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Dessert Cheese Ball with Dates: No Added Sugar

Preview: This Dessert Cheese Ball recipe is made of cream cheese sweetened with dates, then rolled in pecans, and served with crackers. Updated 2/13/21.

Dates are nature’s little sugar cubes, shaped like a miniature football and apparently soaked in God’s magic elixir. Dates provide the only sweetness in the recipe. No additional sugar added.

closeup Date Cheese ball-decorated with strawberries and served with homemade graham crackers.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • CREAM CHEESE: Save calories by using Neufchatel cheese. Win friends by using the best quality cream cheese you can find.
  • COTTAGE CHEESE: Cottage cheese adds lightness to the ball. No one will be able to discern this ingredient in the final product, I promise. Thick Greek yogurt could be substituted.
  • LEMON JUICE: Lemon juice brings out the flavors. Use fresh juice if at all possible.
  • DATES: Buy whole dates if you can. They are softer and taste fresher. But don’t miss removing any seeds. That would be a disaster. Dried mission figs are a possible substitution,
  • PECANS: Toasting the pecans brings out the flavor. Not optional in my book. Make it easy on yourself and toast your pecans in the microwave. Substitute toasted walnuts (chopped) or toasted sliced almonds if you like.

What can I do with leftover dates?

I used to make a mini dessert by topping a ritz cracker with a date. I also love chopping and adding them to bread such as this Banana Whole Wheat Yeast Bread. Check out this apple butter sweetened only with dates.

What do I serve with a date-sweetened cheese ball?

Serve this sweet Cheese Ball with buttery crackers, or graham cracker

Fresh fruit on the tray makes the whole setup more interesting since there’s not much color to the cheese ball itself. Strawberries are at the top of my list.

Dessert cheese ball that has been sliced into to show texture.

How to assemble this Dessert Cheeseball recipe:

Pictorial of assembling the cheese ball: rolling balls in chopped pecans, molding the ball and unmolding for serving.
1. Place chopped pecans onto a paper plate.
2. Roll cheeseball in pecans to cover.
3. Place the pecan-covered ball into a small dish (that you like the shape of) lined with plastic wrap.
4. Apply pressure to the cheeseball inside the dish to conform. Chill.
5. Turn the dish upside-down to release the cheeseball onto a serving dish.

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p.s. Questions or suggestions? Please email me: Paula at

Yield: 30 servings

Dessert Cheese Ball Recipe with Dates

Dessert Cheese Ball Recipe with Dates

This cheese ball is on the sweet side with cream cheese, cottage cheese and dates.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese, drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup dates, seeds removed, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


  1. Combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, and lemon juice in a mixer or food processor until smooth.
  2. Stir in dates. If using a food processor, pulse only 5-6 times until mixed. Refrigerate until firm.
  3. Roll chilled cheese mixture in pecans. Make a ball or get creative. Find a small dish with an oval or square shape or even a funnel for a cone shape. Line with plastic wrap. Force cheese mixture into the shape of the bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 51Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 33mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

terry m.

Monday 10th of December 2012

Just a note, in case anyone else does a search for Carole Walter's graham cracker recipe, lie I did. I have her book, but wanted to find the recipe online, so I could transfer it onto my online recipe folder. I make these crackers every year for Christmas, dipped in chocolate. When I used your recipe it was way to crumbly. So I checked the book. Her recipe calls for 3/4 cup of butter instead of 1/4 cup. You may have done that on purpose, and maybe it works !! But I just wanted to give a tip in case anyone else was having trouble.


Monday 10th of December 2012

Terry, That is my mistake. You are correct about 3/4 cup. I also have the recipe listed on this post and it is correct. So sorry Terry. Love these graham crackers.

Becky Dills

Tuesday 1st of November 2011

OMG! This morning, while I should be job hunting on line, I stumbled across You are my new favorite person! I have sat here way too long looking at all of your recipes and reading how to make my own yogurt. I just had to let you know how impressed I am. I am a person who loves to cook and everyone wants all get togethers to be at our house so that I have to be the cook. Your recipes are ones I cannot wait to try. We are having a family dinner (we do this once a month to keep family in touch) this weekend and I am making some of your dinner rolls for sure. Thank you for taking the time to share your recipes and tips.


Friday 11th of February 2011

I have always wanted to try homemade graham crackers! I whipped these puppies up last week and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top before baking. My five-year-old graham cracker connoisseur declared, "These are gooder than the store-bought ones, Mama! Yummy!" A million thank-yous for the awesome idea to roll them out in a ziploc bag and freeze before cutting!! What genius. They were super-easy to make.

The only trouble I had was getting the dough to form a ball. I needed to add maybe 1/4 c. of water to get it to stick together and not be too floury.


Monday 10th of December 2012

Alyssa, I note you left this comment almost two years ago but I just figured out why you couldn't get the dough to form a ball. There was a typo in the recipe, which I have corrected. Instead of 1/4 cup of butter, there should be 3/4 cup of butter. I'm so thankful to the commenter who noticed it.


Friday 11th of February 2011

Glad the ziploc bag worked for you. I use it for MANY recipes.


Friday 1st of January 2010

Both recipes sound fabulous! I love dates, and I've been on the hunt for a good graham cracker recipe. I like your bold text note about the cottage cheese. I like cottage cheese, but some people are so scared of it!


Thursday 31st of December 2009

Ok, how many people make their own cheeseballs, turn around and make their own graham crackers? Tell, me, how many? :) (I probably would)! These look incredible - and the dates (I love dates - but not a lot of people I know do)! I am going to make this, of course I have everything in the house except the dates. Those crackers look SO professional (Keebler, watch out)! Kudos to you for all the effort - I can just imagine everything tastes spectaular - and Happy New Year!

Beth Pope

Friday 1st of January 2010

Happy New Year Paula! I am going to try these homemade graham crackers - Don will absolutely love them- he doesn't like things too sweet - and the cheeseball looks wonderful - We're having a bunch over today and I'm making your blackeyed pea dip - thanks for sharing! The pictures are incredible.

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