German Chocolate Cake Energy Bites

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Showing the inner texture of a German chocolate cake energy bite with more bites in a bowl around them

When the craving strikes for German chocolate cake, these chocolaty, coconutty, pecan-filled energy bites come to the rescue fast! They’re rich, decadent, satisfy your sweet tooth, and come together in just 25 minutes with 9 simple ingredients.

They’re a filling snack or treat to enjoy throughout the week or share with friends. Did we mention they’re vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened? Energy bites for all! Let us show you how it’s done!

Vanilla, salt, coconut oil, almond butter, cacao powder, pecans, coconut, dates, and chocolate chips

How to Make German Chocolate Cake Energy Bites

These decadent bites of goodness start with toasting coconut and pecans to bring out their richness and create energy bites with a serious resemblance to German chocolate cake!

Toasted pecans and coconut on a baking sheet

We pulse the toasted pecans and coconut in a food processor, reserving some of the mixture for a pretty garnish and subtle crunch at the end.

Toasted pecans and coconut in a food processor

Then, we get to the really good stuff. Toasted pecans and coconut combine with dates, cacao (or cocoa) powder, vanilla, salt, and almond butter.

Toasted pecans and coconut, dates, cocoa powder, almond butter, vanilla and salt in a food processor

It’s so simple, but the combination tastes like pure magic!

Chocolate energy bite dough in a food processor

We finish off these bites with a melted chocolate + coconut oil “frosting” and sprinkle them with the reserved chopped pecans and coconut.

Drizzling melted chocolate onto energy bites

We hope you LOVE these energy bites! They’re:

Rich
Decadent
Satisfying
Nutty
Chocolaty
& Flawless!

We’re kind of obsessed and think you will be, too! Bring these bite-sized treats to gatherings to share with friends or keep them in the refrigerator or freezer for a little self-care all week (or two) long.

More Energy Bite Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot showing the fudgy texture of a German chocolate cake energy bite

German Chocolate Cake Energy Bites

Rich, satisfying, chocolaty energy bites inspired by German chocolate cake. Just 25 minutes and 9 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of German chocolate cake energy bites
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 14 (energy bites)
Course Dessert/Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup raw pecans
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup packed pitted dates (measured after pitting // medjool are best // if especially dry, see notes)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp creamy almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)

“FROSTING”

  • 1/3 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (we like Enjoy Life)
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Add pecans to a bare baking sheet and toast for 7 minutes. Then add coconut and toast both together for 2-5 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned, watching closely and tossing/stirring after 2 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor and pulse a few times until no large pieces of pecans remain (see photo). In a small bowl, reserve 1/4 cup (30 g) toasted pecans and coconut for coating the exterior of the bites (adjust amount if altering the default number of servings).
  • Pulse the remaining pecans and coconut into a fine meal, then add pitted dates, cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and almond butter. Pulse until the mixture is broken down and crumbly — we like to stop before it becomes completely dough-like so that the bites maintain some texture. It should stick together when pressed between two fingers; if still dry and crumbly, continue processing until it is sticky enough to form into a ball. If too dry, you can add a bit more almond butter — we didn't need any extra, though.
  • Scoop out 1 ½ -Tbsp amounts (we like this scoop) and roll into balls. If making the default number of servings, there should be ~14 balls. Place them on a parchment-lined plate.
  • “FROSTING”: To a small glass or metal bowl, add chocolate chips and coconut oil. Carefully place the bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula or spoon, until melted and no lumps remain — ~5 minutes. You can also melt the chocolate and oil in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave in 20-second increments until melted. Remove chocolate mixture from heat.
  • Drizzle the melted chocolate mixture over the bites, then sprinkle with the reserved pecans and coconut before the chocolate hardens. Enjoy right away or transfer to the fridge until the chocolate has set – about 10-15 minutes.
  • Store leftovers in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*If your dates are especially dry and stiff, soak them in water for a few minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry before use (they shouldn’t be watery when added).
*If you don’t have a food processor, you can try using a blender, but dates can be tough for blenders due to their sticky nature, so use a low speed if possible and pulse rather than blending.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the melted chocolate “frosting.”
*Prep time does not include optional chilling of the bites.

Nutrition (1 of 14 servings)

Serving: 1 energy bite Calories: 164 Carbohydrates: 14.2 g Protein: 2.4 g Fat: 12.5 g Saturated Fat: 4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 44 mg Potassium: 175 mg Fiber: 3.4 g Sugar: 9.9 g Vitamin A: 21 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 30 mg Iron: 1 mg

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  1. Sherri says

    Hey Dana, my friend can’t eat chocolate and I really want to make these for her, do you think I could sub carab

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sherri, that might work, but we haven’t tested it! We’d suggest carob powder for the bites and carob chips for the “frosting”. Let us know if you try it!

  2. Ann says

    One more thing- I love cookbooks and food/recipe blogs and read a lot of them. Minimalist Baker is my first go to if searching for a recipe or inspiration. I probably have made more recipes from this source than any other, and this recipe might be my favorite. (so far!)

