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How to make peppermint rum balls

Peppermint rum balls are a perfect quick and easy holiday treat. For traditional rum balls, check out my easy rum ball recipe.

peppermint rum balls on white plate with trees in background

Full of peppermint flavor, they are great for making ahead and having on hand when you need a little sweet.

How to make peppermint rum balls

Rum balls are a grown up, no bake treat that have been a staple in our house for as long as I can remember.

They’ve been part of holiday cookie platters and cookie exchanges since I was a teenager. Over the past few years, I’ve created about a dozen varieties of these tasty little no bake cookies.

Peppermint rum balls are the latest creation and they are perfect for the holiday season.

step by step instructions for rum balls
  1. Combine vanilla wafer cookies and nuts in bowl of a food processor.
  2. Grind cookies and nuts until they look like coarse sand.
  3. Add rum, corn syrup and peppermint extract to bowl. Mix, then add cookie and nut mixture. Combine, then cover, and refrigerate rum ball mixture.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop (1 tbsp. size), portion rum balls and roll into smooth balls. Pack the mixture in the scoop with the palm of your hand to keep it from falling apart when rolling.
  5. Toss in powdered or granulated sugar or crushed candy canes and place on parchment-lined sheet pan.
peppermint rum ball on small white plate

How to roll rum balls

Most often, I roll rum balls in powdered sugar or a mixture of granulated sugar and powdered sugar. However, because it is the season for candy canes, these peppermint rum balls got the extra treatment.

crushed candy canes in stainless steel bowl

You can use a rolling pin to bash up the candy canes, or you can put them into a mini food processor like I did.

Break them into small pieces, then blitz in the mini processor until it looks like rubble. Don’t go too far with it. You don’t want powder, trust me.

I made that mistake and the rum balls looked like they were coated in Pepto Bismol. It was not the look I was going for.

peppermint rum balls in pink glass jar

How to store

These tasty little treats do not need to be refrigerated, but they should be stored in a cool area.

rum balls with crushed candy canes on small white plate

To extend the life of these treats, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last for a couple of weeks. For best results, let them sit on the counter for 15 minutes or so before serving.

Homemade food gifts

Tis the season for gifting and homemade cookies and food gifts are always appreciated.

Whether you are bringing cookies to your neighbor, or shipping across the country, these rum balls are great for sharing.

rum balls with peppermint for gifting in pink glass jar.

To ship holiday cookies – place in a metal tin lined with parchment paper for cushioning. Pack with a layer of bubble wrap for extra protection and send to loved ones.

For local friends and family, I like to find pretty containers like this pink glass jar to pack full of treats for gifting.

More rum ball recipes

Cinnamon rum balls

Coconut rum balls

Chocolate covered rum balls

Gingerbread rum balls

Gluten-free rum balls (paleo)

Cherry rum balls

I really hope you love this recipe. If you make it, snap a pic and share it with me either in the Fabulous Foodie Friends Facebook group or on Instagram by tagging @pookspantry and using hashtag #pookspantry.

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Peppermint Rum Balls

Cheryl Bennett
Peppermint rum balls are a perfect quick and easy holiday treat. They are also great for gifting!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 50 rum balls
Calories 83 kcal


  • 12 ounces vanilla wafer cookies 1 box of cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans or walnuts toasted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar powdered sugar or crushed candy canes


  • In the bowl of a food processor, process vanilla wafers and pecans or walnuts until finely ground. Set aside. (You may have to do this batches if you have a smaller food processor)
  • In a large bowl, sift together 1 cup powdered sugar and salt.
  • Stir in rum, peppermint extract and corn syrup.
  • Add vanilla wafer and nut mixture. Mix well.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  • Crush candy canes and place in shallow bowl. (Or sugar, if you prefer)
  • Scoop out tablespoon portions, roll into balls and toss to coat in candy or sugar.
  • Place on parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


Tip for rum ball success:

When you scoop the rum balls, press the scoop against the palm of your hand to pack the rum ball mix. Lightly pressing the mixture together will help the ball keep its shape. 


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 51mgSugar: 10g
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