An Australian Christmas treat, these traditional rum balls are made using dairy-free alternatives making them the perfect for everyone! Made with just 5 ingredients, these chocolate and coconut balls are the easiest dessert or snack to have on hand in December.
There is one food that you can count on being on the table at every Australian Christmas party and that’s the classic rum ball. Made with crushed sweet biscuits, cocoa powder, desiccated coconut mixed with condensed milk and flavoured with rum, these treats are one of the easiest things to make and are a total crowd pleaser.
Since I became dairy-free I have spent many Christmas events unable to enjoy these delicious chocolate and coconut treats. I had completely given up on being able to enjoy treats that were made with sweetened condensed milk as nothing else really comes close to the flavour and texture. That was until I stumbled across a coconut milk version in the supermarket.
The sweetened coconut condensed milk can be found with the cans of coconut milk in the Asian foods aisle at Woolworths and is exactly what we need to be able to make a dairy-free version of the classic rum balls.
The other key ingredient is the biscuit crumbs (or cookie crumbs if you are in the US). Traditionally an Arnotts brand milk arrowroot or marie biscuit is used however both of these contain milk products so I had to find an alternative. As the main flavour of the rum balls is given with the cocoa powder and rum, you want the biscuits to be plain. I therefore decided to use digestive biscuits as they crumble easy and are not too sweet. They worked perfectly!
How to make rum balls
To make the rum balls, start by crushing your biscuits into a fine crumb. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with a food processor, however a zip lock bag and a rolling pin will also do the job just fine.
Transfer your biscuit crumbs into a large bowl with the desiccated coconut and cocoa powder and mix together. Add in the condensed coconut milk and the rum and mix together until thick and sticky.
If you are making these for Christmas and live in Australia, chances are it’s going to be warm the day you’re making these, so to ensure the mixture isn’t too sticky to work with and doesn’t melt, refrigerate your mixture for about 30 minutes before rolling the balls.
Roll tablespoons of mixture between your hands to form balls and then coat them with more desiccated coconut.
The heat from your hands will warm the mixture, so I do recommend placing them on a plate in a single layer and refrigerating for another 30 minutes so that they keep their shape before storing.
How to store rum balls
Place the made rum balls in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
These rum balls do contain alcohol and are therefore an adults only treat. To make them alcohol free, you can omit the rum and use a teaspoon of vanilla extract for flavour instead. The mixture will be dryer without the extra liquid from the rum so you can omit the chilling step and just roll them into balls straight away.
There is not really much that can go wrong when making rum balls. They really are one of the easiest treats, making this the perfect recipe for any skill level in the kitchen.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
Rum Balls (Dairy-Free)
- 250 grams dairy-free plain sweet biscuits such as digestives
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 320 gram can sweetened condensed coconut milk
- ¼ cup rum
- ½ cup desiccated coconut extra for rolling
- Using a food processor, crush the biscuits into a fine crumb.
- Add the biscuits to a large mixing bowl with the coconut and cocoa powder and mix together. Add in the sweetened condensed coconut milk and rum and mix together. Place mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to make the balls easier to roll.
- Scoop tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls between your hands before rolling them in the extra coconut to coat the outside. Place the rum balls on a plate in a layer in the fridge to firm up, before placing them in an airtight container. Rum balls will last 2 weeks in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.
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