Chocolate Bourbon or Rum Balls Recipe

These rum balls are SO much better than the dried out ones that use nuts! These are so decadent they are like chocolate rum truffles! Nut free and chocolate cake based! 

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We take our rum balls and bourbon balls seriously in this household as they are Mr Magpie’s favourite treat. Which also means that I leave the rum ball making up to him during the holidays! These rum balls are nut free, melt in your mouth, fudgy delights!

a plate with Chocolate Bourbon or Rum Balls

How to Make Rum Balls

Making rum balls in my house is SO EASY. First, I ask Mr Magpie to make them. And second, he makes them! Magic! But honestly, here are the super quick and easy steps to making rum balls.

  1. Prepare your cake. You can make a chocolate cake mix or you can bake up my Crazy Cake or Wacky Cake Recipe. It’s so easy you don’t really need a cake mix to be honest.
  2. Break up the cake and place it into a large bowl.
  3. Add in rum or bourbon and condensed milk.
  4. Make the rum balls, roll them in sprinkles and let sit.
chewy and fudge-like rum balls or bourbon balls rolled in sprinkles

We prefer the rum balls or bourbon balls to be chewy and fudge-like, not dried out like the rum ball recipes that use nuts. Consider these to be rum brownie balls, even, to understand the texture that I am talking about. Take a peek at the photo below, you can tell that these are truly spectacular rum balls! That photo was taken right after I made them, so they are now sitting in my freezer with the flavours melding together until Christmas. The consistency will be the same as shown in the photos.

close up rum balls or bourbon balls rolled in sprinkles

Tips & Tricks for Making Bourbon Balls or Rum Balls

  • Use a good quality rum or bourbon, a dark rum for sure but you could also try spiced!
  • These rum balls freeze exceptionally well and are better after sitting for a while in a container. I make these a few weeks before Christmas and then freeze them until the big day.
  • Once you try my version of rum balls, you aren’t ever going back to those nut filled dry versions but you could add in some walnuts or favourite nut into the mixture if you wanted to. You can really adapt these to your liking!
  • Refrigerate the dough before rolling and wet your hands when you go to form the balls. These are sticky and your hands will get a bit messy making them, so make sure you have everything ready to go before you make them!

Happy baking everyone! I’m sitting here thinking of these babies that are in the freezer and wondering if I can sneak one…



My Favourite Chocolate Bourbon or Rum Ball Recipe

These rum balls are SO much better than the dried out ones that use nuts! These are so decadent they are like chocolate rum truffles! Nut free and chocolate cake based! 
4.96 from 90 votes
chewy and fudge-like rum balls or bourbon balls rolled in sprinkles
Prep Time
30 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
24 rum balls
Karlynn Johnston


  • one 9×13 baked chocolate cake use a mix or my cake recipe
  • 1/2 cup dark or spiced rum or bourbon
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup chocolate sprinkles


  • Crumble up the baked cake into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add in the rum and the condensed milk. Mix together until all of the ingredients are combined and the cake is now a dough that can be rolled into balls.
  • Roll the mixture into one inch balls, then roll the balls into the chocolate sprinkles, covering them completely. 
  • Place the rum balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze them individually first, then transfer to a sealed container to keep frozen.
  • These are best if left to sit a few days in the refrigerator if you are eating them soon, or keep them in the freezer until you are ready to eat.

Recipe Notes

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION is going to vary depending on what cake mix you use or what cake you bake up!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 147kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 11mg, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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These rum balls are SO much better than the dried out ones that use nuts! These are so decadent they are like chocolate rum truffles! Nut free and chocolate cake based! #rumballs #christmas #chocolate

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Lucia says

    The best Rum ball recipe I’ve ever had. It depends on the cake you use to make it. I made mine from scratch with more of a fudge cake than making them from cake mix. Also added 1 tbsp of rum extract along with the spiced rum. Gave it more of a kick. I leave mine in the freezer until I’m ready to eat them. Believe me, this was amazing. Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  2. Gwen says

    I’m sorry, but these were horrible !!

    I am an experienced baker and made the cake, as per the attached link, and it turned out so spongy and springy with very little taste.

    I added ALOT more rum and condensed milk to try to make them more fudgy and put them in the freezer to see if that would help … it didn’t.

    Again, I’m sorry, but these were a total fail for me. I’m glad they worked for everyone else.

  3. Angela says

    I used my own 9 x 13 chocolate cake recipe. I had to double the rum (used a spiced rum) and triple the sweetened condensed milk to get that fudgy texture and allow the sprinkles to stick. I ran out of chocolate sprinkles so coated the rest in a combination of powdered sugar and cocoa powder. My partner loves them. A good starting point recipe, but I feel like you need to have some experience as a baker to successfully get the result you are looking for.4 stars

  4. Dlynn Inga says

    This is my first attempt making rum balls of any kind. I used my normal depression cake recipe which uses 3 cups of flour. Doubled the amount of rum and still may need to increase it (maybe I need stronger rum?), left the sweetened condensed milk the same. Next time, I’ll use my KitchenAide stand mixer instead of mixing by hand!
    Hardly any mess shaping the balls after chilling the dough. I moistened my hands to help the sprinkles stick rather than to aid in shaping. I put them into individual “candy” paper cups since they do become sticky when left out of the fridge. Taking them to a holiday party this afternoon and the balance to another party tomorrow evening.5 stars

  5. Claire says

    Made a gluten free and dairy version that was great. Also subbed coconut cream instead of sweetened condensed and used Malibu. Uh huh.5 stars

      • Karlynn Johnston says

        You can but there won’t be a depth of flavor like there is with dark or spiced rum, just a basic rum flavor!

