No-Bake Vanilla Cake Bites

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Bowl of our fluffy gluten-free vegan No Bake Vanilla Cake Bites

Have you ever tasted something so delicious it sent you straight back to your childhood or reminded you of an entirely different dish?

This was my exact experience when I popped one of these energy bites into my mouth. I thought, “Wow, this tastes like cake batter – like vanilla cake!” And thus, these vanilla cake bites were born.

These aren’t your average cake bites. They’re made with 6 wholesome ingredients and are oil-free, grain-free, and refined-sugar free!

Yep, exciting stuff. Let’s get started!

Food processor with ingredients for making our No Bake Vanilla Cake Bites recipe

The base of this recipe is dates, which are blended into a sticky ball and then set aside. Next come your dry ingredients: walnuts, coconut flour, and almond flour.

Pulse into a meal and then add your dates back in. Before you know it, you have cake batter on your hands (you know, healthy cake batter).

Food processor with freshly pulsed batter for our No Bake Vanilla Cake Bites recipe

All that’s left to do is scoop, roll into balls, and indulge. You can also choose to leave them unrolled for a more rustic “cookie dough” vibe.

Either leave plain or roll in coconut flakes for the ultimate healthier treat. Personally, we loved the addition of coconut and highly recommend it!

Placing a No Bake Vanilla Cake Bite coated with shredded coconut onto a cutting board

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

Naturally sweet
So satisfying
Easy to make
& Super delicious

These would make the perfect snack or healthier dessert! We loved enjoying a couple midafternoon with some tea or golden milk. Swoon.

For more energy bites, check out our No-Bake PB & J Energy Bites, Peanut Butter Cup Energy Bites, Dark Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites, and Mango Energy Bites!

If you try these cake bites, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of our delicious date-sweetened vegan No Bake Vanilla Cake Bites

No-Bake Vanilla Cake Bites

Energy-packed date and walnut cake bites infused with vanilla and coconut. The result is an easy-to-make, tender snack bite that tastes like vanilla cake! Just 6 ingredients and 1 food processor required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Setting a Vanilla Cake Bite covered in coconut onto a wood cutting board
4.75 from 96 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16 (bites)
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week


  • 1 1/4 cups packed pitted medjool dates (measured after pits removed)
  • 1 1/4 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 cup almond flour (or sub almond meal, but the cake flavor is more pronounced with flour)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour (or sub more almond flour)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract*
  • Finely shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)


  • Add pitted dates to a food processor and mix until small bits remain or a ball forms. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  • To the food processor, add the walnuts, almond flour, coconut flour, and sea salt. Blend until a semi-fine meal is achieved. Add dates back in (in bite-sized pieces) as well as the vanilla extract. Pulse until a loose dough forms. Be careful not to over-blend. You’re looking for a pliable dough, not a purée.
  • Scoop out 2-Tablespoon amounts using a cookie scooper (like this one) and roll into balls with hands or release lever on scoop and place directly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all dough is used up. 
  • Roll in finely shredded coconut or leave as is. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month. You could also press the “dough” into a loaf or 8×8-inch cake pan and slice into bars.



*Can sub 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or paste per 2 tsp vanilla extract.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 16 bites without optional ingredient.
*Recipe inspired by my girl Shut the Kale Up and adapted from the lovely Alison Wu’s Walnut Cardamom Bliss Balls.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 cake bite Calories: 148 Carbohydrates: 15 g Protein: 3.3 g Fat: 8.9 g Saturated Fat: 1.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 11.8 mg Fiber: 3.1 g Sugar: 10.9 g

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My Rating:

  1. Charlene says

    Was having a “I need something sweet/carb-y but fairly healthy NOW” moment. Oh-and GF/dairy free….MB to the rescue! All my dates had been made into caramel (dates pureed with bit of coconut milk and splash of vanilla). So switched recipe measurements to metric and used that amount of date caramel to sub for dates. It came together beautifully, dipped them in some DF melted choc chips-heaven! Craving satisfied, quick and easy! The rest are chillin’ in the freezer for future such moments! Thank you MB from the bottom of my heart! ;-)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad this recipe hit the spot, Charlene! Thank you for your kind words and lovely review! xo

  2. Lau says

    Made this today. The flavor was very nice, but it didn’t come together for me. The mixture remained somewhat dry and crumbly. Not sure what the issue was. The dates I used were new- sticky not dry. I added some avocado oil to try and help it bind, but when I tried to roll it into balls it would just crumble. I pressed it into an 8 inch glass dish and just cut small squares to serve.
    Anything I can do next time to help it form into a loose dough?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that happened, Lau! We would suggest trying with less coconut flour next time. Sound brands are more drying than others! Or you could add a little cashew butter to help it come together. Hope that helps!

