Traditional Rum Balls
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Traditional Rum Balls Recipe

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Christmas season is in full swing! Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I do even more baking than normal. You know what makes baking even more fun? Alcohol, especially when you can put some in your recipe and some in your cup! Traditional Rum Balls are the perfect recipe to get you in a festive mood!

Traditional Rum Balls
Traditional Rum Balls are so delicious!

Ingredients You Will Need

Ingredients for Traditional Rum Balls

Equipment You May Need

Helpful Tips for Making Traditional Rum Balls

  • The vanilla wafers can be crushed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor, if you have one.
  • The Rum Balls turn out best if the vanilla wafers are crushed as finely as possible and the walnuts are also chopped as finely as possible.
  • The Rum Balls in this recipe are very small (teaspoon size). If you prefer a larger size, this recipe will make less (of course) so you may need to double the recipe.
Use a rolling pin and a plastic bag to crush the vanilla wafers

Variations and Substitutes

  • Bourbon can be used in place of rum
  • The balls can be rolled in sprinkles instead of powdered sugar for a more colorful treat
  • Graham crackers can be used in place of vanilla wafers

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Final Thoughts on Traditional Rum Balls

These were a hit with everyone that got to try them! I will definitely add Rum Balls to my yearly Christmas baking list. They were very easy to make and took hardly any ingredients. I love it when I don’t have to empty my whole cupboard to make a recipe! What about you?

What is your favorite dessert made with alcohol?

Traditional Rum Balls

Traditional Rum Balls

With only 5 ingredients, Traditional Rum Balls are simple to make and delicious to eat! These are a great treat for your holiday platters and also make a tasty gift!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 48


  • 3 Cups Vanilla Wafers finely crushed
  • 1 Cup Walnuts finely chopped
  • 1⅓ Cups Sweetened Condensed Milk (1 15 ounce can)
  • Cup Rum
  • Powdered Sugar or Sprinkles


  • Stir together vanilla wafer crumbs and walnuts.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk and rum to the above mixture; blend well.
  • Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Remove mixture from refrigerator.
  • Dip palms of hands into powdered sugar.
  • Shape mixture into teaspoon-sized balls.
  • Roll in powdered sugar or colored sprinkles.
  • Store in covered container in refrigerator.
Keyword 1970’s Recipe, Christmas Treats, Holiday Treats, Rum Balls, Traditional Rum Balls

*Adapted from The American-International Encyclopedic Cookbook by Anne London, copyright 1972

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