Classic Rum Balls

One of my favorite parts of this festive season would have to be all of the small nibbles and bites that are served at holiday gatherings and cocktail parties. Admittedly, they’re also the most dangerous because they’re so tiny and so easy to eat so many, but those irresistible sweet confections and savory bites are what make part of holiday cooking, baking, and eating so fun. Some of my favorite holiday treats are retro classics and I just adore this recipe for a classic rum ball.

Rum balls are a delightful no-bake treat and the recipe is pretty simple. I need to crush up some wafer cookies and nuts, I like to use pecans but walnuts are also super delicious. Crushed wafers and nuts act as a binding agent for the rest of the ingredients, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, and some dark rum. These are all folded together until it all comes together into a workable dough.

I like to scoop a heaping tablespoon of the dough then roll it into a ball with my hands. I’ve set up two dipping stations to adorn my sweet treats, one with chocolate sprinkles and another with multi-colored sprinkles. You can certainly choose any color that suits your particular party theme, and many party stores will have different colored sprinkles to choose from.

Each ball is rolled into the sprinkles then placed on a parchment-lined serving dish or baking sheet. You’ll need to clear some space in your refrigerator for the rum balls because once rolled and dipped, they will need time to firm up and an hour or so in the refrigerator should do the trick.

Just look at how lovely these are! Classic rum balls are sweet nibbles that bring a festive addition to any holiday spread. I’m a sucker for all of the little foods that come out during the holidays, both sweet and savory, and a rum ball is just one of my favorite indulgences of the season.

Classic Rum Balls

20 minutes active, 1 hour inactive to prepare 24 rum balls


  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups vanilla wafers, finely crushed
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate or Christmas sprinkles, as needed


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
  2. Crush nuts and wafers with a rolling pin or in a food processor. Crumbs should be very fine.
  3. To a large bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of the wafer crumbs, condensed milk, cocoa powder, crushed nuts, rum, and salt. Stir together with a spoon, then use your hands to combine the mixture once it becomes too thick. If mixture isn't thick enough, add more wafer crumbs.
  4. Scoop out and roll mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll in sprinkles until coated. Place on prepared baking sheet and chill until firm and ready to serve. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Cafe Delites.

Whizzco for LPE