Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rum Balls Recipe

These chocolatey, coconut-coated rum balls contain juicy sultanas. They are best made at least a day before serving to allow them to firm up and allow the flavours to blend.

Makes about 40 rum balls.

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

250g Nice biscuits (we use Arnott's brand)
24g (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
42g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence)
30ml (1 1/2 tablespoons) rum
130g (2/3 cup, lightly packed) sultanas

About 65g (3/4 cup) desiccated coconut, for coating

Place biscuits and cocoa in a food processor or blender and crush biscuits very finely.

If you used a blender, pour the crushed biscuit and cocoa mixture into a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients (except the coconut for coating). ©

If you used a food processor, you can add the 1/2 cup coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and rum to the biscuit crumbs and process until the mixture is well combined. Then add the sultanas and process on very low speed until just combined.

Place mixture in refrigerator or freezer until it is firm enough to roll into balls (about 30 minutes in the refrigerator). If the mixture is too soft, it will be sticky and difficult to roll properly and the rum balls will not hold their shape.

Sprinkle coconut for coating onto a plate or into a flat-bottomed dish. Roll generously heaped teaspoons of mixture into balls, and then roll in coconut. Store, preferably in a single layer, in an airtight container in the refrigerator. ©

Click here for our Christmas Truffles recipe.
Click here for our Apricot Balls recipe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if 1/2cup of coconut in mixture might help hold shape better. Lovely rich flavour.

2/12/06 11:13 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Margaret,

These rum balls are quite soft and moist. If you would prefer a firmer consistency, you could add some coconut to the rum ball mixture. Or you could reduce the amount of condensed milk a little.

We used Nestle condensed milk in this recipe - some other brands may have a thinner consistency and produce softer rum balls.

Also, we keep them in the fridge until serving time as they will soften at room temperature.

Thanks for your feedback!

6/12/06 9:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda and Debbie,
I have noticed some rum ball receipes say they can be frozen once rolled, is this receipe suitable to freeze - what do you recommend?
Thanks & Seasons Greetings,

19/12/06 4:17 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Alison,

We haven't tried freezing these rum balls, but we don't see any reason why they wouldn't be ok to freeze.

19/12/06 7:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you make rum balls without rum?

1/10/07 10:06 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Yes, you could make this recipe without the rum.

1/10/07 10:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How long will they "keep" after making? I am wanting to make some as xmas gifts,,

7/11/07 8:18 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

The label on the condensed milk that we use says that once the can is opened, the condensed milk can be kept in the fridge for up to five days. Because condensed milk is a major ingredient in our rum balls, and the rum balls are not cooked, we aren't sure whether it would be safe to keep them for any longer than five days. If you'd like to make them soon, perhaps you could freeze them.

11/11/07 4:54 pm  
Blogger Casey said...

What can I use instead of Nice Biscuits? They don't sell them where I live and I love this recipe (I used it last year).

13/11/07 7:25 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Casey,

You could use any type of plain sweet biscuit. You will probably need to adjust the amount of condensed milk if you use a biscuit that is substantially different to an Arnott's Nice biscuit.

15/11/07 9:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have to use cocoa? Because I am making them for a friend and she is sensitive to cocoa.

18/11/07 8:56 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

You could leave the cocoa out, but the rum balls won't have as much flavour. If you omit the cocoa, you will probably need to reduce the amount of condensed milk a little.

18/11/07 12:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible to make these rum balls without the sultanas in it? Maybe substitute for a little more biscuit or coconit?????

22/11/07 11:54 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

You could leave the sultanas out or replace them with raisins, glace cherries, chopped marshmallows etc.

25/11/07 3:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can you use rum extract instead of actual rum?


11/12/07 10:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another favourite recipe to add to my collection and a huge hit with family and friends over here in Sweden.

11/12/07 11:36 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Simone,

You could use rum extract instead of rum. If doing so reduces the total amount of liquid in the recipe, your rum balls will have a slightly firmer consistency.

12/12/07 11:03 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

These taste yummy, and are really easy, but deflate really quickly. I used the Nestle condensed milk, but they just got flate after a couple of minutes out of freezer. Any ideas what I can do to make them not go flat?

16/12/07 2:28 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Gracie,

We serve our rum balls straight from the fridge and the serving bowl is empty before the rum balls have had a chance to warm up and lose their shape! Because both you and Margaret have found the rum balls to be a little too soft, we have amended the recipe to include 1/2 cup desiccated coconut in the mixture. This should allow the rum balls to better hold their shape when removed from the fridge for serving.

