Kid-Friendly Rum Balls

The easiest 4 ingredient kid-friendly rum balls that take just 5 minutes to make using coconut, cocoa powder, sweetened condensed milk and plain sweet biscuits.

A white cake stand of rum balls next to a pink teatowel.

My kid-friendly rum balls are also known as chocolate coconut balls or ‘donkey drops’ – because of their resemblance to… well… you know what!

They’re the perfect recipe for getting the kids in the kitchen – you can see how easy it is for my Mr 4 to make them in the video below!

Kid-Friendly Rum Balls Without Rum

Most classic rum ball recipes are made with a dash of rum (totally delicious but adults-only, of course!)… but my rum ball recipe has absolutely no rum in it at all, making it perfect for kids! 

A white cake stand topped with rum balls on a pink tea towel.

Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe

There’s a million reasons you’re going to make this your ‘go-to’ kids snack recipe:

  • quick – these take just 5 minutes to prepare
  • easy recipekids can make these all on their own (very young children will need help crushing the biscuits)
  • no-bake – forget about turning the oven on! Just mix, roll and chill
  • ready immediately – need a snack straight away? These rum balls can be eaten as soon as they’re rolled (but they’re even better after being chilled in the fridge for a few hours)
  • great for lunch boxes – these rum balls can be stored either at room temperature or in the fridge, so they’re a perfect option for lunch boxes
  • perfect party food – I have made rum balls for almost every birthday party my little boy has had – and they’re always the first thing to disappear!
A white cake stand with rum balls on a pink tea towel in front of a bowl of mixture

4 Ingredient Rum Balls

This is the easiest no-bake recipe ever!!! All you need is: 

  • crushed biscuits – I use Arnott’s Marie biscuits, however any plain sweet biscuits (cookies in the US) are perfect for this recipe.
  • sweetened condensed milk – I generally use full fat condensed milk in my baking, however, you can use skim milk if you prefer
  • cocoa powder – any brand of cocoa powder is fine to use.
  • desiccated coconut – this is a fine coconut. Do not use shredded or flaked coconut as it wont stick to the mixture.

… that’s it! This is such a yummy and budget-friendly recipe (you might even have the ingredients in your pantry right now!). 

A white cake stand of rum balls on a pink tea towel with one ball being coated in coconut.

How To Make Rum Balls

This is the quickest 5 minute recipe – simply crush, mix, roll and coat!

Step 1: Crush the biscuits

You can crush the biscuits by hand using a rolling pin (pop the biscuits into an airtight plastic bag and continue to bang and roll them until they resemble fine crumbs). But if you want to save time, then simply crush them in a food processor, blender or Thermomix. 

A pink bowl with plain round biscuits and then the same bowl with the biscuits crushed to fine crumbs.

Step 2: Add the sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder and desiccated coconut 

Give the mixture a good stir until it’s completely combined and the sweetened condensed milk has coated the dry ingredients. 

A pink bowl of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and coconut and then the same bowl with all ingredients mixed together.

Step 3: Roll into balls and coat in extra coconut. 

Using your hands, roll the mixture into heaped teaspoon-sized balls and then toss through a bowl of coconut until well coated.

Rum ball mixture in a white bowl, and then a white cake tray with rum balls and a ball being rolled and coated in coconut.

How to Store Rum Balls

Store rum balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Alternatively, freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months and allow to come to room temperature before eating.

Rum balls coated in coconut and 
one half eaten. on a white cake tray.

Rum Ball Variations

Adults-Only Rum Balls

While this kid-friendly rum ball recipe is by far my favourite version, you can of course make it an adults-only treat if you prefer.

Adding rum – simply add 1/4 cup of dark rum to the mixture and combine well.

Using fruit cake – rum balls are often made using fruit cake (in place of the crushed biscuits) at Christmas time.

Rum balls with a half-eaten one on a white cake tray with a bowl of mixture and coconut in front.

Top Tips For Making Rum Balls

Rum balls are SO simple to make – but here’s a few handy tips for making them perfect every single time!

  • choose a plain sweet biscuit for crushing (I used Arnott’s Marie biscuits that are readily available in all Australian supermarkets). If you can’t buy Arnott’s biscuits, use any plain sweet biscuit you like. If you’re in the US, choose a plain sweet cookie – like a sugar cookie or butter cookie). 
  • You can easily crush the biscuits using a food processor, blender or Thermomix. If you don’t have any of these, you can always crush the biscuits using a rolling pin (simply place the biscuits into a sealable plastic bag and hit with the rolling pin until fine crumbs remain). 
  • As a rule, I prefer to use full fat sweetened condensed milk in my baking. However in this recipe, it doesn’t matter if you use full fat or skim condensed milk
  • For both the rum ball filling and the coating, use desiccated coconut (not flaked or shredded coconut as the balls wont hold together or coat well enough). 
  • Once the rum balls have been rolled, they’re ready to eat straight away! However, they are best served after a few hours in the fridge. 
  • Rum balls can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Lunch Box Snacks

Our rum ball recipe is a great option for school lunch boxes – quick, easy and a guaranteed winner with the kids!