  3. Elsie says

    I would like to use this recipe for the Super Bowl this weekend. I have been unable to find coconut flour locally so am wondering if I could grind desiccated shredded coconut in my Vitamix blender and use that instead. Thank you.

  4. Kim says

    Simple, easy, and not too sweet! I wanted a lightly sweet treat as a snack and had the most of the ingredients on hand, so I really appreciated the simplicity of this recipe! Think of them as that – a lightly sweet snack, not a sweet fluffy cake ball. The texture is denser than most cakes, but still great!

    I didn’t have walnuts so I used whatever I had on hand – raw pecans and slivered almonds. I rolled a few in sprinkles, and will probably try dipping some in royal icing later to make them a little more decadent.

  5. Mel says

    This recipe is wonderful! Just did a second time today and I gotta say it’s completely addictive! Just a quick troubleshooting: I ran into a problem as the dates I use are too dry, so the texture stayed as “wet sand” even after mixing all ingredients. The solution for this is adding 1tsp coconut oil and ~ 1tbs water. Thanks ;)

  6. Paula says

    I love this recipe! I’ve done it several times. My favorite variation of it was to make it with dried figs instead of dates (because I had some extra) and it turned out super delicious too!

  7. Juanelle says

    I made these and they were so very yummy. I love not adding any sugar. I didn’t roll in coconut as I don’t like it much to my husband’s dismay. But hey what he doesn’t know want hurt him right? We are cyclist and I am always looking for small packable snacks. These will be perfect, well when all of this snow melts. Thanks!!

    • Mikaela says

      These are insanely good. My hubby who lives for treats with refined sugar thought they were delish. Just made a batch with some sprinkles for a birthday treat and they were such a hit! Thank you once again for another gem of a recipe.

  8. Larissa says

    When I made them again I used a new package of dates – I think that’s the trick, make sure the dates of super fresh! thanks!

  9. Larissa says

    Has anyone tried using cashews instead of walnuts or perhaps pecans? I have a friend who has severe allergy to walnuts and I’d like to be able to make these to share, but need to sub the kind of nuts. TIA :)

  10. Larissa says

    I love these! They were a little crumbly, but once warmed a bit in my hand and then refrigerated they held together. The coconut flakes didn’t really stick though. But they’re a favorite for me!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Larissa! Thank you for sharing! Were your dates fresh and sticky? That should help them hold together and help the coconut stick.

  11. Cheryl Chua says

    hi there! can i check if the metric and customary measurements are accurate? some of your recipes show 1 cup dates to be 200g, so for this recipe, 2 1/4 cup cant be 250g?


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cheryl, yes, the metrics are correct! 1 1/4 cups = 250 grams. We wonder if perhaps you adjusted the batch size and the measurements adjusted?

  12. Thelma says

    While I LOVE most everything I’ve made from, I didn’t love these. I used all almond flour as the recipe says that’s ok (I don’t have coconut flour), but they just didn’t hold together very well….meaning they don’t hold their shape as well as other energy balls.
    I did add some fresh orange zest to the last few, which was a nice add. Without that, the flavour was very mild. I might suggest a bit more vanilla extract? Or maybe even some dried cherries! Oooh!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Thelma, we’re so sorry to hear this one didn’t turn out well for you! Were your dates fresh and sticky? That’s what helps these bites bind. Your additions sound lovely!

      • Thelma says

        Hi there! Yup I bought them yesterday. I think they’re just a different texture since they use flour, and they’re not technically an “energy bite”, they’re a “cake bite”. So this is on me, haha. I think I just prefer the texture of the bites you’ve got on your site that don’t have flour. Thanks hat being said, I’ve made several of your recipes and I’m a big fan! 😋

          • Thelma says

            If you’d like to delete this thread, please do so and I can write a better review keeping in mind these are CAKE bites haha.

  13. Vic says

    Like others stated, this recipe resulted in dry crumbles for me. I made 3 different date ball recipes (from this site) in the same afternoon, using the same dates and this is the only one that had a consistency problem. I ended up adding an extra tsp of vanilla, then 1 TBSP of water so I could form balls. In the end, they tasted really good but we’re still a bit crumbly.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Vic! We’re thinking maybe we were using extra sticky/fresh dates when we made this one or different brands of coconut flour vary in absorbency. But to confirm, you were using the US customary (not metric) measurements? We’ll see if we can make improvements!

  14. Hailey says

    The mixture was too dry and crumble. Used the metric measurements. I had some trouble. I started off using a glass blender, the dates were too difficult for it to blend so it burnt out. I ordered a new one. I transferred it to the food processor which found it difficult too but handled well. I put it aside. I used ground almonds for almond flour, teff flour in place of the coconut flour. And carried on. But it kept getting finer but not stickier. I added more dates (not sure what to do) and although it looked better it still was really crumbly. We ate some of the mixture to try it and the rest I’ve pressed into 8×8 cake tin and into the freezer. (Didn’t no what else to do). I really wanted to try a vanilla version for a change as we always go with chocolate.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! So sorry this didn’t work out for you, Hailey. Unfortunately the coconut flour is very important to the texture and flavor here, and teff is much more coarse and strong in flavor which might have contributed to the issues. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  15. Caroll Flores says

    Grr. I screwed up BUT I’m still giving this a 5 star!!!

