My mom’s birthday fell on Thursday: two days after she started her new job, the same day of my dad’s critical 8-hour meeting, and the day before he flew to NYC. She planned ahead, buying her own birthday present the previous weekend and handing it to Dad for him to wrap and give, but because of their hectic work schedules, they “celebrated” with take-out on the couch in front of a Duraflame log fire.
Although Mom claimed, “I don’t need to celebrate—I’m not aging this year!” I still drove down Saturday to spend the afternoon with her. Over our favorite blueberry coffee cake, I surprised her with chocolate candles (they smell shockingly realistic!) and inspirational salad plates tucked inside a lavender gift bag. After nestling our leftovers in their crowded fridge, we watched Elf, decorated my dog with a festive blinking-light Christmas collar, and blitzed through stores searching for winter sweaters and stocking stuffers.
While waiting my turn in the long line at Kohl’s, my eyes wandered to their checkout stand displays. Packed with shiny bags of creamy Godiva chocolate truffles and peppermint bark, each one begged to be placed in my basket and taken home. At the Walmart next door, boxes of Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates threatened to topple on my head as I balanced precariously on my tiptoes to inspect the Gingerbread M&Ms. And we vowed not to visit the mall; See’s dark chocolate truffles always called our names too loudly to resist!
Instead of indulging in those pricy, gourmet chocolates (well, for now at least… I can’t make any promises about Christmas Day!), I created my own homemade alternative: Healthy Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles. These rich, fudgy balls taste just as decadent but are secretly skinny, dairy-free and clean-eating friendly!
With the centers of my chocolate-filled wheat rolls as inspiration, I only used 4 ingredients for these low-fat truffles: cocoa powder, applesauce, honey, and peppermint extract. That’s it! Nothing fancy, and not one drop of heavy cream or melted chocolate. You probably store most of these things in your pantry already!
Although applesauce is included, you cannot taste it at all. Along with the honey, it acts as the glue to hold the truffles together, as well as providing a little natural sweetness. There are no fruit flavors in these skinny truffles—just lots of peppermint and dark chocolate!
For vegan truffles, substitute the honey with pure maple syrup or agave. Either one will work if you’re following a clean eating diet!
To add to this recipe’s simplicity, no heating is required either. Like I mentioned, there’s no chocolate to melt and no cream to warm. All of the mixing is done at room temperature. Just measure each ingredient into a bowl, stir until combined, and stick in the fridge to chill. It’s the easiest chocolate truffle recipe you’ll ever make!
To form the truffles, roll a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate mixture between your palms to shape it into a ball. The chocolate may stick to your hands a bit, but it washes off easily with warm water. (Go ahead, sneak a taste—I won’t judge!) Place each sphere on wax paper or in mini muffin paper liners for a pretty presentation, and leave them in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Chilling helps maintain their circular shape and intensifies the minty taste.
Although I stuck with a simple appearance, try coating them in extra cocoa powder or confectioner’s (powdered) sugar for a polished look. I also contemplated rolling them in crushed candy canes or peppermint bark for an extra minty taste. That red and white layer would look really striking against the dark chocolate truffles!
Without revealing anything about these Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles, I presented them to Mom for her approval. As she sunk her teeth into the center of one of the decadent treats, her eyes widened. “They’re only 27 calories??” she asked. “Did you use a sugar substitute to reduce the calories?”
I grinned and revealed the recipe. “They’re just as rich as regular ones made with melted chocolate and heavy cream,” she declared. “They’re going to be one of the most popular recipes on your blog!”
I wonder if she’ll be right!
And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your dark chocolate peppermint truffles!
Healthy Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles
- 1 cup (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
- ½ cup (127g) unsweetened applesauce
- 3 tbsp (45mL) honey (see Notes!)
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract
- In a medium bowl, stir together all 4 ingredients. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. (If chilling longer than 30 minutes, cover the bowl with foil, plastic wrap, or a lid.) Working with about a tablespoon at a time, roll the chocolate mixture into a ball, and place on wax paper or in individual mini muffin paper liners. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Classic Dark Chocolate Truffles
♡ Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Truffles
♡ Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
♡ Dark Chocolate Orange Truffles
♡ Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
♡ Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles
♡ Blueberry Greek Yogurt Truffles
♡ Ginger Fudge
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy truffles recipes and fudge recipes!
First, let me say that I LOVE these truffles! I usually have a stash in my freezer for after dinner treats! The mister is always so impressed with the cleanness of the recipe and the richness of flavor! I have shared this recipe at least 12 times!
However, lately I have been imagining a chocolate orange truffle. Have you ever played around with this flavor?? I was thinking I could swap the peppermint extract for vanilla and add some orange rind? Any thoughts/advice/suggestions with this??
I’m so glad you’re enjoying the truffles that much! I’m actually not a big fan of chocolate and orange flavors together, but I’m sure that your idea would work really well. Go a little easy on the orange zest to begin with — it packs quite a big flavor punch! You could also substitute a little OJ for some of the applesauce; I think 1 tablespoon of OJ would be equivalent to 2 tablespoons of applesauce. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how they turn out for you!
I made these for valentines day and they were a hit! Unfortunately, I was unable to find unsweetened cocoa powder and used normal, and instead of honey I used maple syrup, AND I used vanilla extract. At first I was a little skeptical, but they turned out great! Using normal cocoa powder made the chocolate taste a tiny bit bitter and very rich. I drizzled melted white chocolate on some and smooth peanut butter on others, put it in the fridge to let it set!
I’m so glad the truffles were a hit Kate! I love the idea of a melted white chocolate drizzle — I definitely need to try that some time! 🙂
Do you think it would work to use peppermint essential oil instead of peppermint extract?
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe Cindy! I have no experience with essential oils, so I honestly don’t know. I think other readers have been able to use essential oils in some of my recipes though, so it’s probably worth trying! 🙂 I’d love to hear what you think if you make these truffles!
Thanks for the response! Looking forward to trying it out! (I’m a contestant in a bake–off this weekend and the recipe I enter has to have peppermint in it. Maybe this recipe will be the winner…)
My pleasure, Cindy! 🙂
Hello Amy, I was so excited to try your “healthy” treat. I followed the recipe exactly. I loved how easy these were to make. But, my truffles seemed like I was eating chocolate dough. I don’t think they were supposed to taste like this. I read the above reviews. Do you think I should cut down on the applesauce? Will this make a difference? I want to try these again. Thank You.
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe Brenda! Can you describe the taste issue that you experience a little more? Not sweet enough? Too bitter? Or was the texture just off? The more details you can include, the better I can help you solve those issues! 🙂
I made these today, skeptical. They are delicious! I was looking for pretty much what your post describes: a satisfying, minty, healthyish truffle, gluten & dairy free. I robed these in melted Enjoy Life dairy-free 70% chocolate. They are bomb. My teen’s only word was “Wow!” as she devoured. Thanks for the recipe!
Also I used only 2 T of honey. Spot on.
I’m so glad you and your daughter enjoyed these truffles DJ! That really means a lot to me! 🙂 I love your idea of dipping them in extra melted chocolate — YUM!
Thank you for the recipe. I’d like to substitute applesauce in the recipe? What can i use to substitute applesauce?
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe Abimbola! If you aren’t able to use applesauce, then try substituting 3 tablespoons of milk (any type will work!). You may need slightly more milk to make the mixture come together, but it’s always easier to add more rather than try to remove some from the bowl! 🙂 I’d love to hear what you think of these truffles if you try making them!