18/12/07 12:20 pm  
Blogger Melanie Gray Augustin said...

I've started substitution some of the plain biscuits for crushed ginger biscuits. The add a lovely perk to the rum balls.

19/12/07 3:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi who ever can help me,
i need to make rum balls but i have no condensed milk. what else can i use to substitute?


23/12/07 4:29 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Unfortunately, there is no substitute for condensed milk in this recipe.

4/1/08 12:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi girls!
love your recipe, i searched for almost and hour looking for just a standard rumball recipe, used so many search engines! luckily one came across you recipe!

i'd also like to say that you can substitute the Arnotts biscuits for a plain brand/unmarked brand, without any dire consquences, except of course more money in one's purse!
One would just like to say that you are simply doing a corking job! keep on it!

8/3/08 4:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heard from a friend how effective this website was but i just couldnt believe it, i had to check it out myself! you girls are doing a marvellous job,

i was wondering if it is possible to get drunk or tispy or have any side effects due to the rum in this recipe? i wish to make these for my children and i have been told that the balls will be lumpy and flat without rum! we dont want lumpy balls, now do we? if the rum does cause drunkeness, could you please reccomend a suitable substitute that is natural, flavouring, preservative, gluten, lactose, phosphate, food acid, vegetable gum and yellow colouring 442 free as i have severe allergies and i fear i may have passes them down to one or more ( i have 8)gorgeous sons.

8/3/08 4:40 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

If we were serving these rum balls to children, we would omit the rum. (Most young children would probably prefer the milder flavour of the rum-free balls anyway.) You could slightly reduce the quantity of dry ingredients to offset the reduced amount of liquid. Otherwise, the rum balls won’t be quite as moist.

17/3/08 12:20 pm  
Blogger Brett said...

These are simply the best rum balls I have ever tasted. A huge hit with the guys at work. The only thing I add is slightly more rum, at the request of a few of the guys. I don't mind them as they are.

3/6/08 10:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have made these rum balls many times with out the rum of course, and the other day I made them without the sultanas, and they are brilliant, I would advise to have this recipe with no sultanas.

6/6/08 4:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi :)
What kind of Cocoa should i use? Unsweetened Baking cocoa? or sweetened such as Cadbury drinking chocolate?


11/7/08 6:36 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

We use unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe.

11/7/08 9:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Cant wait to try this!
Is there any good substitutes for the coconut coating??

14/8/08 8:56 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Natasha

You could roll the rum balls in crushed nuts or finely grated chocolate.

15/8/08 8:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good, just wondering though, can any type of rum be used or are you better off using say dark rum?

22/9/08 3:48 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

We like the flavour that dark rum provides, but light rum can be used if preferred.

6/10/08 12:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not one for posting comments, but thought this one was an exception...
Every time I need to find a recipe you guys seem to have come up with the best and easiest ways to impress my friends :-)
This time, Rum ball recipe is a hit and I love reading all the comments for variations, tips and a boost of confidence to try a new recipe when so many before have tried and posted great comments,
Thanks for a great site to bookmark and keep coming back to .....

30/10/08 1:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do nice biscuits have to be used? Are you able to make these with just condensed milk, cocoa and coconut?

23/11/08 1:52 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

If you omitted the biscuits, you would need to change the other ingredient quantities to avoid ending up with a very wet mixture.

23/11/08 5:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there - i have been told that you can use weet bix instead of biscuits - would this work?

3/12/08 7:14 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

We have seen recipes for rum balls that include Weet-Bix. You may be better off using a recipe that specifies Weet-Bix as an ingredient rather than using them as a substitute for the biscuits in this recipe.

3/12/08 11:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great recipe. Mum used to make these. I used cheap no name biscuits with no adverse effects. I also added 2/3 cup Flaxseed meal (so I don't feel so guilty letting my kids eat them) and an extra 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (instead of rum). They turned out great and didn't need to be refrigerated before rolling as the mix was a little firmer than usual due to the extra flaxseed.

8/12/08 10:16 pm  
Blogger Kim said...

Hi, can you use Arnott's milk arrowroot biscuits, if so do you need to change the rest of the receipe at all. Also how long do these rum balls keep for.
Thank you

14/12/08 1:57 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Kim

Please see our above comments dated 11/11/07 and 15/11/07.

14/12/08 9:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, would you be able to substitute Bailey's Irish Cream instead of Rum

21/12/08 4:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe. I used Marie biscuits and replaced the rum with Baileys for a smooth, creamy flavour. The balls turned out beautifully and tasted great- a real Christmas hit!

