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How to Make Rum Balls

Rum balls are a classic treat for the colder months! Follow this simple recipe to create a delicious, rum-spiked throwback addition to your holiday menu.

Rum Balls
Rum Balls

When I told the Goodie2Spoons girls that I wanted to test out some rum balls for a holiday recipe to bring to you guys, neither one of them had ever tried them before! (Something about too many rum and cokes in college, you’ll have to ask them yourselves…)

But that didn’t stop them from concocting some of the best rum balls I’ve ever had. I don’t know why, but I have such a special place in my heart for these things!

Maybe it’s because my sassy aunt used to make them for Christmas all the time. Or maybe because they seem like such a fun throwback treat, very midcentury and fun.

Either way, this recipe is so simple and perfect for serving at parties, sending treats home, or just a little fun holiday experiment in the kitchen.

Sweet Treats That You’re Going to Love

As much as I can’t wait to get this recipe into your hands, I wanted to cherry-pick some of our other most popular recipes that would go perfectly with the rum balls!

Be sure to check these out as well, and pin the ones that sound the best!

How do Rum Balls Taste?

If you’re unfamiliar with the delicious taste of a rum ball, let me introduce you!

Rum balls are chewy, boozy, sweet bites of heaven. This particular rum ball recipe is a really lovely base recipe, into which you can add your favorite flavors or mix-ins!

Add or subtract nuts, chocolate, spices, and more to create your ideal flavor.

But do be advised — rum balls definitely taste boozy, which is half the fun.

When to Serve

I love serving rum balls during the holidays! They’re perfect to have out on an appetizer or sweets table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or just any winter gathering.

Lots of people serve them with a dessert platter or after dinner. But I can remember my family just having them out throughout our holiday parties — before, during, and after the food was served.

They’d also be great party favors! Make a big batch and toss a few into a cute takeout container for each guest to take home.

Turn This Classic Into Chocolate Rum Balls (And other Substitutions!)

There are lots of ways to customize or substitute in this rum ball recipe!

  • Try a different type of nut, or no nuts at all.
  • Use chocolate wafers (instead of vanilla wafers) for a rich, chocolatey taste.
  • Roll them in plain powdered sugar (without cocoa powder) for a less chocolatey flavor.
  • Add cinnamon to the powdered sugar to accent the spiced rum.
  • Experiment with various types of rum, or even substitute bourbon.
Rum Balls

Ingredients for Rum Balls

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes

Rum Balls

  • 1 package of vanilla wafers (12-14 oz.)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup spiced rum

Easy Rum Ball Recipe

Pour cookies into a sealable plastic bag, and smash with a rolling pin until finely ground. Take 2 cups of the smashed vanilla wafers and combine in a bowl with powdered sugar, chopped pecans and cocoa powder and stir. Add corn syrup and spiced rum to the mixture of dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Form into 1 inch balls. Roll in cocoa sugar (recipe below) and enjoy.

Cocoa Sugar

  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Combine ingredients, spread in a shallow bowl and roll the rum balls before serving!

Rum Balls

How to Get the Best Rum Ball Flavor

The girls and I agreed on this one, these get better with age!

If you prep and serve the same day, the rum flavor will be pretty potent. But after a day or two it mellowed and they were even better. (Although if you like a boozy rum ball, go ahead and serve them right away!)

So they’d be perfect to make ahead for a holiday party or for some take-home sweets; that way you don’t even have to think about them on the day of your shindig.

Go check out Goodie2Spoons and follow along on Instagram to see what else they’re making for the holidays! xoxo

Rum Balls
Rum Balls

How to Make Rum Balls

Yield: 30 Rum Balls
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Rum balls are a classic treat for the colder months! Follow this simple recipe to create a delicious, rum-spiked throwback addition to your holiday menu.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of vanilla wafers (12-14 oz)
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c spiced rum
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Instructions

    Rum Balls

    1. Pour cookies into a sealable plastic bag, and smash with a rolling pin until finely ground.
    2. Take 2 cups of the smashed vanilla wafers and combine in a bowl with powdered sugar, chopped pecans and cocoa powder and stir.
    3. Add corn syrup and spiced rum to the mixture of dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
    4. Form into 1 inch balls.
    5. Combine 6 tbsp powdered sugar and 1 tsp cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. This is your cocoa sugar.
    6. Roll balls in cocoa sugar and enjoy.

Notes

There are lots of ways to customize or substitute in this rum ball recipe!

  • Try a different type of nut, or no nuts at all.
  • Use chocolate wafers (instead of vanilla wafers) for a rich, chocolatey taste.
  • Roll them in plain powdered sugar (without cocoa powder) for a less chocolatey flavor.
  • Add cinnamon to the powdered sugar to accent the spiced rum.
  • Experiment with various types of rum, or even substitute bourbon.

If you prep and serve the same day, the rum flavor will be pretty potent. But after a day or two it mellows and they are even better. (Although if you like a boozy rum ball, go ahead and serve them right away!)

So they'd be perfect to make ahead for a holiday party or for some take-home sweets; that way you don't even have to think about them on the day of your shindig.

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