A few years ago when flying home from visiting my parents, I arrived at the airport two hours early, fully prepared for the usual extra long security line snaking through the terminal like Space Mountain at Disneyland… Only to find two people in front of me. Not two hundred… Two.
Literally. Just two people.
I breezed through, grabbed my bag on the other side, and rode the escalator up to the departure level, still a little in shock. After confirming my gate displayed on the TV monitors, I turned left and strode towards the waiting area.
It was slightly more crowded than the TSA line, but I easily found a seat near an electrical outlet. I slipped my laptop out of my bag, plugged it in to charge, and started catching up on emails. As I glanced up after replying to a few, I smiled and shook my head.
I had been so distracted by my great luck with the security line that I completely failed to notice…
My gate sat right in front of the See’s Candy shop.
I watched as other travelers paused to look at the displays on its shelves, carefully picked up various cellophane-wrapped bags and boxes of confections to read the descriptions, and turned them over and back again before peering at the price tags. Despite the airport’s noticeably inflated prices, almost no one walked away empty-handed.
I couldn’t blame them… I find chocolate nearly impossible to resist — especially chocolate truffles.
These homemade chocolate truffles taste just as rich and decadent as the ones from See’s Candy — or any other chocolate shop! They contain just 3 healthy ingredients and only require a few minutes to make.
In other words… These healthy truffles are quick, simple, and the perfect treat to satisfy chocolate cravings!
QUICK OVERVIEW — HEALTHY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Difficulty: Super easy, even for beginner bakers. (Or, in this case, beginner truffle makers!)
Taste: Really rich with a deep, strong, prominent chocolate flavor, similar to 75% dark chocolate.
Texture: Soft and velvety smooth, with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Let’s talk about the ingredients you’ll need to make these healthy truffles. Like I previously mentioned, there are only 3 of them… And I bet you have all of them in your kitchen already!
Cocoa powder. To make these healthy truffles, you’ll need regular unsweetened cocoa powder (also called natural cocoa powder or natural unsweetened cocoa powder). It’s made from 100% cacao… And nothing else! I like using Hershey’s because it’s easy to find, affordable, and has a good flavor.
I do not recommend substituting Dutched cocoa powder (also called “special dark” cocoa powder). It has a different acidity level and taste, so your chocolate truffles won’t turn out the same.
Hint: Dutched or “special dark” cocoa powder actually has less of a chocolate taste compared to natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Its flavor is much more mild and muted, so your healthy truffles won’t taste nearly as rich, decadent, and chocolaty if you substitute Dutched cocoa powder.
Sweetener. I opted to use pure maple syrup to make these. That’s right… These healthy truffles are made without dates or refined sugar!
Although I have nothing against dates, they’re just not something I normally keep on hand… And I wanted to be able to whip up a batch of these healthy truffles at a moment’s notice — especially if I felt a particularly strong chocolate craving coming on. 😉
However, you can easily use other sweeteners! Honey and agave both work perfectly as 1-for-1 substitutes for the pure maple syrup. I’ve also made these truffles sugar free by using liquid stevia and sugar free syrup, and those versions turned out really well too!
Again… I wanted to make these chocolate truffles as easy as possible for you to make, so I’m giving you lots of options so you can use the ingredients you normally keep on hand!
Hint: Because they’re made without refined granulated sugar, these chocolate truffles are considered to be “clean eating” and paleo!
Milk. To make these truffles vegan and dairy free, I opted for unsweetened vanilla almond milk. (It’s the kind my family buys most often!) Yet just like with the sweetener, lots of other milks will work in these truffles. Cashew milk (my other favorite!), regular dairy milk, soy milk, rice milk… You name it!
No cream? That’s right… These healthy chocolate truffles are made without cream! That helps keep them low fat and low calorie — but they’re still soft and luxuriously smooth, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s the best of both worlds!
Optional coatings. I’ll cover how to coat truffles in a moment, if you’d like to dip yours in melted chocolate! But in the meantime, some less time-consuming options are to simply roll your healthy truffles in more cocoa powder (for an even stronger chocolate flavor!), shredded coconut (like an inverted Mounds candy bar!), finely ground freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries (for a fun fruity option!), or powdered peanut butter (like inside-out Reese’s peanut butter cups or buckeyes!).
Hint: If you look at some of the healthy truffles in my photos, I rolled a few in this powdered peanut butter!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Now that you have those three ingredients, let’s go over how to make the best chocolate truffles. It’s super easy — I promise!
