Mary’s Wishful Rum Balls

When I first dated my husband in the 1970s, we would visit his fun and witty Aunt Mary during the Christmas holiday. She was great at entertaining and was a fantastic cook. In her small apartment kitchen, we enjoyed an assortment of holiday cookies including delectable Rum Balls of which my husband often raved. During one of our visits, I asked her for the recipe. Much to my surprise and amusement, she coyly whispered that her secret ingredients were hers alone.

I have since discovered that for some bakers and cooks, coveted secret recipes wield power. An occasional visit to Mary’s house meant unique culinary experiences unlike anywhere else! However, when Mary passed away, her secret Rum Ball recipe, delightful personality, and the mystique of her holiday baking went with her.

Fortunately, the world of free online recipes aligns with the librarian whose philosophy is that sharing is the essence of community. Hence I share with you a wonderful Rum Ball recipe that I have adapted. Maybe the final results are similar to Aunt Mary’s — but perhaps only wishfully so. Every holiday when I make Rum Balls, I am reminded of her spirit. — Happy Holidays 2021! – Carole

My recipe below is adapted from the Rum Balls on this website, Australia’s Best Recipes


  • 2 cups confectionary (powdered) sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain flour sifted
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup unsweetened crushed coconut
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped raisins (I chop these up in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup of finely crushed pecans
  • 125 g butter melted (approximately 9 tablespoons)
  • 3 tbs Bermuda Black Rum (or other high quality black rum)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix the first six ingredients together in a large bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer)
  2. Add the next three ingredients into the mixer. Mix well.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes. If it’s too wet to handle, add a little more powdered sugar so that you can make a slightly wet ball easily (it should be sticky).
  4. Make small balls the size of a rounded teaspoon. Roll in an assortment of coconut, powdered sugar, crushed pecans. You may need to roll them twice.
  5. Place them carefully in a tin can lined with foil. Drop leftover crumbs over them. Keep refrigerated.

One thought on “Mary’s Wishful Rum Balls

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s