Easy Pine Cone Cheese Ball Appetizer Using Almonds


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Pinecone Cheese Ball for the Holidays

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!

Placing almonds onto a pine cone cheese ball

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!

ingredients for pinecone cheeseball

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!

Making a pine cone cheeseball with bacon and ranch

adding ranch to cream cheese ball

Preparing a cheese ball appetizer for a holiday party

Adding bacon to a pine cone cheese ball mix

roasting almonds in the oven

mixing up cream cheese ranch cheese ball

forming a pinecone cheese ball on a tray

applying almonds to a pine cone cheeseball

A pinecone cheeseball made with almonds, bacon, ranch, and cheddar

two pinecone cheeseballs


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!


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.

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pinecone cheese ball on a cutting board

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!

Try our EASY Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Dip for dessert!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

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