Mum’s Rum Balls

I have been waiting exactly 51 weeks to make these little gems again.

This is a recipe I used to make every year with my mum and I’ve been keeping the tradition alive even from across the other side of the pond. Granted, these days mine may be a tad more potent than the child-friendly version we used to make when I was little but they are a hit both in my flat and in the office! They’re so easy to make (though messy!), there’s no baking involved and they make great little gifts when packaged up in cute little cellophane bags.

Mum’s Rum Balls

Rum Balls 2


280g Madeira cake crumbs (cut off sticky outer layer of cake before crumbling)
3 tablespoons apricot jam*, warmed and sieved
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons dark rum (or 1-2 tablespoons rum essence for child-friendly version)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons apricot jam, extra, warmed and sieved
Chocolate sprinkles and/or desiccated coconut

*My friend’s dad makes home-made jams so in this particular instance, I used home-made yellow plum jam. Yum!


1. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Mix together cake crumbs, cocoa, 3 tablespoons of warmed, sieved jam and rum until thick paste forms. (NB: If mixture is too dry, gradually add more rum and/or apricot jam until paste forms.)

3. Make mixture into small balls.

4. Warm the extra jam, sieve and mix with water. Dip balls into jam mixture (or use pastry brush to coat) then roll in sprinkles or coconut.

6. Place on baking tray and refrigerate overnight for best results.

Rum Balls

These rum balls are incredibly moist and rich and have a delicious kick of rum. Even if you’re not a fan of rum (which outside of rum balls I am not!), these are tasty, I promise. But one colleague summed these up perfectly when she said, “these just taste like Christmas!”


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