Rum Balls Recipe

This classic Rum Balls Recipe is one of our favorite holiday desserts! These boozy balls of chocolate are filled with dark rum flavor and a crunchy cookie filling. Make this festive dessert a day or two ahead of time to make party planning and holidays a breeze.

And we do love our boozy desserts…check out these Limoncello Lemon Bars that are bursting with sweet and tangy fresh lemon flavor, and our Bourbon Iced Molasses Cookies with real bourbon in the icing!

colored and sugared rum balls on a white platter

Why You’ll Love Our Rum Balls Recipe

The holiday season is definitely the time of year to break out all the tasty, festive, boozy treats. These Rum Balls with powdered sugar and sprinkles are the prefect addition to your cookie platter or dessert table!

Not only are we excited to share our Rum Balls Recipe with you, we have lots of helpful tips and details to make this recipe look and taste it’s best!

However, if you’re ready to dive right into making this boozy, festive dessert, scroll down to the recipe card or click the “jump to recipe” button above the first photo.

  • Easy To Make: It only takes about 10 minutes to make these rum balls, and maybe another 5-10 to roll them in powdered sugar or sprinkles.
  • Make Ahead Dessert: Make ahead recipes are key to the success of a party. You can make this dessert up to 2 weeks ahead of time, or you can make them and freeze them 3 months ahead of time.
  • Customizable: You can also customize the alcohol and decorations to your liking or to fit the theme of a party or holiday.
rum balls decorated on platter

Do Rum Balls Have Real Alcohol In Them?

YES, there is actual alcohol (in this case dark rum) in rum balls. Maybe you’ve come across another recipe that uses a rum extract instead of actual rum? This is not that recipe.

If you can’t use alcohol in your cooking, than an extract would be a good alternative. However, classic rum balls do use the real thing, and we think it’s the only way to make them.

rum balls with sprinkles and powdered sugar

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can also use milk chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup good quality dark rum – a rum that you like the flavor of, since you will taste it in the final product.
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – real extract, not imitation
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 box vanilla wafers – 11 ounces, crushed into small crumbs
  • 1 cup pecans – chopped fine
  • Sprinkles and/or powdered sugar for decorating the balls
rum balls decorated on white snowflake platter

How To Make Rum Balls

Rum balls are super easy to make. Just grab yourself a bottle of dark rum, pour a little for yourself and let’s get rolling!

  1. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl until smooth.
  2. Add corn syrup, rum  and vanilla extract and stir. Slowly pour in powdered sugar, while stirring, until all the sugar in combined into the chocolate.
  3. Add crushed vanilla wafers and finely chopped pecans to the chocolate mixture and stir until all the ingredients are combined.
  4. Chill the mixture for 20 minutes and then roll into balls a little smaller than a golf ball. Roll in sprinkles or powdered sugar and repeat.
  5. Chill for at least an hour or up to 2 days before serving.
rum balls with sprinkles and powdered sugar on platter

How Long Do Rum Balls Stay Fresh?

Rum balls will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if they last that long! These are a pretty sturdy dessert, so they are perfect for making ahead of time or stashing leftovers after your party.

The flavor mellows out a bit after making them, so if you don’t want a really strong rum flavor you can make them a day or two ahead of time.

You can also freeze this dessert and defrost the morning of or the day before your party. We love making these for a lot of holidays, in different colors or flavors, and having them on hand in the freezer.

fingers holding a chocolate dessert made with rum


First of all, you can use different alcohol to make this dessert. We love bourbon, so we make these Bourbon Balls quite often. Other types of alcohol that you can try are tequila, vodka, cointreau, brandy, or even creamier types like RumChata or Irish Cream.

Next we’ll move on to the decorations. Any color sprinkle for any holiday, red and white for Valentine’s Day, orange and black for Halloween, etc. You get the idea. Even grab multi-colored or silver and gold for birthdays and Anniversaries.

Looking For More Christmas Desserts?

rum balls decorated on platter

Rum Balls

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 36 rum balls 1x

Festive and boozy Rum Balls are a Christmas tradition! Real dark rum is a must when making this classic dessert…and these are boozy!



  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup good quality dark rum
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 box vanilla wafers (11 ounces), crushed into small crumbs
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Sprinkles and/or powdered sugar for decorating the balls


  1. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Keep heating until the chocolate is completely smooth.
  2. Pour the corn syrup, rum and vanilla extract into the chocolate and stir to combine.
  3. Slowly add the powdered sugar, stirring until all the sugar is combined with the chocolate sauce. Add the crushed vanilla wafers and the chopped pecans and stir.
  4. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scooper (a little smaller than a golf ball), make balls and roll into either sprinkles or powdered sugar.
  5. Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture until you have about 30 rum balls. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

Makes about 30 rum balls. To crush the vanilla wafers, add the cookies to a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies. Alternately, you can pulse them in a food processor.

These rum balls will keep in an airtight container for about a week in the refrigerator.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

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