20 rum balls

Cooking Time

1 hour


  • 160 g Marie biscuits or plain wafers
  • 320 g fruitcake
  • 60 g cashew nuts
  • 40 g cocoa powder (our favourite cocoa powder)
  • 120 g corn syrup
  • 120 g dark rum
  • 200 g dark chocolate (for the frosting)

Many Calcuttans have grown up eating rum balls from Kathleen, Nahoum's, or Flury's, and many more. Rum balls were developed as a way for bakeries to use up leftover cakes and trimmings, but they are delicious—very often tastier than the cakes they were made from! They are the perfect gifts for holiday parties, as they are easy to make, easy to transport and easy to consume without making a mess—but most importantly they are very rich, very satisfying, and they have rum! Could it BE any better?

In this recipe we are starting with a readymade fruitcake, but if you have some leftovers from a fruitcake you made, put it in your rum balls! Use the recipe as a guide because depending on the cake you are using the quantities of rum or corn syrup may need to be adjusted. If it is too shaggy, add more cake. If it is dry, add some rum. We are keeping the frosting simple by dipping the balls in dark chocolate, but there are many possible variations. Hope you give these a try!

Recipe Notes


  1. Crush the marie biscuits (or wafers) in a mixing bowl until no large chunks remain.
  2. Crumble the fruit cake into the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and mix everything together.
  4. Pour in the dark rum.
  5. Pour the corn syrup.
  6. Mix everything well using a fork. You don't need to make it absolutely uniform. If it is too wet, add more cake. If it is too dry, add more rum. Taste and adjust the sugar.
  7. Divide the mixture into 40 gram portions on a large tray that can fit in your fridge. This recipe makes 20 rum balls.
  8. Chill the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes because the mixture is too sticky to form into balls right now.
  9. After 30 minutes roll them into smooth balls and put them back in the fridge until needed.
  10. For the frosting, chop dark chocolate finely. Divide into two parts—¾ and ¼.
  11. Prepare a baine marie—a double-boiling set-up for gently heating something in a water bath so that the food doesn't come in contact with direct heat. Boil a little water in a pot. Place the ¾th of the chopped dark chocolate in a sauce pan, place the pan on the pot with the boiling water taking care that the water does not come in direct contact with the bottom of the saucepan. Also, do not let any water get into the chocolate. It will seize up (curdle) and become unmanageable.
  12. Keep stirring until the chocolate is nearly melted (it should not get hotter than 43ºC). Take it off the heat and add the remaining ¼ of the chopped chocolate. This will bring down the temperature of the chocolate mixture and the residual heat of the sauce pan should melt all of the chocolate perfectly producing a perfect satiny consistency.
  13. Take the rum balls out of the fridge. Dip one at a time into the melted chocolate and turn to coat using two forks. Shake off the excess and set it on the wire rack to cool. Place a tray underneath the rack to catch any dripping chocolate. You can scrape it and use it again in another recipe.
  14. If the chocolate cools down and becomes thick, you can place it briefly on the boiling pot of water to thin it out. Once you finish coating all of the rum balls, let them set for 30 minutes before moving on to the next step.
  15. Form a piping cone with parchment paper. Reheat the chocolate, and pour it into the piping cone.
  16. Pipe chocolate onto the rum balls in zigzag patterns.
  17. Let the rum balls set for a few hours at room temperature before serving them. Can be stored outside in paper boxes for upto 7 days in winter.

Serve with

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  • Mixing bowl
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Wire rack with baking tray
  • Saucepan
  • Pot
Baking tray

Baking tray

Baking paper

Baking paper

Steel mixing bowl

Steel mixing bowl

9 inch


  • Stove