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Healthy Chocolate Coconut Nests

Bite-sized and gluten-free, these healthy chocolate coconut nests are filled with a creamy chocolate and coconut ganache. A perfect option for a lighter treat!

healthy chocolate-coconut baskets

*Please note* this post was first published in 2017. I’ve since redone the text but the recipe remains the same.

Yes, you read it right. Healthy!! I mean, everyone’s definition of “healthy” is different, and considering there is a chocolate ganache filling in these bad boys, they aren’t exactly akin to a banana – BUT – compared to many other treats you could give to your kiddos, these ones are a solid win.

Since discovering the naturally sweet, caramel-like glory of Medjool dates a couple of years ago, I’ve been experimenting with them as the sweetener in quite a few kid-friendly desserts. I’ve used them in my raspberry coconut balls, coconut cream larabars, and my perfect on-the-go peanut butter snack balls! I know, lots of balls.

Had to change it up and call these “nests” instead!

How do you make these chocolate coconut nests?

These little baskets come together in the food processor just like the other snacks mentioned above, but there’s a little more legwork as you have to first toast the coconut, and also freeze the dough into a basket shape prior to filling them!

The “dough” (I call it dough, because what else to call it?) is composed of all sorts of healthy goodies. Dates, coconut, cashews, cocoa powder, and pecans! Not a bad nutritional profile for a dessert ๐Ÿ˜‰

I like to use my silicone mini muffin mold to form the baskets in; if you’re using an aluminum mini muffin pan, be sure to grease it very, very well so you can easily pop out the baskets once they’ve set.

Healthy Chocolate-Coconut Baskets

The baskets are composed of about 1 tablespoon of dough; I just drop the mixture in and use my fingers to create a bit of a well in the center. They will need to be frozen for about an hour and a half. Be sure to let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes or so to warm up a bit before popping them from their mold.

What do you fill chocolate coconut nests with?

Now, for the naughty part – the coconut ganache!! In keeping with the coconut theme, I use warm coconut milk to melt my chopped up chocolate and I toss in some grated coconut for flavour and texture. If you can resist just plain eating the coconut ganache with a spoon, fill your tarts full with the ganache and sprinkle a little coconut on top for effect – and crunch!

Healthy Chocolate-Coconut Baskets

Can you use different fillings in this recipe?

I actually created this recipe waaay back in March, but didn’t get around to posting it because I was experimenting with different fillings for the basket. I’ve used coconut whipped cream, as well as chocolate-covered blueberries as a filling. Both were delicious. Since this recipe is mainly all about the actual nest part, feel free to fill these guys with whatever you think would be delicious!

They’re a perfect little treat for kids, since they’re pretty healthy yet have all of the taste of a dessert. Since they’re gluten-free, they’re also a good option for those with a more restricted diet!

We’re all about to open up the gates to indulgent holiday eating, so if you need something on the lighter side, my little nests are a great option! Plus, everyone loves a bite-sized dessert that they can pop into their mouth in one go!

Healthy Chocolate-Coconut Baskets-10

Some other healthier delicious little treats from the blog:

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chocolate coconut nests

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Nests

  • Author: Katherine
  • Total Time: 1 hours 60 minutes
  • Yield: 12 baskets 1x


Bite-sized and gluten-free, these healthy chocolate coconut nests are filled with a creamy chocolate and coconut ganache. A perfect option for a lighter treat!


  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 1/4 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2.5 tbsp. cocoa powder*
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Chocolate Coconut Ganache

  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and scatter the coconut in a single layer onto a large baking sheet. Toast the coconut for about 5 minutes, or until a light brown colour and fragrant. Remove and cool.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the cashews and pecans. Pulse the nuts until they’re small andย  crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add the dates, coconut, cocoa powder and coconut oil and continue to pulse until the dates are blended and a soft, sticky dough begins to form.
  3. If using an aluminum mini muffin pan, grease the pan thoroughly with non-stick spray or coconut oil. I used a silicone pan, which requires no greasing. Using about a tablespoon of dough, drop the dough into each cavity of the muffin pan and use your fingers to create a well in the middle of the cavity, forming the dough along the sides to create a basket shape.
  4. Once all cavities are full, place the muffin tray into the freezer for an hour and a half. Remove the pan, and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before popping the baskets out. If using an aluminum pan, it is helpful to run a knife along the edge of the baskets prior to removing. Arrange the baskets on a large baking sheet.
  5. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl, and pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and place on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the milk begins to steam, but prior to boiling, pour the coconut milk over the chocolate and allow it to sit and melt the chocolate for a few minutes before stirring into a smooth ganache. Add the shredded coconut.
  6. Using a spoon, fill the baskets full of ganache, and top with coconut. Place the baskets in the fridge to harden before serving, about 15 minutes.