  6. Gigi Dionne says

    With a little more condensed milk they turns out great! I bet they’d be good made with cherry moonshine instead of spiced rum4 stars

  7. Nicole says

    Such an easy recipe! Definitely add a LOT more condensed milk and rum. I just kept adding more of both until I liked the taste and the consistency was right for rolling into balls and dipping into sprinkles.

    • Susan says

      I made these today, my home made chocolate cake – I definitely had to add more sweetened condensed milk and more rum, and like many others have commented, had troubles with the sprinkles sticking!! I made half the way the recipe states and the other half I added walnuts and rolled them in coconut!

  8. Martin D. says

    I make these every year and they are delicious! My wife is gluten free (Celiac) so I use Pamela’s chocolate cake mix.5 stars

  9. Dolly. says

    Should the cake to cool before mixing it with the rum and condensed sweetened milk?

  10. Dolly says

    So you wait for the cake to cool before mixing it with the rum and condensed sweetened milk?

  11. Tinybaker says

    I haven’t made these yet, but I’ve been looking for a nut free rum ball because of allergies. Could I still add some vanilla wafer crumbs add to the crumbled cake?

  12. Kate says

    Divinely decadent and fudgy! BIG hit with all with whom I gifted them too, including my own fam who the what was leftover. Thanks for sharing! (I used the cake recipe included in the directions.)5 stars

  13. Joey says

    I had to use cream cheese also to make them into ball’s.

  14. Danielle DiSessa says

    I had to use about 1/3 cup more condensed milk then listed. Also, the chocolate sprinkles didn’t stick the these so I used colored sugar instead.4 stars

  15. Erika says

    Question, do these hold up at room temp or do they get all soggy once taken out? Trying to decide if I can make these for treat boxes for Hubby’s work

  16. Jeanette Hoy says

    I didn’t like the taste of these, not sweet enough. I used the depression cake and ended up putting the whole can of condensed milk in and added roasted nuts and cranberries too. They were OK but I have had nicer Rum balls. Sorry.

  17. Amy says

    So good, exactly what I was looking for! I’ve had these from the bakery before and loved them, so I am happy I found this easy recipe. I didn’t have sprinkles so I used skor bits! I almost added more rum, cause a couple comments said they couldn’t really taste it but I am very very happy I didn’t cause they are perfect…..If anyone is looking for a recommendation: I used captain Morgan’s spiced rum. Thank you kitchen magpie!! 🙂5 stars

  18. Aly says

    Made these last year for Christmas and they were a huge hit. Fudgy rum balls are the best!!
    So much so that my husband asked them to be his “birthday cake”!5 stars

  19. Janice Warden Bergeron says

    Do I use the cake when it’s fresh or should I let it get a little dry first? Never made rum balls before. ? hmmm

  20. Alys says

    Can I make these with chocolate brownies instead of cake?

  21. Joanna says

    I had to try one before letting them sit in the fridge – I could smell the bourbon but couldn’t taste it. Maybe it was my own cake mix recipe that I used? Or will letting them sit in the fridge/freezer bring out the taste more over time? The mixture was already quite sticky and wet so I didn’t add more bourbon.. should I have added more?

    • Janine says

      I made these and put them in the freezer. Today I looked and they are super wet, and leaking?!

  22. Megan Hardcastle says

    I used captain Morgan and doubled the sweetened condensed milk they came out amazing5 stars

  23. Barbara J Merritt says

    My new addiction! Made with the wacky cake recipe lightened up with Stevia and applesauce. I make mine smaller and roll them in cocoa/stevia instead of sprinkles. Soooo good and less guilt!

    • Christine says

      What can i substitute for the rum to make it non alcoholic?

      • Bob says

        Use a Rum Extract, it should give you the flavor without the alcohol.

    • Kimberly says

      Coul a yellow cake be substituted for the chocolate cake??

  24. amy says

    I have no idea if these are good but I warn anyone who tries to print this recipe you get 15 pages of full color crap just to get a printout of the recipe!!!!

    • Renee says

      Hi Amy,

      If you choose “print recipe” at the top of the article, it should just print the recipe as opposed to printing the entire webpage.4 stars

  25. Dunia Gosa says

    I made these with the wacky cake mix and Bourbon. It is a funny cake mix to whip up, once everything is mixed together it turned in to a blob in the bowl. It was fun playing with it for a moment. So, anyway! I did have a lot of trouble getting the sprinkles to stick to the balls. This recipe was easy to make , but I did not care for the taste of it; on the other hand, my husband loves these Bourbon balls and he ate 6 at one time and would of eaten the whole batch if I wasn’t standing there supervising.. LOL

  26. Joe says

    Glad I found this recipe. Was looking for one that didn’t use wafers. Used Wild Turkey in mine. What I want to use I can’t get in the States anymore, Canadian Club Sherry Cask. If anybody can get it, try it and let me know how it was.5 stars

  27. TJ says

    Great recipe except for the 1/4 cup of condensed milk. Not near enough. I should have used the whole can. I had some dough left over and added some more condensed milk and the turned great.

4.96 from 90 votes (73 ratings without comment)

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