lemon, coconut and cacao truffles


It’s been a rainy Saturday here in Perth. Wet, cold and predominantly grey. Quite amusing really, as it was only three weeks ago that I posted a recipe for slow-roasted lamb as a ‘…final homage to the beautiful winter-that-was’. Upon reflection, I should change that to the winter that is, as it’s been cold and rainy all week.

Oh well. All the more time for slow food, hot soup, snuggling under blankets and drinking hot chocolate with plenty of treats like these gluten-free, dairy-free bites of lemon cacao bliss.


These particular truffles were made two weeks ago for my beautiful friend Anna (who is an amazing singer-songwriter, check out her website here) who can’t tolerate wheat, gluten or dairy. We ate them with fruit, Medjool dates and wine after a vegan dinner at our house, and I liked them so much that I snapped a few photos in preparation for a blog post.

Due to my delay in posting, these treats are now well and truly finished. Gone. Absent and departed. Seeing their photos in memoriam makes me sad.


They taste like moist little bundles of almond, coconut and honey with soft, fragrant lemon undertones and the crunch of cacao nibs. I rolled half in raw cacao and the other half in dessicated coconut; after a great deal of taste testing we’ve decided that the coconut are superior to their more-bitter-on-the-tongue cacao cousins.

All this talk is making me hungry. It’s time to make another batch.



Lemon, Coconut and Cacao Truffles

Makes roughly 22 truffles. Adapted from this recipe by Eleanor Ozich at Petite Kitchen.

  • 1 1/2 cups (110g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup (110g) almond meal
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp honey (to make these completely vegan, substitute with maple syrup or agave as desired)
  • zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs (or extra, to taste)
  • a pinch of crushed sea salt

For rolling the truffles:

  • 1/4 cup (18g) unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder

Place the dessicated coconut, almond meal, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract and sea salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together (around 1 minute).



Turn out into a bowl and add the cacao nibs. Mix together with a wooden spoon.

Use your hands to roll 1/2 tbsp of the mixture into a small bowl. Roll in dessicated coconut or cacao (I placed each coating in a separate bowl to roll the truffles as desired), then gently place onto a lined tray. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.


Refrigerate the truffles for at least half an hour before eating.

I prefer to eat them straight out of the refrigerator but you can store them at room temperature if desired. To keep them a little longer, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


88 responses

  1. Wow! Absolutely gorgeous, Laura! I love the addition of lemon to these truffles, I am sure it makes all the difference. And the pictures are wonderful! It is very rainy here too… and I started writing a post and abandoned, all the pictures looked like they had been taken in winter light… :(

    • Thanks so much Darya. Yes, I agree that the winter light makes it so hard to take photographs. All of your shoots are always impeccable though. Darn it, sorry that you’ve had to abandon this one! The lemon is such a nice addition to these healthy truffles. It adds a soft, fragrant element to the mix. I loved them. Definitely have to make another batch! xx

    • Sorry I kept you waiting hon! Argh! My borrowed DSLR ran out of battery half way through this shoot so I did some extra pics with a point and shoot compact but then got frustrated! But here’s the recipe, hope you have fun with it (I can imagine adding extra dried fruit and other yummy things to them!) xx

    • I completely agree E! I was planning to ask you and Dea whether you wanted to meet up but now I’m just going to stay on the couch in my PJ’s wrapped in a blanket! So cold. Where did Spring go?! I am sure that your non-vegan truffles will be absolutely divine xx

    • I feel exactly the same! The first couple of days were beautifully sunny… lulled me into a false sense of weather-change security! Fingers crossed that it will warm up this week x

    • These were pretty easy to shape actually. They weren’t sticky at all, probably due to the coconut oil and the texture of the almond meal. A little roll in coconut or cacao and they were ready to refrigerate :) Really delicious x

  2. I’m enjoying reading about your weather, since we are heading into fall. I don’t know what you consider cold (for here, it’s anything below 10 degrees F, which would be about -12 C. It’s cold. Anyway, Stephie made something similar last summer, except without the cacao, and they were delightful. I need to try them with the cacao, for an extra kick. Enjoy your weekend!

    • Hahaa! Most Australians are weaklings when it comes to the cold. For instance, it was about 13 degrees C (55 degrees f) this evening when Aaron and I went out to get some groceries. We were shivering! I do think it’s a combination of factors. For one, we’re not acclimatised to the cold over here and secondly, we don’t dress appropriately for cold weather (I think we’re in denial that it gets cold most of the time). In hot weather, however, we do well. It’s frequently over 40 degrees C (100 degrees f) in summer here and we’ve got all sorts of strategies to keep cool! :) Definitely try Stephie’s recipe with the cacao, I think it’d be beautiful! I loved the crunch xx

    • Aw, I definitely agree Paula! A whole batch to eat by myself? That’d be bliss, particularly with a good cup of coffee! I can’t believe that you had such a contrast of temperature over three days. I hate sudden temperature drops, as it’s easy to get sick. Hope that your weather evens out soon xx

    • Thanks Rhonda. Haha, I like coconut too… I’ve recently discovered just how much of a dividing ingredient it can be! My mum likes coconut oil but not the dessicated stuff. I think it’s a textural thing. I like it in all different shapes and forms! Thanks for the comment lovely x

    • It’s strange isn’t it, being on opposite sides of the globe. I always like seeing the ‘time of posting’ when I comment on northern hemisphere blogs. It’s always completely different to the clock on my computer! I do hope that you enjoy your fall/Winter season. Christmas is never the same in the hot Australian sun (I feel completely homesick for England at that time of year).

