Chocolate Bourbon or Rum Balls- Three Ways

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.”

Watch how these Bourbon (or Rum) Balls are made:

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.


This original 2012 recipe post is being re-shared today with a new video for you to see the step-by-step process!

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 or rum 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 Vanilla Wafers (about 40 regular Nilla wafers) or Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 cup (110g) finely chopped Nuts, we prefer pecans
  • 1 cup (120g) Powdered 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 or Rum
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) agave nectar or light Corn Syrup

Topping Ideas

  • ground Vanilla Wafers (Nilla Wafers)
  • finely chopped Pecans
  • Pecans and ground wafers together
  • Powdered 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.