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Easy Rum Balls

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A flavorful adult treat perfect for the holidays, these no-bake rum balls are quick to make and even better when made ahead. They’ll warm you from the inside out!

Stemless martini glass filled with powdered sugar and cocoa powder dusted rum balls ready to eat.

Sometimes a quick and simple treat is in order. Luckily these rum balls are just that thing. 

They are best when made a few days in advance, but they require very little work and no time in the oven.  So they are perfect when the holiday baking season is in full swing and the cookie trays are filling up faster than the oven can cook them.

Rum ball mixture in food processor with cookie scoop ready to make the mixture into balls.

Rum balls are one of my husband’s favorite treats.  We were introduced to them when my previous boss’s wife served them to us at a Christmas party.

She made them in three strengths.  She had the lightweight strength for people like me.

They were delicious made with coffee or orange liqueur and and had just enough alcohol to make you feel like a grown up.

rolling rum balls in powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

The mid-strength rum balls were your traditional rum ball.  They had that balance of sweet and booze and were made with light rum.

They are also great made with bourbon. There is enough of a boozy flavor to know they are for adults, but not too much.

Then there were my husband’s favorites, the Bacardi 151 rum balls.  They pack a wallop, but in all honesty you would have to eat quite a few of them to actually get drunk.

The alcohol content is high enough to give you a little tingle on your lips and tongue.  That is the part my husband likes most!

bowl of rum balls coated in powdered sugar, one with bite missing revealing brown center

She made hers extra fancy.  Some had liqueur soaked dried fruit in the middle.  Others had truffle centers.

They were all chilled and then dipped in chocolate and decorated. They really were magnificent.

But honestly they are almost as good with just a coating of cocoa powder or powdered sugar and they are so much quicker to make that way. So I opt to keep them nice and simple when I make a batch.

You know what? They were still a treat!

Digital illustration of rum ball ingredients including unsweetened cocoa powder, corn syrup, powdered sugar, nilla wafers, almonds and rum.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do rum balls last in the fridge?

Rum balls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Do rum balls get you drunk?

It is very unlikely. Because the alcohol is diluted by the other ingredients and so many rum balls are made from a batch, you would have to eat quite a few of them to consume enough alcohol to get drunk. However, because they are not baked the alcohol does not cook off, so you should be aware of your consumption.

Why You’ll Love This Rum Ball Recipe

  • They are a fabulous make ahead no bake treat
  • Try using different flavored spirits, you aren’t limited to rum!
  • Try coating rum balls in cocoa powder, finely chopped coconut or finely
    chopped nuts
glass filled with rum balls, some coated in cocoa powder and some in powdered sugar.

Easy Adaptations to Make This Rum Ball Recipe Your Own

This recipe is a great starting point, and it is easy to adapt to match your tastes.

For instance, sub in gingersnaps, grahams crackers or another crunchy cookie for the vanilla wafers. That is a simple way to quickly change the flavor profile.

You can also change up the nut and alcohol options. Try making pecan bourbon balls for a southern inspired treat.

Or use amoretti cookies and amaretto for a big almond punch. Maybe do a raspberry liqueur with almonds and dip them in dark chocolate.

The possibilities really are endless and I’d love to hear what you try and love.

Have you ever made rum balls? What is your favorite spirit to use?

More Great No Bake Treats to Add to Your Holiday List

If you are whipping up some holiday candies, you are going to want to make sure our buckeye recipe is on the list. The peanut butter centers and chocolate coating make them an irresistible treat.

Corn flake wreath cookies are always a festive addition to your Christmas trays. They are so easy to make and taste delicious too.

Slow cooker peanut clusters are another super simple candy to whip up. Add sprinkles to the top if you want a little bit of color, but the flavor will speak for itself!

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Stemless martini glass filled with powdered sugar and cocoa powder dusted rum balls ready to eat.

Easy Rum Balls

Servings: 30 Rum Balls
Author: Carlee
A flavorful adult treat perfect for the holidays, this no-bake rum ball recipe is quick to make and even better when made ahead. They'll warm you from the inside out!
4.89 from 26 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 12 ounce box of vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ cup rum*
  • powdered sugar cocoa powder or coconut flakes for rolling


  • Place the vanilla wafers in your food processor and pulse until they are crumbs.
    12 ounce box of vanilla wafers
  • Add the almond flour, rum, cocoa powder and corn syrup. Pulse until combined.
    1 cup almond flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 3 Tablespoon light corn syrup, ½ cup rum*
  • Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a ball between your hands.
  • Roll in powdered sugar and place in an airtight container.
  • They are best after they have been allowed to sit for a couple of days. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to a couple of weeks.


You can make your own almond flour by pulsing some almonds in the food processor. You want to make it into fine crumbs, but not nut butter. Once the nuts are relatively small, go ahead and add the Nilla wafers.



Serving: 1rum ballCalories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

OK, funny story! Mr. Nine walked in the room and he said are you going to roll your balls today, meaning my buckeye balls as I was pulling up this post and read the word balls, LOL! These look delicious!


Wednesday 25th of November 2020

I have had great success with ginger snaps instead of vanilla wafers...a little bit spicier.


Wednesday 25th of November 2020

That sounds amazing! I am going to have to make some that way as well!


Sunday 22nd of December 2019

I replaced the flour with 1 cup of powdered sugar. I replaced the corn syrup with 2 Tablespoons of honey. Yum!!


Saturday 11th of January 2020

Honey is a great idea. I'll try that next time!


Tuesday 25th of December 2018

My grandma made these in the sixties and seventies. All of us kids were allowed to eat them. No one ever got drunk from a rum ball or two! I mke hwr recipe still today.


Saturday 11th of January 2020

It would definitely take quite a few to get you drunk, you'd probably get a tummy ache first! I love that you still make your grandma's recipe!


Monday 18th of December 2017

I have never made any truffles with liqueur before.. Just a dash of baileys...But these look so yummy and easy.. I would love to make these for that boozy kick!


Tuesday 26th of December 2017

They definitely give a little kick. It's fun to have a treat for the adults too!