Measure correctly. This is the extremely important part of making your healthy truffles. Make sure you measure the cocoa powder correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own!) Too much cocoa powder will make the mixture too dry to roll into balls, and it’ll also make your truffles taste bitter, rather than rich and dark chocolaty.
Tip: I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale, if you haven’t already! They’re really inexpensive and affordable, and using a kitchen scale helps ensure that your treats (baked goodies, chocolate truffles, or otherwise!) turn out with the proper taste and texture every time you make them.
One bowl. As long as you’ve measured the cocoa powder correctly, you can simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir them together with a fork. It’s that easy!
Why a fork? And not a spoon?
The open space between the tines of the fork allow for the ingredients to pass through and mix more efficiently… Which means it takes less time and effort to make these truffles!
Hint: It’ll take some patience and effort to fully incorporate all of the cocoa powder. It may look like there’s too much cocoa powder and not enough liquid, but just keep mixing! Mash the mixture together with your fork towards the end, or switch to a spatula to fold it in. As long as the cocoa powder was measured correctly, everything should come together!
Chill. Upon stirring together the ingredients, the chocolate mixture will be a little sticky. If you pop it in the refrigerator to chill, that makes the mixture stiffer and easier to work with. A brief 30 minutes is all it needs!
Roll. Time to shape your healthy chocolate truffles! Section off a small amount of the mixture using a spoon and spatula, and roll it between your palms. It’ll still be a little sticky, so it’s a somewhat messy process… But just wipe your hands with a lightly moistened paper towel in between shaping each one to minimize how much sticks to your hands!
As for how to make perfectly round truffles? I use my pointer fingers and thumbs to gently press down and smooth out the slightly pointy or more oval-shaped bits that can appear after rolling the mixture between my palms to make these homemade truffles look even and sphere-shaped.
Chill again. This is optional — but highly recommended! I found that the truffles had an even better taste and texture after chilling for 24-48 hours. The flavors melded more, and they were smoother on the inside too. I know it feels impossible to wait that long… But if you have the patience and will power, these healthy truffles are definitely worth it!
HOW TO COAT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
This part is optional! These healthy truffles taste fantastic plain, but if you’d like to go above and beyond… Here’s how to dip truffles in melted chocolate to get the prettiest and best coating!
Prep a baking sheet and space in the fridge. I like to line a baking sheet with wax paper, but parchment paper also works. You want something that will easily peel away (without sticking!) from the bottoms of your truffles once the melted chocolate has hardened.
As for the baking sheet and fridge… Using the baking sheet makes it easy to transport your truffles (as opposed to simply placing the wax paper or parchment paper on the counter!), and popping the truffles in the fridge makes the chocolate harden faster.
But I’m getting ahead of myself! Before you can coat the truffles, you first need chocolate. Specifically…
Use bars of chocolate, not chips. The best chocolates for coating truffles are chocolate bars — not chocolate chips! Many brands of chocolate chips include stabilizers, which prevent the chips from melting as thinly and evenly as bars of chocolate.
So for the best chocolate truffle coating, use bars of chocolate that you’ve roughly chopped yourself. I really like Ghirardelli and Lindt. When melted, they have a really thin consistency, almost like water, which makes it much easier to dip and coat the truffles. It also gives them a more even chocolate coating and prettier appearance!
Tip: The higher the chocolate percentage, the thinner the consistency of the chocolate when it’s melted… And the easier it is to coat your truffles! I recommend a minimum of 70% dark chocolate, but higher is even better, if you’re okay with that darker chocolate flavor. When making these just for myself (and not for sharing!), I’ll use anywhere from 85-95% dark chocolate. If using chocolate that’s less than 70% dark chocolate, you may need to add a bit of neutral-tasting oil (such as canola) to the melted chocolate to thin it out and make it easier to coat your truffles.
Keep the melted chocolate warm. This makes it easier to coat your healthy truffles, and it also gives them a prettier appearance. If your chocolate starts to cool and you have to reheat it to melt it again, you’ll often see speckles or freckles in the chocolate once the coating has cooled. Those don’t affect the flavor — only the appearance! But for truffles that look like the ones you’d buy in a chocolate shop (with no speckles, freckles, or bumps!), keep your chocolate warm while dipping them.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to keep your melted chocolate warm… I use a panini press! Mine is no longer sold in stores, but this panini press is similar. It has a metal top that becomes hot when the panini press is turned on, so I set a folded washcloth on top and place my bowl of melted chocolate on top of that to keep it warm.
