These chocolate coconut rum balls were a staple of my childhood and I still can't get enough of them! There are many variations of these treats floating around, but this recipe has always been my favourite.
These "rum" balls are kid-friendly and don't actually have any rum in them, although you can add a teaspoon of rum extract for a boozy flavour!
These delicious treats only require four ingredients (yes, four!) and a little bit of preparation time. Enjoy!
Ingredients in Rum Balls
Marie biscuits play a crucial role in the traditional recipe for rum balls. The biscuits provide a crumbly base that is used to hold the other ingredients together. The crushed Marie biscuits serve as the main dry ingredient in the recipe and are responsible for a divine texture and flavour.
One of the main roles of coconut is to add flavour. Coconut has a distinct, sweet, and tropical flavour that pairs well with the chocolate and rum flavours in the recipe. It adds a nice balance of sweetness and a tropical touch.
The coating of coconut also gives a nice crunch to the rum balls and creates a nice contrast to the soft, chewy texture of the rum ball.
Cocoa powder is made from ground and roasted cocoa beans, and it is the primary source of chocolate flavour in the recipe. It gives a rich, intense chocolate flavour that complements the sweet and tropical flavours of coconut.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Sweetened condensed milk adds sweetness, helps to bind the ingredients together, give a smooth texture, a creamy and rich flavour to the finished rum balls.
How to Make Rum Balls
Chocolate coconut rum balls are easy to make at home. They are typically made with crushed Marie biscuits, coconut, cocoa powder, and condensed milk. The Marie biscuits are first crushed. This is typically done by placing the biscuits in a plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.
The coconut, cocoa powder, and condensed milk (plus rum if you like!) are then added to the crumbs and mixed together until everything is well combined. The mixture is then rolled into small balls, and sometimes dusted with extra cocoa powder or coconut before serving.
These are a perfect sweet treat for any occasions, it’s rich chocolate and coconut flavour making it irresistible.
Substitutions & Additions
There are a number of ways to change up the recipe to suit your taste preferences or to accommodate dietary restrictions.
What can I use instead of Marie Biscuits?
One common substitution for Marie biscuits is graham crackers. This can give the rum balls a slightly different texture and a more pronounced graham cracker flavour. Another substitution for Marie biscuits is vanilla wafers, these also can give a different texture and a more pronounced vanilla flavour.
What can I add to the rum balls?
Another way to change up the recipe is by adding different ingredients to the mixture. For example, chopped nuts, such as almonds or pecans, can give the rum balls a crunchy texture and a nutty flavour. Dried fruits like cranberries or cherries can also be added for a touch of sweetness and a fruity flavour.
To add a chocolatey touch, you can also add chocolate chips, or roll the balls in chocolate before serving.
Can I use rum or other alcohol?
Another way to change the flavor of rum balls is by changing the type of rum used, some variations include spiced rum, coconut rum, and even amaretto. Alternatively, you can use rum extract or vanilla extract to add flavor.
- 250 g (9 oz) plain sweet biscuits (I use Milk Arrowroot or Marie/Maria biscuits)
- ¼ cup (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup (100 g) finely desiccated coconut, plus ½ cup (50 g) extra for rolling
- 395 g (14 oz) tin of sweetened condensed milk
- Crush the biscuits either using a rolling pin or food processor. There should still be some reasonably large chunks of biscuit to give the rum balls a better texture.
- In a medium bowl, combine crushed biscuits, cocoa powder, and 1 cup of coconut. Stir until well combined. Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir until the mixture comes together and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Place the remaining ½ cup of coconut in a small bowl. Roll a heaped tablespoon of mixture into a ball and roll the ball in coconut to coat. Place on a large plate or tray. Repeat with remaining mixture.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until quite firm. You can store the rum balls in unrefrigerated in an airtight container once they have set.
- Please note that my recipes are measured in metric cups and spoons which are larger than US cups and spoons. Most recipes will be fine if measured in US cups and spoons, but please use the weight (grams) measurement for the most accurate result.
- You can store the rum balls unrefrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. If your house is very hot, keep the rum balls in the refrigerator.
Substitutions & Tips
- How to crush the biscuits using a food processor: place the biscuits in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse on medium-high speed for 10-20 seconds, checking to see how crushed the biscuits are in between pulses. The biscuits should be about half crumbs and half chunks.
- How to crush the biscuits using a rolling pin: place the biscuits in a large zip-loc bag or freezer bag. Spread them out so they are in a flat layer. Crush with the long edge of the rolling pin, turning the bag over occasionally. If your bag gets a hole in it, you may need to double up with a second bag. The biscuits should be about half crumbs and half chunks.
- Biscuits: The US equivalent for Marie biscuits is Maria Cookies. You can also used vanilla tea cookies.
- Additions: you can give these rum balls a proper rum flavour by adding 1 teaspoon of rum extract, if desired. These biscuits are also delicious with ½ teaspoon - 1 teaspoon of peppermint flavouring!
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Rum Ball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 5.6gSaturated Fat: 4.4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17.5mgCarbohydrates: 14.6gFiber: 1.1gSugar: 9.6gProtein: 1.9g