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Coconut balls are always popular amongst young and old.

Today we share the traditional Scandinavian recipe for Coconut Balls. And then, some twists from across the world.

But first, the promised recipe, which is super quick and easy. If you have young children at home, this is the perfect time for a bit of bonding in the kitchen. They get to work with their hands (no electrical appliances needed), and it’s fun.


Jani Larsen

Coconut balls have evolved over the centuries with a few surprises on the inside. Yet, the classic coconut balls remain a winner all over the world! The traditional basic recipe:

The Classic Recipe!

Coconut balls recipe travelandhome classic recipe

COURSE: Dessert

TIME: 30 mins

Jani Larsen


  • ½ cup Butter
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder Unsweetened
  • Grated Coconut
  • 2 tbsp Strong Coffee
  • 3 cups Oatmeal
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Sugar


  1. Refrigerate the coffee so it is cold.
  2. Soften the butter.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl except for the butter and coffee.
  4. Add the butter and mix well until. The result should be a crumbly dough.
  5. Finally, for the dough to come together, you add the coffee and mix well.
  6. Now it’s time to make 25 balls from the mixture.
  7. Roll every ball in the grated coconut.

Chef Secrets!

A good idea is to put the mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It makes it easier to roll the balls to size.

It also tastes so much nicer when kept in the fridge:  Especially during summer or in a warm climate.

Chokladbolles Dag

The 11th of May is a very important day in Sweden for those with a sweet tooth. This is the one day in the year when they can eat at many Coconut Balls as they wish! The Swedes devoted this one day, every year, to making and eating loads of chocolate balls. Or as it is known in Sweden, “chokladbollar” (pronounced “hoclabollah”).


The origin of Coconut Balls

This delicious Nordic cuisine dates back to World War II in 1943. The first publication with the recipe was the  “Svenska Dagbladet”, in Sweden. Shortly thereafter, a similar recipe was published in Denmark. The book was called “Ingenuity in times of crisis”.


The Hungarian twist

Hungarians swopped the oatmeal for cookie crumbs (the Dutch do the same). The ingredients are slightly different in that they also use grated dark chocolate, coconut flakes, and powdered sugar.

Use the same method as above, but with the following ingredients.

  • 120 g softened butter
  • 50 g dark chocolate, grated into very small pieces
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 330 g cookie crumbs, crushed to a fine powder
  • 100 ml milk
  • 20 g powdered sugar

In addition to the above, the Hungarians have another twist. Their “Kókuszgoly” are small rum balls rolled in sugar and the oats are replaced by nuts and raisins.


More twists from across the world

Israel uses cookie crumbs instead of oatmeal. In Hebrew, a chocolate ball is called  “kadur shokolad” ( כדור ).

The traditional Brazilian version does not use either oatmeal or cookie crumbs. They have condensed milk in their recipe and it is called “Brigadeiros”.

Denmark also added the rum twist to their Coconut Balls and it is called “Romkugle”, “Trøffel” or “Sputnik”. They too use crumbed cookies instead of oatmeal. You’ll get about 8 rum balls from the following mixture.

  • 500 g finely crushed cookies
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 tbsp rum essence/aroma
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder