Gluten Free Rum Ball Recipe

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Gluten Free Rum Ball Recipe to the rescue

As the warm weather approaches, I’m sure you could think of little worse than slaving in a hot kitchen, baking short-bread or Christmas mince pies – you know the kind of sweet-baked treats we’re obliged to offer guests over the Christmas break? Apart from being notoriously messy and subject to failure (anything that requires baking comes with a proceed-with-caution risk of burning, collapsing etc), they’re packed full of gluten and sugar and are simply not what we need…. and so this is where my Gluten Free Rum Ball Recipe saves the day!

rum balls2

This Gluten Free Rum Ball Recipe ticks all the right boxes given that it/’s:

  • Doesn’t require baking
  • Flavour-packed
  • One-bowl-wonder
  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Cane-sugar free

Being this-free and that-free, then what makes it Ultimate?

Well, for lack of a better source, Wikipedia, describes Rum Balls as “…being sweet, dense balls flavoured with chocolate and rum. They are roughly the size of a golf ball and often coated in chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, or cocoa...”

With this in mind, it would appear that as long as you have the core ingredients, you can throw-in just about anything. Hence there is great scope to make to your rum balls as decadent, calorie-explosive and digestively debilitating… or as decadent, healthy and as smooth on the tummy as you like… I have chosen the latter and this is what makes them Ultimate!

Albeit a healthier version, this recipe still includes the star and arguably unhealthy ingredient, Rum…. For how could anyone have a rum ball without Rum? Any dark rum will suffice, however, I chose Bundaberg Rum, which is the only choice for a girl with Queensland country roots.

I’ve used raw cacao powder in place of chocolate or cocoa and I have rolled my rum balls in desiccated coconut, rather than chocolate sprinkles. For sweetness, I’ve used sultanas but any one or a combination of sultanas, raisins or currents would do. I also added a small amount of rice malt syrup, which adds subtle sweetness but is low in fructose. The balance comprises desiccated coconut and almond meal, vanilla for flavour and coconut oil to assist in binding – don’t worry if you don’t like it, you won’t taste it for the rum!

I recommend starting this recipe a day ahead – leaving your sultanas to soak overnight. As the recipe calls for a cup of already soaked sultanas, be sure to measure the volume after they’ve soaked. Drain the sultanas before adding them to the mixing bowl. Instead of pouring the excess rum down the sink you can reuse it to soak another batch… I actually had mine soaking for about a year and you can do the same by filling a few old jam jars with sultanas/raisins/currents and filling to just below the brim with rum. Tightly fit the lids and leave them in your fridge for hours, weeks, months or even years. The fruit will become plump and full of flavour – perfect for cooking recipes such as this one.

You can make your rum balls any size you desire, however, if you make them slightly smaller than golf balls, you should yield approximately 20 from this recipe.

rum balls

Makes 20



  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon


  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup rum-soaked raisins or sultanas (drained)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup extra coconut for rolling & coating 




  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Use your hands to squeeze, combine and mix the ingredients together. It should feel moist, yet firm but not sticky. If it’s sticky, add a little extra desiccated coconut. If it’s dry and not binding, add a little extra coconut oil.
  3.  Using your hands, roll small handfuls of the mixture into firm round balls, slightly smaller than golf balls.
  4. Roll each rum ball in the extra coconut.


Store in an air-tight container in your fridge or freezer.


Serving Suggestions

These Rum Balls are best served cool, straight from the fridge, or even the freezer. Apart from having a superior texture and flavour compared to when served at room temperature, they keep better and last longer this way too!

You can serve this Gluten Free Rum Ball Recipe –

  • On their own, with a cup of tea or coffee
  • Chopped and mixed through ice-cream
  • Presented on a dessert platter with fresh cherries