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No holiday season is complete without a batch of traditional Rum Balls! They are nutty, sweet treats with a boozy kick from rum. They keep for several weeks in the refrigerator so you can make a big batch to last all through the holiday season.

If these remind you of childhood like they do me, you’re not going to want to miss this recipe!

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Rum balls stacked in a white dish

I love holiday cookies, but sometimes it’s nice to make a sweet treat that’s not a cookie. Enter these candies! They are little balls of heaven made with pecans, crushed vanilla wafers, and a hint of rum. They’re sort of like a truffle and are very easy to make.

The best part about homemade rum balls is that they keep well for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I love to make a big batch at the start of the holidays and stash them to have on hand when I need a last-minute treat for guests or cookie platters.

This Rum Balls Recipe is an Easy Holiday Treat

If you have a food processor, you can make rum balls! This is a no-bake recipe that is quick to make. The combination of rum, sugar, and nuts is perfect for the holidays.

I’m sharing all of my tips for making classic rum balls – I’ve been making them for years, and they always come out great. Give them a try, and you might make them a holiday tradition at your house, too!

Do rum balls have alcohol in them?

Yes, rum is added to the mixture, which is how they get the name! Because rum balls are not baked, the alcohol in the rum does not cook out. But they are not overly boozy since there is a small amount in each ball.

Easy rum balls stacked in a white dish with top one cut in half to show inside


  • Toasted pecans: learn two easy ways to toast nuts for this recipe!
  • Vanilla wafers: these cookies are the body of the truffle. You can also substitute graham cracker crumbs.
  • Powdered sugar and Cocoa: for sweetness and flavor, and also for rolling.
  • Corn syrup: for sweetness and it helps bind the mixture together.
  • Rum: you must have rum in rum balls! You can use spiced or white rum.
  • Vanilla: for flavoring

How to Make Rum Balls

The easiest way to make rum balls is with a food processor – it does all the chopping and mixing making this recipe so easy.

Chop the nuts: First, place the nuts in the food processor and finely chop them. Be careful not to over chop them, so they don’t turn pasty like nut butter. You want them finely chopped. Take them out and set them aside.

Crush the cookies: Finely chop the vanilla wafers in the food processor until they break down into small crumbs. Pour the chopped nuts in with the wafer crumbs.

Mix it all together: Add the powdered sugar, cocoa, corn syrup, vanilla, and rum. Process the mixture until it’s thick and well combined.

Forming: To make the rum balls, scoop one tablespoon of the mixture and roll it between your hands. Roll each ball in cocoa powder or powdered sugar (or a combination of both).

Storing: Store them in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator, and they will keep for up to two weeks.

Close up shot of rum balls stacked on top of eachother with top rum ball cut in half to show inside


What rum is best for rum balls? I’ve used both spiced and white rum and like both. It really depends on your tastes, and I recommend using one that you enjoy drinking.

Can you use a different kind of alcohol? You can sub the rum for bourbon or whiskey if you prefer!

Can you freeze them? Yes, you can freeze them for up to two months. Store them in a container with wax paper separating the layers. That way, they won’t stick and freeze to each other.

Will the alcohol evaporate? Because they are not baked, the alcohol will not cook off. The amount of alcohol in each ball is small, though.

Grab the rum and your toasted pecans – you are going to want to give these easy rum balls a try this year! Everyone will love this sweet, nutty treat.

Other Truffle Recipes

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Close up shot of rum balls stacked on top of eachother with top rum ball cut in half to show inside

Classic Rum Balls Recipe

4.50 from 4 votes
These Easy Rum Balls are a classic no bake Christmas recipe. Boozy truffles with cookies and cocoa – these are super delicious and perfect any way you coat them!
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 40 truffles
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 11 ounce box vanilla wafers (2 3/4 cups crumbs)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup spiced or white rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cocoa and/or powdered sugar for rolling


  • Place toasted pecans in a food processor and process until fine. Be careful not to process so much they turn into pecan butter. Remove the pecans from the food processor.
  • Add the vanilla wafers to the food processor and process until finely ground.
  • Add the pecans back into the food processor along with the powdered sugar, cocoa, corn syrup, vanilla and rum. Process until mixture is thick and combined.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon size balls and roll between your hands. Roll in additional cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Photo collage of rum balls with recipe title in the middle of two photos

No holiday season is complete without a batch of traditional Rum Balls! They are nutty, sweet treats with a boozy kick from rum.

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. These were so simple to make with ingredients that I already had on hand plus they tasted absolutely fantastic! I used graham cracker crumbs mixed with maybe a 1/4 cup of vanilla wafers because that’s what was leftover in the box. I did as suggested and toasted the pecans. I make homemade vanilla with different alcohols and used the rum one for this recipe, so I did not add vanilla plus rum. I just used my vanilla rum. I rolled some in the powdered sugar, toasted coconut, chopped pecans and cocoa powder. The pecan rolled ones were my favorite but the cocoa powder ones tasted like a fudge. It was like getting multiple candies from one recipe. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Today I am going to try all vanilla wafers and see which I prefer. I shared the last batch and got texts from everyone that I shared with requesting the recipe. I shared, this time I’m saving for our Halloween get together… may try to make ghosts from the powdered sugar ones.

  2. Made these & accidentally ‘over processed’ them in the food processor. The dough was denser in consistency than it should have been (but still easy to roll into balls). Used Havana Club dark rum. These have a faint rum taste, certainly not overpowering. Question: for a stronger rum flavour, how could I adjust the recipe?

      1. (sorry AJ, I should have been more specific – my rating was based on the mildness of rum flavor in the balls (personal preference), not the consistency. If looking for mild rum flavor, which recipe does state, I should have indicated a 5 star rating).