These Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles are the perfect dark chocolate dessert. They have a creamy, dairy free chocolate and hazelnut filling that is rolled in chopped hazelnuts and coated in dark chocolate. This easy truffle recipe is Paleo, Vegan, dairy free and sweetened with dates.
I'm quite fond of homemade Paleo fudge, but truffles are also up there on my list of all time favorite desserts.
It's hard to resist a sweet, creamy filling surrounded by a layer of dark chocolate and topped off with a pinch of sea salt - that perfect combination of sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy!
And these Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles? Ooooh, they are irrisistable. This Vegan truffles recipe consists of 3 drool-worthy layers:
- A creamy, dairy free center sweetened with dates
- rolled in a hazelnut crunch topping
- coated in a thick layer of dark chocolate
Not only that, but these healthy chocolate hazelnut truffles are EASY to make! You know me - I like easy Paleo recipes!
Ingredients in Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
Not only is this recipe Paleo and Vegan friendly, but if you exclude the dark chocolate coating, then all ingredients are also Whole30 approved. Yes, a Whole30 dark chocolate truffle recipe!
Here's what you need to make these easy raw truffles:
- dry roasted hazelnuts (unsalted)
- dates (Medjool or Deglet Noor)
- almond butter
- coconut cream
- cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- dark chocolate
- coconut oil
Hazelnuts are used in both the filling and the crunchy coating around the filling. I purchased dry roasted hazelnuts from Trader Joe's - their nuts are a great price. For this recipe, you want dry roasted (oil free) and unsalted hazelnuts. If using raw hazelnuts, toast them in your oven for a few minutes prior to making these truffles. Roasting them brings out more flavor.
An unsalted, unsweetened almond butter is used in the filling, helping to achieve a creamy, nutty texture. Any nut or seed butter will work as a substitution. Just note, using a different nut/seed butter will slightly change the taste. My top recommendations for swaps would be hazelnut butter or cashew butter.
Just like the almond butter, coconut cream is added for texture purposes. I have not tried this recipe without coconut cream, but imagine any nut or seed butter would work as a replacement. The end product will have a slightly different taste and texture, but if you cannot consume coconut then replacing it should work.
Since these are "chocolate" hazelnut truffles, they have cacao powder in the filling. Cocoa powder can be used instead.
The dark chocolate coating is completely optional, but highly recommended! If you want these to be Whole30 friendly, then omit this ingredient.
I combined coconut oil with the dark chocolate to make the truffles easier to dip; the coconut oil makes the melted chocolate runnier. You may omit this ingredient or use cacao butter instead.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
Truffles are one of those desserts that look hard to make, but I assure you they're not! You can easily make dairy free truffles that look decadent, fancy and store bought without much effort. Here's what you need to do:
Make the Filling
First, combine dates and hazelnuts in a food processor. Make sure to remove the pits from the dates! Blend well.
Next, add in the remaining filling ingredients: almond butter, coconut cream, cacao powder and salt. Blend in the food processor until the mixture starts to clump - this should only take a few seconds.
Make the Hazelnut Topping
Using a large knife, chop the hazelnuts for the topping. Place the chopped hazelnuts into a small bowl.
Grab a small cookie scoop (one tablespoon in size) to scoop the filling and then drop it into the small bowl of chopped hazelnuts. Press the hazelnuts into the dough and use your hands to form the truffle into a ball.
Place the coated truffle on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until all of the filling has been coated and shaped into balls.
Next, freeze the truffle fillings. This step is important because it makes dipping the truffles into chocolate SO much easier! Freeze the truffles for about an hour, longer works too.
Coat the Truffles in Dark Chocolate
Lastly, coat the truffles in dark chocolate.
To do this, place the chocolate and coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Melt on the stove top over low heat, stirring frequently. Once fully melted, remove chocolate from heat and turn off burner.
Grab the truffles from the freezer. One at a time, dip the truffles into the melted chocolate, coating completely. I like to do this using a fork. Scrape the fork on the side of the pan to remove excess chocolate. Place the truffles on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry.
