Yam Balls With Coconut & Pecans Recipe

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Every year on Thanksgiving, my mother’s cinnamon pecan sweet potato casserole completely steals the show. This yam balls with coconut and pecans recipe tastes EXACTLY like it, but in fun, poppable little balls.

Some sort of sweet potato or yam-based dish is pretty much a Thanksgiving staple everywhere. But a big point of contention is the topping. We were never a marshmallow family. Cinnamon pecan streusel all the way.

These pecan-encrusted yam balls take a nod from my mother’s recipe. No marshmallows here. What this recipe does add to my mother’s classic, however, is coconut.

As a huge coconut fan, this is a welcome addition. Rolled in a sweet pecan and flaked coconut mixture, these yam balls have a light crispy exterior and a soft, sweet center.

These yam balls are a fun and tasty variation on the traditional holiday casserole. Bring them for the table as a new twist on the old classic, or just whip some up for a fun holiday appetizer.

That said, there’s no reason you have to save this yam balls with coconut and pecans recipe for the holidays. They make a fun app or healthy sweet treat any time of year.

Feeling a little holiday nostalgia in the wake of the new year, I brought these to a get-together last week and they were a big hit. And the best part? These healthy, naturally sweet treats didn’t threaten anyone’s new year’s resolutions.

Naturally sweet yams make these bite-sized balls a delicious treat without any added sugar. This yam balls with coconut and pecans recipe uses simple, clean ingredients for a warm, delicious flavor.

Maple syrup, ground ginger, orange zest, and cinnamon make these yam balls rich with warm spices and flavor.

This recipe is also pretty easy to make. The longest part of the process is prepping and cooking the yams. Start by washing and drying your yams, then placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about forty to fifty minutes at 450.

Once the yams have cooled, scoop out the flesh and mash until smooth. Then you’ll add the maple syrup, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, egg white, and salt.

Once mixed, roll into two-inch balls and coat in the coconut pecan mixture. Made with chopped pecans, shredded coconut, and remaining maple syrup, it doesn’t get better than biting into this sweet, slightly crispy exterior.

Bake at 350 for another fifteen minutes, cool and serve!

These yam balls are a fun and delicious treat to make for any party or get together. They also make a sweet and healthy snack for when your sweet tooth starts acting up.

These coconut pecan yam balls are a perfect treat that will last you through the holidays AND help you stay on track when the new year rolls around!

If you like this yam balls with coconut and pecans recipe, try some of these other sweet and healthy sweet potato treats:

Yam Balls With Coconut & Pecans Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yam Balls With Coconut & Pecans Recipe

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 2 balls | Calories: 222 | Total Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 74mg | Carbohydrates: 19g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Protein: 3g | SmartPoints: 10


  • 4 medium yams or sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Wash and dry the yams. Pat dry and prick all sides with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow the yams to cool until they are easy to handle.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and line a second baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Once cooled enough to handle, cut the yams and scoop out the flesh and place in a medium mixing bowl. Mash until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, egg white and salt.
  5. In a second mixing bowl, combine the coconut, pecans, and remaining maple syrup. Carefully form the yam mixture into 2 inch balls and gently roll the yam balls in the coconut pecan mixture. Gently press the coconut into the ball as needed. Place 1 inch apart on the second prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

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