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Traditional rum balls are an easy, no-bake holiday staple. Vanilla wafers, cocoa powder, pecans, and honey come together with powdered sugar and sprinkles to give them a sweet, chocolatey, nutty flavor, with a kick of rum!

They melt in your mouth and are a perfect sweet bite. 

glass jar of chocolate rum balls.

No Bake Rum Balls

These fudgy, nutty, rum-infused truffle balls are made with just 8 ingredients. 7 if you replace the water with even more rum!

They’re a no-bake treat that is so easy to make and perfectly festive for the holiday season.

Coat them in powdered sugar, holiday sprinkles, or nothing at all and the longer they sit around the better they get!

Easter Egg truffles for Easter, Chocolate covered peanut butter footballs for tailgate parties, and ghost Oreo balls for Halloween have been huge hits, so naturally Christmas needs its own sweet treat.

Easy rum balls can be made ahead and kept for weeks or even frozen for later. Whip them up in no time at all and have a quick and easy dessert to add to any holiday dessert tray, potluck, or as a little pop-in-your-mouth treat to satisfy those afternoon sweet cravings!

Why you’ll love making Easy Rum Balls

No bake – Not taking up room in the oven is always a bonus, especially during the holidays. If you plan on making these in the summer (as you should) it just means no heating up the kitchen!

Customizable – You can simply add a hint of rum or level up these boozy balls with even more liqueur, spicy liqueur, or switch to bourbon. Decorate them how you like and swap a few ingredients if needed.

Quick and easy – With minimal prep and just 30 minutes of chill time, these rumballs are one of the easiest desserts you’ll make this time of year.

Serves a crowd – This entire batch makes about 24 balls, but you can easily double the recipe. If each person has 1 or 2 balls, you’re sure to have enough plus leftovers! They are also great for gift giving because who doesn’t love a homemade edible gift that’s especially fun for the adults?!

plate of sprinkled rum balls.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Mixing Bowls – Just a couple are needed for this recipe and these are the ones I use.
  • Small Cookie Scoop – Perfect for making sure each ball is the same size!
  • Whisk – This one’s great for whisking wet and dry ingredients.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make rum balls.


Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Vanilla Wafer Cookies – You’ll crush these cookies up to give these easy rum balls a bit of texture. Crispy wafers not only lighten them up but they add sweetness to the cream. They also help to absorb all of that delicious rum!
  • Ground Pecans – Adds texture and a little bit of nutty flavor. They will also help to bind the rum balls together.
  • Powdered Sugar – This type of sugar will blend nicely into the mixture without being grainy since there is no way to dissolve the sugar. Sometimes called confectioners sugar or icing sugar – same thing.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – That chocolaty goodness without the extra sweetness. We’re able to control the amount this way. Using either natural or Dutch-processed will work. Use what you prefer.
  • Rum – Use whatever you’ve got on hand. No need to buy anything uber-expensive. You can adjust the amount as desired.
  • Honey – This is a great way to add extra sweetness but also helps to bind the ingredients and add a sticky chewy consistency that is almost fudgy.
  • Water – Having a bit of liquid helps to form the dough. You can replace this with even more rum if you’d like!
  • Extra powdered sugar & sprinkles – Roll your easy rum balls around in either one or both for an adorable festive look for all your holiday parties.

How to make Classic Rum Balls

  1. STEP ONE: In a large bowl, combine the vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, crushed pecans, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder.
  2. STEP TWO: In a separate small bowl, whisk together the rum, honey, and water. Then, combine the rum mixture with the crumb mixture.
  3. STEP THREE: Once a dough has been formed, use a small cookie scoop to portion out 1-inch balls. Use your hands to roll them and smooth them out before rolling them in powdered sugar or sprinkles. Using a cookie scoop helps to ensure even-sized rumballs.
  4. STEP FOUR: Place each one on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue rolling and coating the rum balls until all the dough is used up. Don’t skip using parchment paper or wax paper, these balls will stick!
  5. STEP FIVE: Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and chill the no-bake rum balls for 30 minutes.
collage of 3 photos showing the process of making rum balls.

What to serve with these Easy Rum Balls

Every year I like to set up a Christmas charcuterie board or dessert platter with a variety of items for people to pick and choose from. It’s appealing to the eyes and the taste buds and it makes it easier knowing that most of the stuff on it takes very little effort!

It usually includes a few other no bake items like these Grinch cream cheese mints, no bake melted reindeer bark, or peanut butter balls.

