Rum Balls

24 balls
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Rum Balls are an easy chocolate candy with rum, cocoa, pecans and cookies you can make and decorate in just minutes. Perfect for easy dinner parties!
Bite sized desserts like Buckeye Balls make perfect holiday treats both for your parties and as gifts for friends and family. This year, give the gift of sugar and spice with a basket of Homemade Candy.
Rum Balls rolled in cocoa powder and powdered sugar
Of all the Christmas candies and treats growing up, Rum Balls stand out as special since they were for the grown ups only. It’s that hint of rum in them that makes them a treat.
Each family that makes Rum Balls probably has a slightly different version. Some use bourbon instead of rum, or hazelnuts instead of walnuts. These truffles are so versatile but as long as they are sweet, nutty, and slightly boozy, you’ve got a classic candy.
They are so easy to make, and since they are no-bake, they are perfect for last minute party or potluck treats. You’ll have to check with the boss to see if they are safe for work though.
Rum Ball Mixture pre-rolled
When we are gifting these truffle balls such as these Rum Balls (or my Oreo Truffles or Chocolate Truffles,) make an assortment of toppings, like melted chocolate, cocoa powder, crushed vanilla wafers, and chocolate sprinkles.
You can also make a handwritten personalized copy of our Rum Balls Recipe for the gift tag.
Rum Balls are best when you make them ahead of time. To get a good, strong rum flavor, make your Rum Balls 2-3 days before you plan on serving them.
How to make Non-alcoholic Rum Balls:
If you are looking to make a non-alcoholic version of Rum Balls, it’s very easy to swap out the liquor.
Mix 2 teaspoons of rum flavoring or vanilla extract, 2 ounces water and 1 extra tablespoon of light corn syrup. Substitute for the rum or bourbon.



  • Mix dry ingredients: Mix confectioners’ sugar and cocoa in a bowl. Add crushed vanilla wafers and chopped walnuts, then toss to combine.
  • Mix wet ingredients: In another bowl, mix corn syrup and rum. Stir into dry ingredients until well combined.
  • Form Rum Balls: Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in additional confectioners’ sugar or other coatings, if desired.

Pre-decorated Rum Balls


  • Chocolate Rum Balls: Add dark chocolate chips to your Rum Ball dough. You can also dip them Chocolate Ganache or melted white chocolate for a delicious and beautiful topping.
  • Butter Pecan Rum Balls: To make a butter pecan version of this Rum Ball Recipe, add a teaspoon of butterscotch flavoring and roll in crushed pecans.
  • Bourbon Balls: Substitute your favorite spiced bourbon for the rum in this recipe.
  • Cookie Crumbs: You can use any cookie crumbs instead of vanilla wafers. Try Oreos (with or without the frosting), shortbreads, or graham crackers.
  • Cinnamon: Add ground cinnamon to your dough. You can also roll them in a cinnamon sugar. Mix ½ tsp cinnamon to ¼ cup granulated sugar, and keep leftovers for cinnamon toast.
  • Coatings: Roll your balls in leftover vanilla wafer crumbs, sprinkles, shredded coconut, or mini chocolate chips instead of, or in addition to, the chopped nuts.

Rum Balls on cookie sheet with assorted coatings


  • What is the difference between light and dark corn syrup? Light corn syrup has a lighter flavor and is made with vanilla. Dark Corn syrup has a more powerful flavor and is made with a type of molasses.
  • What is the best rum to use for rum balls? You want to use a dark rum for this dessert. Dark Rums are distilled from molasses and have a rich spice to them that give this treat that classic flavor.
  • Can you get drunk off of Rum Balls? While Rum Balls do contain ¼ cup of rum, it is combined with other ingredients and divided into many balls so the likelihood of getting drunk off rum balls is very low.


  • Serve: Rum Balls can be kept at room temperature, in a cool dry place and sealed in an airtight container.
  • Store: Keep your Rum Balls in a sealed container and store in a cool place or fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freeze: You can freeze this dessert for up to 2 months. Freeze on a baking sheet in a single layer before transferring to a container so they don’t stick together.

Rum Truffles inside with bite removed

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Rum Balls

Rum Balls are an easy chocolate candy with rum, cocoa, pecans and cookies you can make and decorate in just minutes. Perfect for gifts or easy dinner parties!
Yield 24 balls
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 package vanilla wafers , finely crushed (12 ounces)
  • 1 cup walnuts , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup rum


  • In a large bowl, mix confectioners' sugar and cocoa until blended.
  • Add crushed wafers and walnuts; toss to combine.
  • In another bowl, mix corn syrup and rum.
  • Stir into wafer mixture.
  • Shape into 1-inch balls.
  • Roll in additional confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, or other coatings.
  • Store in an airtight container.


Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Rum Balls

Chocolate Rum Balls collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. If made a couple days ahead, should I wait to roll them in the cocoa or 10x? I don’t expect an answer as I never get one even when I email. I think these emails come from the Netherworld and no one is actually monitoring the comments. Very frustrating. So if anyone who is actually made this recipe can answer me, I would greatly appreciate it.

    1. Hi Cat! Busy Summer over here. Hope your Summer is going well and yes, make the recipe “as is”, including rolled in cocoa and make a couple of days ahead in an air tight container. Enjoy!

  2. What ratio would you use to convert this recipe to a non-alcoholic one, i.e. Rum flavoring to replace the 1/4 cup Rum?

  3. YUM! I love all of the different delicious variations you include for these rum balls. One of my favorite food gifts to give!

  4. Rum balls are the easiest thing to make, which is good, since these always disappear fast around here. I’m loving all the add-in options and your decorations are all so pretty. 🙂

  5. Now, I am REALLY craving rum balls! Those recipe variations sound AMAZING and I think I might be tempted to try more than one!