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German Rum Balls (Rumkugeln)

These Delicious German Rum Balls Always Liven Up The Holidays!

For a classic dessert with a bit of booze infused into it, traditional rum balls are definitely the treat for you.

Made from rich, melted chocolate and just the right amount of rum, these chocolate rum balls are perfectly sweet, bite-sized, and dangerous once you get into them.

Stack them in a little pyramid on a plate or dessert tray and they’re basically irresistible!

brown sprinkled german rum balls on clear plate with green branch behind
Traditional German rum balls – all with chocolate sprinkles as a coating!

Rum balls are actually a classic German holiday treat – Lisa really likes them but so does Eric’s mom (true story).

Speaking of German holiday treats, you might also want to try out our vanilla crescent cookies.

That said, you can find rum balls all over Europe like in Hungary, Italy, and Austria. Truth be told, rum balls were apparently invented by Danish bakers.

stack of german rum balls on clear plate with green branch behind
Stack the rum balls in a pyramid and you’re all set!

Of course, a consideration when making rum balls is what kind of rum you use. We used Bacardi rum for the rum balls because it has a simple flavor and is over 40% alcohol.

You could also use the Kraken Black Spiced Rum which has a bit more of a sweet and spiced flavor (it’s also 45%).

We didn’t use Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum because it’s very sweet and only 35% alcohol.

brown rum balls on clear plate with green beside
Once they’re on the plate, these German rum balls don’t last long!

Recipe Tips

When you’re forming the rum balls, it is very important that your hands stay cold and dry when you do it.

The rum ball batter is sensitive to heat and will be hard to roll when your hands are too warm.

This recipe ends up making quite a few rum balls – around 60, depending on exactly how large you roll them.

German Rum Balls Step-By-Step Guide

If you want to make German rum balls as we did, we documented the process so you can see what things should look like at each step!

You’ll also find the detailed steps in the recipe card down below – this is just a photo guide for visual reference!

chocolate chips melting in metal bowl
Melting chocolate chips in hot water – our preferred method!

The first step is melting the chocolate chips in a bowl. We like to place the bowl in hot water in the sink but you can definitely use a microwave. There is more than one way to melt chocolate.

melted chocolate in a bowl with silver spoon
…and now the rum ball chocolate is all melted!

Once your chocolate chips are fully melted, set the bowl aside for now.

white ingredients mixed in a metallic mixing bowl
The butter and powdered sugar get mixed together in another bowl.

In another bowl, mix the butter – which should be at room temperature – and the powdered sugar with your hand mixer.

Mix for a few minutes until you get a creamy consistency.

german rum ball ingredients mixed together in bowl
All the rum ball ingredients together – and mix!

In the next step, add the melted chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and rum to the butter mixture and mix everything together.

rum ball ingredients whipped together in a bowl
This is what the dough looked like after all the ingredients were mixed together.

Once everything is whipped together, it’ll look something like you can see in the photo above. Put cling film on top of the bowl and place it in the fridge for one to two hours.

mixing bowls on counter used to make german rum balls
Here are our different bowls – we call it the “creation station”

After the dough has cooled in the fridge, it’s time for the German rum ball “creation station”. You can see in the photo above what our set up looked like.

We like putting the chocolate sprinkles and the cocoa powder for coating in small bowls with higher sides. That will make the process less messy.

We also always have a bowl of really cold water nearby that we use to cool our hands during the process. We change the water as necessary when it gets too warm.

german rum ball rolled in hand over mixing bowl
Lisa rolling her first rum ball of the batch!

Use a table spoon to gather some dough as a guideline for the size of your rum balls. Roll the dough in the palm of your cold, but dry hands.

You have to work quickly here or the dough will get too warm!

bowl of sprinkles and bowl of cocoa powder on kitchen counter
Choose your rum ball coating – sprinkles or cocoa powder!

Once you ball is nice and round roll it around in the bowl of chocolate sprinkles, cocoa powder or other topping of your choosing and place it on a plate or small serving tray.

Then repeat the process until you have used up all the dough.

Storage Tips

It’s important to keep the rum balls stored in a cool place (like the fridge) and definitely not out on the counter because they will soften up.

You can freeze the rum balls that you don’t intend to eat right away and then take them out of the freezer as you need them.

