Rum Balls – The Cookie Rookie®6 min read
These traditional rum balls are filled with coconut and chocolate flavors, and of course, rum! This boozy, bite-sized dessert is decadent, irresistible, and perfect for holiday celebrations.
Coconut Rum Balls
If you’ve never had a rum ball, you’re in for a treat! This classic holiday dessert is so tasty, you’ll be going back for more.
These coconut rum balls have a chewy texture, with a bit of heft and crunch from the various ingredients. They’re a little but sweet and a little bit chocolate-y, with a bit of a punch from the rum. Each bite will blow you away!
Why You’ll Love this Rum Ball Recipe:
- Flavorful: The combination of cocoa powder, coconut, rum, maple syrup, and pecans creates the most deliciously addictive flavor.
- No Baking: Rum balls are a no bake treat, which means they’re really easy to make!
- Bite-sized: Okay, it might take you a couple of bites to get through each one, but these are the ideal size for quick sharing. Perfect for parties!
My favorite part is the final touch of coconut or cookie crumbs on the outside. It adds just a bit more texture, and makes them look extra pretty!
How to Make Rum Balls
You can jump to the recipe card for full ingredients & instructions!
- Combine the ingredients in a food processor until it creates a fine crumb mixture. The addition of maple syrup will help bring the drier ingredients together to make a doughy texture.
- Then just use a cookie scoop to form the dough into bite-sized balls, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- The very last step is to roll them through more coconut shreds and/or cookie crumbs to finish them off.
Note: If it gets too warm, let the dough chill in the fridge before rolling it into balls.
- Vanilla Wafer Cookies: Create the base of our rum balls. You can use graham crackers, shortbread cookies, digestive biscuits, or chocolate wafers instead for a different flavor.
- Coconut: Add delicious coconut flavor. I like to use unsweetened desiccated coconut to control the level of sweetness. If you want them sweeter, you can use sweetened coconut.
- Pecans: Add rich, nutty flavor. You can use a different nut, such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios, for a different flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness.
- Cocoa Powder: Adds rich chocolatey flavor.
- Coconut Rum: Enhances the coconut flavor and makes these alcoholic. You can use plain rum for a less strong coconut flavor, or try brandy or cognac.
- Maple Syrup: Replaces traditional corn syrup for a subtle sweet flavor. You can use honey or corn syrup, though.
They are called rum balls because they contain rum and that is a large part of their flavor. Because rum balls are not baked, the rum remains potent.
Yes. These are a no-bake treat, so the alcohol does not cook off and therefore, they are not safe for kids.
It’s very unlikely, although possible, to get drunk off of rum balls. Each individual ball, while quite flavorful, does not contain much actual alcohol.
You can use any cocoa powder you prefer, as long as it is unsweetened. Use natural cocoa powder for a more natural taste, and use Dutch-process cocoa powder for a smoother taste.
Rum balls will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Yes! Rum balls can be frozen for up to 3 months!
Roll each one in different toppings to create more variety. You can use shredded coconut, cookie crumbs, cocoa powder, crushed nuts, or powdered sugar.
Keep these in the fridge all season long, so they’re ready to grab and serve any time you have a craving.
Make Ahead Instructions
These rum balls are a great make-ahead recipe because they have a long shelf life and the flavor gets better with age. You can make these up to 10 days before you plan to serve them!
Store leftover rum balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Freeze rum balls in a single layer on a lined baking sheet until solid, about 1-2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container to store for up to 3 months. Let come to room temperature before enjoying.
- You can use graham crackers, shortbread cookies, digestive biscuits, or chocolate wafers instead of vanilla wafers.
- I like to use unsweetened desiccated coconut to control the level of sweetness in these rum balls. If you want them sweeter, you can use sweetened coconut.
- You can use a different nut, such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios in place of the pecans for a different flavor.
- You can use plain rum instead of coconut for a less strong coconut flavor, or try brandy or cognac.
- You can use honey or corn syrup instead of maple syrup.
Tips for the Best Rum Balls
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can place the cookies in a sealed Ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. You will also need to chop up the pecans.
- Keep the dough chilled to make it easier to roll into balls.
- Spray your hands with nonstick spray before rolling to keep them from sticking to your hands.
Everyone will love these classic rum balls filled with coconut! They’re one of the easiest and tastiest Christmas desserts, so be sure to make a few batches to enjoy.
If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy! You can also jump to recipe.