Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles

Prep 15 mins
Total 15 mins

These festive Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles are a perfect make ahead holiday appetizer! Loaded with creamy goat cheese, cinnamon, cranberries and crunchy pecans, these mini cheese balls are always one of the first appetizers to go. Plus, they only take 15 minutes to make!

Goat cheese truffle on parchment paper being drizzled with honey.

Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles

The holidays are here again and we are celebrating with my favorite Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles! I know the word “truffles” are normally reserved for a dessert or an expensive mushroom, but I think it describes them much better than ‘mini cheese balls’ ever could.

Each truffle is filled with creamy goat cheese, warm notes of cinnamon, crunchy pecans and some sweet honey to pull the flavor all together. Then we roll each little bite size truffle in a festive mixture of dried cranberries (or cherries!), pecans and fresh parsley. Once you drizzle on some gorgeous golden honey, they always disappear in seconds!

These easy goat cheese truffles are incredibly quick to whip up and take about 15 minutes of total work. They also can be made the day before a party, making them a perfect holiday appetizer. If you are traveling to friends or families for the holiday, they also travel incredibly well!

Cranberry Pecan goat cheese truffle on parchment paper.

Ingredients

You will need a handful of ingredients to make these mini goat cheese balls:

  • Goat Cheese. You will want to use the traditional creamy goat cheese. I know they sell lots of goat cheeses now with flavors already added, but with this recipe, I prefer to be in control of the added flavors. So the plain creamy goat cheese is best!
  • Cream Cheese. Cream cheese helps to give the truffles the perfect texture and saves a little cash on buying all goat cheese for your truffles. The goat cheese is the stronger flavor profile, so you can’t even taste it!
  • Cinnamon.
  • Honey. I use honey in the truffle itself and also like to drizzle the goat cheese truffles with honey just before serving.
  • Pecans. You can also use walnuts or pistachios!
  • Dried Cranberries. Any dried fruit is tasty with these goat cheese balls, but dried cranberries or dried cherries will give you a festive look of red and green for the holidays.
  • Fresh Parsley. Parsley is a very mild flavored fresh herb. It adds a burst of fresh flavor to your truffles, but also gives them that gorgeous green color. However, it is optional and you can skip it if you are not a parsley fan.

How To Make Mini Goat Cheese Truffles

These goat cheese truffles may look impressive, but I promise you they are incredibly easy to whip together. From start to finish, these goat cheese balls take me about 15 minutes to whip together. Let’s get started!

Combine: In a large bowl, you will need to beat together the goat cheese, cream cheese, cinnamon and honey until light and fluffy. I like to do this with a hand mixer because it is MUCH easier to beat the cheeses together with a little electric power. Then fold in a 1/2 cup of the pecan chips.

Toppings: Line countertop with parchment paper. Toss together remaining pecan chips, dried cranberries and parsley in the center of the parchment paper.

Scoop: Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out one round of cheese filling and gently roll it in the cranberry/pecan mixture. Continue until all truffles have been rolled in coating.

Store: Refrigerate cheeseballs until ready to serve. You can make these up to three days before, just make sure and store them in an airtight container.

To Serve: Drizzle with honey, if desired. Serve with crackers, warm crostini or as is with a toothpick!

Recipe Tips

  • Hand Mixer. I find it a lot easier to whip together the cream cheese and goat cheese with a hand mixer or stand mixer. It can be done by hand, but just know that you will be working out those arm muscles!
  • No Parsley. If you don’t like parsley, but still want to get that festive red and green look, I recommend swapping your chopped pecans for chopped pistachios. You will still get that great red and green look, but without having to use fresh herbs.
  • I don’t Like Goat Cheese. If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese, yes, you can swap it fully for just cream cheese. You can also use any other soft mild cheese you do like, many readers have told me feta works great as well.
  • Cookie Scoop. Using a cookie scoop will help keep your mini cheese balls all even in size. It also makes it a lot easier to scoop the cheese filling into a ball shape and then roll it into the toppings.
Up close image of goat cheese truffle rolled in pecans, dried cranberries and parsley.

Can I Make Cheese Balls Ahead Of Time?

Yes! This mini cheese balls make an excellent make ahead holiday appetizer and also travel very well. You can make them up to a few days ahead of your party and they will taste just as good as they day you made them. Just make sure and do not drizzle them with honey until you are ready to serve them.

If you need to travel with these goat cheese balls, wrap them in an air tight container and refrigerate them until you are leaving. Then transfer them in an ice chest with a couple of ice packs. I traveled with these goat cheese balls for 4 hours last year and they were still perfectly chilled once we arrived at our destination.

