Rum Balls

Rum Balls

Ever wonder what to do with the cake trimmings when you are decorating a layered cake? When baked, light and airy cakes tend to “dome” up. If you plan to use it to layer a cake, or wish the surface to be flat, this dome will need to be trimmed… as in, not used! Well, instead of wasting this scrumptious deliciousness, use it to make delightful little morsels we know as Rum Balls!


Let’s start with the amount of cake trimmings you have. If you are decorating a 4 layer cake, and using a separate cake for each, chances are you’ll have 4 trimmed domes which should be roughly 4 cups of cake crumbs. So let’s work the recipe with this amount. If you have more or less cake crumbs, adjust the quantities of the remaining ingredients for the cake balls. For example, if you only have 2 cups of cake crumbs, divide the recipe in half. Also, while it would be preferable to have chocolate cake crumbs, it is totally fine if they are not…we’re going to fix that!


So let’s get started!


Rum Balls:

4 cups cake crumbs

¼ cup butter, room temperature

¼ cup icing sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 tbsp warm water

2 tbsp  granulated sugar

2 tbsp rum



¼ cup dark chocolate, chopped

1 tsp expresso powder (or instant coffee powder like Nescafé)

1 tbsp rum

¼ cup cream


Frosting (optional):

¼ cup icing sugar

½ cup butter, room temperature

½ tsp vanilla essence

Food colour as desired.


  1. Mix all cake crumbs evenly in a bowl.
  2. In a separate large bowl, mix the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder until smooth and well combined.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the water and then add the rum and stir.
  4. Add the cake crumbs into the butter and cocoa mixture and using a wooden spoon, combine well.
  5. Add the sugar and rum syrup, 1 tbsp at a time until the mixture is damp, but not soggy. You should be able to press a handful of the mixture together into a round ball and it ought to retain its shape.
  6. Make 8 rum balls and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. To make the ganache, add the chopped chocolate, espresso powder and rum in a large heatproof bowl.
  8. Heat the cream and bring to a slow simmer, not a boil.
  9. Remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate mixture. Do not stir. Let it soften the chocolate with its heat for about a minute. Then, whisk the mixture until smooth and glossy.
  10. Using a fork gently dip each rum ball into the ganache. Give it a quick swirl and lift it up straight, letting the melted ganache settle over the top of the rum ball naturally. Remove it from the fork and let it rest on a plate. Repeat with all the rum balls and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The rum balls are ready at this point. You can decorate it with frosting as you wish (recipe follows), or edible gold flakes, or even drizzle with white chocolate.
  11. If you wish to decorate with frosting, mix the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence together until smooth and creamy. Add food colour as desired and decorate as you wish!
  12. Enjoy!

Makes 8 Rum Balls.