Delicious Southern Rum Balls Recipe for Your Sweet Tooth

Oh, good people who hunger for something sweet,

Let me tell you of a recipe that’s quite a treat.

It involves rum balls, a classic southern dish,

I promise you won’t be disappointed, it’s simply delish!

For those of you who don’t know what these balls entail,

They’re bite-sized homemade treats made with vanilla cookies and rum without fail.

A combination of ground pecans, cocoa, and confectioners’ sugar, too,

Makes them perfect for holidays or any time you need a nibble or two.

In this recipe, I use spiced rum for extra flavor galore,

But if you prefer dark rum or bourbon balls, there is room to explore.

With ingredients such as light corn syrup and crushed vanilla wafers in play,

These balls are so insanely good, they’ll make your taste buds sway.

So come one, come all to give this recipe their due,

And in no time at all, you’ll have delicious rum balls just for you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Rum Balls
Southern Rum Balls

Hark! Oh, food lovers, allow me to introduce you to a delicacy that will tantalize your taste buds like never before – the Southern Rum Balls Recipe. This dessert is not just any rum balls recipe, it is a classic with a touch of Southern flavors that will make you fall in love with it. What I love about this recipe is that it uses ingredients that are easily available and within reach. Using vanilla wafers instead of cookie crumbs creates a unique texture, and when blended with pecans, cocoa powder, and spiced rum, it’s simply divine.

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. These delectable bite size homemade treats can be served on any occasion – whether it’s for the holidays, at a party or all by yourself. It’s perfect as an after-dinner dessert or an indulgent snack. And don’t worry about getting drunk from eating them; it’s just enough rum to add richness to the flavor.

Another reason why I adore this recipe is how quick and easy it is to make. With no baking required, you just need to mix together all the ingredients and voila! You have mouth-watering treats in no time. Whip up a batch for housewarming parties or holiday festivities – these treats would make perfect gifts too.

Lastly, who doesn’t want a dessert that can be stored for weeks? The Southern Rum Balls Recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. That means you can enjoy one every day without any worries!

In conclusion, this Southern Rum Balls Recipe is not just about indulging your sweet cravings but also about experiencing something new and exciting. Trust me when I say that everyone will love these bourbon balls which are full of delightful Southern flavors. So get ready for an absolute feast with these decadent treats made with love!

Ingredient List

 These Southern Rum Balls are sure to be a hit at your next party!
These Southern Rum Balls are sure to be a hit at your next party!

Below are the ingredients you will need to prepare delicious Southern Rum Balls.

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) package vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 1 (16-ounce) package pecan pieces, finely ground
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup rum (spiced or dark)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting

The recipe calls for two types of rum, either spiced or dark rum*, but you can use one type if that’s all you have. Light corn syrup and confectioners’ sugar are also required; these elements help create the sticky, sweet base for the rum balls. The dry ingredients consist of crushed vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and finely ground pecan pieces that lend a nutty flavor to the treats.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to indulge in the sweet, boozy goodness of these Southern Rum Balls.
Get ready to indulge in the sweet, boozy goodness of these Southern Rum Balls.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter, the how-to of this Southern Rum Balls Recipe. This recipe is deceivingly simple, given the heavenly taste of these rum balls. So, let’s gather all the ingredients named in the list and start mixing!

Step 1: Prepare Cookies and Nuts

First, crush your vanilla wafers into fine crumbs. To do this you can use a food processor or simply put them in a resealable plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin. Once crushed, add ground pecans to the cookie crumbs and mix well.

Step 2: Mix the Wet Ingredients Together

The next step is to mix all of your wet ingredients together into a bowl. Take your spiced rum, dark rum, light corn syrup, and mix it together until everything is fully incorporated.

Step 3: Combine Everything Together

Pour your wet mixture on top of your dry mixture (crushed vanilla wafers and ground pecans), then combine everything together until you’re left with a moist dough.

Step 4: Make Rum Balls

Scoop up a tablespoonful of dough and roll into bite-sized balls. You can make about 50 to 60 balls from this proportionate recipe depending on how big or small you make each ball.

Step 5: Coat with Sugar and Cocoa Powder

In a separate bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, until blended. Roll each ball in this mixture until fully coated.

There you have it! Our heavenly marbled rum balls are ready for consumption. You may want to serve these bite-size homemade treats right away or chill them for an hour or two in the refrigerator before setting them out for everyone to enjoy!

Bake Rum Balls Alternative

This recipe is already amazing as it is, but if you want a quick bake version of it. Simply preheat your oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place all the sugar coated marbled rum balls in even distances on the parchment paper. Bake them for around 10 to 12 minutes until they are firm to the touch, and let them cool before serving.

By following this Southern Rum Balls Recipe, I’m sure you will have a lot of people asking you for the recipe. So, brace yourself – and get ready for everyone to enjoy these sweet little treats!

Substitutions and Variations

 These bite-sized treats pack a punch of rum and chocolate flavors.
These bite-sized treats pack a punch of rum and chocolate flavors.

Hark, ye who seeketh a variation of the classic Southern Rum Balls recipe! Forsooth, there exists numerous substitutions and variations to cater to different preferences and palates.

Firstly, if thou hath not any rum in thy tavern, fret not! Verily, thou canst use bourbon instead of rum for a sophisticated twist. The classic Bourbon Balls recipe calls for the same ingredients but substitutes dark rum with bourbon.

If ’tis thine wish to abstain from alcohol or make these bite-sized homemade treats for minors, worry not! Thou canst make Rum Balls without alcohol by using vanilla extract instead. Simply substitute the rum with the same amount of vanilla extract as per the recipe ingredients.

Moreover, for those with a penchant for chocolate or coconut, one can make Chocolate Coconut Rum Balls by adding shredded coconut or cocoa powder into the mixture. This variation is perfect for those who want a stronger flavor profile in their rum balls.

If thou art feeling more adventurous with thy culinary skills, try making a no-bake version of this recipe. ‘Tis true! There exists no bake rum ball recipes that use condensed milk and cocoa powder instead of corn syrup and powdered sugar. This variation saves thee time and effort while still delivering similar flavors.

Lastly, one can add pecans or honey into the mixture to enhance flavors and texture. Instead of using ground pecans in the recipe how-to section, one can substitute it with crushed pecan pieces to get a crunchy texture.

In conclusion, there exist various substitutions and variations in this classic Southern Rum Balls recipe to experiment with flavors and textures. So go forth on thy culinary quest and create something special!

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect dessert for any occasion, Southern Rum Balls are easy to make and even easier to devour.
The perfect dessert for any occasion, Southern Rum Balls are easy to make and even easier to devour.

Oh, what joy these little spheres of rum-filled goodness bring to the heart! These balls are irresistible and are sure to tantalize your taste buds. They make perfect bite-size homemade treats that will have you reaching out for more!

These rum balls can be served as dessert or can be offered as part of a holiday cookie plate. They pair perfectly with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The sweetness and cocoa aroma of the balls are well complemented by a good cup of tea or coffee, making them an ideal option for those lovely after-dinner moments.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try spicing things up? You can serve these Southern-style rum balls with a spike of Southern Comfort or even Bourbon Balls for a daring twist on the classic recipe. The nutty flavor from pecans and the decadent cocoa notes will perfectly offset the bold flavors found in the bourbon, creating a delectable blend of flavors.

For a more tropical touch, serve these little gems alongside Chocolate Coconut Rum Vacation Balls. Their coconut flavor provides just the right amount of refreshment, allowing you to pair them with fruity cocktails!

When serving these sweet treats at parties or gatherings, provide plates and colorful toothpicks to make it easier for guests to grab and go. Once you take one bite of these rum balls, you won’t want to put them down! So make sure you stock up beforehand!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These rum-infused chocolate truffles are the ultimate holiday indulgence.
These rum-infused chocolate truffles are the ultimate holiday indulgence.

Oh, the glory of being able to make these Southern Rum Balls ahead of time! These bite-size homemade treats made from vanilla cookie crumbs, pecans, cocoa, and confectioners sugar spiced rum balls are perfect for any holiday cookie platter or a little dessert for the end of the day. I can just picture them now, sitting in a jar in the pantry, waiting to be consumed.

To make these rum balls ahead of time, let them sit at room temperature overnight after you shape them into balls. This will allow them to set and become firm. Once they are firm to the touch, put them into individual cups or a jar and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

If you want to keep these rum balls for longer than that, you can freeze them! I suggest placing them on a tray and freezing them first before transferring them to an airtight container or freezer-safe zip bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat rum balls that are chilled, take them out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving so they can come back up to room temperature. If you have frozen your rum balls, it’s best to thaw them at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

These Southern Rum Balls are not meant to get drunk from eating but they sure do pack a punch. You can always omit or reduce the amount of alcohol used if you want to make it child-friendly or non-alcoholic. No matter how long you keep or store these Southern Rum Balls, they will still be delicious as ever!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Make a big batch of Southern Rum Balls and watch them disappear in no time.
Make a big batch of Southern Rum Balls and watch them disappear in no time.

Cooking is an art form, and every chef has their own tips and tricks for making the perfect dish. When it comes to making these Southern Rum Balls, I’ve learned a thing or two that I’d like to share with you.