    I used the ingredients as written. The flavor was phenomenal (seriously, I was spooning crumbs into my mouth) but my “dough” was too crumbly to form. I just did the No Bake Sugar Cookie and wanted to try these out as my son and I love dates and nuts.

    I used “bleached” almond flour already in my pantry. Could that have been the problem?

    Also, I ate a date before I put it in and thought it was moist, but maybe I should have soaked it like you suggested. Or I should have just went out and bought a new package.

    Or maybe I didn’t mix the dates enough. It broke into pieces but did not form a ball.

    To save the “dough” and so I don’t end up eating it with a spoon (yummm), I warmed up a heaping tablespoon of warm (Date Lady) date syrup in the microwave. It worked! I was able to form bites! And it was absolutely heaven.

    I will definitely be making again with fresher dates, better almond flour, mixing dates longer… blah, blah, blah.

    But thank you. Love, love, love your recipes. My family and I enjoy it very much.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Caroll! Blanched almond flour shouldn’t be a problem – that’s what we used too. We’re thinking either the dates were too dry or they needed to be a processed a little longer. Hope that helps for next time!

  16. Samantha says

    These are very nice and tasty and easy to make. I found it a little hard to get the desiccated coconut to stick to the balls but its not a problem they still taste nice.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy them, Samantha! If you want the coconut to stick better, make sure you’re using dates that are fresh and sticky, or if they’re not, you can start with a little less coconut flour. Hope that helps!

  17. Stacy says

    I love bliss bites! Do you have a sub recommendation for dates? (Intolerance)
    Perhaps dried figs or prunes?

  18. Sarah says

    I made your super seedy granola bars and liked them a lot. Now I want to try other date-based flavors/variations like this one or golden milk balls. Before I go buy more ingredients, I was curious if gluten free or regular wheat flour (heat treated) can be subbed or partially subbed for the almond and/or coconut flour.

  19. Nicole says

    These were good but didn’t excite me like the chocolate cake ones on the blog (heaven), but I think that was more my own tastes/preferences because they definitely hit the vanilla cake spot. I was short on dates and ended up using roughly 2/3 dates and 1/3 sultana raisins, and it seemed to work well. My coconut wasn’t fine enough to stick to the balls but I see others have rolled these in hemp seeds so if I give them another go (jazzed up somehow, maybe with chocolate chips, or almond extract, or pumpkin pie spice) I’ll try that out.

  20. Mona says

    Pro-tip: don’t blend all the way and use the delicious crumble in various other ways 👀 ⬇️

    The cake bites are DELICIOUS. It really does taste like vanilla cake, it blew my mind! I made one batch and it was gone so fast, I made another one basically right after. However I eyeballed the ingredients the second time around, and ended up putting too few dates so it didn’t come together as well. But instead, I crumbled the mixture on top of some puffed quinoa and ate it like a cereal with some hemp milk! Highly recommend. If using it as a cereal / crumble mix, consider putting shredded coconut and sliced almonds as opposed to their flour equivalent :)

  21. Juliana says

    Unfortunately these didn’t work for me :(
    They came out tasteless and I guess since my food processor isn’t great, it didn’t mix well and it was too “flour-y” in the end.
    I had to add coconut oil to be more moist and tried adding a bit of maple syrup and vanilla extract for taste, but still overall it was meh and not worth all the ingredients used in it :(
    Too bad! I still prefer 100% more the cashew salted bites!

  22. Marianne says

    I just made these for the first ( definitely not last) time and they turned out great! So quick and easy to make. Love them. Would love to try and make them Christmasy next time ( by adding some spice). As they are I think they could work really well as marsipan if you want a plant based version of that.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So great! I love the idea of adding spices! Perhaps some cinnamon, clove, or ginger? Great ideas, Marianne!

  23. candice says

    I made these today and they came out perfect. I subbed walnuts for pecans because I did not have enough walnuts. Otherwise I followed the instructions as stated and they turned out delicious. I love all of your recipes so much. I always go to this site when I feel like trying something new. All of the recipes never disappoint.

  24. LeAnna says

    Yum! I made these with oat flour and a mix of pecans and walnuts. I added a dash of almond extract and some warming chai spice. Delicious! Thank you for a great and forgiving recipe ❤

    • Megan says

      Simply amazing! I added some cocoa nibs and they have some real chocolate chip cookie dough vibes! Tip: my food processor will not process dates on their own. I just dice them and add to the nut flour/mixture essentially skipping step 1. Works perfectly!

