Cape Malay coconut almond date balls

Sweetmeats, not to be confused with sweetbreads, are dainty mouthfuls of deliciousness, made mostly of preserved fruits, biscuits and butter. From there, the road opens to any number of tasty additions, from coconut, dried fruit and nuts. Today we’re making biscuity Cape Malay Coconut Date Balls.

Cape Malay coconut almond date balls

Date balls are perfect for in-between snacks or to serve with after dinner coffees. The sticky texture of Medjool dates help to bind them together. They’re softer and sweeter than dried dates. Unfortunately block-dried dates won’t yield the same fudginess. I’ve added a drizzle of honey and some ground almonds for a nuttier taste. Coated in coconut fluff, these date balls are a delectable anytime treat.

Cape Malay Coconut Date Balls

Makes about 18

250g medjool dates, pitted
15ml honey
20g butter
10ml lemon juice (optional, but just tempers the sweetness)
15ml water
1 egg, lightly whisked
200g coconut biscuits, roughly chopped (Tennis biscuits)
40g ground almonds
desiccated coconut, for finishing

Chop the dates into smallish pieces. Place in a saucepan, along with the honey, butter, lemon juice and water. Stir over a medium heat until the butter is melted and the dates start to break up. Turn the heat off and whisk in the egg. Stir thoroughly and allow the residual heat of the stove to cook the egg.

Add the biscuit pieces and ground almonds. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes before rolling into walnut sized balls and coating with desiccated coconut. Chill for an hour or two until the date balls are cool and firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Everyone loves small, sweet bites. Here are some of my other go to recipes that are quick and easy.

Almond butter and oat snack balls

Cashew and tahini bliss balls



6 Comments. Leave new

  • I’m going to have a go at making them with sugar free coconut biscuits

  • Dianne Bibby
    23 May 2019 4:36 pm

    The dates are lovely and sweet already, so I’m sure you’d hardly miss it. Please let us know how they turn out.

  • Made these today with my 3 year old daughter. So easy and delicious! Thanks for this recipe.

  • Dianne Bibby
    26 July 2019 8:37 pm

    Hi Gina. How lovely to do something like this with your daughter. There’s nothing little hands love more than rolling balls. Thank you for letting me know. You made my day.
    Best regards

  • Sintiche McHaffie
    18 September 2022 7:58 pm

    Love your recipes.. and enjoying your cookbook!!

    Any suggestions replacing the egg – my daughter is allergic to egg.

    Thanks a million


  • Hi Sintiché. So delighted you’re loving the book! Yes, of course. Flax meal is a wonderful alternative, most often used in vegan cooking. To replace one egg, whisk 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons water. It will gel and bind the mixture together. Hope that helps.

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