Chocolate Bourbon Balls- Three Ways

by on December 6, 2012

Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for gifts! On and @whiteonrice

Diane was initially going to write this post, but after 1 bourbon ball she quietly passed out on the couch. Silly Asian, they aren’t that alcoholic. Although I think she may be faking to get out of writing a post.

I’ve always loved a good rum ball. Actually, the love extends to just about any dessert with a hit of alcohol. I’ll macerate just about any dried fruit going into a dessert just to give it a little punch. Serving trifle, tiramisu… “Seconds Please.”

Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for gifts! On and @whiteonrice

So often these little delights have rum to booze them up, and for good reason. Smooth, a touch of sweetness.  I’d have to say rum is my second favorite distilled spirit, bourbon being my main mistress.

So the other day after seeing a Pinterest share of a pumpkin bourbon ball, I was highly intrigued.  Taking a favorite winter treat and swapping out my second favorite spirit with a little Gentleman Jack sounded pretty good to me. I even had a bit of pumpkin puree still in the fridge from the last sugar pumpkin.

It took a whole 10 minutes to throw together and was beautiful. Since the pumpkin puree was dwindling towards the end of its existence, we decided to take the bourbon twist back to a classic rum ball. Nix the pumpkin puree, add some cocoa powder and corn syrup to bind it. And after seeing all the dark chocolate love, we added a bit more cocoa powder.  Roll ‘em in the pecan/cookie crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, or more cocoa powder and they were perfect.

The holidays just got a little happier.


Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for gifts! On and @whiteonrice

Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for gifts! On and @whiteonrice

Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for gifts! On and @whiteonrice

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Chocolate Bourbon Balls

Yield: @ 24 - 1" Balls

Total Time: 15 min

These have a good hit of bourbon in them, so they are best reserved for the adults. Unless you need a little quiet time out of the kids. Just kidding.

Kind of.

For the finely ground wafers and pecans, they are best to grind separately in the food processor. The wafers need a good solid grinding to get them nice and fine, however for the pecans it is best to just pulse them until they are finely chopped. You don't want to create a paste out of them.

Adapted from Dessert for Two's pumpkin bourbon balls.


  • 1 cup (140g) finely ground Nilla Wafers (about 40 regular wafers)
  • 1 cup (110g) finely chopped Pecans
  • 1 cup (120g) Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger (or freshly grated Ginger)
  • fresh grated Nutmeg, to taste
  • 1/4 cup (22g) Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) light Corn Syrup

Topping Ideas

  • ground Nilla Wafers
  • finely chopped Pecans
  • Pecans and ground wafers together
  • Confectioners' Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • crushed Candy Canes


  1. In a bowl, whisk together ground Nilla wafers, pecans, confectioners' sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, grated nutmeg, and cocoa powder until well combined.
  2. Stir in bourbon and corn syrup. Form into even balls and coat in topping of choice.
  3. Chill for an hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 6, 2012 at 5:26 am

I love all three! What a treat!


2 Ashley December 6, 2012 at 6:41 am

Hahahaa, I hope Diane recovers. ;) These sound excellent, and I’m glad they use bourbon instead of rum. What an easy switch! Great packaging, too!


3 Averie @ Averie Cooks December 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

I could pop many of these little boozy balls and be fabulously happy. They look amazing – pinning!


4 Andi December 6, 2012 at 7:27 am

OMG I just about died when I saw pumpkin bourbon ball. YUUUUUUM!!!!!!


5 JulieD December 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

OMGosh, I’m in love with these…and I’m one of those silly Asians too haha.


6 Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas December 6, 2012 at 7:59 am

HAHA! Love the opening lines, so funny =) The bourbon balls look so delicious…and beautiful too! Loved the photos for these.


7 jaime @ sweet road December 6, 2012 at 8:17 am

This makes the winter months and holiday season so much more present and exciting. I’ve been seeing Christmas lights up and trees out… I can’t wait to celebrate with friends and good food!


8 Radhika @ Just Homemade December 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

They look exceptionally beautiful ( ah! The first picture), might lure a teetotaler to turn alcoholic!


9 MaryB December 6, 2012 at 11:41 am

These look awesome. My hubby would love them but can no longer eat nuts due to allergy. Do you have any suggestions about what could be subbed for the pecans? I know it would make a completely different taste but any suggestions would be much appreciated!


10 MaryB December 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Oops, forgot to mention I love the Animal Parade theme!


11 White on Rice Couple December 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Hi Mary,
You could just leave them out and either have more wafers or less liquid. Diane and I were discussing that dried fruit finely chopped might make a nice substitution as well. It will give a different texture, but should still be quite tasty.



12 Colette @ JFF! December 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I will make these smaller….
so I can eat MORE.


13 Megan December 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm

these look soooo tasty!


14 DessertForTwo December 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Awww I love your version :) Thanks for linking to me :)


15 Eileen December 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I could use a bourbon ball or two right about now! They look delicious and I’m adding them to my list of goodies to make this holiday season :)


16 Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom December 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Nice to hear from you, Todd. . And not all Asians pass out after 1 bourbon ball. :) I think you are right, Diane was probably faking it. . and got you to write this lovely post! :)


17 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious December 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Oh yeah, I’m with you on the booze addition. I make a whisky and lavender caramel which is the business! These bourbon balls look just quite amazing…


18 Laura (Got Chocolate) December 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

HEY! Do you have a camera on me? I’m making these this weekend, but with an entirely DIFFERENT alcohol! I love your three yummy variations.

Very nice! :D


19 Veronica of Muy Bueno December 9, 2012 at 4:53 am

You know I love anything boozy, especially with a hint of agave, aka, tequila, do you think these would do well with some tequila? Will give them a go go and see what happens. I’m gonna try these this week.


20 tracy {pale yellow} December 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

You had me at “boozy balls,” anything with that title is bound to be aMAzing!


21 Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats December 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I am in love with them.. love all 3 of them and I am so happy that I stumbled upon your amazing beautiful blog! Love all the clicks, truly inspiring for a newbie like me into the world of food photography. Happy Holidays!


22 Jenn December 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

What a funny post. I love boozy desserts too. Beautiful pictures.


23 Kasia December 23, 2012 at 7:16 am

it’s christmas so, of course, I have to have something with alcohol ;) these are great – I substitute pecans with hazelnuts and corn syrop with rise syrup, so any modifications works :) thanks for inspiration and happy holidays :)


24 lapiubelladitutte December 25, 2012 at 5:23 am

This looks like the perfect treat for a christmas table!


25 amber January 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm

is bourbon balls good for little kids i need to now


26 White on Rice Couple January 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

Only if you don’t mind giving them a good nip of bourbon. It isn’t cooked so the bourbon is straight up.


27 Morgan September 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

We made these last night, but used half Dutch processed cocoa to make it super dark and put a small thumbprint in them, to make them look like little Death Stars for a Darth Vader themed dinner party! Was a hit! Thanks for the recipe!


28 White on Rice Couple September 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

That is soooo awesome. What a brilliant idea with the thumbprint to make Death Stars! Love it!


29 Paula December 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I just made these and they are excellent! I can’t wait to try them tomorrow after they have aged a little. I used Guittard Cocoa Rouge that I found at the Williams Sonoma outlet.
Thanks for the recipe.


30 Anita December 13, 2013 at 4:17 am

My Mom’s birthday is coming up soon, and I just found the perfect gift for her. :D Cannot wait to make some of these (and psst, I’m gonna squirrel away some for myself). Thank you for sharing this recipe.


31 December 22, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Ahhh..such beauties…i am going to make all of the version


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