Gingerbread Rum Balls Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Gingerbread Rum Balls Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes
Read community notes

This is the perfect recipe to make if you’ve got crumbs leftover after building a gingerbread house. Or you can use a package of gingersnaps ground up in the food processor or blender. The flavor of rum balls improves after they sit for a couple of days, so plan ahead if you’re considering these for a holiday bash. They will last for two weeks or even longer if you store them airtight at room temperature. Rolling rum balls in confectioners’ sugar gives you a soft, moist confection while using granulated sugar results in a crunchier texture. And if you’d rather skip the alcohol, you can substitute orange or apple juice for the rum. Just reduce the confectioners’ sugar by a tablespoon or two, to taste.

Featured in: A Makeover for the Most Spirited Cookie on the Plate

  • or to save this recipe.

  • Subscriber benefit: give recipes to anyone

    As a subscriber, you have

    10 gift recipes to give each month. Anyone can view them - even nonsubscribers.

    Learn more.


  • Print Options

    Include recipe photo



Yield:About 2½ dozen balls

  • cups/360 grams cookie crumbs, from gingerbread or gingersnaps
  • cups/125 grams pecans
  • ¾cup/85 grams confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling if you like
  • cup/80 milliliters dark or amber rum, brandy or bourbon, more as needed
  • tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, more to taste
  • ½teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • Granulated sugar, for rolling (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (30 servings)

109 calories; 6 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 64 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Powered by

Gingerbread Rum Balls Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together cookie crumbs and pecans until nuts are coarsely ground. Do not overprocess — you want the nuts to have some texture. Alternatively, finely chop the pecans and toss them in a bowl with the crumbs.

  2. Step


    In a separate large bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, rum, maple syrup, cocoa powder, fresh ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger and salt. Add to food processor and pulse until just combined, or stir into bowl with the crumb mixture, squeezing everything together into a mass. Taste and add more fresh ginger if you like.

  3. Step


    Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar. If the dough starts to dry out as you roll the balls, drizzle in a little more rum. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (they will keep for at least 2 weeks); roll balls in additional sugar just before serving.



out of 5


user ratings

Your rating

or to rate this recipe.

Have you cooked this?

or to mark this recipe as cooked.

Private Notes

Leave a Private Note on this recipe and see it here.

Cooking Notes


I always marvel at home chefs who dismiss the efforts of the author, to shove their 'better and easier' version at the readers.And whose field were these tested in? Your recipe is totally different as their is no ginger, spices or variation of texture.And the amount of confectioners sugar plus corn syrup sounds too sweet. But this is helpful for 9 readers, who I'm guessing don't care for gingerbread spices.


Great recipe! I rolled mine in gold-colored sanding sugar to dress them up for a party. I also added a bit of tangerine juice to the rum, and a little tangerine zest to the nut and crumb mixture - it seemed like a seasonal thing to do.


I made these today. I used thin ginger snaps from Trader Joe’s. I toasted the pecans before adding. I dipped the top of each ball in melted chocolate and topped them with a bit of candies ginger. They look and smell amazing. I plan to let them sit 5 days before eating. I will keep experimenting with this recipe, different cookies, nuts, alcohol etc... great recipe!


I prefer my version. I toast the pecans slightly and sprinkle them with fine Himalayan salt, eat them and then drink the booze. Cheers!


If, like me, you buy one package of MI-DEL gingersnaps, it's 284 grams rather than 360. So here are the other ingredients proportionately reduced:pecans 100 g.sugar 67 g.bourbon 1/4 cupmaple syrup 2 T.cocoa 1.6 T.fresh ginger 1.2 T.cardamom 0.4 t.cinnamon 0.4 t.ground ginger 0.4 t.And then, if you're like me, you'll have to go buy another package of gingersnaps and do it all over again because the first batch disappeared so fast.


I made these exactly as the recipe directs. Melissa is always right.

Cincy Betty

Use disposable vinyl or latex gloves to roll


I used Mi-Del GF ginger snaps and had perfect results


My time-honoured field-tested version is really good and much simpler: mix 1+1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 cup ground almonds, and 2 Tbsp cocoa powder. Add 1/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup corn syrup. Roll into balls, roll balls in confectioners sugar. Violà!


Big hit at my house!It’s been years since I made bourbon balls with my late mom and the idea of using ginger snaps really appealed. Used Trader Joe’s triple ginger snaps with crystallized ginger in them so omitted fresh ginger in the dough. No corn syrup on hand so I puréed several dates with brandy. The idea of a granulated sugar coating for added texture intrigued me so I used that mixed with grated fresh ginger in a food processor.


before rolling into balls, let them sit for about 5 minutes to firm up so dough will be less sticky!

