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Rum Balls are a beautiful Holiday cookie; the best part is you don’t even turn your oven on! This simple, tasty, spiked cookie is fun 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.
A quick, easy, and tasty Christmas cookie.

🍪 What makes this recipe special?

This recipe is divided into three essential 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. 

It is easy to make and it tastes great. These two things make it a great Christmas cookie and something special.

If you are looking for some other Christmas cookies, check out our Soft Ginger CookiesRosettes, or delicious Krumkake cookies

🍾 Ingredients

There isn’t too much to these tasty Christmas treats. Here is a list of the ingredients:

  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Walnuts
  • Light corn syrup
  • Dark molasses
  • Dark rum
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Unsweetened Cocoa

See the recipe card for quantities.

Rum in Balls

Yes, there is rum in this. No, it is not cooked. 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 good 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 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, which has become a favorite in our house. We have Gosling’s Dark Rum on hand, the rum we like and use. 

Dark rum is going to have 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 will have less flavor. 

🍲 Instructions

Nothing is cooked in this recipe, making these really easy to make. In fact, it really just takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to mix it all together. 

The most unique ingredient in the batter is vanilla wafers that have been finely chopped up. Then, add powdered sugar, corn syrup, butter, and molasses.

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

Process for making rum balls.
Make the batter and form it into balls. Then roll into your coating and refrigerate until ready to eat.


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.

🤷 Substitutions and variations

There are a few ways that this can be changed up.

  • Nuts – I add walnuts, but if you don’t like them, just leave them out. 
  • Coating – While I use cocoa and powdered sugar, you can change this up. Maybe regular granulated sugar. Maybe omit cocoa or add more cocoa?

📦 Storage

Keep in an airtight container. These do not need to be refrigerated, but that is how I prefer them.

🎓 History Tidbit

This dessert contains rum, and I wrote an entire article on the early history of rum. Check it out!


Do Rum Balls contain alcohol?

Yes, it is in the name. 

Can Rum Balls cause intoxication?

You would have to eat A LOT of them, but it is possible.

A plate filled with rum balls and one of the rum balls cut in half so that the cross section shows.
Make Rum Balls for your Christmas this year.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • 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.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Rum Ball recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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

Rum Balls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Inactive time: 9 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American
Save Recipe


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.



  • 12 Ounce container of Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons dark molasses
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter melted, but not hot
  • 1 cup powdered sugar + ½ 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 ½ 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 ½ 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 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.


  • 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

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