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Traditional rum balls are essential for every Christmas celebration! They are a favourite festive treats and they are so easy to make! In fact, I’m not sure why we wait until December each year to make them… they are a perfect treat all year round!
That’s why you will love this simple rum balls recipe! It has just 5 ingredients!
SIMPLE 5 INGREDIENT RUM BALLS RECIPE
When it comes to food, simple but great tasting is the ideal combination. Who wants to fuss with complicated when it’s not needed? Not me! And this simple rum balls recipe is essentially foolproof!
Although to be honest, the bulk of what we often make to keep them kid-friendly, are non-alcoholic rum balls… so I guess that just makes those ones 4 ingredient balls! HA!
But for the purpose of this recipe, I am sharing my mum’s traditional rum balls recipe using crushed biscuits and condensed milk. This is such an easy rum ball recipe but one our family look forward to making (and eating) every December!
This recipe was first published here in December 2014.
The printable recipe card with a FULL ingredients list and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Rum Balls
There are so many rum ball variations. Some use crushed Weetbix, some use sultanas, or dip them in chocolate.
I much prefer my 5 ingredient recipe, which was a traditional Rum ball recipe and family favourite growing up, just like my easy chocolate slice recipe. What I should say… just like mum’s recipe!
They are part of our family Christmas tradition as part of our festive menu.
- 1 pack sweet biscuits (E.g. Arnott’s Arrowroot, Nice, etc)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup shredded coconut (plus extra for rolling)
- 1 tin condensed milk
- 2-3 tablespoons of rum
STEP ONE – Grind biscuits using a food processor until finely crumbed.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can add a few at a time to a ziplock bag and smash them with a rolling pin or mallet.
This takes a little longer but it’s pretty easy and means no grinder to clean. I still do this usually, even though I have a food processor. It’s a simple step the kids will enjoy helping with too.
STEP TWO – Add dry ingredients and biscuit crumbs to large bowl and mix well.
STEP THREE – Stir in condensed milk and rum until your mixture is sticky and firm (on hot days you may need to sit your mixture in the fridge briefly first).
STEP FOUR – Shape mixture into balls and roll in extra coconut to coat. They can be stored in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to serve.
If you don’t love rum, or if you are either pregnant or sharing with kids, you can definitely skip the rum completely as they still taste amazing without it. This means they make a great lunch box treat too and not just a Christmas only speciality!
And if you want to be a bit fancy, you could roll your completed rum balls in melted chocolate for extra indulgence. This is essentially how I make my no-bake choc peppermint balls, minus the rum.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below or a rating and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram. I would love to see!
How To Store Rum Balls
Store your rum balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I prefer to store ours in the freezer. They defrost in no time here in Queensland in Summer but they also taste pretty great as a cold treat semi-frozen. This may sound strange, however, when you are used to hot summers, you might appreciate almost everything chilled as we do.
If you live in a cold climate, you may not even need to store your chocolate rum balls in the fridge at all, but instead, keep them in an airtight container in a cool area.
FAQs & Tips
What is the best rum to use in rum balls?
A sweet rum works well for rum balls. We typically use dark rum such as Australian Bundaberg Rum, however, these rum balls taste great with other brands as well. If it has a stronger flavour, you may need a little less. Taste your mixture until you find the perfect balance. You can also substitute with white rum although the flavour will be different.
What Can I Use Instead of rum in rum Balls?
You can substitute rum for whisky or bourbon, depending on your taste preference. Or for non-alcoholic rum balls, you can leave the rum out of your recipe, or substitute with vanilla essence.
Do RuM Balls Need To Be Refrigerated?
Rum balls can be stored in an airtight container in a cool area, such as inside the pantry. However, if you live in a warmer climate or have a warm home, a container in the refrigerator will help ensure your rum balls stay together without crumbling.
Here’s a totally embarrassing story for you. When I was a kid, they were always rumless balls as my parents don’t like rum (neither do I, but it’s fine in cooking or baking), so instead of rum balls, we referred to them as “Donkey’s Droppings”. My mum still refers to them this way and causes a lot of confusion from anyone not part of the family. Always good for a giggle though!
Related Reading: Easy DIY Gifts Kids Can Make
- 1 pack of sweet biscuits E.g. Arnott’s Arrowroot, Nice, etc
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa
- 1 cup shredded coconut plus extra for rolling
- 1 tin condensed milk
- 2-3 Tablespoons rum
- Grind up the biscuits using a food processor into crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can add a few at a time to a sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin or mallet.
- Add dry ingredients and biscuit crumbs to a large bowl and mix well.
- Stir in condensed milk and rum until your mixture is sticky and firm (on hot days you may need to keep your mixture in the fridge briefly first).
- Shape mixture into balls and roll in extra coconut to coat.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
A food processor will make crushing up the biscuits a quick task. If you don’t have one, use a sealed sandwich bag and crush 4-5 biscuits at a time using a rolling pin or mallet. This takes a little longer but is just as effective.