(Last Updated On: September 22, 2022)
These simple, easy-to-make, and also no-bake orange balls are made with vanilla wafers, frozen orange juice concentrate, powdered sugar, and finely chopped pecans. They are then rolled in coconut flakes or powdered sugar. A scrumptious orange balls recipe that is fit for a King (or Queen)! 🙂 So yummy!
This is a Southern orange ball recipe from my Nana from Texas! I helped her make them when she spent a month with us this last August. It was so much fun!
These orange balls are easy to prepare and serve all through December during the Christmas season, or for that matter, any other holiday season too! Also, orange balls are great to serve at birthday parties, cookie exchanges, and special occasions.
🗝️ Key Ingredients
- Vanilla wafers (1 box – 11 ounces)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed at room temperature)
- 2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes
🍊 How to Make Orange Balls (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
For steps 1 through 6 below, we will stir together the ingredients for the inside of the orange balls which consist of vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, finely chopped pecans, and thawed orange juice concentrate.
Then, for steps 7 through 12, there are two options for the outside coating, the coconut flakes coating or the powdered sugar coating. We did half of the orange balls with coconut flakes and the other half with powdered sugar because we have a few family members who don’t like coconut flakes.
Step 1. Prepare the Wafers
First, put all of the 11 ounces of vanilla wafer cookies into a large zip lock bag. If you prefer, you can use a food processor instead of a zip lock bag.
Step 2. Crush the Vanilla Wafers
Next, use your hands to break up the vanilla wafers that are inside the zip lock bag into little pieces. You can also crush them by using a rolling pin.
Note: If you choose to use a food processor, use the pulse button to grind the vanilla wafers into pieces, however, be careful not to grind them too much before they turn into flour.
Step 3. Put the Powdered Sugar, Pecans, and Wafers in a Mixing Bowl
Then, dump the crushed vanilla wafers into a mixing bowl with 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 cup of finely chopped pecans.
Note: You can buy pecans that are already finely chopped in the grocery store or you can buy whole pecans and use a food chopper to chop them. As with the vanilla wafers, be careful not to grind them too much before they turn into flour.
Step 4. Mix the Dry Ingredients
After that, stir the vanilla wafers together with the powdered sugar and finely chopped pecans using a spatula until all is mixed well.
Step 5. Add the Orange Juice Concentrate
Next, add 6 ounces of thawed orange juice concentrate together with the vanilla wafer mixture. If you can’t find a 6-ounce container of frozen orange juice concentrate in the store, you may have to get a 12-ounce container and split that in half.
Note: The orange juice concentrate doesn’t have to be completely thawed if you are short on time. It will thaw quickly when you start mixing it with the other ingredients.
Step 6. Mix in the Orange Juice Concentrate
Then, mix the thawed orange juice concentrate with the vanilla wafer mixture until it all sticks together. If it isn’t sticking together, you may need to add a little more of the orange juice concentrate.
We are now done making the mixture that will make the orange juice balls. In the next few steps, you can choose the coconut coating or the powdered sugar coating, or both, as we did.
Step 7. Spread out the Coconut Flakes
After making the orange balls mixture, then fill the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with 2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes to roll the orange balls in.
Note: We used a 9-inch pie pan just because. You can use anything you like to roll the orange balls in the coconut.
Step 8. Form an Orange Ball and Put it into the Coconut
Step 9. Roll the Orange Ball in the Coconut Flakes
Then, roll the sticky orange ball into the sweetened coconut flakes until it is completely covered. Lightly press the orange ball into the coconut flakes so the coconut can adhere to the orange ball.
Step 10. Put More Powdered Sugar into a Bowl
This is another option if you want to roll the orange balls in powdered sugar instead of the coconut flakes. Put about a cup of powdered sugar into a bowl.
Step 11. Put an Orange Ball into the Powdered Sugar
Form another orange ball and put it in the powdered sugar.
Step 12. Roll the Orange Ball in the Powdered Sugar
Then roll the orange ball around in the powdered sugar making sure to completely cover the orange ball. Continue this process until you have used all of the orange ball mixture and finished rolling them in either coconut or powdered sugar.
Ready to Serve Orange Balls
And that’s it, we are all done making these easy orange balls the whole family will gobble up! What a fun and yummy treat to eat! They are very filling, so a couple of orange balls will take care of that sweet tooth craving. Enjoy!
After the orange balls are done, put them into the refrigerator in an airtight container. They can be kept in the refrigerator for about 3 or 4 days if they last that long.
Yes, you can freeze orange balls. Put the orange balls into a freezer-safe sealed container or zip lock bag. Orange balls can be in the freezer for about 3 or 4 months. When you want some orange balls, take out however many you need, and let them sit on the countertop until thawed or partially thawed. Half frozen, half not orange balls are so delicious!
📋 Final Thoughts
These little orange balls are so tasty. The flavor of the vanilla wafters mixed in with the orange juice creates a sweet and gooey center that is beyond delicious! The coconut on the outside and the finely chopped pecans on the inside – and some making their way to the outside – set this treat above all the rest. They are so amazing!
🎇 More Treat Recipes You Will Love
- Homemade Marshmallow Easter Eggs – With sprinkles!! The chocolate on the outside and the creamy inside are just heavenly!
- Cocoa Krispie Treats – Made with melted butter, mini marshmallows, and Cocoa Krispies cereal, then all squished together in a pan and cut into delightful Cocoa Krispie squares! Yum!
Orange Balls Recipe
- With your hands, crush the vanilla wafers in a zip lock bag or use a food processor. You can also use a rolling pin.
- Put the crushed vanilla wafers into a mixing bowl with the powdered sugar and the finely chopped pecans. Mix well.
- Add the thawed orange juice concentrate. Mix all of the ingredients well to form a sticky orange ball mixture.
- With the palms of your hands (or a cookie scooper) make balls out of the sticky orange ball mixture.
- Fill the bottom of a pie pan (or whatever you prefer to use) with the coconut flakes.
- Roll the orange balls in the coconut flakes.
- Put the orange balls in a sealed air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For those who don't like coconut, you can roll half of the orange ball mixture in coconut, and half in powdered sugar.
- Orange balls can be put into the freezer in a sealed container for about 3 to 4 months.
- You can roll the orange balls in any extra finely chopped pecans if you don’t want to roll them in coconut or powdered sugar.
- Store any leftover orange balls in the refrigerator for about 3 or 4 days, or put them in a sealed container in the freezer.