Citrus Cranberry Chocolate Truffles

by Marla on February 2, 2012 · 54 comments

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Vegan dark chocolate truffles recipe with candied orange peel and dried cranberries
Remember the chocolate truffles recipe I promised to share with you in my Valentine’s DIY printables post? Well here it is! I need to make another batch asap as they were polished off very quickly. Have you ever made homemade truffles before? They are so simple, quick and easy to prepare. Growing up I always thought of this decadent little treat as the quintessential opulent dessert. These days you can find them everywhere in all kinds of unique flavor combinations.

Let’s make some truffles!

Freebie DIY Valentine's Day Printables on Family Fresh Cooking
Here is a photo of these chocolates all dressed up for Valentine’s Day with my “Little Angels” freebie printables. Make some chocolate and get all crafty at the same time.

Pip design studio egg cups and dark chocolate truffles

This time of year it seems like a lot of us crave citrus. And chocolate. We like to eat the flavors of the sun even in the peak of winter.

It makes sense to bring some sunny tastes into dark grey days.

At the markets you can find all sorts of vibrant citrus fruits. From little juicy Clementines to Tangelos, Tangerines and Mandarines. To their larger cousins – Navel, Valencia and way more. All varieties burst with bright flavor and pair very well with chocolate.

I add more citrusy flavor to these truffles with candied orange peel and orange extract. Three pure extract (meaning not artificial) flavors were used  in this recipe coffee, vanilla and orange. I call for two teaspoons of each. Mix and match the ratios according to your taste preference. Nielsen-Massey has a wonderful selection of pure extracts for your enjoyment.

Dried candied orange peel and cranberries in a Pip Design Studio Egg bowl

I will never forget the first time I ever tasted orange with chocolate. When we used to spend the summers on our home away from home in Devon, England one of the biggest treats was a fresh pack of McVite’s Jaffa Cakes. Have you ever had these? They have a huge cult following. These cakey-cookies even have their own webpage.

What is a Jaffa Cake? Picture soft & crumbly cake-shortbread type cookies with a layer of orange marmalade and a coating of dark chocolate. They are irresistible to say the least! As kids we referred to them as “biscuits” and not “cookies.” In the UK we acted as if.  Naturally.

Marie Antoinette cupcake topper with pink rose

Come to think of it you could easily make your very own Jaffa Cakes. If you do, my good friend Lucy Lean from Ladles and Jellyspoons has a heavenly recipe for orange marmalade you could whip up. Not to mention she is British, so she probably understands a thing or two about my obsession with Jaffa Cakes.

A few of these truffles make the perfect dessert, snack or lunch box treat! We love little treats & goodies tucked inside our lunch boxes. Planned or as a surprise…

Vegan dark chocolate truffles recipe with Marie Antoinette cupcake topper

Aren’t these Marie Antoinette cupcake picks splendid! They are hand made by a gal called Luv Crystals on Etsy.

I have a very large addiction to Etsy. That is a whole other story that we can get into another time. Thankfully I spend more time pinning items then actually shelling out cash.

Pip Design Studio egg cups with bright patterns

As you know I also have a very deep love for every single thing made by Pip Studio. My bedroom is a great reflection of this love.

So are those egg cups.

Tangerines & clementine oranges in red pouch

Vegan dark chocolate truffles recipe with candied orange peel and dried cranberries

I only crave the deepest darkest chocolate I can find. In this recipe I use my Scharffen Berger unsweetened bars paired with almond milk. This keeps them dark and light at the same time.

The nice thing about this is you can swap out any of the ingredients to make them as decadent as you wish. Use heavy cream or coconut milk for a creamier truffle. The almond milk yields a more crumbly texture. Crumbly in the most chocolatey, fabulous kind of way.

I promise you this – no matter what milk or cream you use happiness prevails.

Vegan dark chocolate truffles recipe with candied orange peel and dried cranberries
Have you ever made homemade truffles? What do you like to add to yours?

Citrus Cranberry Chocolate Truffles

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 25 Chocolate Truffles

Citrus Cranberry Chocolate Truffles


  • 12 ounces (340 grams) Dark Chocolate or your favorite Milk, or White varieties *see note
  • 3/4 cups (178 grams) unsweetened Almond Milk *see note
  • 2 Tangerines, remove seeds, purée in blender (use any citrus to yield 1/4 cup (50 grams) pulpy juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure Coffee Extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure Orange Extract
  • pinch of fine Sea Salt
  • 6 droppers full of Vanilla Stevia Drops (if needed)
  • 1/4 (30 grams) cup dried fruit juice sweetened Cranberries, diced
  • 1/4 (38 grams) cup Candied Orange Peel, diced
  • 1/4 cup (24 grams) unsweetened Cocoa Powder


  • In a double boiler melt chocolate. I like to use the Bain marie method to melt chocolate. Carefully melting in a microwave is fine too. In a sauce pan bring whatever milk/cream you use to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour milk over chocolate and stir well to combine. Add tangerine juice, flavored extracts and sea salt. Remove chocolate from heat source. Stir in sweetener to taste (if needed.) Mix in dried cranberries and candied orange peel.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl, smooth the top and let it cool a bit, cover the top with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about one hour. You are ready to make truffles when the chocolate is firm enough to make balls.
  • Have a small bowl filled with the cocoa powder handy. Scoop one tablespoon of the truffle mixture into your hands and roll between your palms to make round balls. Dip each truffle into the cocoa powder and roll around until nicely dusted.
  • Notes
  • I wanted to keep our truffles vegan and very light so I used almond milk. Coconut milk (low fat or fuller fat ones) would be another great option. Heavy cream will yield wonderful results too. The more fat in your "milk" option the creamier your truffles will be in texture and flavor.
  • I love the rich, bitter full flavor of unsweetened chocolate. Generally I use Scharffen Berger. It is best to get your hands on the highest quality chocolate you can find for homemade truffles. I add the sweetness back in with about 6 droppers full of my trusty Vanilla Stevia Drops
  • To keep these free of refined sugars use unsweetened chocolate, and fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries. Very little candied orange peel is used. You could omit this if needed. The extract and orange juice will still give you great citrus flavor.
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