Rum Balls Recipe

This rum balls recipe is a healthier twist on these delicious classics, but that doesn’t make them any less wonderful!

Rum balls are a classic holiday treat that seems to end up on every buffet and cookie platter! Most of the time you avoid them when you are cutting out processed ingredients and white sugar but you don’t have to skip them when you make them with clean, whole ingredients. And trust me, you won’t miss anything with this recipe! You can make these with your favorite dark rum or substitute with rum extract for a non-alcoholic version.

A whole food, Rum Balls Recipe for the holidays!

What Are Rum Balls?

Rum balls are truffle-like cookies that are flavored with rum and chocolate. You can make your rum balls with real rum or with rum extract.


Rum balls are fairly easy to make. You mix everything together in a mixing bowl, and once you have a dough, you roll little balls from that dough. Then, those balls get rolled in cocoa powder or sugar. Some people even roll them in sprinkles!

Rum balls, rolled in cocoa and ready to eat!

How Long Do Rum Balls Last?

If packed well, they will last 2 weeks in the fridge. However, they are best served out of the fridge, not too long after being made.

Can You Freeze Rum Balls?

Yes! You can freeze them for up to 2 months. Again, be sure they are packed well. The less air, the better.

How To Store Rum Balls

Rum balls are kept best in a cool, dark environment like your fridge. Don’t serve them at room temperature. Serve them straight from the fridge.

Rum balls piled high in a white bowl.

Best Rum For Rum Balls

There is a lot of debate about which rum is best for rum balls. Some folks love the molasses flavor of some rums, while others prefer to avoid it. A good rum with more molasses flavor is Cruzan Blackstrap. It’s one of the more affordable rums on the market and isn’t too hard to find. If you prefer to avoid the molasses flavor, try Mount Gay, Appleton, or El Dorado rum.

How Many Rum Balls Can You Eat Before Feeling The Effects?

Each recipe usually calls for a different amount of rum. Some recipes have a LOT of rum in them, and if you eat enough, yes, you can absolutely get tipsy. How many it takes to accomplish that will depend on how much rum is in the rum balls, to begin with, and also how well you handle alcohol and what your weight and size is.

So air on the side of caution when making these for family and friends. Make sure they get well dispersed! But typically, you’d probably get sick from the rum balls before you get sick from the rum.

Also note, you don’t have to use alcohol at all. Rum extract is good stuff!

More Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes


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A whole food, Rum Balls Recipe for the holidays!

Rum Balls Recipe

Delicious rum balls you can make with or without the alcohol!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Freeze Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 36 rum balls
Calories: 51kcal


  • Cookie sheet


  • 1 ½ cups pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • tsp. salt
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp. rum extract (or 1/3 cup dark rum)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  • Gather all your ingredients.
  • Process dates in food processor until fully ground down into a mostly smooth consistency.
  • Place oats in food processor and pulse until it they are not quite the consistency of oat flour.
  • If you have a large food processor you can do all of these at once.
  • Place pecans in food processor and crush them until they are a coarse and even consistency, not quite flour fine.
  • Mix together processed pecans, dates, oats, cocoa powder, rum/extracts, and salt until thoroughly combined.
  • If you use rum and your mixture is a bit sticky just add a bit more cacao powder and/or oats to offset it.
  • Roll mixture into 1 ½” balls and coat some in cacao powder in a small dish, place on waxed paper and pop in freezer for 20 minutes to allow them to set.


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1rum ball | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

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