Rum balls aren’t just for Christmas! Enjoy these delicious chocolate and coconut balls as a snack anytime. We’ve left out the rum to make these dairy free rum balls suitable for the whole family. The rum free version makes a great lunch box snack. Dairy free rum balls are quick and easy to make with just a few ingredients and no baking required.
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Rum balls without the allergens
Traditional rum balls are made with crushed biscuits, coconut, condensed milk and of course, rum. That means that they usually will contain milk (in the condensed milk and the biscuits), wheat and gluten (in the biscuits) and potentially nuts or other allergens too. If you are making rum balls to share with friends or family at Christmas, it’s easy to use allergy-friendly ingredients so that everyone can enjoy them. Leaving out the egg and milk means that people who follow a vegan diet can enjoy these dairy free rum balls too.
Rum balls with no rum?
And what about the rum? Can rum balls still be rum balls without the alcohol? We think yes. Leaving out the rum makes these delicious chocolate balls suitable for all ages.
You can still choose to add a dash of dark rum to this recipe to make them an ‘adults only’ treat (up to 1/4 of a cup). If you do, bear in mind that the mixture will be wetter and stickier (and you might just end up with flatter rum ‘pancakes’ instead of rum balls). When adding extra liquid, reduce the condensed coconut milk slightly or add some extra crushed biscuit and coconut to ensure that you have a consistency that’s easy to roll.
Dairy free rum ball ingredients
To make these delicious dairy free rum balls you’ll need only 4 ingredients:
- 250g (8.8oz) plain sweet biscuits (gluten free, dairy, egg and nut free), finely crushed
- 1 cup (85g or 3oz) desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 320g can (11.3oz) condensed non-dairy milk (such as coconut or soy)
- Additional 1 cup (85g or 3oz) desiccated coconut for rolling
Allergy-friendly plain biscuits or cookies
You can use any type of plain crunchy cookie that is suitable for your allergies for this recipe. We used a supermarket brand gluten free arrowroot biscuit to make our rum balls. They are free from gluten, milk, eggs, nuts and soy, but do have a may contain statement for nuts. If you don’t need to avoid soy the Leda arrowroot biscuits are very similar.
Other allergy-friendly biscuit/cookie options include Enjoy Life vanilla honey graham cookies, Eskal vanilla tea biscuits (contain soy) or Schar digestives (contain soy). Just be sure to check the ingredient labelling and any precautionary allergen statements carefully to choose something safe for your own allergies.
It’s important to only use desiccated coconut (dried and finely grated coconut). Don’t try to substitute shredded coconut or coconut flakes as they will be too moist and you’ll have trouble forming your rum balls properly.
Dairy free condensed milk
We used Pandaoroo sweetened condensed coconut milk to make these rum balls. The mild coconut flavour works well with this recipe. You could use any safe plant based sweetened condensed milk, such as oat or soy (if you don’t need to avoid soy).
There are several non-condensed milks available at our local supermarket. However, if you can’t source something suitable, you could try your hand at making your own. To make a vegan sweetened condensed milk, reduce about 650ml of your choice of non-dairy milk with 50g of sugar in a saucepan over low heat until it thickens. You can also add a dash of vanilla to taste.
Use a food processor to crush the sweet biscuits/cookies to a fine crumb. Or I sometimes use use my Bamix stick blender and the processor attachment and process the biscuits in two batches. If you don’t have either, put the biscuits in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin instead.
Combine the crushed biscuits, 1 cup of desiccated coconut and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk and stir through until combined.
Place the additional cup of desiccated coconut in a flat shallow bowl or plate.
Take one heaped teaspoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball with your hands. Then roll the ball in coconut to coat thoroughly.
Tip: If you find the mixture too sticky to roll, try putting it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes first before rolling your rum balls.
You can eat the rum balls straight away, but they are even better if you chill them slightly first. I like to place them on a tray lined with non-stick paper and put in the fridge to cool.
This recipe makes about 30 dairy free rum balls.
Prepared rum balls will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks. Rum balls will also freeze well for up to 2 months (allow to come to room temperature first).
More allergy friendly recipes to try
For another snack ball recipe, try our delicious coconut and lemon balls. Or for more delicious treats to share with the whole family at Christmas or any time you like, you might like to try these favourites:
Dairy Free ‘Rum’ Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan and Allergy-friendly)
- 1 food processor (or zip lock bag and rolling pin)
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 Spoon
- 1 tray lined with baking paper
- Measuring cups
- 250 g (8.8oz) gluten, dairy and egg free plain sweet biscuits/cookies (eg Arrowroot)
- 1 cup (85g or 3 oz) desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 320 g (11.3oz) sweetened condensed non-dairy milk (eg Coconut or soy)
- 1 cup (85g or 3 oz) desiccated coconut for rolling
- Combine the crushed biscuits, 1 cup of desiccated coconut and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk and stir through until combined.
- Place the additional cup of desiccated coconut in a flat shallow bowl or plate.
- Take one heaped teaspoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball with your hands. Then roll the ball in coconut to coat thoroughly. Tip: If you find the mixture too sticky to roll, try putting it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes first before rolling your rum balls.
- You can eat the rum balls straight away, but they are even better if you chill them slightly first. If chilling, place on a tray lined with non-stick paper and put in the fridge to cool.
- This recipe makes about 30 dairy free rum balls.