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

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 Bacardi 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 in chocolate and decorated. They really were magnificent.

But with a baking schedule like mine made all the more complicated with a full time job, a 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 or cocoa powder.

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 chocolate dipped version several times over the years.  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!

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

Highlights of 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, 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?

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!

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, this no-bake rum ball recipe is 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1

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!

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!

Jojo816

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

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

Carlee

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

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

Anonymous

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!!

Carlee

Saturday 11th of January 2020

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

Anonymous

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.

Carlee

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!

Deepika|TheLoveOfCakes

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!

Carlee

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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