Old Fashioned Rum Balls Recipe

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Old Fashioned Rum Balls are the perfect homemade treats for the holiday season. They are a classic holiday treat that is packed full of rum flavor. The perfect dessert for cookie exchanges and holiday parties!

plate full of old fashioned rum balls

These boozy rum balls are basically no bake cookies. They have a little bit of a crunch from the nuts and a soft moist center.

If you enjoy a sweet treat with a hint of rum, you are going to love these!

Make these homemade rum balls to give as gifts or to serve at your next Christmas party. Just make sure to keep away from the kids as they are made with real rum.

festive table with homemade rum balls on plate

Looking for more Christmas cookie recipes? Try our Grinch Cookies, Old Fashioned Gingersnap Cookies, and our Eggnog Cookies are delicious!

rows of rum balls on table

Helpful Tips:

  • Store rum balls in an airtight container in a cold, dry room for up to 5 days. You can store these in the fridge, but there’s a possibility the coatings will get gooey from the added moisture. These are best when served the same day they’re made. I do not suggest freezing.
  • As the rum balls sit, the bottoms will flatten a bit, but it’s nice because then they’re not rolling all over the place when being served.
  • You can use honey in place of the corn syrup. Dark corn syrup works as well.
  • If your mixture is dry before rolling, add about a ½ tablespoon of rum at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
  • You can use pecans in place of the walnuts.
  • You can use any kind of rum you’d like. You can also use bourbon whiskey and make bourbon balls instead.
  • If you roll a ball and hold it flat in your hand and it seems to slowly melt, your mixture is too soft. Simply add more crushed cookies, ¼ cup at a time until the right consistency is reached.
  • It’s important to note that these do not get baked, which means the alcohol is not reduced in any manner. These are best for the 21 and over crowd (or the legal drinking age in your area).
rum balls cut in half to show the texture inside

Making German Rum Balls For A Crowd

This recipe makes roughly 27 (1-inch) rum balls. You can certainly double or triple the recipe if you want to make more.

This recipe does contain tree nuts so keep that in mind for anyone with a tree nut allergy.

Once made, you can display on a dessert tray or a holiday cookie platter.

stack of old fashioned rum balls in bowl

Ingredients Needed to Make Old Fashioned Rum Balls

  • Nilla Wafers, finely crushed – Can also use graham cracker crumbs or any vanilla wafer cookies
  • Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar
  • Walnuts, finely chopped
  • Spiced Rum – Any dark rum will work
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Salt

Items needed:

  • 1-Inch Cookie Scoop
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Dry Ingredient Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Small Bowls
  • Parchment Paper
  • 9×13 Baking Sheet (optional)
old fashioned rum balls ingredients on table

How to Make Old Fashioned Rum Balls

This traditional rum balls recipe is so easy to make. It’s pretty much mixing everything into a large bowl, rolling into 1-inch balls and then placing them onto cookie trays.

The full step-by-step process is in the recipe card below. Enjoy!

collage of images showing step-by-step on how to make homemade rum balls

Old Fashioned Rum Balls

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Brittanie Pyper
Make homemade old fashioned rum balls as the perfect boozy, no bake holiday treat!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 27 1-Inch Rum Balls


  • 5 Cups Nilla Wafers finely crushed
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Walnuts finely chopped
  • ½ Cup Spiced Rum
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt


  • Line a 9×13 baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Make sure your cookie crumbs and finely chopped walnuts don’t have any big chunks. You want them to be similar to dry sand so they mix into your ingredients seamlessly.I pulse mine in a food processor to achieve this.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the crushed Nilla wafers, salt, and finely chopped walnuts.
  • Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the walnut mixture. Stir the walnut and Nilla wafers mixture until thoroughly combined.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the corn syrup and rum. Mix until the syrup is dissolved.
  • Pour over the Nilla wafer mixture and mixture until it starts to get a thick consistency.
  • Grab your rubber gloves and, without too much smashing, finish combining the mixture. It will be like cookie dough.
  • Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on the prepared pan.
  • Choose your toppings and place them in small bowls. Once you’re ready to coat them, re-roll the balls right before rolling them in the toppings of your choice. Place back on the pan and enjoy!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate only; actual values will vary based on the exact ingredients used and amount of recipe prepared.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Did you try this recipe?Mention @simplisticallyliving or tag #simplisticallyliving!

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