How To Store Cheese Truffles

Store these mini goat cheese balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

And yes, you can even freeze these mini cheese balls! Wrap them tightly in saran wrap (I wrap each individual cheese ball) and then store them in a freezer ziplock bag. Just make sure you allow them to thaw completely, in the refrigerator, before serving.

Goat cheese truffle on parchment paper being drizzled with honey.
Yield: 18 truffles

Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles

Goat cheese truffle on parchment paper being drizzled with honey.

These festive Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles are a perfect make ahead holiday appetizer! Loaded with creamy goat cheese, cinnamon, cranberries and crunchy pecans, these mini cheese balls are always one of the first appetizers to go. Plus, they only take 15 minutes to make!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 oz goat cheese
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups Fisher Nuts pecan chips, divided
  • 1 cup diced dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the goat cheese, cream cheese, cinnamon and honey until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup pecan chips, folding to combine. Set aside.
  2. Line your countertop with parchment paper. Toss together remaining pecan chips, dried cranberries and parsley in the center of the parchment paper.
  3. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out one round of cheese filling and toss in the cranberry/pecan mixture. Continue until all truffles have been rolled in coating. (If you have any questions, watch the video in this recipe card to see how I easily do this.)
  4. Refrigerate cheeseballs until ready to serve. You can make these up to three days before, just make sure and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  5. To Serve: Drizzle truffles with honey, if desired. Serve with crackers, warm crostini or as is with a toothpick (or pretzel stick)!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18 truffles

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g

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Comments

142 Responses
  1. Fiona

    My family liked them. I used less cinnamon and left out the honey. I drizzled honey on the top which was enough to get the hint of sweetness. I used a few fresh mint leaves along with the parsley. Tasted amazing.

  2. Jean

    Gosh, what can I say about these little gems? They are exactly what the party needs. Love um, wouldn’t change a thing. Oh I did use hot honey on mine. I like a little kick… Thanks Jessica for sharing.

  3. Elizabeth

    I just made these. I did double the recipe, and it made 46. Maybe my scoop was too big. Anyway, I followed the directions, but used a stand mixer instead of a hand mixer, and processed until fluffy. I was thinking fluffy meant like you see when you cream butter and sugar together for cakes and cookies. Well, let me tell you, it was impossible to form a ball because if the mixture was fluffy. I had to put the bowl in the freezer for almost an hour for it to harden some. They are now resting in the refrigerator waiting for their final toping of honey. The flavor is good, but it took almost 2.5 hours to make with chopping the cranberries and parsley and going back and forth between the freezer and the refrigerator. I also think it would be easier to make if the recipe was adjusted to use 8 ounces of cream cheese instead of 6. I had to eyeball it when making my cut of the 8 ounce block.

    1. Jessica

      Yes it can, but it won’t be as festive looking and may not be as palatable. Dried parsley is more of a dark, muted green color as it’s dried.

    1. Jessica

      I think they would be beautiful placed in a shape of a wreath or christmas tree! Maybe add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary for extra decoration.

  4. Tracy

    These were awesome! A lot of people do not like goat cheese but I used Trader Joe’s goat cheese log that has cranberry on the outside. The ones with fruit on the outside are less gamey. I cut off most of the cranberry from the goat cheese log since there is cranberry on the outside. It was perfect and even my non goat cheese fans loved them. Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe!

    1. Kathy W.

      Hi Tracy, I have the same problem with the goat cheese. It is not a favorite for a lot of friends. Thanks for this info. I am going to try this!

  5. Annie

    I have made these twice and they were a BIG hit! Getting ready to make them again. I’m not super crazy about goat cheese, so I used soft Brie, cream cheese and a little goat cheese. They were amazing! Also, for those saying not to freeze, I totally disagree. I had some leftover from the smaller party and decided to freeze. My husband would take a few out of the freezer and eat them. Quite tasty! Too good to waste! Thank you for an impressive recipe!

    1. Rebecca

      Hi Annie –
      My family is split into Team Goat Cheese and Team Brie 😉 May I ask what proportion of Brie did you use in your variation? Also, which brand of Brie and did you include the rind? Thank you

  6. Carola

    Can you freeze any leftovers or perhaps frees the cheese balls and add the parsley, nuts, cranberries after they thaw?

    1. Jessica

      Hi Carola! Yes you can freeze them! The issues will be the parsley. I would skip the parsley if freezing them.

  7. Terry Thompson

    Hi. I can’t imagine mixing goat cheese with the cream cheese. (I’m a purist ) have you tried all goat cheese, thoughts?

    1. Jessica

      You won’t taste the cream cheese and it helps with the final texture to be able to roll them better into cheese balls/truffles. So I recommend using the cream cheese, but you can skip it! The balls will be harder to form and more likely to crumble as an FYI!