Related Recipes

For more delicious and festive recipes, check out these sweet desserts and other treats:

stack of german rum balls on clear plate on white counter with green branch behind.

German Rum Balls (Rumkugeln)

These traditional German Rum Balls are always a hit around the holidays. Loaded with rich chocolate, packed with rum to taste, and finished off with sprinkles or cocoa powder, this sweet and tiny dessert doesn't last long on the treat plate!
4.64 from 46 votes
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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 60 rum balls


The Dough

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4-5 tablespoons rum

The Coating

  • chocolate sprinkles
  • cocoa powder


  • Melt the chocolate chips in a hot water bath in the sink, a pot on the stove, or in the microwave, and then set them aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until creamy.
  • Add the cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and rum, and mix again.
  • Place cling film on top of the bowl and put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove the mixture from the fridge. Scoop out a teaspoon amount of batter per rum ball and roll it in your hands to form a round ball. Roll the ball in a bowl of chocolate sprinkles or cocoa powder and place it on a plate once it’s fully coated. IMPORTANT: It’s important that your hands remain cold during the process. You can use a bowl with cold water and soak your hands in it after every one to two balls. Dry off your hands before forming the next ball.


  • Once again, it is very important that your hands – and the dough – stays cold and dry during the ball rolling process. That’s why it’s important to soak your hands in cold water every once in a while and to work quite quickly when forming the balls.
  • If you’re a huge fan of coconut, you can also roll the rum balls in coconut splinters.
  • If you want the rum flavor to be less intense, use slightly less rum. If you want more rum, add more!
  • Store the rum balls in the fridge and/or freeze the ones you don’t plan on consuming immediately. We also like eating cold rum balls straight out of the freezer but that’s a personal preference.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 15mg | Sugar: 4g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Author Recipes From Europe
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16 thoughts on “German Rum Balls (Rumkugeln)”

  1. Hi I’m from Germany and German rum cakes are made using rum, chocolate, sugar, butter, and old biscuits or cake mixed in and are the size small ball

    • Thanks for leaving a comment! I’m also from Germany and lots of people make their Rumkugeln somewhat similar to how we describe them in this recipe (the exact ingredients and proportions may vary slightly), including my family. As with many recipes, there can be different variations depending on the region or sometimes even then family. What you’re describing, using leftover cake, is another way to make them!

  2. I am in Germany on holidays going back to India on 17/18 th Feb. 2024. I am told these balls r yummy n tasty. Where can I get these balls – I tried in Rewe Stores not available. Moreover from your lovely recipe I think I can not carry few packets to India – balls may turn into paste. Any guidance please .

    • Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately rumballs are quite seasonal in Germany, they are commonly sold in stores in November and December in the lead-up to Christmas so that may be why you can’t find them currently. You might be able to find Rumkugeln at a bakery if they offer a good variety of sweets. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. Safe travels back to India! /Lisa

  3. To all the people making comments on the origin of these tasty little treats please go elsewhere – just enjoy this fantastic recipe.

    “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, people it’s just a recipe – it’s a German version. Lots of European countries have a version of Rum Balls. My German mum made them exactly like this….delish. Thank you for reminding me about these! xx

    • If you read the post, you’d have seen that we mentioned that they were invented by Danish bakers. However, in Denmark rum balls are often made slightly differently than in our recipe. To make it clear that this recipe is for rumballs as they are commonly made in Germany, we decided to call them German rumballs – in no way did we want to imply that rumballs originally came from Germany. I’m sorry if it came across like that. /Lisa

  5. Made this recipe over Christmas holidays.. made one change – I used silicone truffle molds and put them in the freezer until firm. Then rolled the truffles in the cocoa powder and – voila – perfect, “melt in your mouth” quality, and utterly delicious rum balls without the muss and fuss of rolling them into balls!

  6. I have just tried German Rum Balls and guess what, It tastes amazing. It’s totally worth trying this. I will definitely let my friends know about this recipe and will try it together again.

      • Yes, rum balls are originally from Denmark. The recipe for Danish romkugler is usually slightly different than what we share here, which is how they are often made in Germany. We never meant to imply that rum balls were originally from Germany and also mention that they were invented by Danish bakers in the post. /Lisa

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