  25. Courtney says

    These turned out delicious! Very naturally sweet and perfect when you have a sweet tooth. I think you could do so many different flavor variations with this recipe!

  26. Caitlin says

    These are amazing! They are dense, chewy, and perfectly sweet. They make a great grab and go snack to keep my husband and I fueled for workouts or a busy weekend running errands. They have become a staple in our house!

  27. Ellen says

    The mix was very dry and did not hold together. However the flavor was great. I will make them again but add some moisture. Perhaps date paste?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ellen, were your dates moist and sticky? If not, we’d suggest soaking them in warm water for 10 minutes first. Hope that helps!

    • Louna says

      I’ve made these cake balls twice, using oat flour instead of almond flour and subbing about 1/4 cup of walnuts with almonds. My family really enjoyed them! They also tasted a bit like soji balls (another childhood treat). Great recipe, thanks!

  28. Marjory Kopp says

    These were great. I did substitute roasted cashews for the walnuts and omitted the sea salt. This is a nice treat.

  29. Doris Saffran says

    Outstanding recipe Dana! I am new to gluten free cooking and came across this dessert. Thank you for not only an exceptionally delicious recipe but for a fabulous website. It is clear much thought and work went behind your website, it is beautifully designed and very easy to navigate. I also appreciate your minimalist style as most of us don’t have a tremendous amount of cooking time. I look forward to trying your other recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thank you so much for your kind words and lovely review, Doris! We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe and our site! xo

  30. Jeanette says

    Made these today. Subbed walnuts for cashews and added some lemon rind. Yummy!!!! These are so delicious. A wonderful healthy treat.

    Thank you for another fantastic recipe!

  31. Diane L Crowley says

    Wow…what a simple, great recipe! I made this, using the almond flour as suggested in the recipe. I soaked my raw walnuts in very hot water for about 10 minutes, then rinsed thoroughly, to remove the enzyme coating on them that makes them difficult to digest (and gives you that funny tingly feeling in your mouth). Dry on a dishtowel for a few minutes, then 5 minutes in my air fryer, set on “dehydrate” mode. Followed the recipe exactly after that; rolled some of them in fine coconut, and the rest in carob powder. I froze them to take to a small get-together later in the day. They defrosted but stayed cool by the time we ate them…and holy cake ball…they were a huge hit! Everyone loved them! I am the only vegan in the group, so I like to take them tasty foods to try, to let them know that delicious food does not have to be sacrificed when eating a healthy diet!

  32. Kathryn says

    I absolutely love these! I religiously made your date sweetened chocolate truffles, but was looking for something a little different. And I can say I will be adding another staple to my desert recipes. I subbed cashews for the walnuts and only used almond flour!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  33. Em says

    Hello! I really want to make these but don’t have dates! Could i use maple syrup as a sweetener alternative?
    Thanks! x

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      The dates help hold them together, so maple syrup won’t work as well. Maybe try another dried fruit?

  34. Mandy Ross Screven says

    These were delicious! I made a double batch tonight after I made your best Whole roasted cauliflower with chimichurri sauce, mushroom quinoa, roasted Brussel sprouts. We love your recipes! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Mandy. We are so glad you enjoy our recipes! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

    • Mandy Ross Screven says

      I’ve made these a few times now and they are a huge hit at our house. Last time I also made some lemon flavor bites (used vanilla per recipe and added in 2tsp Lemon extract and some lemon zest, so yummy! (This was for a double batch). Thanks so much for your amazing recipes!

  35. diana says

    hi! i love your site + make your recipes often. these cake bites, wow! they are amazing. i’ve already sent the recipe to several friends to try. thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe.

  36. Michelle says

    This recipe looks amazing! Is there anyway to substitute the walnuts and almond flour as to make it a nut free recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle, Hmm, what about coconut flour (if tolerated) instead of the almond flour, and hemp seeds instead of walnuts? Not sure if it would work but it’s worth a shot!

  37. Ashley says

    Obsessed with these cake bites! I’ve made them with walnuts and with cashews – both ways turn out delicious. I also love to add fresh lemon juice for a zesty fresh taste.

  38. Molly Gentilini says

    In the freezer. Second time making these. They are really good and healthy too. They were easy to make. Put a stick in it and coat with plant based chocolate or frosting for a healthy cake pop and fool the kids!

  39. Sera says

    I have read that it is not safe to eat flour raw. Is that just all-purpose flour, or does that also apply to coconut and almond flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sera, so we think the concern there is food poisoning from E coli and that it comes from contamination in the wheat field from animals. For the other flours you mentioned, they are grown on trees, so we would suspect less risk of contamination. But theoretically, the risk is still there.

  40. Priyanka Chhaparia says

    Had a consistency issue, mine came out to be too runny. Were the grated carrots to be squeezed for extra water before adding them to the food processor?