Decadently delicious and easy to make - this vegan rum truffle recipe is top on our list of festive treats. Serve these rum balls at your next holiday party or give them as cute Christmas presents, just make sure to gift yourself some too!
Vegan Rum Truffles, also known as Rum Balls, are a chocolate treat popular around the festive season. They are really easy to make and don’t require an oven.
Unlike some other truffles which become very soft at room temp, these are firm at room temperature. You don't have to refrigerate your finished vegan rum truffles, which makes them transportable as a perfect little gift!
As the name suggests, Rum Truffles are made with rum. And as they are not baked, they retain both the rum aroma and alcohol. They are great thing to make in the campervan, as they don’t require an oven.
They might not be seen as the most child-friendly Christmas goodie - not that anybody was worried about that twenty years ago - but they can certainly cheer up your holidays…
We certainly had fun making them, as you can see from the video! (Watch with sound on for the full festive experience!)
Rum balls - a typical holiday treat
The baking of Christmas cookies is very popular in many Central European countries. In my homeland of Austria, these vanilla crescent cookies are probably the most famous!
Plates and tins full of a variety of cookies, gingerbreads, biscuits and pralines are found in every kitchen, on dining tables and are given away to friends and family. Rum balls are often a part of this and bring variety onto a cookie plate.
The German name for these Rum Truffles, ‘Rumkugeln’, translates as rum balls (Rum = rum, Kugel = ball). But funnily enough, if used as a verb, ‘rumkugeln’ can have a very different meaning: to roll around (‘rum = around, kugeln = to roll), which is what you do when you had too many of them. 😉
I remember my mum ‘measuring’ the rum ‘by feeling’, just adding a dash straight from the bottle into the mixing bowl. It was that decisive moment in the making of the rum balls. Sometimes you would hear a high-pitched “ooh!”, which meant that they were going to turn out rather strong that year…
Is rum vegan?
Did you know that not all alcohols are vegan, and some use animal products in their processing?
To find out if your bottle of rum is vegan, Barnivore is a super helpful drink directory which will tell you, check it out here.
Our favourite variation of vegan rum truffle
Recipes for rum balls vary, and not only in the amount of rum that goes in. Some recipes call for ground hazelnuts, some use ground up remains of stale sponge cake to firm up the truffle mixture.
You might see a shot of espresso in some recipes, too. We ran some tasty tests and have found our favourite, easiest recipe.
We think that hazelnuts overpower the other flavours in the rum balls, plus we like to keep things simple.
So for our vegan rum truffle recipes we just use dark chocolate, coconut oil, cocoa powder, sugar, instant coffee, and - of course - rum.
Finally, we roll our vegan rum truffles in coconut flakes (also known as desiccated or shredded coconut.)
Coconut flakes look a bit like snow, which fits the season (in the northern hemisphere), and they also add some nice texture. As a bonus, they leave your hands clean.
Alternatives to the coconut flakes could be rolling the rum balls in cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles, or vegan icing sugar.
Can I make this vegan rum truffle recipe without alcohol?
Yes you can! The flavour of the rum is quite important though, but don’t worry!
You can use liquid rum aroma, non-alcoholic liquor, vanilla or almond extract to bring some flavour to your truffles.
But be aware, some of these products still have some alcohol in them. So if you are particularly cautious about alcohol levels, always check the ingredients on the label of whatever you use.
Tips on making Rum Truffles
Choice of fat
The fat in the recipe helps hold the mixture together. Coconut oil which is solid around room temperature, works best for this job. Using refined coconut oil has a more neutral, less coconut-y taste.
Melting the chocolate
We have recently developed a new technique of how to use a hot water bath to melt chocolate. For this, the hot water does not need to sit in a pan on the hob.
Simply pour hot water from the kettle into one bowl, and place a second bowl with the chocolate and coconut fat on top, so it touches the hot water. The water stays hot enough to melt your chocolate just fine. This way, you don’t have to keep regulating the hob to keep it at just a simmer.
Cooling down the mixture
After mixing, the mixture needs to cool down to become roll-able.
Refrigerating is the easiest and quickest way to achieve this, but check up on the mixture very regularly, especially after about 15 minutes.
The mix can firm up very suddenly, and a few extra minutes in the fridge can make it almost too solid to shape. Don’t worry, you’d simply have to wait for it to become soft again. And if the mix has separated a little, just stir it and it will be fine.
Rolling the rum balls
Rolling the truffles into its shape is much easier if you have naturally cold hands. If your hands are just always a bit warm (like mine), dust them with cocoa powder first and regularly.
That keeps the fats from melting and makes smooth truffles… and you won’t have to lick the chocolate from all over your palms. Poor you!
We hope you enjoy our vegan rum truffle recipe! If you fancy something else chocolatey too... Try our other favourite vegan chocolate recipes perfect for making this festive season:
Wishing you a very merry rum truffle season!
Sophie and Paul
Vegan Rum Truffles
- 20 g (1/4 cup) dessicated coconut
- Break the chocolate into pieces. Place it in a bowl with the coconut oil and melt over a hot water bath, stirring frequently.
- Take the bowl off the hot water bath and stir in the rum.
- Add the sugar, cocoa powder and instant coffee powder, mix to combine.
- Let the mixture cool down to solidify and become mouldable.TIP: Refrigerate to speed things up, but check on it every few minutes. Below the fat's melting point, the mixture will solidify very suddenly.
- Scoop out portions of the mixture and roll into balls between your palms.TIP: If your hands are warm and the chocolate melts, cover your palms in cocoa powder before rolling.
- Roll the shaped truffles in a plate of coconut to coat them. TIP: Coat the balls immediately after shaping. Otherwise they might cool down and the coconut might not stick so well.