  3. Ann says

    This recipe is soooo good. I used my own homemade “nutella” in place of the almond butter. It’s the perfect snack or dessert- healthy enough to be a guilt free pick me up and decadent enough for a sweet treat. It would be good without the frosting if you wanted to make it even healthier. I was dubious because I don’t usually like shredded coconut but it’s caused me to rethink that and opened up a lot of new recipe possibilities for me.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Ann. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  4. Tina says

    I have tried many date-based energy bites and these are the best by a loooong shot. SO SO delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and it is so well balanced. My partner who is usually tough to sell on “healthier options” LOVES these. Have made them several times already for ourselves, or to take to backyard socials, and camping recently too. Thank you for this excellent recipe!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thank you SO much for the lovely review! We’re so glad you and your partner enjoyed them, Tina! xo

  5. KMAC says

    This is soooooooo good! I don’t mean just good, I mean amazing! I followed the recipe exactly except I used peanut butter instead of almond butter bc that’s what I had on hand. I dunked the balls in the chocolate bc it was a little too thick to drizzle. Thanks for sharing this recipe , I’ll definitely be making it again.

  6. Sam says

    I have been making Minimalist Baker recipes for years now, and I’ve always loved how simple and easy-to-follow the recipes are! German Chocolate Cake is one of my favorites, and this recipe is AMAZING. The toasted pecans and coconut really put it over the top. I will definitely be making this again as a healthier treat option when I get those late night cravings for something sweet!

  7. Ariana says

    Oh wow, these are so good! I think the depth of flavor is better than any German chocolate cake I’ve had. Easy and toasting the pecans and coconut takes it to the next level. Super satisfying, thank you for another winning recipe!

  8. Rachael says

    These are too too good! I knew as soon as I saw the recipe that I was in trouble. They taste super naughty, I love that they’re so sneakily wholesome! And one is enough, they are decadent! Thank you for this lovely recipe!!!

  9. Nicole says

    These are amazing! So quick and easy too. I skipped the frosting since I’ll be taking these camping and it’s summer here so I don’t want the bites to end up a melty mess, but the leftover pecan/coconut mixture still stuck to the bites ok without the frosting and they still taste decadent.

  10. Mathilde says

    These were delicious! My whole family loved them, including a picky 4 year old. Pecans are hard to find where we live in Greece, so I substituted with toasted walnuts. Mine were not sticking easily (I probably needed a few more dates) so I melted the chocolate chips (minus the coconut oil) and added them into the recipe instead of the frosting.
    Thank you for another great recipe!

  11. Emily says

    Holy crap! I’m not a huge date ball person because they taste too healthy but these are as good as brownies, for real. I found mine were a bit bitter so I added a Tbsp of honey and they were perfect. My partner and I maybe ate the whole batch in 24 hours so I’m making them again tonight. Will try with 50/50 pecans and walnuts because pecans are expensive.

  12. Sherri says

    Wow, I think I have found my favorite energy bite and that is saying a lot since I’ve loved all of them that I have made . Dana you have done it again.

  13. Suzuki says

    I echo Zopi, UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS!!!
    Seriously, so good – I went a bit low on the dates (trying to be healthier ;) and often find the date flavour a bit overwhelming), so the base tastes nuttier, and the super yummy toasted flavour really stands out. Then the chocolate topping! Only a little bit, but just the right amount. Perfection, for me anyway. Absolute favourite new recipe. Thank you Dana and MB team!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amora, pecans are part of what gives german chocolate cake its classic flavor, but if you’re okay with the taste being different we think walnuts, almonds, or cashews might all be good options. That said, we haven’t tried any of those in this recipe and cannot guarantee results (we’d also suggest skipping the roasting if you give any of them a try). Hope this helps!

  14. LynneyC says

    German Chocolate cake is my favorite! I made these today and they are decadent! Every recipe of yours I have made has been delicious and easy to modify as needed depending on dietary challenges or what I have on hand. I used pecan butter and a combination of Halawy and Khadrawy dates. I’ve been ordering from 7 Hot Dates / Bautista Organic Dates ever since you posted about them! Best. Dates. Ever. Thank you, Dana, for sharing your recipes and for all the time and effort you put into creating and perfecting them!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them. Thank you so much for your kind words and support! xo

  15. Zopi says

    These are unbelievably delicious . Plus they are quick and easy to make as a go-to snack. Love how the ingredients marry each other. I am obsessed with the recipes on your blog Dana and this one is surely a winner, just like so many of your other recipes. Thanks for inspiring so many people with wonderful recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you’re enjoying them Zopi. Thank you so much for your kind words and support! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chantelle, unfortunately dates are pretty important for the right taste and texture here, and we cannot guarantee results without them. You could possibly try using maple syrup if you can have it, or maybe try using more almond butter for added moisture, and sweetening to taste with stevia? You may need to add more of other ingredients as well to achieve the right texture. Hope this helps!

  16. Thaina says

    Thank you for sharing all these amazing recipes, this is my favorite food blog!
    As here in Greece the pecans are not native, and we have plenty of almonds and walnuts, do you think I could use it instead?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Thaina, thank you so much for the support! Walnuts will definitely work in place of the pecans. Hope you enjoy!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Roxanne, do you mean without roasting the pecans and coconut? You can certainly skip that step if you prefer, though it does help enhance the classic flavor of the bites. Hope this helps!