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German Rum Balls

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Learn how to make traditional German Rum Balls from scratch using this easy authentic rumkugeln recipe. The perfect addition to any Christmas cookie tray and a delicious post-dinner treat. Jump to Recipe

German Rum Balls on a small platter

Rumkugeln aka. German Rum Balls are a delicious treat from Germany and a bit like German almond horns, these chocolate rum balls are sold in bakeries all year long but are especially popular during the holiday season and Christmas time.

This authentic German rum balls recipe will show you how to make them completely from scratch using simple ingredients! 

While you can get rum balls at the local bakery, these homemade ones are so much better than store-bought, and they make great foodie gifts to hand out to your friends and family!

Making these was how German Bakers would get rid of cake leftovers and cake crumbs that could not be used otherwise in the bakery. They were just mixed with melted chocolate, butter, and rum and then coated in chocolate sprinkles! Easy!

German Rum Balls rolled in shredded coconut flakes on a small cake stand

If you have cake leftovers from making a pound cake or a chocolate cake these traditional rum balls are your recipe.

I use brown real jamaica rum for the recipe and I certainly don’t skimp on it either, but you can also make pretty delicious German rum balls without alcohol and simply add rum extract to the chocolate mixture.

 Making your own rum balls is quick and easy, and a few chocolates always look good on the Christmas cookie plate. Traditional rum balls are also wonderful as a small gift from the kitchen.

You only need to put a few ingredients on your shopping list. I think in the run-up to Christmas we don’t need to add additional stress with complicated recipes.

What cake leftovers shall I use for the rum balls?

You can use any cake leftovers for your rum balls. This recipe works best with a simple sponge cake, or a pound cake without any fruits added to it. Nuts or dried fruit are fine.

If you are using leftover chocolate cake, you can omit the cocoa powder in the recipe. If you don’t have any leftovers, just use a store-bought cake base.

German Rum Balls rolled in coconut flaked on a plate

Recipe Variations

  • You can make smaller or large rum balls.
  • Christmas rum balls: Want to make German rum balls for Christmas, maybe even as a gift? Great idea. You can add a little cinnamon or gingerbread spice to the batter. Finely chopped raisins or dates in the batter also taste good.
  • If you don’t like rum or don’t have any actual rum at home, use amaretto, Cointreau or orange juice and add rum aroma and mix everything until you have a dough-like consistency.
  • I like to roll my finished rum balls in shredded coconut but cocoa or chocolate sprinkles also works. You can also dip the balls in melted chocolate again.
  • No cake leftovers in the house? Try vegan rum balls, or make my whiskey chocolates.
  • Not a fan of dark chocolate? Skip the cocoa and add white chocolate and apricot jam. Then the cake balls look like this. 


Storing Rum Balls:

I keep them in the fridge in an air-tight container in a cool place until ready to eat. That should happen within a week. If you want to store them for a long time you can also freeze rum balls on a baking sheet and then thaw them when needed.


  • make sure to taste the chocolate rum mixture before rolling and add some confectioners’ sugar for sweetness if needed
  • use high-quality chocolate, no cheap chocolate chips – milk chocolate or rich dark chocolate are both delicious
  • If you find the batter too moist add some ground hazelnuts,or more crumbled marble cake
  • I shape the mixture with moist hands to make rolling easier
  • make them as big as you want. For gifting, I recommend small balls
  • I make them with my hands but you could make the batter in a food processor
  • for vegan German rum balls melt chocolate chips with coconut butter and use vegan chocolate

Want to bake more treats for the holidays?

German Hazelnut Cookies

Cinnamon Streusel Plum Jam Cookies

Spritz Cookies with Jam

Did you make and love this German Rum Balls recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Rumkugeln wie vom Konditor mit Kokosflocken ummantelt
5 from 1 vote

German Rum Balls

Learn how to make traditional German Rum Balls from scratch using this easy authentic rumkugeln recipe. The perfect addition to any Christmas cookie tray and a delicious post-dinner treat

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine German
Keyword German Rum Balls, no bake rum balls
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 20
Calories 200 kcal


  • 500 g cake leftovers such as crumbled up marble cake chocolate cake or sponge cake - it should be about 3 1/2 - 4 cups but I would weigh it out
  • 70 ml brown rum -1/4 cups + 1 tbsps
  • 30 ml orange juice - 2 tbsps
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons of currant or raspberry jam
  • 100 grams of chocolate - 3/4 cups chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • shredded coconut or chocolate sprinkles for rolling


  1. Crumble the leftover cake into a bowl. Pour the rum and orange juice over the cake crumbs, then stir in the cocoa and jam and mix well. Set the mixture aside for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the chopped chocolate and the butter over hot waterbath or in the microwave.
  3. Then add the butter-chocolate to the crumbs and stir well with a whisk.
  4. Taste the rum ball mass and add a bit more powdered sugar or rum flavoring if necessary. Pour the coconut or chocolate sprinkles into a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle a thin layer of coconut flakes or sprinkles on a flat plate.
  6. Shape into balls of any size you like and immediately roll them in the sprinkles.
  7. Put the finished balls on a plate and then put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  8. I put the rum balls into little paper cases so they keep their shape



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One Comment

  1. Hallo Kiki,
    das Rezept hört sich gut an. Könnte ich die Kugeln auch mit Keksresten aus Mürbeteig machen? Habe zuviel gebacken und nach Weihnachten hat niemand mehr Lust drauf. Herzlichen Dank im Voraus und ein schönes Weihnachtsfest.

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