Boozy Rum Balls (Easy Holiday No-Bake Recipe)

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Rum Balls are bold, boozy, and bright with honey-like holiday flavors! A couple dozen of these are just the thing to rouse up some Christmas cheer. Toasted pecans and rich cocoa powder are rolled up with crunchy wafer cookies to build these drool-worthy chocolate rum balls. They’ll be the highlight of any gathering you bring them to!

Titled Image: Boozy Rum Balls


Rum Balls

A couple dozen of these no bake rum balls are just the thing to rouse up some Christmas cheer! 

Dark rum warms you up from your stomach to your toes to the tips of your fingers with its rich, caramel taste.

It’s all about pairings, too — and chocolate, pecans, honey, and cookies hit all the right notes! 

Now that you have that nice bottle of rum, what’re you going to do with the rest of it?

Sure, you could do something boring like just drink it… or you could make my beachy rumchata pudding shots or moist banana rum cake!

(If you really do just want to drink it, at least make it into a nice rum and coke!)

ingredients for boozy rum balls

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Vanilla Wafers – If you have a hard time finding these, then you can use graham crackers.

    Sometimes I like to use Teddy Grahams for a little extra honey flavor — or whatever other fun flavors they have around that time of year. 
  • Rum – The prevailing opinion is that dark rum is the best for desserts. Its sweet, caramel-like taste is just perfect to pair with chocolate and nuts!
  • Baking Cocoa – Baking cocoa is less acidic and absorbs honey and rum more easily than untreated cocoa powder.

    But if you need to use regular cocoa powder, no worries! It’ll still work — the result will just be a little drier.
  • Honey – This lovely, rich sweetener was basically made to be mixed with rum!

    The amber colors and floral flavors meld in the most marvelous, mouthwatering way. Your best substitutes are something thick like maple syrup or corn syrup. 
dry ingredients for rum balls in a mixing bowl

Easy Ways to Level Up Chocolate Rum Balls 

  • Spice things up with other liquors.

I sort of mean this literally! Spiced rum is a really fantastic option for this rum balls recipe since it’s the main player in terms of flavor. 

Bourbon is another sweet option with a nice oaky vanilla taste — and it can be spicy, too!

If you’re making these around the holidays, I definitely recommend a spiced liquor to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

  • Get creative with coatings.

There are all sorts of things you can roll these around in to add texture, flavor, or color. The sky’s the limit!

You could always use more of the wafers, pecans, or sugar as a coating.

Seasonal sprinkles are always fun, and I’m personally partial to chocolate shell that hardens as it cools. There’s nothing like that crunch when you bite down!

Having a food processor or blender around will make assembling delicious coatings a whole lot easier.

Then there’s the old fashioned plastic-bag-and-rolling-pin technique, which never fails! 

  • Making these ahead of time? Great idea!

This is one of those desserts that gets tastier as it sits, letting the wet ingredients seep into the dry and marry all of the flavors together. 

I recommend making them the night before to really get the best flavor and texture!

adding rum, honey and water to dry mixture for boozy rum balls

Storing and Freezing No Bake Rum Balls

To keep these treats solid and scrumptious, store them in the fridge. Any airtight container is fine, even a plastic baggie! Stored this way, they’ll last a week. 

You can keep them for a while at room temperature too, but they’ll get a whole lot messier!

Freeze rum balls? Absolutely! Wrap them up and freeze for a couple of months. 

What You’ll Need For This Recipe

  • The Rum plays a major role in the flavor of this rum balls recipe, so I suggest investing in delicious, high-quality liquor!
  • Cookie Scoops – Great for meatballs, cookies, ice cream, and portioning out leftovers. The small size is really helpful for shaping chocolate rum balls!
boozy rum balls rolled in powdered sugar

Rum Balls Recipe FAQ

Can rum balls make you drunk?

This is a no bake recipe, which means any alcohol we use in the process won’t be cooked away or made less effective. 

However, we’re not using that much of it, so getting drunk isn’t something to worry about! After all, there’s only ¼ cup of rum divided among 24 individual bites.

Do rum balls contain nuts?

Not all do, but this rum balls recipe does! If this is an allergen or concern of yours, then you can easily leave them out or replace them with more cookie or wafer crumble!

How do you thicken rum balls?

They’re thickened with dry ingredients like crumbled cookies, ground nuts, and powdered sugar. Together, these build the body we need to thicken and shape these treats.

What do I do if my rum balls are too wet?

Just add more of the thickener! Rather than go right for the powdered sugar, use a little bit of each ingredient so that it doesn’t become too sweet. 

And it’s easier to fix too-wet balls than those that are too dry, so just add a little bit at a time!

boozy rum balls covered in powdered sugar and festive sprinkles

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fingers holding boozy rum ball with sprinkles

closeup of inside of rum balls

Boozy Rum Balls (Easy Holiday No-Bake Recipe)

Donna Elick
Boozy Rum Balls are soft, sweet, and easy to eat! Bring these chocolate rum balls home for the holidays and enjoy that spiced, sweet flavor!
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 30 minutes
cooling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method No Bake
Servings 24


  • 2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Additional powdered sugar and sprinkles for rolling


  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the crushed vanilla wafer crumbs, ground pecans, powdered sugar, and cocoa.
  • Prepare Rum Mixture: In a small bowl, whisk together the rum, honey, and water.
  • Combine Mixtures: Stir the rum mixture into the crumb mixture.
  • Shape Balls: Form the mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; using a small cookie scoop can be helpful.
  • Coat Balls: Roll the balls in additional powdered sugar or sprinkles.
  • Chill: Place the rum balls in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Donna’s Notes

MAKE AHEAD/STORAGE: Store these rum balls in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up to a week.
If you don’t have vanilla wafers, you can substitute graham crackers.
Get creative with coatings: try powdered sugar, sprinkles, crushed vanilla wafers, or more crushed pecans.
For a stronger rum flavor, you can replace the water with an additional 2 tablespoons of rum.
You can also experiment with bourbon or spiced rum for a different taste.
If you don’t have honey, you can substitute maple syrup, corn syrup, or Karo syrup.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 116cal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 46mg | Sugar: 11g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published December 2023

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