  8. Socially Distanced Entertaining | Appetizers - Dinner with the Duffys

    […] Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles […]

    1. Mary Ann

      I’m going to add these to a charcuterie cup. Wondering if you have done this and if they do well on a skewer? Any advice is most appreciated

  9. Hineaka

    I made the Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles for our Morning Tea at work. And wow!! they were sensational. They were an absolute hit.My work friends devoured the lot 🙂
    I followed the recipe but waited until the last moment to add just a ‘drizzle’ of honey which complimented the truffles perfectly. I am making them again in a couple of days for a farewell morning tea. but sensational.
    So easy and simple but sensational.
    Thank You for sharing.

  10. Susan Ellbeg

    I think I will add tablespoon or 2 of orange juice and some zest,I love this combo and hope this will kick up the flavor a notch.

    1. Tracy

      Ohhh, that sounds lovely…how was it? I was thinking lemon might work, but that could be too tangy w/ the goat cheese.

  11. Carol Vasbinder

    Happy New Year! I took these to a NYE party yesterday. They were the first appetizer to go. Everyone loved them! Thank you for the recipe!

  12. Michelle

    Oh my goodness, these are SO delicious! I made a double batch Christmas morning and rolled some small, as well as one big ball. I served the small ones to guests a few hours later and they looked beautiful and tastes great. Today I dug in to the big one, and it’s even better two days later. I can’t stop eating it! Thanks. 

  13. Brandy

    What do you recommend serving with them? Crackers? What’d you use?  I’m making them for Christmas and I’m excited for something different 

  14. Sharon Moltane

    I made these for a party I went to.  They were a big hit and several guests asked for the recipe.  I will definitely be making them again soon!

    1. Jessica

      Did you happen to possibly use tablespoons instead of teaspoons? 2 teaspoons isn’t that much in all that cheese and no one else has complained of this issue (with over 400+ 5 star reviews…). 

  15. Sindy

    These are delcious! One of my co-workers said ” Its like Christmas just exploded in my mouth!” The best critique EVER!

  16. Amber

    I have made a version of these for quite a few years, for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
    I use goat cheese, cream cheese blended together and rolled into balls, then rolled in a mixture of chopped dried cranberries, toasted pecans and fresh MINT, no cinnamon, honey or parsley..
    I have done logs for a appetizer platter or small 2 bite balls.
    These are also really wonderful made bite sized and tossed on top of individual salads.
    These are probably one of the prettiest appetizers and so yummy, also people who don’t think they like goat cheese do love these because of the mellowing of cream cheese.
    I love your version and will give it a try.

  17. Kerry Myrick

    Oh my goodness!  This recipe is amazing and super quick and easy!!  I made these for a gathering today and couldn’t stop eating the mixture. This is my new go-to appetizer recipe!
    I tried to skimp on pecans and initially only bought one cup because they’re so expensive. I ran out for the extra 1/2 cup because the coating mixture needed it. 
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  18. Deborah L Blake

    I made these and they were wonderful. No problem rolling and they cheeses were at room temp. I just dropped them in the coating. They are pretty, too. Great recipe.

  19. Cheryl

    Ok, so I know that it’s been a while since this has been posted but I must leave my review on these because they are so freaking delicious! I’ve made them a couple of times now and for 2 different groups of people with very different palates and the comments from both parties have been outstanding! Run, don’t walk to the grocery to get the stuff to make these for your next get together and you’ll be a rockstar! So easy to throw together and absolutely delicious…..thank you for this amazing recipe

  20. Anne Lemieux

    I am making tomorrow with pomegranate seed instead of the dried cranberries
    I will also use truffle honey and substitute the parsley with mint in one batch and rosemary in another.

  21. Joan

    The cinnamon amount seems high. Does it overwhelm the other flavors? 
    Thinking of making this for NYE. 
    Thanks! 

  22. Jan Weston

    A teacher brought these in for our holiday party. Wow!! I loved them so much I asked for the recipe and was given this site to go to. Delicious and attractive to serve.

  23. Lesley

    My boyfriend is allergic to cow dairy so he can’t have cream cheese. But he loves goat cheese and I think he’d really enjoy these! What could I substitute for the cream cheese? Extra goat cheese?

  24. Kris

    I brought to a small party last night, unfortunately for all the work and expense they were barely touched.  Beautiful on the platter, but people are sometimes afraid to try something new.  Made me sad. They were very pretty and tasty in my opinion, and I think my family party would be more successful.  

  25. Karin Johannesson

    Well these are amazing….wow. Just made them. Added a 1/2 tsp of salt to filling to accentuate the flavours. Better than expected.

  26. Miriam Spann

    The thing I really love about these is that they are small and have all the outside goodies on each bite. When making a large cheese ball it seems everyone goes for the outside because of the goodies (nuts, fruit, etc.) and these are an equal opportunity appetizer. Ha!

