Hazelnut Chocolate Balls (Copycat Ferrero Rocher)

Homemade hazelnut chocolate balls are made with only six real-food ingredients — hazelnuts, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, sea salt and diary-free mini chocolate chips. They taste like Ferrero Rocher candies but are healthy, gluten-free as well as vegan and paleo friendly. 

Ohh man. I don’t know if you’re ready for these chocolate hazelnut bites. They’re my take on homemade Ferrero Rocher (aka one of my favorite candies growing up).

Homemade chocolate hazelnut energy bite in front with additional energy bites in the background on a white plate.

Do you have a sweet tooth? I feel like I do, but in phases. Sometimes I need to finish off every meal with something sweet, and other times I can go a couple of weeks without even craving dessert. Whenever I realize I’m a little too hooked on sweets, I try to make the conscious choice to get back to naturally sweetened foods (instead of ultra-processed treats).

My favorite natural sweeteners:

  • Maple syrup: there is something so comforting about maple syrup. I love the unique flavor it brings to dishes… especially these chocolate hazelnut bites! It’s the perfect complement to the nuts and chocolate. (Just make sure that the maple syrup you purchase is high-grade and pure – not loaded with added, unnecessary ingredients!)

  • Honey: honey is my homegirl. In my opinion, honey is a super versatile sweetener even though it also has a unique flavor. I love sweetening my salad dressings with honey, using it in smoothies if I need a little added sweetness, and it’s also my go-to in a lot of energy ball recipes!

  • Stevia: I love adding stevia to my apple cider vinegar detox drinks to balance out the tart/bitterness of the vinegar. You don’t need much stevia to sweeten — a little goes a long way!

  • Medjool dates: I call these nature’s candy because they are so sweet and yummy, especially when trying to cut back on processed sugar. I love eating a single date topped with nut butter for a treat, or using them when I’m making smoothies and energy balls!

Overhead shot of homemade chocolate hazelnut energy bites on a white plate with hazelnuts around the plate.

So many recipes can be sweetened with any of those four —  if you’re more of a maple syrup fan than honey, you can easily sweeten with maple syrup and visa versa. Baking with natural sugars gets a little more tricky, but almost every recipe you’ll find here on EBF is sweetened with a natural sweetener because I try to avoid using white sugar.

Homemade chocolate hazelnut energy bite in front, chopped in half to show the hazelnut in the center of the bite.

Back to these delicious, naturally sweet chocolate hazelnut energy bites. They are extremely easy to make and will be a crowd pleaser… guaranteed. All you need is a food processor (affiliate link) and you’ll have this treat made in no time!

Homemade chocolate hazelnut energy bite being held by a woman's hand.

I’ve made several batches over the past few weeks and everyone has been raving about how much they like them and how much they taste like the Ferrero Rocher candies. Some taste-testers have even said that they like them better than the real deal candies. Go figure! 🙂

Homemade chocolate hazelnut energy bite in front with additional energy bites in the background on a white plate.

If you make these chocolate hazelnut energy bites, be sure to leave a comment and star rating letting me know how they turn out. Your feedback is so helpful! 


Hazelnut chocolate balls


Hazelnut chocolate balls are made with only six real food ingredients. They taste like Ferrero Rocher candies but are healthy, gluten-free and vegan. 


  • 1 cup + 12 individual hazelnuts, raw or toasted
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon diary-free mini chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks (optional)


  1. Add 1 cup hazelnuts into a food processor (affiliate link) fitted with the S-blade and process until hazelnuts are chopped into small pieces. Add cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt and chocolate (if using) into the processor and pulse a few more times, until the ingredients start to stick together. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time until the mixture holds together well enough to be formed into balls. Be sure not to add too much water.
  2. Roll mixture into bite-size balls and insert one hazelnut into the center of each, forming the ball around it. This step is totally optional, but makes the bites more like the traditional Ferrero Rocher.
  3. Chop remaining 4 hazelnuts into tiny pieces. Roll each ball in the mixture to coat the outside. Enjoy energy bites right away and/or store remaining bites in the fridge for later.
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • Serving Size: 1 energy bite
  • Calories: 151
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 29mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: chocolate hazelnut energy bites, healthy Ferrero Rocher

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  1. These are delicious! The chocolate flavor came through very well (I did use the optional mini chocolate chips). I also loved the nut bits and the whole nut in the center–I would recommend toasting them, as they add to the nutty flavor. I did not coat the balls in nut pieces this time, and they were still wonderful without them!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Shirley!! Thanks for sharing your note about toasting the hazelnut and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It’s super helpful to other readers, so I appreciate it. <3

    • I haven’t ever tried them without the maple syrup and I’m not sure it’s the best idea because the syrup does help the balls stick together. Let me know if you experiment and try it!

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