Tip: If you have an electric griddle, that should work too!
Two-fork dipping method. I don’t use any special tools to coat my healthy chocolate truffles… Just two forks (and some patience!). Gently drop one truffle into your bowl of melted chocolate, roll it around with a fork until it’s completely coated, and then use two forks to raise it back up out of the chocolate. Gently rock it back and forth between the two forks to let the excess chocolate drip off back into the bowl. (I work slowly and rock the truffle back and forth a few times to achieve that perfect thin, even coating!) Then carefully set it down on your prepared baking sheet.
Tada! You’ve just dipped one gorgeous chocolate truffle!
Tip: If you want to sprinkle something on top, now is the time! I love dusting this flaky sea salt on mine. I’ve found it sticks the best when I’ve waited a little bit before adding it, so I’ll dip another two or three truffles before sprinkling the flaky sea salt on top. (If I sprinkle it immediately after dipping, the salt starts to dissolve in the melted chocolate and sometimes slips down the sides a bit instead of staying firmly planted on top.)
Some other fun toppings would be finely chopped chocolate or nuts, finely ground freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries, shredded coconut, or even regular sprinkles!
Chill. This is optional, but I love popping my tray of chocolate-coated truffles into the refrigerator to make the chocolate harden faster. Instead of waiting for an hour or two, they’re ready to eat in less than 30 minutes!
FAQS ABOUT HEALTHY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Are these healthy chocolate truffles vegan, gluten free, dairy free, or egg free?
Yes! If you follow the recipe as written, these homemade truffles are vegan (aka dairy free and eggless!) and gluten free. They’re also considered clean eating and paleo!
What’s the best cocoa powder for chocolate truffles?
Natural cocoa powder (also called natural unsweetened cocoa powder, regular unsweetened cocoa powder, or unsweetened cocoa powder) is best for making healthy truffles. See the “cocoa powder” header above for more information about what brand I use — and why I do not recommend using Dutched or “special dark” cocoa powder!
I don’t have maple syrup. Can I substitute something else?
Absolutely! Honey and agave work as 1-for-1 substitutes for the maple syrup. I’ve included a few more options in the Notes section of the recipe too!
Can I make these chocolate truffles sugar free?
Definitely! I’ve tried using this sugar free maple syrup, and that worked really well. Stevia will also work, if you prefer a “clean eating friendly” no calorie sweetener.
I don’t have almond milk. What can I use instead?
Any milk should work, so use whatever you currently have in your fridge! And no… You do not need to use cream to make chocolate truffles. These healthy ones have a perfectly soft, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture without it!
How should I store chocolate truffles? And how long do they keep?
Store these healthy chocolate truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (The actually have an even better taste and texture if you can wait 24-48 hours until after rolling them into balls to eat them!) When stored like this, they should last about a week, if not longer.
Time to make — and eat! — these deliciously rich and chocolaty homemade truffles! 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 healthy chocolate truffles!
Healthy Chocolate Truffles
- 1 cup (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this – and see Notes!)
- ¼ cup (60mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ¼ cup (60mL) pure maple syrup
- optional: melted chocolate, for coating, or other coatings (see Notes for ideas + more information!)
- Add the cocoa powder to a small bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the milk and maple syrup. Stir with a fork until all of the cocoa powder is fully incorporated. (It takes some effort and patience. See Notes!) Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
- Roll the chilled chocolate mixture into 16 balls. (If the mixture sticks to your hands, wipe them with a very lightly moistened paper towel in between rolling each one.) After rolling each one, place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Coat the truffles, if desired (see Notes!), before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
♡ Healthy Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Truffles
♡ Healthy Raspberry Truffles
♡ Healthy Mocha Truffles
♡ Healthy Eggnog Truffles
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Truffles
♡ Healthy Orange Truffles
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy truffle recipes and healthy candy recipes!
Christie Cole says...
Can I use sugar free syrup in place of Maple Syrup?
Stacey @ Amy's Healthy Baking says...
We really appreciate your interest in these truffles, Christie! The answer to your question is actually covered in the Notes section, directly under the recipe. I know it can be easy to miss though! 😉 I’d love to hear what you think if you end up trying this recipe!