German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (2024)

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Rumkugeln, German Rum Balls, have always been my favorites. Just the smell makes me all weak in the knees! When I was a child, my mother would only make them at Christmas. Just one batch. And I would watch and wait for the chance to lick the bowl and the spoon. (I think part of the appeal was the Rum… we all got silly and pretended that the alcohol actually affected us.) They were doled out a few at a time on the BunterTeller… and on plates we filled for friends and neighbors. And I savored the ones I got.

Now, for some reason, Mom never gave me the German Rum Balls Recipe. She always had an excuse… “too busy“, “can’t find it right now” and the worst, “you could just look it up“. Well… I think she wanted to keep it her secret… just so I would keep coming back (like some sort of back alley Rumkugeln dealer…. and I was addicted!)

German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (1)

Thanks to Angela at All Tastes German and her “German Christmas Treats Book” (which is sadly out of print)… I am set with a wonderful German Rum Balls Recipe! And I may be moving up to the next size of Jeans by the day after tomorrow. (Although ironically, my mom came to visit… and TOOK THE BOOK WITH HER! I am crafty though, I copied the recipe out before she came!)

German Rum Balls Recipe

German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (2)

German Rum Balls Recipe from All Tastes German

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  • 1/2 cup Butter room Temperature
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 7 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate I used Chocolate Chips
  • 3.5 oz Dark Chocolate I used some Dove Dark Chocolates left over from the last Holiday
  • 4 TBL Dark Rum I have a big collection of Rum, and many will work. Just don't use Coconut or Spiced Rum, unless you want to totally change the flavor
  • Cocoa Powder or Chocolate Sprinkles to Coat


  • Melt the chocolates together, either in a double boiler, or carefully in the microwave. Do not let any water get into the melted chocolate or it will seize (freeze up in a grainy way) and be useless). Set aside to cool.

  • In a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.

  • Sift the Powdered Sugar into the butter and beat until fluffy. (Yes, you do have to sift the powdered sugar, otherwise you get hard little greeble bits.)

  • When the chocolate is cooled to room temperature, add it to the butter/sugar mix, also add the rum... beat until smooth.

  • Scrape under the beater and down the sides

  • Then Beat again... you want SMOOTH... no streaks!

  • Scrape the chocolate mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes.

  • (Go ahead and lick the beaters and mixing bowl)

  • Set up your work station.

  • Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

  • Put the chocolate sprinkles or cocoa into a small bowl next to it. (My mother always used sprinkles, so I do too. Cocoa is definitely more sophisticated and has a nice deep flavor.)

  • Take the chocolate mix out of the fridge

  • Scoop some of the chocolate into a ball... about the size of a melon ball? Or small walnut? I used a melon scoop...

  • Then roll the chocolate between your hands to make it round. (Did I need to remind you to wash your hands first?)

  • Drop the ball into the bowl with sprinkles or cocoa... toss it around to coat.

  • Then place the coated ball on the waxed paper to set.

  • Repeat 30-40 times. (It depends on how big your Rumkugeln are, and how much you eat while making them).

  • I pile them in a bowl to serve... or you can place each in a small paper cup to look fancy.

How to Shape your German Rum Balls

Set up your Work Station….
Bowl of Chocolate Mixture, bowl of sprinkles, tray covered with waxed paper.

German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (3)

Scoop up some of the Chocolate Mixture
Shape it to a ball, and drop it in the sprinkles to coat
German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (4)
Line the Coated German Rum Balls on the Waxed Paper covered Tray
You can put them back in the refrigerator to finish setting… but I think they are delicious RIGHT AWAY
German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (5)

German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (6)

German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (7)

  1. I love and remember the German Rum Balls. But I cannot have the rum. Any ideas how to adapt the recipe?


    1. You could just make them without the rum?


  2. At christmas time I am in reach of the Luhders or Riegelein Fondant Stars, do you have a receipe on how to make these myself


    1. OH boy… I did a search in English and German… no luck.


    1. Refrigerate the chocolate for 30 min to an hour.. that will firm it up


  3. I left the mixture in the fridge for an hour, but when I took it out to roll it, it immediately went soft and the (really messy) balls never did “set”. too bad — I was going to put them out at a tea.


    1. Honestly, I wish I knew what happened, I’ve made them many times with no problems


  4. I left my mixture in the fridge overnight – it’s now pretty solid. Can it still be saved??


    1. yes!


  5. How long will these keep? Can you put extras in the freezer or will that mess with the flavor/texture? Trying to figure out how many days in advance I can make these!