    • Completely Ruby! They’re just little balls of almond, coconut and lemon. In fact, I might eat a double batch so I can eat even more… and still share. I’m generous like that ;) xx

  3. Even though you made this on a rainy day, your truffles bring back the summer (which is fading over here) with lemon and coconut flavor! Fantastic recipe, Laura, and the pics are so very appealing. Watching them I get the impression I can smell the treat through my computer display :-).

    • It’s so funny to think that your winter is on the way whilst our days are gradually getting warmer. Nice though, as we can swap seasonal recipes around half way through the year (I look forward to going through everyone’s spring and summer archives again!). I do hope that you can maybe enjoy a little summery treat with these truffles though. I actually think they’ll be better when eaten in winter as they won’t melt as fast :) Thanks lovely Claudia xx

    • Thanks so much Jules (hope you don’t mind me calling you that, you have the same name as my sister in law!). They were definitely delicious. Gone way too fast! Hope that you manage to try the recipe xx

  4. The weather you were experiencing the day you wrote this post has apparently come here for a visit. It’s been chilly, raining, and otherwise dreary all day today. I should have put something in the oven but had too many other things to do. I, also, should have read this post earlier so that one of the items on my agenda would have been to make these truffles. They sound really tasty, Laura. I certainly wouldn’t mind the weather outdoors so much if I had some of these bites indoors with me.

    • Oh no, it sounds like I sent the weather your way! Okay, now I’m thinking thoughts of sunshine (whilst listening to another day’s rain thump against the glass window!). I know exactly what you mean about not having the time or initiative to put something in the oven early… and then a few hours later you wish that you had something slow-cooked on the table! Tonight Aaron and I ate leftover braised beef and mushrooms but I wished I had some of your fresh pasta in front of me. Maybe this weekend :)

    • Thank you Rika! I appreciate your lovely encouragement. Just checked out your blog. Love the concept and the combination of you and Doni as fellow reviewers/photographers/creatives. I do love vegan food so I’ll look forward to seeing more of your work xx

  5. ohyumohyumohyumohyumohyumohyumohyumohyumohyumohyumohyumohyum. Oh. Yum. (How’s that for an intellectual and thought provoking comment? But I thinking you get my gist.)

  6. I love those little truffle balls. Though I’m not vegan, I am fortunate enough to have a great friend and she makes these gorgeous little treats and often for me. Looks delicious and yes, drool worthy too I might add!

    • I’m not vegan either, so I’ve been a little skeptical of vegan recipes in the past. These were divine though, I’d eat them just for the taste and health benefits, vegan or not vegan! Glad that you liked the post xx

    • I feel exactly the same about coconut. I’m glad that you’re a fellow coconut lover as I’m beginning to notice how many coconut recipes I post on this little blog! It’s definitely easy to overeat on sweet ‘healthy’ treats. Good thing it was a relatively small batch (and I shared with friends, whew!) or I would’ve scoffed the lot! xx

    • Aw, thanks so much lovely. It’s still chilly here too. I’m sitting under a blanket as I speak! They definitely need a warm cup of something to compliment them on a cold day, but they’re perfect for a cosy sweet treat that’s still relatively healthy. I love them :) x

    • Aw, thank you lovely! I don’t always get that balance right but it did work with these little truffle balls. So yummy. It’s great when something delicious can be good for you! x

    • I hope you enjoy them! They’re really easy to make, and fabulous if you need a sweet treat that’s wheat and dairy free. My friend loved them… so did my husband, who loves his wheat and dairy. Thanks :)

  7. Gluten free truffles…wow! I was honestly a bit tired of looking at the same old chocolate/cream cheese etc truffles all over the blog-o-sphere. I am so happy to find this recipe. Unique and gorgeous! A must-make for me!

    • I’m so glad you like the recipe :) I agree, they’re way healthier than the chocolate and cream cheese ones. I actually felt good after eating them, particularly with the burst of lemon zest, yum xx

    • I use too much coconut, don’t I? I didn’t actually register the frequency of my coconut usage until I started thinking about your dislike for it! Oops. Anyway, these were delicious, in spite of the coconut. I think they’d be equally good with a more traditional bit of butter, no coconut and a coating of melted dark chocolate. Yum. In fact, I might try that this weekend! :)

      • No you don’t! Sorry, I should probably stop pointing out my dislike of coconut – it is great that you use it, it’s just my personal thing that I could never adapt to the flavor for some reason…
        Having said that, OMG! Your idea of your truffles sans coconut and coated in melted dark chocolate is just divine and mouthwatering to say the least! Yum!!!
        Take care, Laura :-)

    • Hi lovely! Yep, this was my first time making lemon truffles too. I loved them… so did the (very unhealthy) boys so as far as being gluten and dairy free, they were a huge winner! xx

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