This Festive Pinecone Cheese Ball is So Easy to Make!
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Looking for a unique and easy to make holiday appetizer?
How about creating a yummy cheese ball that looks like a pinecone?! You can actually use your favorite cheese ball recipe to implement this idea or make the easy and delicious bacon ranch flavored version I’m sharing today.
The result is a beautiful clever appetizer that’s almost too cute to eat, yet is super delicious with the cream cheese almond combo!
This appetizer appears super fancy and Insta-worthy, but it’s actually SIMPLE to make!
Just mix up all of these easy ingredients in a mixing bowl, and then form that mixture into a pine cone shape on a plate or cheese board. Carefully press the roasted almonds all around the top, and it will look like a pinecone! I also added a few sprigs of rosemary on the top and also a few cranberries to complete the look!
Tips for making the best pinecone cheese ball:
- I roasted about a cup and a half of raw almonds to enhance flavor first, but that step is optional. You could also use another nut instead or sliced almonds would create a similar look too.
- This recipe uses two bars of cream cheese and would make two pine cones, so feel free to half it if entertaining for a smaller crowd. One single pine cone shape will also look elegant as well!
- Letting the cream cheese soften first makes mixing up the ingredients so much easier.
- I LOVE that cheese ball appetizers can be made ahead of time, and are super easy to adapt and customize to taste! You could go with more garlic and fresh herb version instead of bacon, and maybe experiment with adding different soft cheeses such as goat cheese or blue cheese. The options are endless!
Pine Cone Cheese Ball
yield: 15 SERVINGS
prep time: 25 MINUTES
total time: 25 MINUTES
No one can resist a bacon ranch cheese ball, especially when it's shaped like a pine cone!
- 2- 8oz. bars of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
- 1 packet ranch dressing seasoning OR this homemade version
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
- 2 cups whole almonds, toasted
- fresh rosemary sprigs and a few cranberries for garnish
- crackers, for serving
Mix softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayo, ranch seasoning, green onions, and bacon crumbles in a mixing bowl.
Place mixture in the fridge to chill, while toasting almonds.
On a large cookie sheet, roast whole almonds in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or so until browned.
On a large platter or tray, form two pine cone shapes with cheese mixture. A pine cone shape will have one wide flatter end and one pointy end.
Starting at the pointy end, press almonds into the cheese so that the tip of the almond is facing out and pointing down. Continue up the cone until it's covered with almonds. It may look odd at first but gets better!
Optional but fun, arrange some rosemary pieces and a few cranberries at the top of pine cones so it looks like pine needles.
Chill appetizer in fridge until ready to serve.
Recipe for cheese ball adapted from AllRecipes.com
Yay, doesn’t that look like a real pine cone!? So fun and creative!
I feel like this is such a unique idea, that is so pretty and most importantly tastes great too! My kids had fun helping me put in the almonds, and the process is so simple. It could even be a nice low carb option if you serve with veggies instead of crackers!
Check out this EASY Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Cheese Ball idea too!
Do you shape the pine cone with your hands? Is it not very sticky to work with?
Yep, hmm not really. You can use a spoon if you want or wrap in plastic wrap first. I didn’t have a sticky issue. You would place it on the plate or board first so only touching the sides and top. 🙂
that is so cute!
Thanks so much!