Can you believe it? It’s almost the holiday season! Whether you are a beginner cook or an experienced holiday baker, you’ll need some treats this holiday season either to place out during parties or to package up for gifts!

These Brown Butter Rum Balls are elegant enough to give as a gift, but also pretty casual and super simple to make. I like to use Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter in Half Sticks for this version. I love that they sell HALF STICKS of their butter for easier measuring. For example, if you wanted to double this recipe, it would be a full stick of butter.

While I like the clean rum flavor, you could also substitute bourbon for a different twist or leave out the booze all together and substitute with rum extract (2 tablespoons water + 1/2 teaspoon rum extract)!

Gear up for the holiday season everyone. It’s going to be delicious one for sure.

Brown Butter Rum Balls

3.34 from 3 votes
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 10 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
These easy-to-make classic rum balls are jazzed up a bit with delicious brown butter! Sure to be a hit at any holiday party!


  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, browned
  • 1 cup crushed vanilla cookies
  • ½ cup crushed walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon rum extract
  • Decorating sugar

Alcoholic version:

  • 2 Tablespoons White rum, substitute for the rum extract


  • Add Unsalted Butter in Half Sticks to a small pot over low heat. Once melted, allow butter to simmer until a foam forms on top. Then stir slowly. Butter will separate a bit and the solids should sit on the bottom of the pan. After 5-6 minutes of low cooking, the butter should brown slightly and smell very nutty. Remove it from the heat at this point.
  • In a small food processor, pulse vanilla cookies until they are completely broken down. Process walnuts separately.
  • Stir together cookies, nuts and cocoa powder. Then stir in brown butter, honey, and rum flavoring. Mix well to combine.
  • Chill mixture in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until it’s firm. Then make small tablespoon-sized balls out of the mixture. Roll in decorating sugar.
  • Serve rum balls immediately or store in the fridge for a few days.


Serving: 2rum balls | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American

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Brown Butter Rum Balls

Making brown butter is one of my favorite holiday things. It goes great in SO many desserts because it adds a layer of nuttiness to the base recipe. Even if you’re a beginner baker, this is something you can do!

Basically, just add your butter (I think unsalted works best) to a pot over low heat. When the butter melts, it’ll start to foam a bit. Feel free to stir it or swirl it, but mostly you can let it sit.

brown butter rum balls
Starting the butter.

Keep an eye on the butter and when it starts to smell nutty, give the butter a swirl and you should see the butter solids on the bottom of the pan turning slightly brown. When that happens remove it from the heat!

brown butter rum balls
It can burn!

Believe it or not, that’s the hardest part of this recipe!

brown butter rum balls
Cookies and nuts.

Besides that, just stir together the other ingredients in a bowl. Be sure to crush your cookies and nuts pretty finely so there aren’t any big chunks.

brown butter rum balls
Mixing it up.

Once the mixture is pulled together, chill it in the freezer for a few minutes.

brown butter rum balls
This tastes good.

Then just make small balls out of the mixture and roll it in some fun coarse decorating sugars!

brown butter rum balls
Sugar of choice.

At the end of the day these brown butter rum balls are a perfect quick holiday snack. Set them out on a platter or package them up as quick gifts!

Brown Butter Rum Balls: These easy-to-make classic rum balls are jazzed up a bit with delicious brown butter! Sure to be a hit at any holiday party! |

Raise your hand (in the comments) if you’re a rum ball fan!

Brown Butter Rum Balls: These easy-to-make classic rum balls are jazzed up a bit with delicious brown butter! Sure to be a hit at any holiday party! |