Home Desserts Rum Balls Recipe (Easy, Festive, and Boozy!)

Rum Balls Recipe (Easy, Festive, and Boozy!)

Is it even the holidays without a big batch of soft, sweet rum balls?

They’re so easy to make (and modify!) and are terrific gifts for friends, family, and loved ones.

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Assorted Coated Rum Balls

Rum balls are so, so, SO easy to whip up. Seriously, you just mix the ingredients, roll the dough into balls, and…that’s it!

But just because they’re simple doesn’t mean they’re not insanely delish! They’re nutty, sweet, and chocolatey to the max.

The spiced rum brings all those bright flavors together, making one helluva wintertime indulgence. 

So if you’re ready to get into the kitchen, check out this rum ball recipe. And be sure to make a huge batch – you’ll need it!

Easy Rum Balls Recipe

Classic rum balls are a holiday fave for a reason: they’re quick, scrumptious, and sinfully boozy.

These no-bake balls of perfection come together in a snap, and they’re a fantastic way to fill out your holiday cookie platter. 

And while the base recipe calls for spiced rum, you can swap it out for different flavors or bourbon for an extra kick. 

Keep them plain, or roll them in sprinkles, powdered sugar, or chopped nuts to create a beautiful rum ball holiday box. You really can’t go wrong!

Since these no-bake rum balls are boozy, they’re only for grownups. But if you want to whip a batch of kid-friendly treats, I’ve got some tips for that below.

Rum Balls in Small Bowls

Ingredients 

  • Vanilla wafers. Vanilla wafers add a cookie crunch to the soaked rum balls, along with sweet vanilla flavors. Any cookie works, though!
  • Ground pecans. Nothing says the holidays quite like pecans. They bring a subtle nuttiness I know you’ll love. For best results, toast them in the oven until fragrant.
  • Confectioners’ sugar. Aka powdered sugar. You can’t use granulated sugar here because it’ll be grainy and unpleasant. Instead, you want sweetness that dissolves on your tongue.
  • Baking cocoa. I say “baking cocoa” because I know some people have tried this with hot cocoa mix, and the rum balls didn’t come out quite right. You want unsweetened dark cocoa for the best chocolatey flavor.
  • Rum. Rum is the star of the show! So be sure to get dark spiced rum – not white or anything overly sweet, like Malibu.
  • Honey. Honey adds another kick of sweetness and so much flavor. You can also use corn or maple syrup if you don’t have honey. 
  • Extra Crushed Vanilla Wafers. You’ll have some wafers left over in the box, and they make a super simple garnish. Crush them into a powder, and roll your rum balls until coated for a nice crunchy finish.
Rum Balls on Paper Baking Cups

Can You Freeze Rum Balls? 

Rum balls freeze well for up to three months. Chill them in the fridge until firm, then place them in a freezer bag and a plastic (freezer-safe) box to prevent freezer burn. They’re best frozen without any coatings – cocoa, nuts, or crushed cookies – as they may become soggy when thawed.

Since the rum won’t freeze fully, you can enjoy rum balls right out of the freezer or leave them to sit at room temperature until they soften.

Freezing allows you the chance to make them ahead of time. I often make a big batch on a quiet November weekend in preparation for the holidays.

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It makes Christmas baking so much for manageable!

How to Store Rum Balls

The great thing about rum balls is that they only get better with time.

The flavors continue to develop for days after they come together. So they’re best made a few days before you need them.

In the fridge, rum balls will hold their shape and develop their rich flavors for up to two weeks.

Just remember not to garnish them until you’re ready to serve.

Whether you go for powdered sugar, cocoa, nuts, or cookies, the coatings won’t hold up as the rum balls are so moist.

Baking Cups on a Small Glass Bowl

Recipe Variations 

There are so many ways to take these rum balls over the top – the recipe below is just the starting line.

Rolling them in different garnishes adds flavor, making them very pretty and polished. 

You can add sweet garnishes or more savory, nutty options. There are no wrong answers. 

I like lots of colorful garnishes, so they look fun and festive in treat boxes. But it’s really up to you.

Some of the best rum ball garnishes include:

  • Tempered chocolate. Tempered chocolate is much more stable than regular melted chocolate and will give the rum balls a stunningly crisp and shiny coating.
  • Shredded coconut. Spiced rum and shredded coconut? Yes, please! These two flavors belong together, and the coconut gives the rum balls a chewy exterior. 
  • Sprinkles. I love getting creative with sprinkles. Roll them in red and green sprinkles to add holiday flair, or go crazy with rainbow sprinkles. 
  • Crushed nuts. Want to make a nutty rum ball platter? Pecans and walnuts are classics, but I love pistachios! Go for hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, or plain old peanuts. 

While rum balls are a grownup-only cookie, you can also opt for an alcohol-free version for the kiddos.

Instead of using rum, swap in sweetened condensed milk. They’re still nutty and delicious, but they’ll be extra chewy, sweet, and creamy.

More Holiday Treats You’ll Love

Nanaimo Bars
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
White Chocolate Bark
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rum Balls Recipe (Easy, Festive, and Boozy!)

Servings

3

Dozen
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

69

kcal

Is it even the holidays without a big batch of soft, sweet rum balls? They’re so easy to make (and modify!) and are terrific gifts for loved ones.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups 2 1/2 crushed vanilla wafers (about 75)

  • 1 cup 1 ground pecans

  • 1 cup 1 confectioners’ sugar

  • 2 tablespoons 2 plus 2 teaspoons baking cocoa

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 rum

  • 3 tablespoons 3 honey

  • 2 tablespoons 2 water

  • Additional crushed vanilla wafers and confectioners’ sugar for garnish

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the crushed vanilla wafter, pecans, powdered sugar, and baking cocoa.
  • Once combined, add the rum, honey, and water. The mixture will be thick and easily moldable. If it is too dry, add more water or rum.
  • Using gloved hands, mold the dough into 1-inch balls and place them in an air-tight container in the fridge.
  • Before serving, toss them in powdered sugar, crushed vanilla wafters, or your garnish of choice. Enjoy!
Rum Balls

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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