Chocolate Hazelnut Balls (Copycat Ferrero Rocher)

Homemade chocolate hazelnut balls made with only six real-food ingredients. They taste like Ferrero Rocher candies but are healthier, gluten-free, vegan and paleo-friendly.

Ohh man. I don’t know if you’re ready for these chocolate hazelnut balls. They’re my take on homemade Ferrero Rocher (aka one of my favorite candies growing up). They’re such an easy dessert to make and are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

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

Ferrero Rocher Made Healthier

Store-bought Ferrero Rocher are delicious, but they’re made with some not-so-healthy-for-you ingredients like milk chocolate, white sugar and palm oil. In true EBF fashion, I decided to make a homemade version that’s sweetened with just a touch of pure maple syrup (and chocolate chips if you use them) and made with only SIX real-food ingredients. They taste just like the real deal… some taste-testers have even said that they like them better than the original candies. Go figure! 🙂

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

Chocolate Hazelnut Balls Ingredients:

You only need six simple ingredients to make this tasty treat:

  • hazelnuts
  • cacao or cocoa powder
  • maple syrup – you can swap in honey if you don’t need these balls to be vegan.
  • vanilla extract
  • sea salt
  • chocolate chips – using Lily’s dark chocolate chips keeps this recipe low in sugar and dairy-free.

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

How to Make Chocolate Hazelnut Balls

Chop hazelnuts – add 1 cup hazelnuts into a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process until hazelnuts are chopped into small pieces.

Combine ingredients – 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.

Form into balls – 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.

Coat balls with hazelnuts – 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.

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

How to Store Chocolate Hazelnut Balls

Store chocolate hazelnut balls in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you store them in the freezer, make sure to let them thaw a bit before eating otherwise they’ll probably be too hard.

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

More Healthy No Bake Treats:

If you make these chocolate hazelnut balls please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how they turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.

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

Chocolate hazelnut balls


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Chocolate hazelnut balls made with only six real food ingredients. They taste like Ferrero Rocher candies but are healthier, gluten-free and vegan. 


Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Add 1 cup hazelnuts into a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process until hazelnuts are chopped into small pieces.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Nutrition

  • 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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Recipe rating

    10 comments
    1. Alan
      October 7, 2020 AT 7:50 pm

      It looks so yummy… thanks for sharing the recipe

    2. Ritu
      July 5, 2020 AT 2:24 am

      Hi! I made these truffles, they turned out amazing but why are my truffle balls leaving oil?

    3. Shirley A Torrence
      May 18, 2020 AT 3:48 pm

      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!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 18, 2020 AT 10:58 pm

        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

    4. Lea
      June 24, 2019 AT 10:25 pm

      Can this be made sugar free with either Splenda or stevia

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 25, 2019 AT 12:21 pm

        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!

    5. Rachel Fortnum
      January 16, 2019 AT 3:56 pm

      These look great! I’m doing the Whole 30 & wondering if I were to sub dates how many would you suggest?

    6. Rosalie
      July 2, 2018 AT 8:08 pm

      Sounds yummy. If I use dates, how many would I need?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 16, 2019 AT 5:02 pm

        Hi Rosalie. I think I’d start with 1-2 dates! Let me know how they turn out! 🙂

    7. Brittany Audra @ Audra’s Appetite
      June 24, 2018 AT 11:22 pm

      Ahh so excited to try these!! I love energy bites and can’t wait to try this version…love how fancy they look with the whole hazelnut in the middle 🙂

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