21/12/08 9:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Made these today and taste delicious. Is it normal for the mixture to be quite firm, like almost difficult to roll firm? I omitted the sultanas and rum, and refrigerated the mix for a little while before making into balls, but when rolling the balls in the coconut, the coconut didn't easily stick to them. It seemed as though they needed to be a little moister and softer for the coconut to stick. Taste and look great now though!

22/12/08 6:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just knocked up a batch and they taste superb.
Used double the rum but a good quality smooth one (Captain Morgan Spiced Gold). Unfortunately they may have cost me a food processor though, as the mix was pretty dense for the poor little Kenwood. Smoke from an electrical appliance is not usually a good sign...

24/12/08 2:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 and a Half tablespoons of rum seamed very lean before i rolled em and i could bearly smell it nor taste in the in the mixture. I recommend doubling the rum to 3 Tablespoons for sure!

24/12/08 9:30 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Kathy

Yes, Baileys Irish Cream could be used in place of the rum.

Hi Claire

Your rum ball mixture would have been firmer due to the omission of the rum.

25/12/08 10:45 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made these for Christmas and they were great, very tasty. I found the mixture wasn't firm enough to roll into balls after half an hour in the fridge, so left it for about 2 hours. Thanks for a great recipe!

29/12/08 11:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I would love rum balls and would love to try to make it on my own. As a first timer, I am being a little paranoid... Do the biscuits have to be crushed really really finely? I do not have a food processor, will it be difficult to stir and combine all the ingredients by hand?

1/1/09 10:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tried this recipe with a whole glaced cherry inside and rolled in chocolate sprinkles and it works equally as good.

7/1/09 4:59 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

To the person who asked about crushing the biscuits: We think the rum balls hold their shape better and have a nicer texture when they are made with biscuits that are very finely crushed. Will you be crushing the biscuits by hand? It shouldn't be difficult to combine the ingredients without a food processor.

11/1/09 9:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This recipe is really good but I'm wondering can you make rum balls without biscutis cuz I don't have any?

20/1/09 2:29 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Do you have cake crumbs, Weet-Bix, or something else that you could use to replace the biscuits?

2/2/09 2:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda,

I wanted to make rum balls and I had never made them before. I got on the net to find your recipe and all I want to say is thank you very much. They turned out perfectly and I used the Nestle Skim Condensed Milk with no problem. I put the mixture in the freezer for 20 mins before rolling them into balls and not a problem with stickiness at all.


Kind Regards Jacinta

21/3/09 10:09 am  
Blogger jadeite said...

I used Marie biscuits, and soaked my sultanas in rum for about a day. I also put in 4 tbsp of rum! And added a few more cookies to make the mixture firmer.

They are great, except I wish I could stack a whole bunch in one container - having to store in one layer makes for a lot of containers!

22/5/09 1:32 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi ladies,
I would like to share that I have been making these rum balls for years and they are always a hit. I have kids now that don't like the rum or sultanas so I must say to all, that I too have been trying out different ways of making these and I use Marie biscuits instead of the nice and 1/2 a cup of coconut which keeps it moist but firm. I don't put any fruits in either and they are just as yummy as your recipe. You can freeze and stack these balls on top of one another with no problems too.
So for those who have fussy kids, the plain recipe works wonders.

10/10/09 6:32 pm  
Blogger String of Beads said...

Great recipe. Turned out perfectly & was a huge hit at the BBQ I went to this afternoon. Soaked the saltanas in the rum (I used Bacardi) for a few hours before making, plus added some dried cranberries (craisins) which was lovely. Thanks for a great recipe!!! Will become a regular to take to people's easy to make.

14/11/09 6:02 pm  
Blogger Ellen said...

interestingly enough you can substitute the condensed milk for jam but you'd probably want to use a bit less than is listed here :) looking for a lower calorie option that was also delicious i tried using a thick cranberry sauce and craisins(dried cranberrys) instead of sultanas.

They havnt been in the fridge long enough to become overly firm but from what i've tasted so far they are delicious!!!

28/11/09 7:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made few batches of these the other day, they were great, I couldn't stop eating them! I omitted the sultanas, and used rum essence. I'm making them for my work Christmas party with extra rum, and I thought I'd use sultanas and soak them in rum before hand...will let you know how it goes!! thanks for a great recipe

21/12/09 12:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this recipe - didn't have any Nice biscuits so used Marie which worked perfectly. Doubled the rum - soaked one half into the sultanas and then added the rest to the mix. Used a few extra biscuits so as not to be too sticky. Rolled half in coconut the other in cocoa powder at my father-in-law's request. Turned out perfectly. Thanks again for a wonderful recipe!

