Looking for an easy, fuss-free, no bake Christmas treat to make? Try these 5 ingredient rum balls for the win!
What is even Christmas without a decent dose of rum?
While the Christmas fruit cake enjoys its choice of liquor and our collective attention each year, there is a silent entity, that shadows around, awaiting it’s time to come – the rum ball! Where they lack in grandeur, they make up in flavour and thus have become a Christmas staple in many parts of the world.
What are Rum Balls?
Rum balls are basically similar to truffles made with either leftover cake or biscuit, and chocolate. Do they actually contain rum? If you’ve never made them before, you’re probably wondering if they actually contain rum. How do I know that you’re wondering that?
Because I did too for the longest time. Haha!
So you remember Candies (you would if you’ve read my blog for a while) – that pretty little quaint café just outside my school that introduced me to the world of doughnuts, pastry and pretty much every Western dessert I knew of in my growing up years. Its also where I had my first rum ball – oblivious at the time as to whether the rum was just a name or if it actually contained any.
It wasn’t until years later when I started looking to make my own rum balls that I realized that rum was a major ingredient and it just wouldn’t be the same without it.
What else is in a Rum Ball?
A very non-elaborate list of ingredients
Cake- there are recipes for rum balls that don’t contain any cake and use vanilla wafers or digestives instead. I tried making it that way but honestly thought it was lacking. Thus my recipe is largely made up of cake. Do you need to specially bake a cake to make rum balls? No! You could use any leftover cake – fruit cakes or chocolate cakes work best, but subbing with another cake of your choice won’t be so bad either. Christmas plum cakes add a depth of flavor that’s difficult to achieve with another type so if you have the choice to use that, don’t even think twice.
Digestives – I use a little bit of crushed Marie biscuits as well to add some texture to the balls. Any other digestives or Oreo cookies would work fine too.
Cocoa powder – the cocoa powder in this recipe mainly serves the purpose of giving the rum balls a rich brown colour and also to enhance the chocolate flavour. I used Hersheys unsweetened cocoa for this.
Butter – a little fat to add the richness to the rum balls. I use salted butter and it ties in with the rest of the ingredients beautifully. If you use unsalted butter, do add a pinch of salt separately.
Melted chocolate – this is what will bring all of the above goodness together. Use any brand of kind of chocolate you like. I used a dark chocolate to balance the sweetness of my cake. If you use a cake that was already frosted or a biscuit that has cream, you may need to reduce the quantity of chocolate you add or your mixture may become too wet and will not hold together.
Rum – had to save the best for the last. Dark rum is ideal to provide the rum balls with their characteristic woody notes. But if that doesn’t float your boat, use whiskey or bourbon instead.
Some recipe for rum balls also contain spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, nuts like cashew/almonds or dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, etc. The reason I’m not adding any today is because I’m using a Christmas fruit cake to make this recipe – which also contains said spices and some nuts/fruits.
Even if your cake doesn’t contain these, you can make the rum balls without them. But if you really feel like infusing more flavour, then feel free to add upto 1 tsp mix of your favorite ground spices or upto 1/4 cup of chopped nuts/dried fruits.
Can I skip the rum?
Well sure, as long as you know you won’t be making rum balls then coz you know, no rum! But you’ll still end up with a solid truffle that will add unlimited cheer to your Christmas table!
To substitute the rum in the recipe, use orange juice in the same quantity instead. You could also add a bit of rum extract/essence to bring out a liquorish flavor without adding actual alcohol in it.
Garnishing/Coating the Rum Balls
Rum balls can be served as-is or dusted with cocoa powder for a more ‘complete’ look. They can also be dipped in melted chocolate and/or rolled in sprinkles. Alternatively, you can also use melted white chocolate, grated chocolate, desiccated coconut or chopped nuts for garnish.
Storing/Gifting/Packing Rum Balls
Rum balls can be made ahead of time and stored for upto 10 days without spoiling. Keep them in an airtight container. Infact, I recommend making them at least 24 hours in advance for an enhanced deep-set flavour instead of an unpleasant boozy taste from the rum. If you are planning to add these to hampers or gifts, use mini cupcake liners for each individual rum ball. So, that’s all about rumballs.
Whether you are planning to have friends over or sending out gifts, these rumballs will always rise (or roll) upto the occasion!
I hope you make them and share your comments with me. Are you catching up with all the good stuff going on on my Instagram?
More eggfree recipes perfect for your Christmas dinner!
- Spiced Hot Chocolate
- Rum and raisin muffins
- Linzer cookies
- Oreo Fudge
- White Chocolate Rocky Road Fudge
- Oats & Dark Chocolate Tart
- 250 gm Fruit/plum cake
- ½ cup crushed digestive biscuits
- 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 50 ml Rum
- 120 gms chopped chocolate
- ½ cup Cocoa Powder
- 200 gms melted chocolate
- In a bowl, crush the cake and the digestives. A few small pieces are okay.
- Mix in the cocoa powder and butter
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave and add it to the cake mixture. mix well.
- Start adding the rum – a little at a time, and add more as needed till you reach a consistency to form a ball when rolled. If its too soft, add more digestive crumbs or cake to adjust.
- Scoop the dough and roll into roughly 1 inch balls or by weight of 20-25g each and place on a parchment lined tray. Put away in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- If coating with melted chocolate - Dip each cooled ball in the melted chocolate and gently place on a wired rack with the help of a fork. Garnish with sprinkles or white chocolate if you want. Repeat with all the balls and let dry then transfer to an airtight container.
- Or simply dust the balls with cocoa powder.
- Keep refrigerated in an air tight container till needed.