You only need six ingredients to make these old-fashioned chocolate rum balls. This easy, no-bake recipe is perfect for Christmas. Make the truffles ahead of time and serve them at your holiday party. They also make a great gift!

rum ball with a bite in front of pile of rum balls coated in confectioners' sugar.

Fudgy rum balls couldn’t be easier to make and people LOVE them as a holiday gift. They are chocolatey, boozy and bite-sized. What’s not to like? Use your favorite rum along with chocolate cookie wafers (or vanilla wafers) to whip up a batch. I suggest saving a few for yourself too!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

I found this recipe on Food52 and co-founder Amanda Hesser described it best: “A proper rum ball must be dense but moist, and ideally a little gooey. It must sing with booze but shouldn’t be too sweet.” The “pulverized” chocolate wafers are my favorite ingredient due to their Oreo-like taste and compliant character—perfect for a no-bake recipe. The rum is rather evident and the honey acts as glue to hold it all together.

Ingredient Notes

bowls of ingredients to make rum balls.
  • Chocolate cookie wafers: I originally used this recipe with Nabisco cookie wafers, but they have since been discontinued. I retested the recipe with Nilla wafers as well as Oreo cookies (without the cream filling). They’re both great options! I also think these Dewey’s chocolate cookie thins would be a good substitution.
  • Pecans: Measure the pecans whole before grinding them up in the food processor.
  • Rum: Choose a dark rum for the most flavor. I prefer Kraken or Gosling’s (I suggest the same for my rum cake).
  • Confectioners’ sugar: To add a little sweetness while keeping the dough soft, use confectioners’ sugar (also known as powdered sugar).
  • Cocoa powder: Use a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder. I prefer Ghirardelli. It enhances the chocolate flavor without adding more sugar.
  • Honey: To help bind the ingredients, honey acts as an adhesive!

Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

Swap out the cookies for Nilla wafers, graham crackers or Oreos (without the cream filling). Any dry, crispy cookie will work! You could even try gingersnaps, which I use in my gingerbread truffles.

Substitute the pecans with another nut. Walnuts are ideal, but almonds or hazelnuts are also good options.

Try a different alcohol. Instead of rum, use whisky or bourbon. Liqueurs, such as Bailey’s or Kahlua, work well too.

Add some dried fruit. Many people love chopped raisins or coconut flakes in their rum balls. I suggest adding 1/4 cup of either for a flavor twist!

Roll the balls in finely chopped nuts, cocoa powder or shredded coconut. I like a little extra sweetness, so powdered sugar is usually my go-to! I use similar coatings for my apricot balls.

How to Make Chocolate Rum Balls

photo collage demonstrating how to make rum balls in a food processor.
  1. Process the chocolate wafers and pecans in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine rum, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and honey. Pour into bowl of food processor and pulse until mixture is thoroughly combined.
  3. Let the mixture sit uncovered for 4 hours or lightly covered overnight.
  4. Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to scoop the mixture. Use your hands to roll into balls. Generously coat in confectioners’ sugar and store in an airtight container.

I own this KitchenAid Mini Food Processor and I LOVE IT. I use it all the time, especially around the holidays.

Expert Tips

Let the dough sit at room temperature. This will help dry out the mixture a bit without sacrificing the rum flavor. If letting it sit for more than a few hours, cover the bowl lightly with a clean kitchen cloth.

The choice of cookie will change the moisture level. If you choose graham crackers, the mixture may dry out a little more quickly than if you use an Oreo cookie or wafer.

Let the rum balls sit in the fridge before serving. I found that they taste best after a day or two (all the more reason to make them ahead of time!) If you’re serving them the day they are made, the rum flavor will be extra strong.

rum balls tossed in confectioners' sugar on a baking sheet.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

Make ahead the dough and store it covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Any longer and the dough may dry out too much.

Store rum balls in a parchment-lined airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Freeze for up to 2 months. Place balls (not touching) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 1 hour so they harden. Then place them in a parchment-lined airtight container and freeze.

Recipe FAQ

What‘s the best rum to use?

Dark rum is preferred! I suggest Kraken or Gosling’s.

What can I use instead of chocolate wafers?

Chocolate graham crackers, vanilla wafers or Oreos with the filling removed are good substitutions. Personally I like chocolate wafers because they create a fudgy texture!

How to make rum balls without alcohol:

Omit the rum and honey and replace them with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. You can also add 1 teaspoon rum extract if you still want the rum flavor.

Why did my rum balls dry out?

It’s possible that the cookies were particularly dry and absorbent. This can happen with graham crackers. Simply add another tablespoon of rum to remoisten the mixture.

pile of rum balls coated in powdered sugar on a piece of parchment paper.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

rum ball with a bite in front of pile of rum balls coated in confectioners' sugar.

Get the Recipe: Easy Chocolate Rum Balls

Rum balls are a holiday favorite for many and who can blame them? They are easy to make with only 6 ingredients and deliver a kick!
5 (19 ratings)


  • 2 ½ cups (300 g) chocolate cookie crumbs, see notes
  • 1 ¼ cups (137 g) pecan halves
  • ½ cup (120 mL) good quality dark rum, or bourbon
  • 1 cup (120 g) confectioners' sugar, plus additional for coating
  • 3 tablespoons (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey


  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the cookie crumbs and pecans until the nuts are finely ground.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the bourbon or rum, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, the cocoa powder, and honey. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until just combined.
  • Let the dough rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 4 hours or, lightly covered, overnight. This will dry it out a little.
  • Use your fingers to roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar. Store the balls airtight if you like them moist, or uncovered if you like them to develop a crunchy sugar crust on the outside. Sprinkle with (or roll the balls in) additional confectioners’ sugar just before serving.


Cookies: Nabisco chocolate wafers were discontinued. I’ve tested the recipe with chocolate graham crackers and vanilla wafers. Both work great! Dewey’s chocolate cookie wafers are also a good substitute.
Rum: This recipes yields potent rum balls. For a milder taste, reduce rum to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup coffee.
Store balls in a parchment-lined airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Freeze for up to 2 months. Place balls (not touching) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 1 hour so the fudge balls harden. Then place them in a parchment-lined airtight container in the freezer.
Serving: 1ball, Calories: 99kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 12IU, Vitamin C: 0.03mg, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Recipe from Food52.

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