Vanilla Macaroon Raw Balls

vanilla coconut raw balls

Happy Passover to all you Jews out there. Or Pesach, as we say around here. Okay, not true, but if I was more religious maybe we would.

I have fond memories of the Passover Sedar from when I was a kid, my favorite parts being the food, namely charoset, the sweet apple, honey, walnut, and wine mash for spreading atop matzoh (or eating with a spoon like I always did), and macaroons. Not surprising given my sweet spot for sweets.

Though I’m quite non-practicing these days, I often feel nostalgic for my Jewish roots around holidays, so I thought about making some macaroons (these both look awesome) and was bummed to realize that we’re out of eggs. Since the idea of walking to the store with two kids on a blustery cold snowy (spring) day wasn’t very appealing, I had a very non religious revelation – raw macaroons!

vanilla macaroon ball close up

Since I’m on a raw bar/Lara bar kick lately, this seemed perfect. To make them more macaroon-y, I shaped them into balls and rolled some in extra shredded coconut, but you could also make the square from the Banana “Bread” bars and slice away.

My favorite part of this process today was the photographs, shockingly enough. Instead of Little Guy closing his finger in a drawer and Bunky pitching a fit, both kids happily chomped on the macaroons while I snapped pics. Pretty cool.

pink tower of balls

Vanilla Macaroon Raw Balls (or Bars)


  • 1 full cup dates cut in half, soaked in some water to soften up (drain before adding)*
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (I used this finely shredded one, but any flake will work)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • extra shredded coconut for rolling, if desired


Grind the almonds and pecans in a food processor until the pieces are uniform in size and then set them aside in a bowl. Then process the dates, coconut, and vanilla. Put nut mixture back in and pulse everything together until the dough comes together.

Oh dear, I just wrote this sentence: You could totally play around with the nuts since I just used what I had in the house – until I realized how terrible that sounded. But I didn’t have the heart to delete it, ha. You know what I mean, though.

*If the mixture seems too dry – which can happen when you work with coconut, since it sucks up moisture like a sponge – add a few more dates, or even a teaspoon of coconut oil to soften things up.

Then pour out on a piece of parchment paper and either press into a square, or roll into balls. Use some extra shredded coconut flakes if you’d like to roll the balls around and make them look all pretty like these. Bunky and Little Guy prefer theirs plain, but I enjoy the extra coconut.

pink tower close up

Maybe all this holiday baking will reignite my non practicing Jewishness into something more substantial than just throwing around Yiddish words like Pesach and schmuck. Or not. I’ll keep you posted.

Either way, keep an eye out for another Passover inspired raw bar/ball recipe coming soon, this time I’ve got charoset as an inspiration… And don’t think I’ve forgotten about Easter. I mean, hello, chocolate?!

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mamma. Click the link to find more great GF recipes!


It’s also posted on One Creative Weekend, hosted by One Creative Mommyand Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. * Please note, that the recipes on these two link-ups will NOT all be gluten free, so be sure to read carefully.