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One of the most recognized confections in Newfoundland, these traditional snowballs are a no-bake version with lots of chocolate and coconut flavour!

One of the most recognized confections in Newfoundland, these traditional snowballs are a no-bake version with lots of chocolate and coconut flavour! #chocolate #snowballs #traditional #newfoundland #christmas #holiday

Simply referred to as snowballs by most Newfoundlanders, this might be one of the most common confections prepared at Christmastime across the island.  I’m not sure I can say that I’ve ever had a Christmas pass by without eating at least a few of these.

Traditional Newfoundland Snowballs

My mom used to make these all of the time, however, I can’t recall if her recipe used a store-bought chocolate cake mix, or if she made hers using cocoa powder.  My ex wife used to make these as well, but I think she was the one responsible for introducing me to the cake mix approach.  Either way you dice it, these are so freakin’ delicious!  And so easy too!

I first posted this recipe to the blog about 3 years ago. I remember bringing samples to work for everyone to try.  One of my coworkers, Nadia, liked them so much that she decided to make 10 dozen of them for a Christmas cookie exchange she was participating in.  I’m so glad they were a success for her!

One of the most recognized confections in Newfoundland, these traditional snowballs are a no-bake version with lots of chocolate and coconut flavour! #chocolate #snowballs #traditional #newfoundland #christmas #holiday


Now, I wanted to talk for a minute about the coconut.  Most of the snowball recipes I’ve found, uses sweetened coconut. My mom used to use sweetened coconut as well in her Traditional Newfoundland Snowballs. I found the sweetened coconut to be way too sweet, so I recommend using unsweetened coconut.

Traditional Newfoundland Snowballs

It’s imperative that you use a medium shred coconut for this recipe. Finely shredded coconut is too small and you won’t get the right snowball texture. The same goes for flaked coconut. It’s too big and it makes it really difficult to roll the mixture into balls.

Desiccated coconut is one of my favourite coconuts to use in baking, but sometimes it’s too fine. Find yourself a shredded coconut that’s clearly marked “medium shredded” and get the unsweetened for best results. If you really like sweet things, you can get sweetened coconut.


Have you walked down the baking aisle lately at any decent-sized grocery store? The available variety of boxed cake mixes is very impressive! It seems there’s one for every flavour you can think of, and then each flavour has a variety too.

One of the most recognized confections in Newfoundland, these traditional snowballs are a no-bake version with lots of chocolate and coconut flavour! #chocolate #snowballs #traditional #newfoundland #christmas #holiday

For instance, my local grocery store probably has four or five different types of chocolate cake mix – and that’s just from the one brand! So, which one is best for this recipe?

The simple answer, my Dear Reader, is either one of them. To be completely honest, I would recommend buying one that is brand name to get the best colour and taste. The brown colour you see inside the snowball here is based only on the cake mix, so you want a good quality.

I bought Duncan Hines this time around. You can use Betty Crocker too. The Duncan Hines brand has Dark Chocolate Fudge, Swiss Chocolate, German Chocolate, Triple Chocolate, and Devil’s Food – all great choices for these Traditional Newfoundland Snowballs.


Don’t worry; if your cake mix is an ounce or two over or under. Even the Duncan Hines flavours I mentioned above all have different sizes written on the box, or so it seems. It’s really not going to make a difference. Just find one that’s as close to 15 ounces as possible.


If you’re looking for a cookie that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze until you need them, then look no further! These snowballs are absolutely for doing just that.

These will freeze literally rock-hard, but don’t worry. All you need to do is to leave them at room temperature for maybe 20 minutes or so and they’ll be right back to normal.

Be sure to remove only as many as you need. You want to avoid freezing, thawing, and then freezing again if you don’t finish them all. I find the best way to thaw them is to place the number of snowballs I need onto a plate in a single layer. They thaw perfectly!

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3.67 from 48 votes

Traditional Newfoundland Snowballs

One of the most recognized confections in Newfoundland, these traditional snowballs are a no-bake version with lots of chocolate and coconut flavour!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Refrigeration Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 48 balls
Calories 154kcal
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 15 ounce store-bought boxed chocolate cake mix


  • In a saucepan, gently bring to a simmer, the butter, sugar, and milk. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Once the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups of the coconut (set aside one cup for rolling the snowballs into later), chocolate cake mix, and rolled oats.
  • Poor the cooled butter mixture over the dry ingredients, and using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix the ingredients together until well incorporated.
  • The mixture will look gooey. Place the bowl into the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Place the remaining one cup of coconut into a shallow, wide-set bowl. When the mixture has had time to set, use a small cookie scoop to portion out equal amounts of the cookie mixture. Roll the mixture into balls. Coat the balls in the remaining coconut by gently rolling the ball around.
  • Keep refrigerated. These snowballs are freezer friendly as well. Enjoy!


Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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One of the most recognized confections in Newfoundland, these traditional snowballs are a no-bake version with lots of chocolate and coconut flavour! #chocolate #snowballs #traditional #newfoundland #christmas #holiday

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This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Do you know how many cups of the cake mix would be needed? I have some bulk chocolate cake mix that I could use but i'm unsure of how much 1 box of mix equals. Thanks~
  2. Could this recipe be made in a cookie sheet pan cut in squares, as my hands don’t work very well to roll them!.? Thanks, they look relish!
    1. I don't think so, Enna. The cookie dough is very soft and might not cut too well. I would ask for help with the rolling.
  3. I made a batch of these and brought them to work and they were a hit! I halved the recipe because I knew the original recipe would be too much. I still have some of the batter left over in the fridge and will make the rest to enjoy at home!
  4. I was looking for a Christmas cookie recipes for my jobs Christmas party bake off and came across this recipe! These treats look simple to make and very delicious! Thanks for posting this recipe! Looking forward to making these for the party!
  5. How long do you have to refrigerate the mixture before rolling into balls. Mine has been refrigerated for 3 1/2 hrs and the mixture is still very soft and somewhat gooey.
    1. The mixture will be a little sticky, Kathy. If it is too sticky to work with, I would recommend adding a little bit more oats and coconut - but not too much. These are supposed to be soft.
  6. Can a holiday dessert get any yummier and easier than this! Looks marvelous and I would have never thought of using a store bought chocolate cake mix to use in a no bake dessert. I am absolutely going to try this for my holiday cookie share.
  7. Love it! Byron, these are most definitely a Christmas staple for my family. Of all the Christmas cookies, these remind me of Christmas the most! There are so many variations of the recipe (I make one with a tin of cream), and I've never heard of adding cake mix. That's one I need to try! Thanks for sharing your version!
  8. Changed this into a Gluten Free treat by using a gf chocolate cake mix and gf rolled oats. That way everyone can enjoy them at Christmas as one of our adult children is gluten intolerant ...
  9. Two questions: We looked at 8 different bags of coconut, frozen and shelf stable. None of them stated a grate (as in Medium). Specifically what brand of coconut did you use? 2) you should consider adding the word "instant" with the oatmeal. We had to make a special trip back to the store to get the right thing because it wasn't listed in the recipe.
  10. I make these every year but instead of the cake mix, my recipe calls for 5-6 tsp cocoa. Never saw a recipe for these snowballs using a cake mix.

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