(Last Updated On: December 19, 2022)
These simple, easy-to-make, and also no-bake orange balls are made with vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, finely chopped pecans, and frozen orange juice concentrate. They are then rolled in sweetened coconut flakes or powdered sugar. A scrumptious orange balls recipe that is fit for a King (or Queen)! 🙂 So yummy!
These treats are fun to make during the holiday season just like our other seasonal favorites such as deviled eggs, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, sugar cream pie, and peach pie with canned peaches, and of course, can’t forget the hot chocolate.
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!
Orange balls, which can also be called orange snowballs, are easy to prepare and serve all through December. Especially during the Christmas holiday 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
This recipe for orange balls uses only 5 very simple 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
- Extra powdered sugar (to roll orange balls in – optional)
🍊 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 11 ounces of vanilla wafer cookies into a large zip lock bag. If you don’t have a zip lock bag, a plastic bag will do.
Note: If you prefer, you can use a food processor instead of a ziplock bag. If you choose to use a food processor, use the pulse button to grind the vanilla wafers into cookie crumbs, but be careful not to grind them too much before they turn into a flour-like consistency.
Step 2. Crush the Vanilla Wafers
After you have put the cookies in a bag, make vanilla wafer crumbs by using your hands to break up the cookies. You can also crush them by using a rolling pin.
Step 3. Put the Crushed Wafers, Powdered Sugar, and Pecans 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 if you prefer, you can buy whole pecans and use a food chopper to chop them. But be careful, just like with the vanilla wafers, not to chop the pecans too much before they turn into a flour-like consistency.
Step 4. Mix the Dry Ingredients
With a spoon or spatula, stir the vanilla wafers together with the powdered sugar and finely chopped pecans until thoroughly blended.
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 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 ball 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 round pie pan just because, no rhyme or reason here. So, with that said, 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
Take a heaping tablespoon of the orange ball mixture and roll it in your hands to form a 1-inch ball. You can also use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop if you have one. The mixture is going to be sticky because it’s supposed to be sticky. This way the coconut will be able to stick to the sticky mixture. 😉
Step 9. Roll the Orange Ball in the Coconut Flakes
Then, roll the sticky 1-inch 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.
Repeat the process with the rest of the 1-inch balls you want to be covered in coconut flakes.
Step 10. Put Some 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 large bowl.
Step 11. Put an Orange Ball into the Powdered Sugar
Form another 1-inch 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 to roll balls until you have used all of the orange mixture. Finish rolling them in either coconut flakes or powdered sugar or both as we did.
✨ Ready to Serve Orange Balls
And that’s it, we are all done making these easy orange balls the whole family will gobble up!
You can serve them on a plate, serving platter, or in a bowl. Or, you can put each orange ball in an individual small cupcake liner. There are many different designs to choose from for different special occasions that may be coming up for you. They look really cute with each one in its own individual cupcake liner, all sitting on a plate or serving platter for your guests to enjoy.
Just remember to keep them chilled in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them. Only serve the number of orange balls needed, then replenish your serving platter when needed.
Orange balls are definitely a yummy treat, but they are also very filling. So it only takes just a couple of orange balls to satisfy your sweet tooth craving. Enjoy!
⭐️ Recipe Variations
- Roll coconut on all of the orange balls instead of the powdered sugar.
- Roll the orange balls in powdered sugar only.
- Roll the orange balls only in finely chopped pecans.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract at the same time you add the orange juice.
- You can add 1 stick of melted butter to the mix if you prefer to do so.
When the orange balls are done, put them in 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. Be aware though that freezing may compromise taste and texture. If you do freeze them, put the orange balls into a freezer-safe sealed container or ziplock 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 at room temperature until thawed or partially thawed. Half frozen, half not orange balls are so delicious!
📋 Final Thoughts
These little orange balls are a sweet treat and so tasty. The flavor of the vanilla wafers mixed in with the orange juice creates a sweet and gooey orange taste center that is beyond amazing!
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 delicious, especially during the holidays! They are the perfect little treat to make during Christmas time to give to your friends and family. The best part is that they are no bake which means they are even easier to make.
🎇 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!
📋 Recipe Card
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.
- 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 for about 3 to 4 months.
One of the smartest and most responsible little girls you’ll ever meet. Kylie is on the student council at school and loves being involved in all kinds of sports and activities. She published her first post at 10 years old and is looking forward to writing many more!
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