No Bake Chocolate Cherry Cookies

You'll say pretty please with a cherry on top for seconds when you try these raw chocolate cherry cookies

Credit: Jasmine Pahl

Use this summer’s bumper crop of cherries to adorn your chocolate cookies

Nutrient-dense and fudgy, these chocolate cherry cookies come with a literal cherry on top, and you don’t even have to turn on your oven to make them

Don’t you just love it when life actually is a bowl of cherries? When everything is just sweet with no compromises? I had one of those moments when I whipped up a batch of these no-bake chocolate cherry cookies for a friend’s housewarming using some dark-red, nearly black Bing cherries I’d scored at the West End farmer’s market. BC growers had a bumper crop of over seven million pounds this year, so cherries should be around for at least another few weeks.


  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 cup dates, soaked with pits in, for one hour
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder. You can use standard cocoa powder but using raw provides exponentially more antioxidants and other nutrients.
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 8-10 ripe cherries, pitted and sliced in half. Do yourself a favour and invest in a cherry pitter. It is the only single-use kitchen tool I own, but it’s worth the space it takes up because it saves so much aggravation and prevents waste.
  • 1 teaspoon ground vanilla beans
  • Big pinch of sea salt


  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Pit the dates and set aside. The water the dates were soaking in can be used to sweeten porridge or nut milks.
  3. In a food processor, grind walnuts until they are the consistency of flour.
  4. Add cacao powder, ground vanilla beans and salt. Add dates and maple syrup and blend well. 
  5. With clean hands, form tablespoon-sized balls. Though the dough looks crumbly in the food processer, it will press together with your fingers.
  6. Flatten the bottom of the ball so it will sit upright. Press an indentation in the centre of the ball and fill it with half a cherry, skin side down.
  7. Arrange on a cookie sheet and chill for one hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator. The cherry-filled cookies will keep refrigerated for two or three days though I can’t imagine them lasting that long. Dough or unfilled cookies will keep for 10 days or so in the fridge and will freeze like a dream.  

Makes about 16 cookies