Chocolate Bourbon or Rum Balls- Three Ways

These chocolate rum balls recipe can be made with bourbon as well, so treat yourself to all the delicious flavors of the holidays. Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe or Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for holiday candy gifts! @whiteonrice 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 good chocolate rum balls. Actually, the love for chocolate bum balls 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 Video to see how these Chocolate rum balls or bourbon balls are made:

Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe or Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for holiday candy gifts! @whiteonrice On and @whiteonrice

So often these little chocolate rum ball 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 chocolate rum balls 2012 recipe post is being re-shared today with a new video for you to see the step-by-step process!

Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe or Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for holiday candy gifts! @whiteonrice On and @whiteonrice

Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe or Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for holiday candy gifts! @whiteonrice On and @whiteonrice

Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe or Chocolate Bourbon Balls in 3 different ways: perfect for holiday candy gifts! @whiteonrice On and @whiteonrice


5 from 1 vote
Chocolate Bourbon Balls
Cook Time
20 mins
Chill Time
1 hr

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.

Servings: 24 1" Balls (about)
  • 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.
{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Molly Ellis

    I just made these for a party we’re throwing in a few days and my initial taste test was delicious! I printed out the recipe because we’ll be making these again at Christmastime. I’ve got them in the freezer until the day of our party and I’m sure they’ll be even better then.

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Molly! That’s awesome you enjoyed them and Christmas is the perfect time again to share these to everyone!

  2. Jenny

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

  3. Nicole

    I just stumbled upon this page out of curiosity how rum balls are made & besides the fact that I’ll highly unlikely ever make them, your blog had me giggling from beginning to end. I bookmarked your page.

  4. edenpassante

    These would be great for gifts! Love that you used bourbon too! Yum!

  5. Edna Siu

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much, they look lovely – and – you are in perfect timing, as the Christmas season is here, we are almost panic about what to make to give as a present, it needs to be within a budget, and it needs to be lovely and welcome. It is totally amazing that we can make it happen with your lovely idea.

  6. E. Thai

    I too love alcohol, but they don’t love me. I’ve barfed many times drinking margarita or a glass of wine:-(! This from a certified bartender at one point in my life. LOL

    Like you, I like desserts spiked with a little liquor. Love, love rum cakes. I fell in love with rum balls from Whole Foods exactly 10 years ago, and it’s been on my list of things to make. This beautiful post inspires me to do it this year. Thanks!


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

  8. Anita

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

  9. Paula

    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.

  10. Morgan

    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!

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  11. amber

    is bourbon balls good for little kids i need to now

    1. White on Rice Couple

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

  12. lapiubelladitutte

    This looks like the perfect treat for a christmas table!

  13. Kasia

    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 🙂

  14. Jenn

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

  15. Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

    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!

  16. tracy {pale yellow}

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

  17. Veronica of Muy Bueno

    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.

  18. Laura (Got Chocolate)

    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! 😀

  19. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    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…

  20. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    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! 🙂

  21. Eileen

    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 🙂

  22. DessertForTwo

    Awww I love your version 🙂 Thanks for linking to me 🙂

  23. Megan

    these look soooo tasty!

  24. Colette @ JFF!

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

  25. MaryB

    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!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      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.


    2. MaryB

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

  26. Radhika @ Just Homemade

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

  27. jaime @ sweet road

    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!

  28. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

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

  29. JulieD

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

  30. Andi

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

  31. Averie @ Averie Cooks

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

  32. Ashley

    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!

  33. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I love all three! What a treat!

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