retro mummy’s rum balls

Following on from yesterday’s post I thought I’d share an old favourite of mine. Rum balls. They are super simple and if you’re not into alcohol just use orange juice! Too easy. I just love making these to give away because I get to eat them while I’m making them. I think that’s why I love making edible gifts – it’s so fun to make them, eat them and then give them away. I always do this recipe in a double batch so stock up on a few madeira cakes and just pop them in your freezer if you’re not going to make them until closer to Christmas.


retro mummy's rum balls
Prep time
Total time
delicious and easy! they make a gorgeous present at Christmas time
Recipe type: Chocolate
Serves: 20
What you'll need
  • loaf of madeira cake (mine was 450g)
  • 1 cup icing sugar sifted
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • rum – enough to make the mixture moist (or orange juice)
  • coconut or chocolate sprinkles to coat
  1. Slice off the brown edges of your cake then crumble the rest of the cake into a large bowl. Let the kids eat the edges of the cake.They love it.
  2. Sift in cocoa and icing sugar and stir well as you want it all evenly distributed. I use the back of a spoon to squash out any bigger cake bits too.
  3. Pour in rum (about 2 good sploshes) until you have the right consistency and your mixture is coming together. Mix well.
  4. Roll tablespoons full of mixture into balls and coat in coconut or chocolate sprinkles. Don’t worry if you can see little bits of cake, the mixture all comes together and they turn chocolatey in no time.
  5. Keep them in the fridge or package them up to give away. They look so pretty in little glass jars.



  1. That looks so yum and easy! Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. yum – I reckon I could make these. We made the marshmallow pops but they didn’t turn out like the picture. The kids enjoyed eating them though…

  3. What a lovely gift idea! I’d elove to try my hand at chocolate truffles this year for my daughters preschool teachers! I love handmade gifts :) Gives it that personal touch.

    Sophie xo

  4. Oh yum. I tried making these last year but they didn’t last until Christmas day as planned. Your recipe sounds equally as delish :) :)

  5. These look super easy to make. I’ve never seen them made with madeira cake before. They make great gifts and half the fun is packaging them up beautifully. I love rum balls as it is something sweet I don’t have to SHARE with the kids!

  6. I live in America, and have never heard of something called “madiera cake,” so I was wondering if it had a particular flavor? or is it just a plain cake? This recipe looks super yummy, so I’d love to make it! (Other recipes of yours I’ve tried have been awesome, especially your vegetarian sausage rolls!)

  7. I have made these with a brownie recipe, but not madiera cake. I think I will try this if I can find madiera cake in the states, where I live. I bet my local British tea shop will carry this!

  8. My kitchen was a rum ball factory today! I made many batches and put them in tins to give to friends—-I used pound cakes in place of the madeira cake that I had never heard of and they came out awesome—delicious—

  9. Hi Corrie – I know that I am a year late here!! I was just reading your posts about Christmas goodies, so yummy. I just wanted to ask how long can you make these rum balls in the fridge prior to giving them? I’m trying to work out a schedule of when I can start making goodies to gift. Thank you. Ps love the Christmas bunting, so want to go to Spotlight immediately to try and find it, you’ve inspired me:)

    • they last a few weeks in the fridge if no one ate them! But I find making them a week out so that the receiver can enjoy them for a few weeks too


  1. […] they’re aged two and are more interested in licking bowls and spoons. You can easily pre-do rum balls, shortbread and those cute little Christmas […]

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