How to make rum balls: two ways, humble and posh


Windows video (small)
mp4 video (small)

Go to the recipe for Humble rum balls
Go to the recipe for Lenny’s faff-tastic wonder balls

It’s a good idea to have a few snack-like goodies prepared for the Christmas period and rum balls always do the trick. Our friend Angie mentioned she’d made a batch to her Nana’s recipe so Waz thought he’d follow suit.

They are based on Weetbix or Weetabix, a cereal bar made out of wheat flakes, and include condensed milk for sweetening. Instead of Weetbix, if there’s no such thing where you live, you can use a plain graham cracker, digestive biscuit or similar cookie.

I’ve always found condensed milk a little too sweet, so decided to try something a little more upmarket. My version includes real melted chocolate and digestive biscuits as a base – you can just use graham crackers, or in the US and Canada there’s something called a Nilla wafer that will do the trick.

You’ll see both kinds in our video – Waz does the basic ‘humble rum ball’ and I do my posh variety, which Waz somewhat sarcastically has dubbed the ‘faff-tastic wonder ball’.

If you don’t like marzipan you can substitute that in my version with pre-prepared sugar icing that you can get in the supermarket.

Waz’s humble rum ball was quite nice, but the dessicated coconut we used was sort of rubbery. Make sure to use really finely grated coconut that’s more powdery and all your Christmas guests should be happy.

– Lenny

Humble rum ball recipe

8 Weetbix, Weetabix or Vita-Brits (crushed). Or substitute 165g crushed-up wheat biscuits/cookies
1 tin condensed milk
1/2 cup dessicated coconut, plus extra for rolling
2 tablespoons cocoa
2-3 tablespons rum (according to taste)
Extra coconut to roll in

Mix dried ingredients; add condensed milk and rum. Mix again and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Roll into balls and into extra coconut. Keep in a sealed container and they should be good for a week or so.

Lenny’s faff-tastic wonder ball recipe

170g (6oz) dark chocolate
1/4 cup almond paste or marzipan
1/2 cup sour cream
4 cups wheat biscuits/cookies. Digestives, graham crackers, Nilla wafers etc are fine
Pinch salt
3/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup rum
1 cup crushed pecans, plus extra for rolling
2 1/2 cups chocolate sprinkles for rolling

Start melting the chocolate in a double boiler. Meanwhile mix crushed biscuits with melted butter, cocoa, rum and pecans. Remember to keep your extra crushed pecans for rolling.

Into the melted chocolate, thoroughly mix sour cream, almond paste and salt.

Then mix the chocolate and biscuit mixtures together until evenly combined.

Refrigerate for at least an hour. Then roll into balls and into the coatings – crushed pecan for some, chocolate sprinkles for the others. You can also try dessicated coconut or cocoa powder. We did some in icing sugar but it just dissolved into the surface of the ball in less than a day.

Keep in an sealed container for up to a week.

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4 Responses to “How to make rum balls: two ways, humble and posh”


  • Brilliant, going to make this myself tomorrow. Will try the ‘faff-tastic’ ones though, I do love a jot of rum. :)

  • Hey guys, thanks for crash-testing my recipe! … and I forgive you Lenny for not siding with me- I know who to send the Christmas card to next year though Waz 😉
    Just a tip- I think 2 dessert spoons (our regular breakfast spoon) equals about one flat tablespoon of cocoa, so you might have been a tad heavy on the cocoa, and yes I agree, finer dessicated coconut is nicer. I also put the condensed milk in first then the rum and stir the rum about in the condensed milk to get greater flavour ‘spread’. I am glad they are quick and easy as I make so many batches over Christmas! I’ll try the faff-tastic ones next year Lenny! Have a great Christmas guys x

  • Thanks for the video!

    Call me lazy, but I like an Oreo Rum Ball recipe described in the link below (I am not affiliated with the Chowhound site, but that’s where I found the recipe). It’s super-easy if you live in a part of the world with easy access to Oreos. 😉 I’ve also made it with Kahlua and Bailey’s.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/345160#2042202

  • A long time ago, a colleague of mine made something like your “Faff” version – but she made the chocolate and sour cream into a stiff ganache, moulded marble-sized balls of it, and chilled them enough to handle.

    THEN she moulded the cookie-crumb mixture around them, finally rolling them in plain cocoa. Being in the USA, she used ‘Nilla Wafers; I don’t know how widely available those are. (Weetabix are hard to find here, except in large cities.)

    Regrettably, I’ve lost the original recipe. But I’d expect that a good experimental cook ought to be able to re-create it from the anecdotal description.

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