Pam B.

Add more booze.


Love Melissa’s recipes! Southern Living has a recipe this month which is similar, and uses dark chocolate melting discs ( melted , of course) to coat the cookie instead of sugar. Garnished with a slice of crystalized ginger. Can’t wait to try.


Made as instructed, with a few tweaks: lightly toasted the pecans first; poured crumb-nut mixture into big bowl, then placed a teaspoon-sized chunk of ginger with all other ingredients into food processor and pulsed; folded the resulting beautiful rich dark liquid into the crumb-nut mixture; let it sit five minutes before rolling into balls. Result: absolutely glorious. We will never go back to plain old bourbon balls; these are far superior.


I make mine without nuts--just add more of the cookie crumbs until you get the right consistency!


Added 1 teas more Jack Daniel’s and same amount more fresh ginger. Had a bowl of warm water on hand and rinsed every couple of balls, rendering them so much easier to roll and form into a neat ball. Rolled in confectioner’s sugar. A sincere sensation, especially among the 20-40 year-old crowd.


used spiced oatmeal cookies for the crumbs. This might have been the problem, but it just doesn't taste like one thing or another, although it has taste...


Ms Clark: Can you freeze these ahead?


Used 11 Oz vanilla wafers No spices Made as directed


Oh wow! Amazeballs. Every year I give baked goods for holiday gifts. I've been looking for a good rum ball recipe and have tried a few. These are by far the best I've made. I toasted the pecans and had spiced rum on-hand so they are made with The Kraken black spiced rum. The fresh ginger really sets off the flavor. The spicy kick balances the sweet so well. I can't wait until the rum crystallizes...yum. Anyone that shortcuts this recipe is missing out.


Others may already know this, but I found that if I use a tablespoon dipped in water between each ball, and I used a wet cloth to clean my hands between each ball, the rolling-out process was much easier. I also draped a slightly wet cloth over the balls as I rolled them out to keep them from drying out.


Here are my cook's notes after making exactly (with scale) as written. To suit my preferences. Added orange zest. Any more ginger would have been a fail given ginger cookie I used. (Stauffers). Orange was a nice balance against the rye whiskey.To improve the consistency + sweetness: I made a small slurry of semi-sweet chocolate and whipping cream. It added additional sweetness...which I needed given rye whiskey. I greatly improved the consistency.


No fresh ginger, so omitted. (I did not miss, and I would not put this in for my preference.) I thought I would use some orange zest but tired and forgot. Will test on next batch. Used 100 Proof Rye Whiskey. Stauffer's Gingersnaps. These are seriously delicious. Love the spice profile. I plan to coat these in chocolate..just because. Thank you for this great recipe.


Used full box of ginger snaps, 453 grams. Increased other ingredients proportionately156 g nuts106 g powdered sugar100 ml rum3 T maple syrup2 1/2 T cocoaEyeballed spices to 25% more


For a non-alc, milder version, i used pomegranate juice instead of liquor, and substituted hazelnuts for the pecans.


Made it as the recipe reads (used Mount Gay rum), except that I erroneously added about 50% too much cardamom (I really love cardamom). Still very good, although the pecans get lost in the flavors. I'll make it again, and play with the type of rum (the darker the better, I suspect) and maybe go crazy and try it with bourbon or with almonds! And so easy!


I like an occasional bourbon ball during the holidays so I was curious to try these. Wow! Love the fresh ginger and rum combo. I was 1/2 cup short on ginger snap crumbs so reduced everything by estimate. And, I only had spiced rum on hand. Recipe was totally forgiving of these changes. I doubt I’ll ever make bourbon balls again. Kudos to you once again Melissa.


I can report that recycling dried-out gingerbread house remains can work successfully for this recipe. After family scavenged the house for a few days, we broke it apart with a hammer and processed to get 2.5 cups. Because royal icing combines with the house remains, I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup. The resulting balls have a speckled look because the icing doesn't powder up quite like the cookie crumbs, but I think it's a nice effect. I don't suggest sharing outside the scavenger group, tho'!


Excellent! Complex and boozy. The cookie aisle at my grocery store was basically empty; there were no gingnersnaps to be found! So I had to bake my own, using Jennifer Steinbauer's equally fantastic recipe. Thanks Melissa & Jennifer!

A cook


Private notes are only visible to you.

Gingerbread Rum Balls Recipe (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated:

Views: 5575

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.