First off, it’s essential to have your ingredients at room temperature before beginning the recipe. This will ensure that everything blends together smoothly and produces a consistent quality throughout the mix.

Another important tip is to use good-quality rum – after all, it’s the star ingredient in this recipe! I recommend using spiced rum or dark rum for a deeper, more complex flavor profile.

When adding the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and crushed vanilla wafers, be sure to sift them beforehand. This extra step will prevent any lumps from forming and keep the mixture silky smooth.

When forming the balls, it’s best to work quickly and efficiently while the mixture is still slightly warm. This makes it easier to shape the balls before they cool down too much and become hard to mold.

For added texture and crunch, try rolling your rum balls in finely chopped pecans or cocoa powder before serving.

Lastly, if you want to get creative with your rum balls, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this classic recipe. You could try Southern Comfort instead of rum for a different kind of kick, or add in some chocolate chips or coconut flakes for a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

By following these tips and putting your own spin on this recipe, you’ll be serving up bite-sized homemade treats that are sure to impress – without getting drunk off them too quickly!


Hark! Whilst thou hast endeavored to create these sweet confections, thou mayest have encountered some challenges. Fear not, for I have anticipated thy queries and addressed them with care. Here be the FAQ section, wherein any doubts thou mayest have about the ingredients, instructions or results shall be resolved. Read on!

Does rum balls get you drunk?

It’s highly improbable to get intoxicated from consuming rum balls. The reason being the rum is blended with several other ingredients and divided into numerous small balls. Unless one consumes all 50 pieces alone, the likelihood of experiencing drunkenness is very low.

What can I use instead of Nilla wafers in rum balls?

If you don’t have vanilla wafers on hand, graham crackers are a great alternative for making rum balls. The crackers will add a distinct crunch and flavor to the mixture. Once you’ve formed the balls, there are various ways to decorate them to suit your taste buds. You can cover the balls with powdered sugar, sprinkles, crushed vanilla wafers, cocoa powder, coconut flakes, or more crushed pecans. Alternatively, you can keep them simple and leave them plain!

What are rum balls made of?

These small, homemade treats are called rum balls because they are flavored with spiced rum. They are made using a mixture of vanilla cookie crumbs, pecans, cocoa, and confectioners’ sugar. Depending on your taste preferences, you can try using bourbon instead of rum to make these delectable treats. Keep in mind that the rum flavor is strong in these balls, so adjust accordingly.

Why are my rum balls too soft?

If you find that your mixture for rum balls is too wet, you may need to adjust the ratios of your ingredients. A quick solution is to re-roll the mixture in a combination of powdered sugar and cocoa, which will help to reduce any stickiness. Now, if you are looking for an alternative to vanilla wafers, there are a few options you can consider. Let me walk you through them.

Bottom Line


Therefore, let these Southern Rum Balls be the new stars of your holiday cookie platter. With their bite-size homemade treats made of vanilla cookie crumbs, pecans, cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, spiced rum and dark rum, this recipe will have you thinking about them all year round.

So go ahead and make the recipe, bake them to perfection and enjoy the intoxicating aroma in your kitchen. They will not disappoint! And do not forget to share them with your family and friends as they will love the flavors dancing on their taste buds.

In conclusion, I am confident that once you have tried these classic Rum Balls recipe inspired by Southern Living Magazine’s trusted chefs, they will become a staple in your holiday traditions. Experiment with different variations like bourbon balls, chocolate coconut rum or condensed milk balls too.

In these challenging times, we need some comforting treats to keep us going. So let these Southern Rum Balls bring a little joy into your life and get ready to be taken away to a warm southern porch surrounded by friends and family sipping cocoa and spiced rum while indulging on our delicious offering of confectionery goodness!

Southern Rum Balls

Southern Rum Balls Recipe

Cook time is approximate refridgeration time.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 3 dozen
Calories 1136.6 kcal


  • 1 (12 ounce) box vanilla wafers
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (vanilla flavored if possible)
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 -2 tablespoon vanilla rum extract
  • 1/2-1 cup confectioners' sugar, for rolling


  • Crush wafers with rolling pin or food processor.
  • You should have about 3 cups.
  • In large bowl, mix all ingredients.
  • Form the mixture into a ball and refridgerate.
  • If more moisture is needed, add a few additional drops of milk or rum.
  • When dough is firm, pull off walnut size pieces, form them into balls, and roll them in powdered sugar.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 754gCalories: 1136.6kcalCarbohydrates: 170.4gProtein: 10gFat: 49.2gSaturated Fat: 7.8gSodium: 371.4mgFiber: 7.5gSugar: 61.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Christmas, Dessert, No-Cook, Thanksgiving
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You