In smaller bowls, I’ll add some candied nuts like cinnamon sugar cashews, candied pecans, or slow cooker cinnamon sugar almonds.

They’re also a staple on Christmas cookie trays. Pair them with reindeer cookies and sprinkled chocolate fudge cookie bites to spread holiday cheer!

Possible Substitutions/Additions

  • You can substitute graham crackers for vanilla wafers. Both will add a nice crispy texture and additional flavor.
  • Roll these easy rum balls in powdered sugar, sprinkles, crushed vanilla wafers, cocoa powder, coconut flakes, or more crushed pecans. You can also leave them plain!
  • For a stronger taste of rum, substitute the water for 2 more tablespoons of rum.
  • Use bourbon or spiced rum for a twist.
  • You can also substitute maple syrup, corn syrup, or Karo syrup for the honey.

How to store Easy Rum Balls

How to store leftovers

These will need to be kept in an airtight container to keep any moisture in. If you’re wrapping them up as a gift, make sure to seal the cellophane with ribbon, cover the box with a lid, or use a mason jar with a lid. Whatever works!

How long can rum balls last in the fridge?

You can keep them at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They are even better the next day.

Can I freeze traditional rum balls?

Absolutely! Transfer them to a freezer bag or freezer-friendly container and keep them frozen for up to 3 months. Separate the layers with parchment paper so that they don’t freeze in clumps.

You can also flash freeze them solid before placing them in the container or zip-top bag.

Bring as many as you need to room temperature before serving and enjoy them again and again!

christmas rum balls on a plaid napkin.


Can rum balls make you drunk?

It’s unlikely that you’ll get drunk off rum balls. That said, they do contain alcohol and because they’re no bake treats, the alcohol doesn’t cook off.

I would not serve them to children.

What type of rum is best for making rum balls?

As I said, don’t go out buying the best of the best. They’ll work out no matter what. However, if you want to go all out, look for dark rum. It’ll give you the best rum flavor.

Can I make these ahead of time?

You can and you should! I would suggest assembling them completely, even up to the sprinkles, then letting them sit and chill in the fridge overnight or up to 48 hours before serving. This way, the flavor of the rum will have really set in.

How to crush nuts for easy rum balls?

For both the vanilla wafers and the nuts I would use a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can also use a blender.

If neither is an option, you can place the nuts and wafers in a zip-top bag and get to smashin’ with a rolling pin.

Need more no bake truffle recipes? Try these:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Bon Bons

Christmas Oreo Bon Bons

No Bake Snowman Oreo Balls

Bourbon Balls

Click here for my entire collection of dessert recipes.

hand holding a chocolate rum ball with a bite taken out.

Did You Make This?

If you made this recipe, I’d love to know how it went in the comments section below.

You can also tag me on Instagram – @melissa_pplates or share a pic in the Persnickety Plates Community Facebook group. I love seeing what you’ve tried!

glass jar of chocolate rum balls.
5 from 6 votes

Easy Rum Balls

Servings: 24 balls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Traditional rum balls are an easy, no-bake holiday staple. Vanilla wafers, cocoa powder, pecans, and honey come together with powdered sugar and sprinkles to give them a sweet, chocolatey, nutty flavor, with a kick of rum!


  • cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup pecans ground
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 teaspoons
  • ¼ cup rum
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • additional powdered sugar and sprinkles for rolling


  • Line a lipped baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the vanilla wafer crumbs, pecans, powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the rum, honey and water.
  • Stir the rum mixture into the crumb mixture.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to portion out approximately 1" balls, rolling them in your hands to smooth them out.
  • Roll the balls in additional powdered sugar or sprinkles and place onto the prepared pan.
  • Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.


  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up to a week.
  • Graham crackers can be used in place of the vanilla wafers.
  • Roll in powdered sugar, sprinkles, crushed up vanilla wafers or more crushed pecans.
  • For extra booze, substitute the water for 2 more tablespoons of rum.
  • Bourbon or spiced rum can be used in place of regular rum.
  • Maple syrup, corn syrup (karo syrup), can be used in place of honey. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. 5 stars
    I just found your site and am excited to start making and sharing delicious recipes! I’m starting with rum balls and have a list of what’s next. 🙂 Question on this recipe: Are the pecans to be actually ground, or finely chopped? The picture of ingredients looks to be chopped, so thought to double check. Thank you!

    1. First, welcome! 🙂 Second, the ingredient shot shows the pecans before they’re ground. You can see the texture better in the mixing bowl/process shot. But if you like more texture, you can leave them a bit chunkier.