Rum Balls – Holiday Treats

December 11, 2020 - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Rum Balls are a beautiful Holiday cookie and the best part is you don’t even turn your oven on! This simple, tasty, and spiked cookie is fun to make and even better to eat. They even get better as time goes on, so make them days before the Holidays or Christmas and have this treat ready for your sweet needs. Rum Balls are the perfect holiday cookie with a zing of spice.

A hand pulling one rum ball out of a bowl full of them.

Rum Balls Summary

This recipe is divided into three basic parts. First, we mix it. Then we form balls and finally we roll the balls in a coating. It is that simple. The nature of the mix makes kind of a sticky, nougat-like substance. I put it in the fridge for a while, which really is optional, but I have found it makes stiffer balls. The final step is to roll it in a bit of cocoa and powdered sugar. 

We then put them aside for a few hours and they are ready to go. While they don’t need to be in the refrigerator, I prefer to do this to help the balls keep a bit of ball rigidity. We sure are talking a lot about balls today. Christmas balls.

Rum in Balls

Yes, there is rum in this. No, it is not cooked. Both the flavor and the strength of the rum are contained in the cookie. That means that if a person should not be consuming rum, they probably should not have this cookie.

To break it down to the amount of rum per ball, our recipe has ½ cup of rum, or 4 fluid ounces. This is basically ⅓ a fluid ounce per rum ball. One would need to consume 6 balls to get a reasonable drink’s worth of rum. That is quite a bit, but I know that when I was 12, I probably could eat a dozen cookies in a sitting. This is mostly just as a word of warning. Be careful about serving Rum Balls to people that should not have rum.

Kinds of Rum

This recipe calls for dark rum, which I am no stranger to. We have made a Dark & Stormy recipe before and it has become a favorite in our house. We have Gosling’s Dark Rum on hand and that is the rum we like and use. 

Dark rum is going to have the flavors that are appropriate for this cookie.  It has notes of vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel. It is spiced and more appropriate for a cookie recipe than a white rum would be. I suppose you could use a white rum, but it just is going to have less flavor. 

The Batter

Nothing is cooked and that makes these really easy to make. In fact, it really just takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to mix it all together. Probably the most unique ingredient in the batter is vanilla wafers that have been finely chopped up. We add powdered sugar, corn syrup, butter, molasses.

Believe it or not, just combine these and you have something ready to go. I choose to put the batter in a fridge before I start to roll them into balls, but I don’t need to. 

One rum ball being formed in a hand, but prior to be rolled in the outer coating, which is sitting right underneath the hand.
Form your rum balls into a nice ball shape before you dip it in the dish filled with the coating.

Nuts or No Nuts

My recipe calls for walnuts. If you don’t like them or are allergic to them, just leave them out! 


Once we form our balls, we roll them in a powdered sugar and cocoa mixture. This gives the final product a nice coating and flavor that finishes these sweet babies off. If you don’t want chocolate flavors, just don’t use it.

This is also a great place to experiment. Maybe you could use regular sugar instead of powdered sugar. Maybe you add more cocoa. Perhaps you pipe some icing on it. Really, there are many different ways you can change this recipe up and make it your own by changing the coating.

A rolled out rum ball sitting in the bowl with the coating.
After rolling out the ball, coat each well before setting aside to a different plate.

Tips For Making Rum Balls

  • Store your rum ball batter in the fridge for at least one hour before forming. Your balls will form better.
  • If you don’t like nuts, don’t use them!
  • Consider using different powders for the coating.
  • These do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, but I prefer them refrigerated.
  • Check out our other Christmas cookies! Everything from our Soft Ginger Cookies to Krumkake.
A plate filled with rum balls and one of the rum balls cut in half so that the cross section shows.

Products Used In This Recipe

Did You Make This Recipe?

I am so glad you tried it and I hope you like them as much as we do. You might find them disappearing because they are so good and easy to snack on. Fortunately, they are also easy to make! If you did like these, it would be so nice if you could let me know how it went down in the comments area below and leave a rating. This can help others determine if they are going to try this recipe and help keep me on my toes! Of course, we would love it if you shared this on Pinterest, Facebook, and with your friends. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry and giving this recipe a try.


Rum Balls

A hand pulling one rum ball out of a bowl full of them.

Rum Balls are sweet, a bit boozy, and a delicious Christmastime treat. They are so easy to make and don’t need any baking! Just a few minutes of active work makes this delicious and tasty Holiday treat.

  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 hours
  • Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 12 oz container of Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp butter melted, but not hot
  • 1 cup powdered sugar + 1/2 cup powdered sugar for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa for rolling


  1. In food processor, process wafers to a fine crumble
  2. Combine all ingredients MINUS 1/2 cup powdered sugar and cocoa.
  3. Set aside in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours. 
  4. Once time has passed, roll into about 12 even small balls. They should approximately be about 1 1/2 ounces. 
  5. In small dish mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar and cocoa
  6. Roll each of the balls in the sugar/cocoa mixture and set in container
  7. Place in a container and cover. Allow resting for at 8 hours before serving. I prefer this rest in the refrigerator, but can be left out. 
  8. Serve


  • Store your rum ball batter in the fridge for at least one hourbefore forming. Your balls will form better.
  • If you don’t like nuts, don’t use them!
  • Consider using different powders for the coating.
  • These do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, but I prefer them refridgerated.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cookie
  • Calories: 265
  • Sugar: 29 g
  • Sodium: 154 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg

Keywords: Rum Balls

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