Chokladbollar are super simple and incredibly delicious Swedish chocolate oat balls. They're made with only a handful of ingredients and are quick to make, but the result is sure to be loved by all. No wonder they are a favorite snack for all ages.
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My Swedish cardamom buns have long been a favorite both for us and readers. I have kept meaning to add more classic "fika" recipes to the site, but somehow more recent Swedish recipes have headed in a savory direction. It's about time to change that and I couldn't imagine a better choice.
While some pastries might be a little intimidating, these are anything but. They're incredibly easy to make, but also a wonderfully tasty treat. We have shared these with various friends and family and all were big fans.
What is fika?
In case you are not familiar with the term, "fika" is a Swedish term for what is in basic terms, a coffee break. But it's really that bit more, as it's as much to do with relaxing, enjoying the moment and catching up with friends or family. It's an important part of the culture, and something people make time for.
Apparently the word fika is an inverted form of “kaffi,” the 19th-century Swedish word for “coffee.” So from the start, coffee was always part of the idea. But having a little sweet treat on the side is definitely a big part of it these days, too.
A number of the things you might eat for fika are sweet baked goods, like cardamom and cinnamon buns, almond tarts, cookies and cakes like kladdkaka. These are sweet, but without the baking. And I'm sure that is part of why they are probably just to make at home as have at a cafe.
In fact, they're something that's a common first cooking project with kids in Sweden. No cooking, just measuring, mixing and rolling. Fun and delicious!
Chocolate oat ball ingredients
These need only a few simple ingredients that you most likely have at home already, so they are great to make on a whim.
- Oats - these add the 'bulk' and give a nice texture to these little bites. You typically use rolled oats (old fashioned) and most people choose to pulse them a little to be a less coarse texture, but you could leave them whole if you like.
- Butter - this adds richness and acts as the binding agent. If you are mixing by hand, you'll need to soften it first to get it to mix. If using a food processor to mix, it doesn't matter.
- Cocoa powder - this adds the chocolate flavor, without the need to melt anything. If you like, you can up the chocolate flavor by also adding some chocolate chips, broken up a little in the food processor.
- Coffee - coffee brings out the flavor in chocolate, which is no doubt a large part of why you add some here. Plus, it pairs well with the coffee you often enjoy these with. While you don't have to if you blend everything in the food processor, if you are mixing by hand you typically blend the cocoa powder into the coffee to make sure it dissolves and doesn't clump. Warm coffee, relatively strong, works best.
- Sugar - since you use unsweetened cocoa powder, you need a little sweetness to balance it out. Plus, these are a treat after all. Traditionally, you use regular sugar as I have described here, but you could make a slightly healthier version using less butter and some dates instead, plus maybe some maple syrup. Though that's more of an energy bite than this traditional treat.
- Vanilla - this adds that extra bit of flavor, and also helps bring out the best in the cocoa powder.
Top tip: chill the mixture
After you have everything combined, you typically chill the mixture before rolling into balls. If the mixture is too soft, half of the mixture will end up on your hands, and it's harder to make even balls. Once chilled, it holds together much better.
Also, try to minimize how much you handle the mixture. Use a scoop or spoon to take some out and roll in your hands relatively quickly. It's fine if they soften a little (it helps the coating stick!) but not too much.
Once you have formed the mixture in balls, it's time for toppings! Well, coatings, really. The outer layer both makes them that bit prettier to look at, and gives something a bit less sticky to hold.
Coatings are typically either coconut, sprinkles (more the dot-like nonpareils - hundreds and thousands to those in the UK/Australia) or sugar. You can really go with whatever you prefer.
Here I chose coconut, since to me they are sweet enough already, and I just prefer it. Though I struggle to get desiccated coconut which is finer, so have used shredded which doesn't stick quite as well.
Even with chilling the mixture, the warmth of your hands is generally enough to help the coating stick. But if needed, you can let them sit out a little first.
How to store chokladbollar
While these are pretty easy to eat quite a few of all at once, if you do have leftover they also store well. Just keep them in the fridge in a sealed container. They will keep fine for a couple days, or a little longer.
Generally, the coating stops them from sticking together, but if you can store them in a single layer, with a little gap between them, then it avoids any issue.
Swedish chocolate oat balls, chokladbollar, are such an easy and tasty treat. Perfectly moreish little bites packed with flavor and so simple to make. No wonder they are a favorite - try them and you'll see why.
Try these other tasty no bake treats:
- Lemon slice (an Australian bar with a coconut-cookie base and lemon topping - so tasty!)
- Cranberry truffles (perfect for gifting, too)
- No bake pumpkin cookies (involves a little melting, but no baking and so tasty and easy)
- Plus get more Nordic recipes and snack recipes, both sweet and savory, in the archives.
Chokladbollar - Swedish chocolate oat balls
- 2 tablespoon coffee strong, warm
- 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
- ½ cup sugar
- 7 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup desiccated coconut or shredded, if desiccated not available; approx
- Blend together the coffee, cocoa powder and vanilla to form a smooth, thick paste.
- Place the oats in a food processor and pulse a couple times to break up a little.
- Add the sugar, butter and cocoa paste to the oats and blend everything so combined. Try not to blend so much so that you loose the oat texture completely, but you want it mixed. You may need to stop part way through and scrape down the sides then mix again.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge for around 30 minutes to firm up. Then, take spoonfuls of the mixture (around a tablespoon), roll it smooth with your hands then roll the ball in coconut to give a thin coating. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
- If you don't have a food processor, you can make this the more traditional way instead. First, let the butter soften a little. Then blend the coffee, cocoa powder and vanilla together, as above. Mix together the butter and sugar until relatively smooth and fluffy. Mix in the oats and cocoa paste and stir well to combine. It will be a bit coarser, unless you have a way to break up the oats a little, but still good. Chill the mixture then roll as above.
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