After all of the truffles have been dipped, drizzle any extra chocolate over the truffles. Tip: add a little more coconut oil (½ tsp) to the chocolate and melt again on the stove top. This makes drizzling the chocolate even easier!
Before the drizzled chocolate has a chance to set, add a pinch of salt to each truffle.
Set in the fridge or freezer a few minutes to fully set.
These hazelnut chocolate balls are not only a great dessert to enjoy year round, but perfect for impressing your guests at a holiday party. This is a great Vegan Christmas truffle recipe to share with family and friends, or just stash in your freezer and keep to yourself 😉
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a chocolate truffle a truffle?
According to Wikipedia, "A chocolate truffle is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache centre coated in chocolate, cocoa powder, coconut, or chopped toasted nuts (typically hazelnuts or almonds), usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape."
Now, you can go the traditional route and follow these truffle "rules" or bend the rules and make your own truffles using any and all ingredients. Especially when dealing with Paleo and/or Vegan truffle recipes, as these often don't use traditional ingredients and baking methods.
How do you keep truffles from melting?
After making the filling, place the truffles in the freezer for at least an hour. This keeps the truffles from melting when you dip them in chocolate - helping them hold their shape and making them easier to dip. When they thaw, the filling will be soft, as if they'd never been frozen.
What's the best way to melt chocolate for truffles?
There are a few different ways you can melt chocolate for truffles. You can melt them in the microwave, in a double boiler or in a sauce pan on the stove top.
My preferred method is melting the chocolate in a sauce pan on the stove top. I place the sauce pan on the smallest burner and set the heat to low. You want to cook on low heat, stirring frequently so that the chocolate doesn't burn.
More Paleo Truffle Recipes
For more easy, Paleo friendly truffle recipes, check out these reader favorites:
- Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles
- Vegan Pumpkin Truffles
- Mexican Chocolate Truffles
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Truffles
Homemade Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles with a creamy, date sweetened filling, a hazelnut crunch topping and a dark chocolate coating. This recipe is easy to make, Paleo, Vegan and perfect for a healthy dessert or holiday party.
- ½ cup dry roasted, unsalted hazelnuts (65g)
- 6 pitted Medjool dates (100g)
- ¼ cup almond butter (unsweetened, unsalted)
- ¼ cup coconut cream*
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- ¼ tsp salt
Hazelnut Crunch Topping
- ⅓ cup chopped hazelnuts
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- ½ Tbsp coconut oil
- flaked sea salt (optional)
Make the Filling
- Combine dates and hazelnuts in a food processor. Make sure to remove the pits from the dates! Blend well.
- Add in the remaining filling ingredients: almond butter, coconut cream, cacao powder and salt. Blend in the food processor until the mixture starts to clump.
Make the Hazelnut Crunch Topping
- Using a large knife, chop the hazelnuts for the topping. Place the chopped hazelnuts into a small bowl.
- Grab a small cookie scoop (one tablespoon in size) to scoop the filling and then drop it into the small bowl of chopped hazelnuts. Press the hazelnuts into the dough and use your hands to form the truffle into a ball.
- Place the coated truffle on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until all of the filling has been coated and shaped into balls.
- Freeze the truffles for at least an hour to harden.
Make the Chocolate Coating
- Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Melt on the stove top over low heat, stirring frequently. Once fully melted, remove chocolate from heat and turn off burner.
- Grab the truffles from the freezer. One at a time, dip the truffles into the melted chocolate, coating completely. Place the truffles on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry.
- After all of the truffles have been dipped, drizzle any extra chocolate over the truffles. Before the drizzled chocolate has a chance to set, add a pinch of salt to each truffle.
- Set in the fridge or freezer a few minutes to fully set.
*use just the cream from a can of full fat coconut milk or a can of coconut cream. If the cream and the water are not separated, refrigerate the can of coconut overnight.
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