  27. Ed O

    Looks great. How many truffles does the recipe make? Have a large crowd coming and want to have enough. Thanks Ed

  28. Debbie Fergus

    Great recipe suggestion, however I couldn’t find a video to watch as suggested in the recipe, but worked it out.
    I used a mix of walnuts and pistachio nuts although I found the cinnamon was a bit overpowering for my taste so would just use less next time I make them. (There will absolutely be a next time, and a next time…) This is set to be one of my go to recipes. Thanks

  29. Mary

    I’m thinking of making these for my husband’s work open house for about 100 people. How long do you think these can sit out at room temp? Are they best served cold?

  30. Dina

    I think you should be clear in the list of ingredients if you are using cranberries or craisins (as shown in pictures)   There is a big difference in consistency. 

    1. Jessica

      The recipe ingredients state exactly what is in the photo – dried cranberries. Craisins are a brand name product for dried cranberries. 

      1. Rose

        Dina may have been referring to the difference between dried cranberries and sweetened dried cranberries such as Craisins. The added sugar in Craisins make quite a bit of flavor difference.

    1. Jessica

      Up to a couple days ahead, however just know the parsley can turn a little less vibrant with time. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge! 

  31. Paula

    Excited to make these for Christmas Eve to take to my aunts house. Always looking for something different. Can I use dried cherries instead. I love their flavor.  Just wondering. 

  32. Danielle K

    These sound delicious but my brain can’t let go of the idea to drizzle with a balsamic glaze instead of honey…? What do u think of that? 

    1. Jessica

      I have not, but I like rosemary personally and think it would still be good. But a lot stronger than parsley in flavor of course. 

  33. Aislinn

    OH! my stars these are fantastic!!!!!!!!! I found some cranberry orange cinnamon goat cheese and threw that in with the rest of the ingredients and then rolled them in the pecans, cranberries and added some snipped dried apricots. SO good on bread drizzled with a bit of honey.

    1. Brittany Compton

      I found it a bit difficult to roll into a ball at first, but you can also just make this recipe into a regular dip with the pecan mixture on top of the goat cheese mixture.

    2. Alice

      Refrigerate after mixing the cheeses. Roll after a few hours in the fridge. They’ll hold their shape then.

    3. Anne Lemieux

      Instead of a ball.   use a sushi roller (bamboo with plastic wrap) to make rounds or make it square and cut and roll in mixture or just dip the top of square and maybe side in the dry mix

  34. Maggie Murphy

    Love this appetizer. It’s simple yet can be presented very elegantly or super casual. I recommend everyone uses this recipe. Keep in your easy goto!

  35. Carla

    Just made these and they are FANTASTIC! Followed your recipe exactly. They are so pretty as well. Will definitely be making these for Holiday parties! Thank you!

  36. Laura

    Do the cheeses need to be room temp before mixing them together? I know sometimes cream cheese can be difficult to mix if it’s cold. 

    1. Jessica

      They do not if you are using a hand mixer or a stand mixer. If you are mixing by hand, yes you will need the cheese room temp. If you do that though, you will need to refrigerate the cheese mixture before rolling into balls as it will be too soft! 

  37. Monica

    After blending both cheeses with pecans and honey and cinnamon, should I chill before rolling them into balls?

    1. Jessica

      If you are having difficulty rolling them, yes. But I usually don’t need to. As long as the cheeses were cold at the start of mixing, it goes easily! 

      1. Mandy

        I was just wondering if this would freeze well? I wold like to make it and spilt into to logs, one for now and one for later.

      1. Holly

        Im trying to think of an alternative to parsley… maybe a mix of spinach and basil? I still want the green but I don’t feel like parsley will go well with my tastebuds on this one. Anyone tried other green ingredients?

  38. Ronda

    I made these and they are delicious but i think the parsley was a little too strong not sure what to use i did see berry goat cheese i thought i might try that with craisens still thinking about the strong parsley and the honey was perfect

    1. Jessica

      I find parsley to be VERY mild in flavor, so this is surprising! But you can leave it off completely as other herbs will have a much stronger flavor versus parsley! 

  39. Alicia

    Just made these to take to work tomorrow. We do a potluck for everyone’s birthday and i needed something different to bring. They are delicious and look wonderful on the platter. Thanks for sharing. 

  40. carrie @ frugal foodie mama

    What a wonderful appetizer for the holidays! And they can be ready in just 15 minutes?? YES! 🙂

  41. Kerri

    These are some of the prettiest cheese balls I’ve ever seen! i love the flavor that the nuts and cranberries would add to this!

  42. Gerry

    These look gorgeous! I just bought everything to make them, except my store was out of Fisher Pecans so I am going to use Fisher Walnuts. Hoping they still taste ok.

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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