24/12/09 4:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOAH, what a wicked recipe. Thanks so much, I use it all the time at parties. I use marshmallows instead of sultanas because I don't really like them which still tastes good. Thanks for making the website, its really handy in the kitchen!

24/12/09 8:45 pm  
Anonymous Ned Kelly said...

Hi Amada and Debbie,
Firstly, great recipe. I have knocked up several batches of them so far and they have been a huge hit. The only problem I have is, being a bloke, I tend to use a little more rum.. (read truckloads) and as such I have been trying to modify my mix. They remain very soft. They don't even freeze, should give you some idea.

Trying another recipe version today...

So far I have made a few variations for mates and their Ladies that aren't Rum lovers and at this point Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Johnny Walker, Tia Maria, Contrieu, Bundy Yellow, Bundy Red and Baileys balls are a hit too.

I thank you again for a great recipe.

I'm not too sure that my food processor thanks you though. lol.


1/1/10 1:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I use rum essence instead of rum do I still use the same amount?

18/12/10 9:51 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

The Queen Fine Foods website recommends using 1 teaspoon rum essence to replace 1 tablespoon of rum. The McCormick Foods website recommends using 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract to replace 1 tablespoon dark rum.

19/12/10 12:17 pm  
Anonymous Anna said...

To maintain the 'roundness' of the rum balls, freeze them over night then lightly dip them in melted chocolate (dark or milk - not too hot, allow the melted chocolate to cool because you'll need to use your fingers to dip the balls), before quickly putting them in the refrigerator to set.

Thank you for the great recipe!

20/12/10 12:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there :D

these taste AWSOME!!! i made these last night i put homebrand scotch finger biscuits (to make them cheaper) in instead of nice biscuits and added 3 satches of equal power to make up for the sugar on the nice biscuits...i dont like sultanas much so i put in 12 finely chopped glazed cherries...i dont have a food proccessor so i crushed the biscuits up in a dish (i used a metal big severing soup spoon to crush the biscuits lol was all i had, and amazingly it wasnt hard to do lol)i put all the ingredeints in there mixed together with a fork put in to fridge for 30 mins i rolled 2 and they ended up like pankakes lol so i put the mix into the freezer for 30 mins and they turned out great!!! they turned out a bit soft so i put 4 of them in the freezer and the rest in the fridge, (i wasnt sure if they would turn out like rocks by putting them in the freezer so i just tryed a couple...silly me should have looked at some of the comments lol..well glad i did cause they are not squishy so i put the rest in the freezer this morning)they dont stay hard long out of the fridge though so im gonna try putting in maybee half more of the dry ingredents (i like the taste of them and dont want to just add coconut cause that will take away the other flavors) and a dash more rum :) i used fake rum cause it was a sooo much cheaper :)

what do u think about the more dry ingredents what would u recomend? i dont want them to melt on christmas day :(

i must say they taste sooo yummi and a great success for my first ever attempt on making sweets THANK YOU SO MUCH they are definatly a keeper :D
kind regards Tanya

22/10/11 1:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ladies, in relation to adding half a cup of coconut to the mix to help retain shape, could you use almond or hazelnut meal? Would you still use half cup?

20/11/12 5:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally I have found the exact receipe that mum used for our Christmas....I am now making for my son. These freeze well and only take an hour to defrost when unexpected visitors arrive. We wrap them in celophane with ribbon and give them to the old neighbours for Xmas. thank you and Merry Christmas from London, Nicky :)

24/11/12 10:28 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Amanda & Debbie

I have made your rum balls for the past 3 years and everyone loves them! I usually make a triple batch, for work gifts and family requests!!

They are so quick and easy to make, packed full of flavour and I have found as long as they are refrigerated, they have lasted up to a week (although they usually get demolished before that!)

Thank you both once again for a great recipie!

18/12/12 12:12 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Amanda & Debbie

I love this recipie!! I have been making them for the past 3 years and they have always been perfect! I now need to make a triple batch as they are so popular!!

The rum balls are full of flavour and I have found if kept refridgerated will keep up to a week (although they usually get demolished before that!).

Thanks again for a great recipie!

18/12/12 12:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have to keep them in the fridge or can you keep them in the cupboard?����

24/10/15 3:56 pm  

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