Coconut Rum Balls are like a taste of the tropics in an easy, no-bake treat for adults. The flavor gets even better overnight, making rum balls a perfect make ahead recipe. This version features toasted coconut and coconut rum. Every year, we make this easy rum balls recipe for the holidays. Recently, I made a batch of pumpkin rum balls for something different and they were a big hit.
This coconut rum ball recipe is made without condensed milk to keep it dairy-free.
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Do I have to cook these?
Nope. That’s the beauty of this recipe. There are some rum ball recipes that call for cooking, but this isn’t one of them.
Generally, we make rum balls around the holidays or for a gathering of some sort. In both of these scenarios, there is likely other cooking or baking going on. I like easy recipes like this that don’t require much time or energy when I have a bunch of other things going on. Also, this time of the year is busy and most of us are already exhausted. I could use a break. You too?
How to make rum balls
Here’s the basic rundown of making rum balls:
- Crush wafer cookies and nuts
- Sift together powdered sugar and spices
- Stir in rum and sweetener
- (Chill dough)
- Scoop into balls, toss in sugar mixture and EAT
It is incredibly easy and quick to make rum balls.
Tools and equipment
One tool that I use to make rum balls is a food processor. It makes quick work of chopping nuts and grinding cookie crumbs. If you don’t have one, you can certainly break the cookies up with a rolling pin.
Another helpful tool is a kitchen scale. I often use weight as a measurement instead of volume because it is more accurate.
Finally, a small cookie scoop keeps all of the rum balls the same size.
Malibu Rum Balls
Because these rum balls have coconut, I used a coconut rum. You can use whatever brand you prefer, or whatever you have already.
I happened to have a bottle of Malibu, so that’s what I used in the recipe. It is widely available and not terribly expensive, therefore it is a good option.
Speaking of coconut, there is toasted coconut in these rum balls and they are rolled in a mixture of coconut and sugar. They are full of coconut flavor! If you’re a coconut fan, you might also like this coconut bread.
Ingredients for rum balls
To make almost any rum ball recipe, you’ll need vanilla wafer cookies, nuts, powdered sugar, corn syrup or honey and of course, RUM.
With only a handful of ingredients, you are 30 minutes away from the perfect grown-up treat.
For this coconut version of a rum ball, I strongly recommend toasting the coconut. This will make a huge difference in the taste of your rum balls. Toasting coconut deepens the flavor and because there is coconut in the actual rum ball itself and it is rolled in a bit of coconut, you will taste it.
Best rum for rum balls
This can vary on personal preference. For this recipe, because it is a coconut rum ball, I used a coconut rum. In other rum ball recipes, I’ve used a dark rum or a spiced rum. For the pumpkin rum balls, the spiced rum went really well with the spices in the recipe. For the original rum ball recipe, I used dark rum from Bermuda, because I had it already.
I always say use what you have, unless you really need to use something specific. Going to the store for one item is not my favorite thing in the world, so it is not my intention to make you do it.
Rum ball recipes
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For the rum balls
- 11 oz vanilla wafer cookies
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
- 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners/icing)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut rum
- 2 tbsp honey (or corn syrup)
- 1/2 tsp salt
Sugar coconut coating
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut
- In the bowl of a food processor, process wafer cookies, toasted coconut and pecans until finely ground. Set aside. (You may have to do this batches.)
- In a large bowl, sift together 1 cup powdered sugar and salt.
- Stir together coconut rum and honey.
- Add vanilla wafer, coconut and pecan mixture. Mix well.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- In the bowl of the food processor, combine remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and toasted coconut. Pulse to break up coconut and combine with sugar.
- Place coconut sugar mixture in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Scoop out tablespoon portions, roll into balls and toss to coat in sugar mixture.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
To toast coconut:
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Place coconut flakes on baking sheet in a thin layer and bake for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring once to make sure all of the coconut gets lightly toasted.
To toast pecans:
Place pecans on baking sheet and toast them at the same time as the coconut. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until fragrant.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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