Rum Balls Recipe

Before starting this house renovation, I baked and canned all the time. In fact, I’d dare to say we leaned more food blog than renovation and design blog before we bought this house. How times have changed! Our season of life. 

When I was asked to be part of the cookie recipe swap, I practically jumped up and dawn and said yes! Around the holidays I bake about 10 types of cookies so I can make boxes and bring them to our neighbors, family and a few clients. My recipe is below, and I’ve linked all the other participants sharing their cookie recipes. If you need inspiration for holiday baking or new blogs to follow, links are below. 

I always look for a variety of texture and flavors for my cookie boxes. Rum balls have become the adult favorite (maybe a little boozy). They are easy to make and look impressive with the sanding sugar finishing. 

Rum Balls Recipe

We’re essentially going to make a flat brownie, then hydrate it with booze. This is a large batch recipe, so you’ll have plenty to keep and some to share. See below for ingredient and variation notes. 


3 sticks butter
12 oz. semi sweet chocolate (1 bag of chocolate chips)*
6 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 ¼ tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt (regular salt works too)
1 ½ cups flour
⅔ cup dark rum*
Vegetable spray or oil for coating pan
Sanding sugar (about 1 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray or vegetable oil with paper towel
  3. Melt butter and chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler, set aside
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and salt
  5. Stir in melted chocolate and butter mixture.
  6. Gently fold in flour.
  7. Spread evenly in prepared cookie sheet. 
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. 
  9. Let cool completely.* Okay to leave overnight (cover with plastic wrap). 
  10. Break up brownie in extra large bowl, using a mixer. 
  11. Gradually add rum, until mixture is moistened and holds a shape. The amount of rum will vary depending on your climate and how dry your brownie is – however the subtraction or addition should be no more than a tablespoon in either direction. 
  12. Roll into 1 ½ inch balls. I like a dessert that’s about 2 bites. If you’re going to a party and want to make them smaller, you can. 
  13. Roll in sanding sugar to finish!

Store in an airtight box in the fridge for about 2 weeks. I normally make these a few days before Christmas and they hold until New Years. 

Recipe Notes*

• For some reason semi-sweet chocolate chips come in a 12 oz bag, but semi-sweet chocolate chunks come in a 11.5 oz bag. Who knows? Buy the 12 oz bag if you can. The chocolate gets melted so it doesn’t matter what shape you choose. You could also buy melting squares. 

• If you want the brownie to cool faster, break up with a knife or use your hands to break up the brownie into smaller pieces that will cool faster.

• Order the sanding sugar on Amazon. I keep this in the house because it’s come in so handy for dressing up a cake and other desserts. 


• Substitute rum for Kahula
• Non-alcoholic version: try a strong coffee or espresso in place of alcohol 


If you make a full recipe, you can stack these in a pyramid, which is really festive. For gift boxes, use little cups to prevent sticking.  

Recipe Swap Blog Hop

Here’s my digital neighbors sharing their favorite holiday cookies. Stop by their blog to see what they’ve been cooking up (pun intended). Thank you Sarah and Chole for hosting!

Boxwood Avenue
Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread

Room for Tuesday
Classic Butter Sugar Cookies

The DIY Playbook
Coconut Crispy Cookies

Life On Virginia Street
Caramel Drizzled Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Making it Lovely
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

House of Hipsters
Peppermint Crispies

Coco Kelley
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies

Salty & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Francois et Moi
Tiger Butter Bark

Renovation Husbands
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Honey Cinnamon Filling

Sincerely, Sara D.
Lace Cookies

Yellow Brick Home
Chocolate Chip Cookies (the best of your life!)

The Gold Hive
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Anita Yokota
Holiday Vanilla Almond Bark

September 14, 2019


  1. Reply


    December 12, 2019

    Would you please share the blue-grey wall paint color in your room pic? It is perfection!

  2. Reply


    December 12, 2019

    These. Look. Amazing.

  3. Reply


    December 22, 2019

    Made your rumballs yesterday at a
    cookie-making gathering and I love them!! So pretty, too. I used silver sugar until I ran out and then used heath bar crumbles. Both are delicious and it was very easy. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home, style, food and pictures. This is seriously my favorite place on the internet.

  4. Reply


    June 13, 2020

    Many thanks for publishing, I really love your work,
    keep it up.

  5. Reply

    Brenda Milcetic

    January 31, 2021

    Hi there,
    What size of cookie sheet do I use?
    Thank you,