Decadent Dessert Cheeseball for Your Next Office Party

Sneak Preview: This Decadent Dessert Cheeseball recipe is made with cream cheese and cottage cheese sweetened with dates, then rolled in chopped pecans, and served with graham crackers. Make the night before for best results.

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

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Are you searching for a holiday snack or appetizer that is a little bit sweet without tipping your guests into sugar nirvana after one bite? This cheeseball promises to be something different from cakes, cookies, and pies. It hits just the right sweetness level to satisfy any sweet tooth without going overboard.

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 is needed.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • COTTAGE CHEESE: Incorporating cottage cheese adds a delightful lightness to your dish. Its presence is undetectable in the finished creation. If preferred, you can use thick Greek yogurt as an alternative.
  • CREAM CHEESE: Opt for Neufchatel cheese to cut down on calories. For a gourmet touch, select a high-quality cream cheese like Mascarpone – it’s a sure way to impress.
  • LEMON JUICE: The addition of lemon juice enhances all the flavors. Whenever possible, opt for fresh lemon juice for the best result.
  • DATES: Aim to purchase whole dates. They tend to be softer and offer a fresher taste. However, be vigilant about removing any seeds to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Dried mission figs can serve as a good substitute.
  • PECANS: Toasting pecans is crucial for unlocking their full flavor potential – I consider it a must. For convenience, you can toast them in the microwave. If you prefer, you can replace them with toasted, chopped walnuts or toasted sliced almonds.

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?

I like a sweet cheeseball with buttery crackers like Ritz or graham crackers.

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

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

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.Pin

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.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

sweet date cheeseballPin
Yield: 30 servings

Dessert Cheeseball Recipe with Dates (No Added Sugar)

This dessert cheeseball is on the sweet side with cream cheese and cottage cheese, There is no added sugar, but dates provide plenty of sweetness.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 4 votes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


  • cup (70 g) cottage cheese drained
  • 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup (110 g) dates seeds removed, and finely chopped
  • ½ cup (49 g) pecans toasted and chopped


  • Combine 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese, 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a mixer or food processor until smooth.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup (110 g) dates. If using a food processor, pulse only 5-6 times until mixed. Refrigerate until firm.
  • Roll chilled cheese mixture in 1/2 cup (49 g) 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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. Becky Dills says:

    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.

  3. 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.

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

    2. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

    1. Beth Pope says:

      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.