Healthy Vanilla Cake Balls
Published Feb 08, 2017, Updated Feb 13, 2023
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Have your cake and eat it too! These vanilla cake balls are moist, fluffy and taste like cake, but they’re made with healthy ingredients like chickpeas, protein powder and cashew butter. Vegan + gluten-free.
February is a month for celebrations over here. Isaac’s birthday is TODAY! My birthday/Valentine’s Day is next week. And my friend Christal of Nutritionist in the Kitch has a new cookbook coming out this month. Cue all the celebration emojis!!
I was so excited when I received a copy of her cookbook in the mail a couple weeks ago. I mean it’s tilted Energy Balls and full of energy ball recipes… obviously I’m a fan.
A little more about the cookbook — it’s filled with 100 recipes for no-bake balls that are 100% vegan and gluten-free. There are breakfast balls for an energy boost in the morning, lunch-box balls for a mid-day treat, brain-boosting balls with ingredients known to enhance concentration and focus, performance enhancing balls to boost stamina and aid in workout recovery and bedtime balls with ingredients to promote rest and relaxation or boost your libido.
I already have like 10 recipes bookmarked (Peanut butter and Chocolate are calling my name) and the Vanilla Cake balls recipe that I’m sharing today comes directly from the cookbook!
It’s perfect that I’m sharing these Vanilla Cake balls today because the birthday boy LOVES them! It was so funny because the day I made these Isaac came home from work and immediately popped one in his mouth. The whole thing… obviously. And with his mouth completely full he started talking. I could barely make out what he was saying, but finally realized he was asking, “Is there anything healthy about these?” Apparently he thought they tasted too good to be healthy and almost didn’t believe me when I told him they were made with chickpeas and protein powder. Score!
I normally don’t gravitate toward cake batter flavored things, but I really liked these balls too! They kind of remind me of a cake pops, only without the icing. Plus these are packed with good for you ingredients. Plus, eating something with sprinkles is just plain fun.
If you have a celebration coming up OR just want to celebrate your workout with a fun treat.. these balls are for you! I highly recommend making a batch ASAP.
Healthy Vanilla Cake Balls
- 1 1/2 cups [300 g] canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup [60 ml] coconut or agave nectar, I used maple syrup
- 1/4 cup [30 g] vanilla vegan protein powder
- 2 Tablespoons almond flour or meal or ground almonds
- 2 Tablespoons coconut butter
- 2 Tablespoons cashew butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup [80 g] vegan sprinkles or 1/2 cup [50 g] unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Combine the chickpeas, coconut nectar, protein powder, almond flour, coconut butter, cashew butter, vanilla and salt in a food processor and processor for 1 to 2 minutes, until a smooth mass forms. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Spread the sprinkles on a plate.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture and, with clean slightly wet hands, shape the mixture into a ball between your palms. Roll the ball in sprinkles to lightly coat, and set on a separate plate. Repeat with remaining mixture until you have 16 balls slightly smaller than a golf ball.
- Place the balls in the freezer to set for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until required.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Until I saw the ingredients I would never have guessed there were chickpeas in it! What a great idea. I’m thinking of using these in the children’s lunchboxes. Loving those sprinkles on top too!
I just made these but it turned some sort of sweet hummus. The batter is delicious but way to liquid to shape into balls. I’ve added extra almond flour and popped it into the freezer in the hopes that the batter will harden a bit. Suggestions 🙂 ?
hmmm… I wonder why that happened? Maybe the chickpeas had too much water left on them? I hope the extra almond flour and putting them in the freezer helped them to harden up. Let me know! 🙂
what can be substituted for the chickpeas?
These look great. I love all those ingredients. I saw that comment from someone who was complaining about them but in our family we eat a balance of foods. These are good as treats with good ingredients. I’m going to make them and let my kids eat them too.
Amazing. I tried making them into cake pops by putting them on the stick and covering them with vegan white ? but it didn’t go well. Don’t try this at home people ? They’re too heavy and the whole chocolate thing was a mess cause the one I tries doesn’t melt well and takes forever to set again. I had to cover them with it then run to the fridge and pit them in otherwise the whole chocolate would drip everywhere and they would coome of of the stick. All in all, a big mess, but as energy balls they’re perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing ?
Oh no!!! I’m so sorry they didn’t work as cake pops for you! I’m glad you liked them as energy balls though. 🙂
These protein balls are amazing! I love how the recipe uses chickpeas! Taste just like I’m eating a vanilla cake! I used toasted coconut colored clean food dye for the sprinkles! (I unfortunately couldn’t find any clean sprinkles on the market) but think the toasted coconut flakes turns out well!!
Yay!! I’m so pumped this vanilla cake balls were a hit, Taylor! Thanks for the review 🙂
I made these for a friends birthday and he LOVED them! I love that they’re made with chickpeas and packed with protein!
Is there a sub for the coconut butter?
Hi Annie – I would recommend adding additional cashew butters 2 Tablespoons. Let me know how you enjoy this recipe and how it works out for you!
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