Rather than reaching for that afternoon cup of coffee, Diet Coke, or Red Bull, reach for one of these.
Vegan, gluten-free, and a shot of espresso is blended right in.
Ok maybe not a shot, but there’s some. Enough to help power you up, in addition to the cocoa and peanut butter.
I love no-bake balls, bites, cookie dough, and truffles because they’re fast and easy to make, and almost impossible to screw up.
Add all the ingredients to the canister of a food processor and blend until everything comes together in one big ball. When you see the dough traveling around the base of the food processor like a tennis ball, you know it’s the right consistency.
For these fudgy, dense balls, I combined peanut butter, corn syrup, cocoa powder, instant espresso granules, vanilla, and old-fashioned whole rolled oats. Within a matter of about 2 minutes, the dough combined and I rolled them into balls.
I used storebought peanut butter for its thickness rather than homemade peanut butter, although you could try with homemade, but may have to add more oats since it’s runnier.
For the sweetener, use agave, brown rice syrup, honey (not vegan), or corn syrup. I used corn syrup because it’s sweet, cheap, and works.
I used these Instant Espresso Coffee Granules, sold right next to cans of coffee in my grocery store. It’s only about $4 bucks and very worth having on hand. I add a tablespoon or so to any kind of chocolate dessert, especially brownies, because it helps intensity the chocolate punch.
It brings out the chocolate flavor of the powerballs, and doesn’t really make them taste like espresso. The cocoa powder masks the flavor of it.
The peanut butter flavor takes a backseat to the chocolate, too. It’s there, but not overly bold.
Because I used unsweetened cocoa powder, in conjunction with the espresso granules, the powerballs aren’t overly sweet. They’re rich, with a robust depth of flavor, without being too sweet.
They pair perfectly with a cup of coffee, a glass of merlot or a bold cabernet. Not that I’d know.
The recipe is very flexible and ripe for substitutions. Use a splash of bourbon rather than vanilla, skip the sprinkles and roll in cocoa powder, swap Nutella for peanut butter, start with quick-cook oats rather than old-fashioned because old-fashioned become pulverized into quick-cook in about 10 seconds anyway.
As written, you may have to play around with the ratios slightly, adding a pinch more oats or squirt more sweetener, but the dough should come together easily.
If it’s seems very soft or is overly sticky, add more oats until it firms up. It’s sticky to a point, but it shouldn’t be so sticky that it’s like working with paste. That’s a sign you need to add more oats.
If you’re having issues forming it into balls or it still seems on the sticky side despite adding more oats to dry it out and firm it up, chill the dough for an hour or so before rolling into balls.
Dredging in sprinkles is optional, but highly recommended if you love sprinkles like I do. They add texture, a pop of flavor, and they make everything look more fun.
They’ll keep in the fridge or freezer for months, and the next time you need a little boost, a couple of these should do the trick.
Pin This Recipe
- heaping 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used storebought rather than homemade peanut butter
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup, agave, brown rice syrup, or honey (not vegan)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons Instant Espresso Coffee Granules
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or bourbon or whiskey)
- about 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned whole-rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary; quick-cook oats may be substituted – start with 1 cup, and add more as needed)
- sprinkles or cocoa powder for rolling, optional
- To the canister of a food processor, add peanut butter, sweetener of choice, cocoa powder, espresso granules, vanilla, 1 cup oats, and blend until mixture comes together.
- Add 1/4 cup oats, or as needed, until dough comes together. When dough is the correct consistency, it travels around the base of the canister like a tennis ball. If it’s sticky, tacky, or isn’t clumping together in a ball; or if you’re trying to roll into balls and it’s very difficult to shape, it’s too wet and more oats should be added. Add more until it firms up.
- Using a small cookie scoop or your hands, form 1-inch balls (approximately). Roll between your palms until smooth. If dough is very sticky, even after adding additional oats, chill it for about 1 hour before rolling. Repeat until dough is gone.
- Optionally dredge balls through sprinkles or cocoa powder.
- Place balls in a large airtight container in a single, flat layer. I prefer to store balls in the fridge and serve slightly chilled. Balls will keep for at least 6 weeks in the fridge, and can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free) – NO added white or brown sugar, NO butter or dairy, and NO flour used
No-Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles – Vanilla cake batter in the middle that’s coated in chocolate, perfect for the holidays or to set out at parties any time and one of my most pinned recipes
Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles (no-bake, with vegan & GF options) – For those who enjoy salty ‘n sweet treats, these truffles pair savory pretzels and peanuts with sweet peanut butter cookie dough before being dipped in chocolate
Nutella Brownie Truffle Bites (no-bake, GF) – None of the work of rolling the bites into little balls and instead, the dough is pressed into a pan and sliced to save time
Chocolate Covered Oreo Balls (no-bake) – Crushed Oreos, mixed with cream cheese, and coated in chocolate make for a rich, decadent, and very chocolaty treat that are especially popular around the holidays
Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (vegan, GF) -The top viewed recipe on my site since I posted it in 2009. Make them in minutes and they taste like real chocolate chip cookie dough
Creamy Boozy Iced Coffee – Coffee, chocolate, whipped cream, booze. Say no more
Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free) – Use chocolate two ways via cocoa powder and chocolate chips, along with a hefty dose of peanut butter
Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies – No butter, No white sugar, and No flour used
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies -NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! Soft, chewy & oozing with dark chocolate. Crazy good and my favorite ‘basic’ peanut butter cookie recipe on my site
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter (vegan, GF) – Make in 10 minutes
My cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort is full of peanut butter + chocolate combinations, including a no-bake chapter with little balls, bites, and truffles
What kind of energy, snack, or cookie dough balls do you make?