If you’ve made rum balls ahead of time and frozen them, you can place them straight into your kids lunch box and they will be defrosted and ready to eat by morning tea time – super handy!

A collage of sweet and savoury school lunch box snack recipes for kids.

For more easy lunch box snacks, check out our entire lunch box recipe collection here. 

More Snack Ball Recipes

For more yummy homemade ball recipes that are perfect for kids, check out these recipes: 

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No-Bake Rum Balls made with coconut, biscuits, condensed milk and cocoa powder.

Kid-Friendly Rum Balls

Super easy and kid-friendly rum balls made from crushed biscuits, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and coconut and ready in just 5 minutes. This is a great recipe to make with the kids (and great for school lunch box treats). 
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: lunch box snacks
Cuisine: kids recipes
Keyword: kid-friendly rum balls
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 30 balls
Calories: 133kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 g plain sweet biscuits
  • 395 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 85 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 130 g (1 and 1/2 cups) desiccated coconut for rolling, extra

Instructions

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

  • Crush the biscuits until they resemble fine crumbs using either a food processor, blender, Thermomix or rolling pin (see notes) and then place into a large bowl.
  • Stir through the cocoa powder, desiccated coconut and sweeteened condensed milk until well coated.
  • Using your hands, roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls and then roll through the extra coconut to coat.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

THERMOMIX METHOD

  • Place the biscuits into the Thermomix bowl and crush on Speed 8, 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the cocoa powder, desiccated coconut and sweeteened condensed milk and mix on Reverse, Speed 4, 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides and repeat for a further 5-10 seconds or until combined.
  • Using your hands, roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls and then roll through the extra coconut to coat.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

Notes

TOP TIPS FOR MAKING RUM BALLS
Choose a plain sweet biscuit for crushing (I used Arnott’s Marie biscuits that are readily available in all Australian supermarkets). If you can’t buy Arnott’s biscuits, use any plain sweet biscuit you like. If you’re in the US, choose a plain sweet cookie – like a sugar cookie or butter cookie). 
Equipment – You can easily crush the biscuits using a food processor, blender or Thermomix. If you don’t have any of these, you can always crush the biscuits using a rolling pin (simply place the biscuits into a sealable plastic bag and hit with the rolling pin until fine crumbs remain). 
Sweetened condensed milk – As a general rule, I prefer to use full fat sweetened condensed milk in my baking. However in this recipe, it doesn’t matter if you use full fat or skim condensed milk. 
Desiccated coconut – use fine desiccated coconut (not flaked or shredded coconut as the balls wont hold together well enough). 
Serving – Once the rum balls have been rolled, they’re ready to eat straight away! However, they are best served after a few hours in the fridge.
Storing – Rum balls can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Freezing – rum balls can be frozen for up to 2 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 0.6mg
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43 Comments
  1. Sandra says:

    5 stars
    So easy to make and the kids love these.!
    I also rolled some in chocolate sprinkles and 100s n thousands. I have also made substituting a bit of expresso coffee for some of the condensed milk because I didn’t have enough, and it worked just as well.

  2. chrissy says:

    so easy to make my grand.daughter and.I did them in no time . is.there any thing you can use instead if condensed milk i wonder ?…chrissy

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Chrissy, thank you so much! You could perhaps try something like these which use biscuits and cream cheese next time: https://bakeplaysmile.com/cheesecake-balls/

  3. Just curious says:

    5 stars
    Is there a way to get the rum taste without the rum? I want to be able to serve them at a party with adults as well. In recent years I’ve allowed the kids to have one or two rum balls with rum in them and they really prefer the taste over just chocolate and coconut.

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Cate, I believe you can buy non-alcoholic rum extract (although I’ve never actually seen this or used it myself!). xx

      1. Meg says:

        You can get rum flavouring/essence. If you’re in Australia most supermarkets stock it. It’s in the baking isle with the vanilla essences

  4. Lil says:

    5 stars
    Omg ate these as a little kid! So good definitely going to make more.

    1. Lucy says:

      Yay!!! They’re so good, aren’t they!

  5. Kimmy says:

    Is 1 cup of the coconut for the rum balls and the other 1/2 for rolling?

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Kimmy, the entire 1 and 1/2 cups is for the balls – you’ll need a bit extra for rolling (around 1/4-1/2 cup)

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