These easy, no-bake vegan chocolate chip cookie dough balls are made with maca for an energizing snack that tastes like cookie dough! 

Overhead image of a plate of chocolate chip energy bites.

Features

  • dietary needs: vegan, gluten-free and oil-free (can be sugar-free if sugar-free chocolate chips are used)
  • nutrition details: each ball contains 3/4 tsp of maca
  • quick and easy: you’ll need just 10 minutes and 4 ingredients plus vanilla and sea salt

Ingredients Notes

Various ingredients for making maca balls in bowls, labelled with text overlay.
  • cashews – use plain, raw cashews with no added oil or salt
  • dates – any variety works (I like sayer and medjool best) as long as they’re soft and moist, if not, you’ll need to soak them first
  • maca – can be substituted with vegan vanilla protein powder or powdered peanut butter (or try these Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bites or Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites)
  • vanilla – use pure vanilla extract if possible, if not, artificial will be fine
  • sea salt – adds a cookie dough flavour, use a good quality sea salt like Maldon, grey or pink
  • chocolate chips – use dairy-free chocolate chips to keep the recipe vegan, I suggest Enjoy Life or Camino or for sugar-free chocolate chips, Lily’s
  • baking soda – totally optional but I find a little pinch of baking soda lends to the cookie dough flavour!

Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.


Method

Quick Tip: If your dates are overly dry, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using. Most dates should be fine to use without soaking but if you proceed and the dough is too crumbly, you can add 1-2 tsp of water when blending.

Step 1. Add the cashews to your food processor first. Mix into a coarse, grainy flour. A few larger chunks left behind are ok.

Raw cashews in a food processor container.
Blended cashews in a food processor container.

Step 2. Add everything else, except the chocolate chips and process into a thick dough.

It should start to come together into one big clump. The dough should be sticky and you should easily be able to press it together between your fingers.

Quick Tip: If the dough is too crumbly add 1 tsp of warm water and process again. Usually 1 tsp does the trick but you may need to repeat 1-2 times.

Dates, maca powder and sea salt in a food processor container.
Thick dough with bits of cashews in it in a food processor container.

Step 3. Add the chocolate chips and process briefly to mix them in.

Raw dough with chocolate chips in a food processor container.

Use your hands to roll the dough into balls then enjoy for an energizing snack!

Two hands rolling together energy balls over a plate of rolled balls.

Notes and Tips

  • Dates: Be sure to use soft, moist dates. If your dates are overly dry, soak them in hot water (pit first) for 15 minutes then drain well before using in the recipe.
  • Cashews: Cashews are the best nut for cookie dough balls due to their soft texture and mild flavour. I don’t recommend substituting them but if you must, you can use almonds or walnuts, or a mixture of those 3.
  • Maca: This recipe works best with the fine texture of powdered maca but the best option for substituting is powdered peanut butter or vanilla flavoured pea protein.
Plate of raw energy balls. Cashew and another ball rest in foreground.
Hand grabbing an energy ball from a plate.

How to Store

  • Fridge: In an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezer (Recommended): In an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
  • Room temperature: They’ll start to get soft but they’re okay at room temperature for a couple days if you’re taking them to-go. Keep cool if possible for best results.
Close up of a cookie dough ball. More balls in background. Cashews and chocolate chips scattered in foreground.

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Overhead image of a plate of chocolate chip energy bites.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls with Maca

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

These sweet little no-bake balls taste just like chocolate chip cookie dough! Enjoy for a sweet treat or energizing snack anytime of day.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Place the cashews in a high-powered blender or food processor and mix until broken down. A few larger chunks left behind is ok but they should resemble a coarse flour.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips and mix until it forms a thick, sticky dough you can easily press together between your fingers. If it’s not coming together, add 1 tsp warm water and process again. That should do the trick but you may need to repeat (this is due to using dry dates, see notes on soaking first).
  3. Add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times to mix through.
  4. Use your hands to roll the dough into 16 balls.

Notes

Baking Soda: Totally optional ingredient but I find it lends to the cookie dough flavour if you want to give it a try.

Storing: Sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Sealed container or freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months. Okay at room temperature for a day or two, they’ll just get a little soft. If you’re taking them to-go, try to keep cool and they’ll last for a couple days.

Maca: Each ball contains 3/4 tsp of maca. Can be substituted with vegan vanilla protein powder or powdered peanut butter.

Dates: It’s important to use soft, moist dates as they bind the recipe. If your dates are overly dry, remove the pits then soak in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain well before using in the recipe.

Nutrition facts include 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.

Keywords: maca energy balls, chocolate chip cookie dough balls

Originally published on July 20, 2016. Updated with new photos and text on October 1, 2020.