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Dessert Cheese Ball with Dates: No Added Sugar

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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 set up 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. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: 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

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