The classic chocolate rum balls can be made with bourbon as well, so treat yourself to all the delicious flavors of the holidays.

Chocolate Bourban Balls Recipe or Rum balls in boxes

Diane was initially going to write this post, but after 1 bourbon ball she quietly passed out on the couch. Although I think she may be faking. I’ve always loved good chocolate rum balls. Actually, the love for chocolate rum balls extends to just about any dessert with a little hit of alcohol. I’ll macerate just about any dried fruit going into a dessert just to give it a little punch. If someone is serving trifle, tiramisu… “Seconds Please.”

Video: Chocolate rum balls or Chocolate bourbon balls Recipe:

Chocolate Bourban Balls Recipe or Rum balls close up in a box

So often these little chocolate rum ball delights have rum to booze them up, and for good reason. Smooth, a touch of sweetness.  We are un-biased drinkers, but recently we’ve dived into exploring more of the wonders of rum. A little seasonal changeup from our usual go-to’s of gin and whiskey. But a little bourbon or rye whiskey sounded pretty good too, so we took a favorite winter treat and swapped out the rum with another favorited spirit (curious about whisk(e)y – check out our whisk(e)y guide). Both the rye whiskey and bourbons worked perfect for these balls, and since “bourbon ball” sounds more appealing than “rye ball”, we’ll stick with that.

It took a whole 10 minutes to throw together and was beautiful. And after seeing all the dark chocolate love, we added a bit more cocoa powder.  Roll ’em in the pecan/cookie crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, crushed candy canes, or more cocoa powder and they were perfect.

The holidays just got a little happier.


Chocolate Bourbon Balls

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 ground but not pasty. You don't want to create a paste out of them.
Insprired by Dessert for Two's pumpkin bourbon balls.
4.18 from 35 votes


  • 1 cup (140 g) finely ground Vanilla Wafers (about 40 regular Nilla wafers) or Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 cup (110 g) finely ground Nuts , we prefer pecans
  • 1 cup (120 g) Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground Ginger (or freshly grated Ginger)
  • fresh grated Nutmeg , to taste
  • 1/4 cup (22 g) Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Bourbon or Rum
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) 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



  • In a bowl, whisk together ground vanilla wafers, ground nuts, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, grated nutmeg, and cocoa powder until well combined.
    Dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Stir in bourbon (or rum) and agave nectar (or corn syrup) until evenly mixed.
    Mixing in the bourbon to the dry ingredients
  • Form into even balls (about 1 Tablespoon worth – this small cookie scoop works great for making even sized balls).
    Rolling the ball between the hands
  • Roll the balls in topping of choice to coat the outside (we like to put the toppings in small bowls, then swirl the balls one at a time in the coating).
    Tossing the ball in cocoa powder
  • Chill for an hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
    Placing the finished balls in cups for gifts


Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 90kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 21mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg

How to Make Chocolate Bourbon Balls or Rum Balls

Christmas food gift dessert recipe @whiteonrice
Chocolate Bourban Balls Recipe or Rum balls in a box
Chocolate Bourban Balls Recipe or Rum balls Recipe @whiteonrice

This original chocolate rum balls 2012 recipe post is being re-shared in 2023 with a new video for you to see the step-by-step process!