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Gluten-Free + Vegan Rum Balls | Julie's Kitchenette

Julie’s Best Ever Rum Balls (gluten-free + vegan)

  • Author: Julie Hasson


This recipe is a combination of two recipes, one from my cookbook 300 Best Chocolate Recipes, and the other a recipe I found on the Food Network website by Gale Gand. The best part of all is that it uses cake crumbs, so I was able to use our gluten-free white cake mix.



  • 1 cup raw pecans (not packed)
  • 2 1/4 cups finely ground cake crumbs from a leftover cake (not packed)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips, melted*(see below)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (organic or regular)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rum (I prefer a stronger one such as Bacardi 151)
  • About 4 to 6 ounces (or more as needed) semisweet chocolate for chocolate dipping


  1. In the bowl of a food processor with the metal S-blade, add the pecans and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the cake crumbs, pecans, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar, mixing together. Add the melted chocolate, the corn syrup and the rum, stirring until everything is well mixed. Using your hands, try to form the mixture into a ball. If the mixture won’t hold together add another tablespoon of corn syrup. If it’s too wet, you can sprinkle in a little more cake crumbs. The mixture should be soft and scoopable. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop the mixture into small 1-inch balls. If using a spoon, roll the balls in your hand. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until cold.
  3. At this point you can roll them in cocoa powder or powdered sugar, or chocolate dip them. If chocolate dipping, don’t roll them in either powdered sugar or cocoa. Let the rum balls age or ripen 24 hours before serving.
  4. To chocolate dip the rum balls: Chop about 4 ounces of semisweet or dark chocolate, and place in a microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Give it a stir and heat for another 20 seconds. Stir it again, and if the chocolate is half melted, continue stirring until the rest of the chocolate is melted. The heat from the bowl will help melt it the rest of the way. If it’s not totally melted, heat for another 20 seconds and stir again. Alternately you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Using two forks, dip the rum balls in the melted chocolate, rolling them until they are completely covered. Gently shake of any extra dripping chocolate and place them on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the rum balls. If you run out of chocolate, simply melt more. Place the tray of chocolate-dipped rum balls in the refrigerator until the chocolate is firm. Right before serving, I like to give my chocolate-dipped truffles a quick dusting of cocoa powder.
  5. *To melt the chocolate chips for the rum balls: Place the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. Heat the bowl in the microwave for about 20 seconds, until the chocolate chips start to melt. Give it a good stir. If they aren’t melted enough, heat it for another 15 seconds or until they are soft. Stir again. They don’t have to be totally melted but almost. The trick with chocolate is to not overheat it or it will burn.