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Super Simple 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 cocoa and powdered sugar coated rum balls

 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 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.

rum ball mixture and small cookie scoop in food processor

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

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.

rolling rum balls in powdered sugar and cocoa powder

Then there were my husband’s favorites.  The 151 rum balls.  Though in all honesty you’d have to eat quite a few 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!

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 and decorated. They really were magnificent.

But with a baking schedule like mine made all the more complicated with a full time job, blog to keep moving and a full slate of holiday activities, I had to make them a bit simpler this year.  So I skipped the centers and went for a simpler roll in powdered sugar.

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

I’ve never quite made them to her superb standards on my own.  Though I have made the dipped version and shared them as a Valentine’s Hunk of Burning Rum Balls.  They are always a hit with my husband and our friends when I make them.

But the thought of dipping one more thing after dipping pretzels, peanut butter crackers, oreo balls and the like was a bit maddening.  So I decided to go for the snowball look and roll them in powdered sugar.  

You know what? They were still a treat!

illustration of rum ball ingredients

Highlights of simple rum balls

  • 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 this recipe

This recipe is a great starting point, but is easy to change up 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 a version with bourbon and pecans 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?

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

Yield: 30 Rum Balls

Super Simple Rum Balls

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

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!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 12 ounce box of vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup rum*
  • powdered sugar for rolling


  1. Place the vanilla wafers in your food processor and pulse until they are crumbs.
  2. Add the almond flour, rum, cocoa powder and corn syrup. Pulse until combined.
  3. Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a ball between your hands.
  4. Roll in powdered sugar and place in an airtight container.
  5. 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.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

More no bake treat recipes

Here are some more fun no bake treats to whip up for a party or holiday:

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!

Thanks for sharing!

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!

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