperature. However, most cafés keep them in the fridge to ensure freshness. While they can be fine at room temperature for a couple of days, refrigerating increases their shelf life. Stored airtight in the fridge, oatmeal balls last for up to two weeks.
They also freeze great. Store your oat balls in the fridge for up to 6 months and thaw them in the fridge. Being made of butter they are rock hard when frozen, so eating them frozen is not recommended.
Take the chocolate balls out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving for the absolute best experience.
You may also like
- Raspberry chocolate balls are a fine flavour variation of this recipe that involves dipping the balls in melted chocolate and finishing them with freeze-dried raspberries.
- Puff pastry cinnamon rolls are a skillet version of the Swedish kanelbulle made with store-bought puff pastry. Another Swedish classic made with minimal kitchen equipment.
- Swedish ginger thins, the Christmas Ikea cookies. Chocolate balls are a very kid-friendly recipe, so here’s another one to keep the little ones entertained in the kitchen.
- Cheesecake swirl kladdkaka – if you already know the classic gooey cake, it’s time to give this cheesecake swirl version a try. It’s ridiculously good.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried my chocolate oatmeal balls and if you like them best chilled or at room temperature! Pin the recipe for later if you can’t make it right now.
Chocolate oatmeal balls with coconut
No-bake oat balls rolled in shredded coconut. An easy Swedish dessert that tastes like chocolate buttercream mixed with oats and coconut.
- 150 g salted butter room temperature
- 200 g rolled oats
- 90 g powdered sugar
- 20 g cocoa powder
- 40 ml coffee cold
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 25 g shredded coconut
- pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
Combine the butter and powdered sugar and cream with a hand mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add the rolled oats, cocoa powder, coffee and vanilla and mix again until combined.
With slightly wet hands divide the mixture into 13 balls, rolling them between the palms of your hands. I weighed mine at 36 g each.
Pour the shredded coconut into a shallow bowl and toss each ball in it until fully coated. Transfer chocolate balls to a serving plate and serve.
- The nutrition information provided is per single ball if making them of the recommended size and is only an estimate.
- Salted butter is recommended as the addition of salt balances in flavour the high sugar content. Add a pinch of salt if using unsalted.
- Chocolate oatmeal balls taste best at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
- If making this recipe in a really hot room temperature you may consider chilling the balls 30 minutes before serving, to firm them up a little.
- Chocolate oatmeal balls are fine to keep at room temperature for a couple of days. Refrigerated they will keep for up to 3 weeks. Freeze up to 6 months. Thaw before consuming.