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Cocoa Rum Balls Recipe

This is the best classic rum balls recipe you can find around and can be made in no time all year round when you have leftover cake or for the holidays.

Rum Balls close up

Rum Balls are festive and perfect for the holidays

This is the best rum balls recipe you will find out there. It is a classic one for the holidays and an excellent gift for friends and family.

What are rum balls?

Rum balls are truffle-like confections made with crumbled cookies, butter, flavored with cocoa powder, chocolate, and rum.

They should be about the size of a golf ball, and they are not cooked. Basically, this is a no-bake dessert.

The rum balls are very popular in Europe during the Christmas season, but these beautiful treats are available all year round in some countries.

Try this another no-bake chocolate dessert you might fall in love with.

What kind of ingredients do you need for the rum balls:

There are many different ways to make rum balls, as recipes vary from region to region and family to family. All rum balls must include chocolate and rum, but the rest of the ingredients could be different.

Rum is the ingredient that makes them special and perfect for the holidays. If you do not like rum, you can use bourbon.

What makes this recipe different:

Butter is what makes this recipe different. Most recipes use corn syrup as a binding ingredient, but we will use butter instead.

Rum Balls Vertical photo0

Rum balls are very versatile, you can make them from the following ingredients (choose one and go with it):

  • Graham crackers
  • Crushed vanilla wafers
  • Shortbread cookies
  • Digestive biscuits
  • Chocolate wafers
  • Leftover cake

When it comes to cocoa powder, we use either unsweetened natural or Dutch-processed. I like the dark, deep flavor of the Dutch-processed cocoa powder.

We also like to add the following:

  • dried fruits to the mixture
  • all kinds of nuts, especially walnuts( roasted are better) or pecans.

The rum balls can be covered in the following:

  • Granulated sugar
  • Coconut flakes
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Colored sprinkles
  • Powdered sugar

You can go wild and use a little bit of each of these toppings to make the rum balls festive and good-looking on the platter.

We sometimes add a little pitted cherry in the middle of the rum ball, usually preserved in syrup. An almond or a piece of walnut is also a great idea.

I think a maraschino cherry could be a fantastic surprise inside.

How to make these rum balls:

Step 1.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Place the walnuts on a baking tray, roast them for about 8 minutes, or be fragrant and lightly brown.

Let nuts cool, chop them with a knife, or toss them in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Place them in a big bowl.

Step 2.

Process the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add them to the nuts.

If you do not have a food processor, place them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin or a bottle.

Step 3.

Place butter, heavy cream, sugar, and cocoa in a small pot and bring them to a boil. DO NOT SIMMER THEM. As soon as the cream gets to the boiling point, remove the pot from the stove and allow it to cool.

Add the rum or the rum flavor.

Rum or rum flavor?

Choose what suits you. If you are looking for a boozy dessert, use real rum, or bourbon, if you don’t fancy rum. If you want a dessert that kids can have too or people who avoid alcohol, rum flavor is a wonderful option.

TIP:

Please do not add the rum or the rum flavor to the cream while bringing it to a boil, as the alcohol will evaporate. Allow the mixture to cool first.

Step 4.

Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix everything very well. If the mixture is soft, place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Step 5.

Using your hands, form 1-inch balls and toss them in granulated sugar, coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, etc.

Place the rum balls in the refrigerator overnight in an airtight container.

Optional: Place a pitted cherry from syrup or a maraschino cherry in the middle of the ball, or almond, form a ball, then toss in sugar.

Keep them refrigerated and serve them cold.

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Do I need to roast the nuts?

It is not mandatory, but roasted nuts have more flavor than raw ones; therefore, the rum balls will taste better.

Can I make these chocolate rum balls in advance, and how to store them:

If you want to have them for a party, it is good to make them in advance.

These little pieces of heaven are better the next day anyway, when all the flavors have time to get friendly with each other.

You can even refrigerate the mixture overnight and roll these beauties the next day.

They keep well in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container.

The rum balls are great for the holidays, especially Christmas, when everyone appreciates them.

They make an excellent gift for family and friends, but they are also a fantastic, super easy-to-make dessert for the days when we crave something sweet and decadent. 

Using good quality ingredients obviously will make them taste better. They are fantastic little treats for the entire family if you add the rum flavor.

Note: If you go with the real rum, don’t serve them to children. 

Interested in more chocolate dessert recipes?