    1. You should be able to freeze them. Wrap them up as airtight as possible (it might be best to freeze them on a sheet pan first, then put the frozen balls into an airtight bag) Let them thaw in the refrigerator.
      Days in an airtight container (or tupperware) should be fine.


  6. How do you measure your chocolate? I followed the recipe, but the consistency was very soft, softer than room temperature butter. I ended up adding almost double the powdered sugar to help. Tasty though! I’m assuming the chocolate is where I went wrong, unless I’m missing an ingredient besides the 4 listed?


  7. I believe the women who had poor results did not use either Land of Lakes or Kerrygold butter. They have less water than other butter. Maybe there is a good German butter!


  8. I have been searching for years for a recipe that I had growing up. The family that we bought them from no longer makes them and wouldn’t share the recipe. Thanks for bringing the nostalgia to our Christmas treats.


    1. I’m glad! Enjoy!


    2. Marissa, is this the recipe?


  9. Oh my! My mom from Germany makes something similar. She adds some orange juice, finely chopped walnuts and chocolate wafer cookies. (Nabisco chocolate wafer). She leaves out the butter. Oh and she uses 6 Oz of semi sweet chocolate.


    1. sounds good!


  10. Thanks for sharing! How far ahead of time can I make them?


    1. A week… keep them sealed up air tight.


  11. Thank you for the recipe I am going to make them right now.


  12. I am so looking forward to using a few of your recipes. I have searched for the Rum Ball that I grew up with. Grandma would never let us watch. I am trying very hard to embrace my German side. I can’t get enough, lucky I live near Portland Oregon and get to go to “ Edelweiss Delicatessen “ and get my weekly Fix of German meats.


  13. Just made these for the first time a few days ago. Danke, Danke, Danke!! Not quite sure that they should be legal, though…. mercy, they are heavenly. And I don’t even care for sweets much. Took my apprenticeship in a Konditorei in Kassel a long time ago, you kind of lose the liking for sweet stuff. But honestly, this recipe absolutely rocks. Making more for Christmas for the kids. Frohe Weihnachten!


    1. I’m glad you like them!
      I totally understand about losing the taste for sweets… I worked in a bakery for a few years, after a while I couldn’t stand the smell of sugar anymore. (I clearly recovered)


  14. I didn’t get time to make these for Christmas, so just made them this evening! Oh my. How delicious they are. I divided the mixture in half and used rum in one half and Frangelico in the other half and rolled them in toasted chopped hazelnuts. It is hard to decide which ones are better! Thank you for the recipe!


    1. oh! That sounds delightful! A bottle of Frangelico is in the bar, I’m going to try that


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German Rum Balls Recipe a Christmas Indulgence (2024)


What are rum balls made of? ›

Made from pecans, Biscoff cookies, confectioners' sugar, and—yes, rum! —rum balls are a grownup-favorite festive treat that are easy to make and fun to gift. They taste even better after a day or two in the refrigerator, so I recommend making them in advance.

Will rum balls get you drunk? ›

Can rum balls make you drunk? This is a no bake recipe, which means any alcohol we use in the process won't be cooked away or made less effective. However, we're not using that much of it, so getting drunk isn't something to worry about! After all, there's only ¼ cup of rum divided among 24 individual bites.

What is a substitute for Nilla wafers in rum balls? ›

While vanilla wafers are my favorite for their subtle sweetness and vanilla notes, graham crackers, butter cookies, digestive biscuits, or shortbread cookies are all excellent substitutes. For a gluten-free version, opt for gluten-free cookies.

Do rum balls contain alcohol? ›

Yes, these rum balls contain two types of alcohol: bourbon and rum. The recipe makes six dozen rum balls, using 2/3 cup of alcohol, so it may not be enough for a serious buzz, but it is still present.

What is the difference between a rum ball and a brigadeiro? ›

Rum balls closely resemble brigadeiros, a Brazilian sweet; however, brigadeiros are made from condensed milk. The world's largest rum ball was created in Mejdal, Denmark on 11 June 2017, weighing 31 kg (68 lb).

What is Bumbo rum made of? ›

Modern bumbo is often made with dark rum, citrus juice, grenadine, and nutmeg.

Do rum balls contain egg? ›

In bowl mix together walnuts, sweet chocolate, sugar and half the egg whites. Add enough rum to moisten mixture so it holds together to form dough. Shape mixture into 1" balls. Roll balls in remaining egg white, then in chocolate sprinkles.


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