Make ahead:ย Make the baskets ahead of time and store them in the freezer, in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow them to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before filling.

Filled baskets will keep at room temperature for quite a few hours, but are best stored in the fridge, up to 4-5 days.


  1. Dutch-processed or regular cocoa powder works fine.
  2. Experiment with different fillings for the baskets! Try coconut whipped cream, or chocolate-covered fruit.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: food processor
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate coconut nests // coconut nest candy

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Healthy Chocolate Coconut Nests


  1. I’m all about heathier treats….that way I can eat a couple ๐Ÿ˜‰ These are absolutely genius, my friend! And that coconut chocolate ganache sounds absolutely delicious! Pinning these and enjoying soon! Hope you’re having an awesome week!

  2. um, chocolate coconut ganache sounds INCREDIBLE. i would maybe eat too much of it to have enough to put it into the baskets lol.

  3. Dates are just magical! These are so cute!

  4. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    LOVE these! I’m thinking I’ll replace the dark chocolate in the ganache with cacao powder and add a little maple syrup and serve these to my mom, who doesn’t eat refined sugar. She’ll go crazy because she loves coconut! These sound just awesome, and I’m already thinking of more fillings to try. Dyed coconut to sprinkle on top for Easter would be so cute!

  5. I’m absolutely making these Katherine! After I saw your Instagram post, I immediately went to your site to find the recipe! These are my kind of cookie. Just love all those ingredients! Maybe I’ll make them this weekend, along with your recipe for sweet potato fries, which are also on my must-try list!

    • Hooray!! You are in good company then – I love nuts and dates and all things like that too! I would love to hear how they turned out, you’ll have to let me know!! We can do a share swap, since I’m for sure making those overnight muffins ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. These healthy baskets look so cute and delicious, Katherine! My daughter, who is trying to avoid sugars an carbs, would love these as much as I do. I’ve got to make of batch of this for us girls!

  7. I so loooove coconut and you have incorporated three types of it!!!! I’d be more than happy to serve this along with other indulgent desserts so the health conscious won’t be deprived. OH yeah, these would be great for breakfast too. Have a great Thanksgiving Kathy:)

    • I also LOVE coconut Maria!! I can’t get enough. You just gave me a terrific idea – I will have to make these and serve them with yogurt on the inside! Genius!! Thank you Maria – our Thanksgiving was last month but I’m celebrating in spirit with all of you!! XO

  8. Ben|Havocinthekitchen

    I’m always a bit sceptical about “healthy desserts” especially when they are sugar/gluten/butter/egg/dairy etc-free. But I’m absolutely into this scrumptious dessert, Katherine. The combo of coconut and chocolate is divine. Indeed, these are all my favorite ingredients! Pecans, cashews, dates…mmm this is my kind of healthy dessert. The problem is how to limit yourself to just a few pieces, otherwise I can easily balance the healthy ingredients with an unhealthy amount of them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m with you, Ben! I always give healthy desserts a bit of a side eye ๐Ÿ˜‰ You’re right though, coconut, chocolate and nuts make this healthy snack a full on treat!! The problem is definitely knowing how many to eat! Thanks Ben!

  9. This looks like an awesome recipe Katherine. I love that you used dates as a sweetener. With all the sugary desserts and treats which tempt us during this part of the year, this sounds like a welcome and perfect treat alternative. I absolutely love it ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. marcie@flavorthemoments

    I love healthier sweet treats like this and we can all use a little guilt this time of year! I’m a huge fan of the chocolate-coconut combo so I’m sold. ๐Ÿ™‚ I made a coconut milk ganache once and loved it so much — thank you for the reminder to make that again. I’ll take a dozen of these little baskets!

  11. I’m a coconut fanatic, so these are literally making my mouth water. And so simple!!! Such a perfect dessert or mid-afternoon pick me up.

  12. These little baskets have my name written all over them! I love the chocolate coconut combo! Sweet little treats!

  13. Coconut and chocolate is always going to be a winning combination and these just look so excellent. I could eat about 50 in one go!

  14. I love a healthy treat Kathy! And I love it more when it looks so delicious! Dates are my favorite thing! Love how you have used them here..And that coconut ganache is yumm:)

  15. Hello Katherine…! i love chocolate and chocolate with coconut this combination i really like it. i can’t wait to make this. and your basket looks sooooo yummy and beautiful….Thanks for sharing……!

  16. Yum! These chocolate treats seem so finger-licking, Katherine! Can I use almond milk instead of coconut milk?

  17. Totally love ! Thank you !

  18. These look irresistible Katherine!! I’m scared to try dates, but maybe I’ll give them a try! Chocolate and coconut together is a good thing for sure!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Pinned!

  19. Pingback: No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Balls | Love In My Oven

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