Triple layer chocolate peanut butter cookie bars

Collection of homemade chocolate desserts for Valentine’s Day

Walnut Chocolate Rum Cake

Chocolate Cupcakes With Rum Chocolate Ganache

Enjoy!

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Best Classic Rum Balls Recipe

This is the best classic rum balls recipe you can find around and can be made in no time all year round when you have leftover cake or for the holidays
4.59 from 99 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best classic rum balls recipe, Christmas rum balls, no bake rum ball recipe, old fashioned rum ball recipe, rum balls
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 20 rum balls
Calories: 218kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  • Place the walnuts on a baking tray and roast them for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly brown.
  • Let nuts cool, chop them with a knife, or toss them in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Place them in a big bowl.
  • Process the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. If you do not have a food processor, place them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin or a bottle.
  • Add them to the nuts.
  • In a small pot, place butter, heavy cream, sugar, and cocoa and bring to a boil without simmering them. Remove and set aside to cool.
  • Add the rum or the rum flavor.
  • Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix everything very well.
  • If the mixture is soft, place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Using your hands, form 1 inch balls and toss them in granulated sugar, coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, etc.
  • Place the rum balls in the refrigerator overnight in an airtight container.
  • Optional: stick a pitted cherry from the syrup in the middle of the ball, or an almond, then toss in sugar.
  • Serve cold.

Notes

The base for these rum balls could be:
  • Graham crackers
  • Crushed vanilla wafers
  • Shortbread cookies
  • Digestive biscuits
  • Chocolate wafers
  • Leftover cake
Cover the rum balls in:
  • Granulated sugar
  • Coconut flakes
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Colored sprinkles
  • Powder sugar

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 372IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




Debbi Meredith

Monday 20th of December 2021

Can I use artificial brandy flavouring instead of rum in this recipe?

The Bossy Kitchen

Monday 20th of December 2021

Oh, I am sorry, I misread your question. The answer is yes, you can use whatever flavor you want, but you will miss that specific rum flavor that this dessert is famous for. However, I never tried the recipe with brandy flavoring, but I don't see why it would not work. If you make them, let me know, you made me curious. :-) Happy holidays!

The Bossy Kitchen

Monday 20th of December 2021

Yes, you can find this information inside the article and also under the ingredients on the recipe card.

Sarah

Sunday 12th of December 2021

Thanks for the recipe! How long would these last not refrigerated, just sealed in a container? Thank you!

Sarah Ann Omicioli

Monday 13th of December 2021

@The Bossy Kitchen, Yes that makes sense! I made them last night. They have a wonderful fudgy flavor - taste great. I like that this recipe doesn't use corn syrup too.

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 12th of December 2021

You should refrigerate them, as they have butter and heavy cream in them. They are not meant to be shipped, for example, but if you travel for just a few hours in a car, for example, and keep them in a cool place, they should be fine. Would that answer your question?

Mary-Anne

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Can I add more rum?

Becca

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

@Mary-Anne, I added 1 cup of rum an then added more graham crackers an pecans until I got the desired consistency!

The Bossy Kitchen

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Of course, just make sure you don't add too much and make them too wet. :-)) Happy holidays!

Amanda

Saturday 12th of December 2020

Is it possible to use salted butter?

The Bossy Kitchen

Saturday 12th of December 2020

I never used salted butter in the recipe, so I would not know what to tell you about the final taste of the rum balls. A cup of butter that is used as a binder for the rest of ingredients is enough to change the taste of the dessert. You can experiment and make a very small batch for yourself to see if you like the rum balls saltier and let me know what you think.

ELIZABETH A HUCEK

Sunday 29th of November 2020

I'm making this recipe now for my 98 year old Mother in Law. she's Hungarian and I think she would really like them, but I'm having a difficult time incorporating the ingredients. The butter keeps oozing out. I've had it in the refrigerator for an hour now and will continue to mix. I was wondering if you meant a half cup butter instead of a cup.

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 29th of November 2020

Hi Elizabeth,

I checked the recipe again and it is correct. 11 oz of crackers mean roughly about 4 generous cups of ground crackers. You add 1 3/4 cups powder sugar, 2/3 cup walnuts. There is also a cup of cocoa powder added to the heavy cream and butter. If you feel like the mixture is too soft to make the balls, add more crushed crackers to absorb the extra moisture. Add them spoon by spoon until you get the right consistency. Make sure you don't add too much at once. However, the butter gets harder in the refrigerator and the crackers will absorb the moisture. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.