Christmas baking – Rum balls

Onto the next of my Christmas gifts from the kitchen. I have to say, that when I was rolling these in the coconut, it started to feel and smell like Christmas in my kitchen. This recipe uses bought fruit cake, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Of course, if you have leftover home-made fruit cake at home, you can use that. But I’ve always made these with bought light fruit cake (just the basic home brand version) and have been happy with the result every time.

For a non-alcoholic version, just replace the rum with orange juice. The recipe below is a double batch of the original recipe.

rum balls

Rum balls

Makes 40-50 (depending on size)


  • 500g purchased fruit cake (I prefer light fruit cake)
  • 200g dark chocolate (chopped or buttons)
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons rum (or orange juice)
  • Desiccated coconut to coat (or you could use cocoa powder or chopped nuts)


  1. Crumble the fruit cake into a large bowl.
  2. Combine the chocolate, butter and cream in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Make sure that none of the steam/water gets into the bowl or the chocolate will split. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
  3. Pour the chocolate mix over the fruit cake and add the rum. Mix until it is all combined and then cover and refrigerate until it is cool and firm enough to handle.
  4. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and roll heaped teaspoons of the mix into balls. Once they are all rolled, coat them in the coconut.  Return to the tray and refrigerate until firm. Then either wrap in cellophane if giving away as gifts, or store in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge until serving.

Adapted from Fruity Truffles recipe in Family Circle Basics to Brilliance Christmas Recipes.

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