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Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls

Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls

Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls are served as a dessert and snack. Shredded Coconut mixed with ginger, sugar, and lime zest with a hint of dark rum.

Coconut rum balls – these little morsels of pure deliciousness evoke images of tropical vacations, festive gatherings, and cozy nights. They’re a timeless treat that transcends generations, beloved for their sweet, boozy, and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

But what exactly are rum balls, and why do they hold such a special place in our hearts?

When Coconut Macaroons Became Rum Balls: A Culinary Adventure

My heart was set on baking coconut macaroons, but a quick inventory check revealed I was missing a crucial ingredient. Not one for unnecessary trips to the supermarket, I set aside the macaron dreams and challenged myself to a culinary adventure with the leftover shredded coconut.

With my thinking cap on, I delved into the depths of my cookbooks, yearning for a recipe that wouldn’t demand a shopping expedition. Alas, the world of minimal-ingredient shredded coconut recipes seemed surprisingly sparse.

Undeterred, I embarked on a creative journey, flipping pages and scanning ingredients. And then, it hit me – rum balls! The perfect solution to my culinary puzzle.

With a touch of rum, a sprinkle of sweetness, and a dash of ingenuity, I transformed my macaron disappointment into an unexpected delight. The shredded coconut found its new calling, nestled amidst the rich rum-infused flavors, creating bite-sized morsels of pure joy.

This serendipitous culinary adventure saved me a trip to the store and opened the door to new flavor combinations and creative possibilities. It was a reminder that sometimes, the best recipes are born out of necessity and a touch of improvisation.

So, the next time you find yourself with a limited pantry and a yearning for something delicious, remember – a little resourcefulness and a dash of creativity can turn any ingredient into a culinary masterpiece.

Cracked coconut with soft white pulp

A Life-Saving Recipe with a Kick: Rum Balls or Kubecake

When I stumbled upon the recipe for Rum Balls, it was like finding a culinary oasis in a desert of missing ingredients. I could whip up a delicious treat without setting foot in a grocery store with just four simple ingredients – shredded coconut, fresh ginger, dark rum, and sugar. However, I couldn’t resist adding a little twist for a personal touch: a zesty burst of lime zest.

Making this dessert wasn’t just a treat for my taste buds; it was a workout for my arms! Mixing melted sugar with other ingredients is no joke, but the resulting rum balls were definitely worth the effort.

As I devoured these little gems, I found an interesting note in Dorinda Hafner’s cookbook “A Taste of Africa.” She mentions that these rum balls, also known as Kubecake, are a popular street food in West Africa. Hafner says they are an “explosion of two hostile forces” – the potent dark rum and the punchy ginger. And let me tell you, she’s not wrong. If you’re not a fan of either of these bold flavors, this might not be the treat for you.

But for those who appreciate a bit of culinary fire, these rum balls are a delicious and exciting culinary adventure. So, if you find yourself with a limited pantry and craving something unique and flavorful, try them. You might discover your new favorite snack and get a little arm workout in the process!

Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls
Rum Balls

My Culinary Journey with Coconut Rum Balls: A Balancing Act of Flavors and Textures

For my rum balls, I opted for Rhum Barbancourt, its robust character demanding a counterpoint to its unflinching intensity. Fresh ginger provided the perfect kick, but its bold aroma required something bright to balance it out. Eureka! Fresh lime zest was the answer, adding a zing that brought the flavors into perfect harmony.

While the recipe called for freshly grated coconut, I conveniently chose store-bought shredded coconut. The biggest challenge? Grating the ginger. This deceptively innocent task demands caution. Ginger grates quickly, and your knuckles or fingers will become an unintentional sacrifice if you’re not careful. So, handle that ginger with respect!

The recipe suggests immediate consumption or storage in the refrigerator for later indulgence. Unsure if my choice of store-bought coconut contributed to the issue; the texture felt too soft for my liking. A few hours in the fridge, however, did the trick! The rum balls firmed up beautifully, offering a satisfying bite rather than a mushy mess.

Surprisingly, I find myself preferring them chilled rather than at room temperature. The cold accentuates the flavors, creating a more refreshing and delightful experience.

This rum ball adventure was a delightful exploration of balancing flavors and textures. It reminded me of the importance of tailoring recipes to personal preferences and the magic that can unfold in the kitchen with a little experimentation. So, grab your grater, embrace the ginger, and discover your perfect rum ball!

The Perfect Bite:

There’s something truly special about biting into a perfectly made coconut rum ball. The initial crunch of the exterior gives way to a soft, melt-in-your-mouth center, bursting with sweet, coconutty goodness. The rum adds a subtle warmth that lingers on the palate, leaving you wanting more.

More Than Just a Treat:

Coconut rum balls are more than just a delicious dessert. They symbolize togetherness, shared joy, and the simple pleasures in life. They’re a reminder to slow down, savor the moment, and indulge in the sweetness of life.

So, next time you’re looking for a delicious and festive treat, ditch the store-bought cookies and whip up a batch of homemade coconut rum balls. You won’t be disappointed!

Tips for Making the Perfect Rum Balls:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • Don’t overwork the mixture, or the rum balls will become tough.
  • Chill the dough before shaping, making it easier to handle.
  • Experiment with different toppings and flavors.
  • Store the rum balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy these delightful treats, and let them take you on a journey of pure indulgence!

Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls

Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls

Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls made with shredded coconut, fresh ginger, rum, sugar and lime zest.
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine African
Servings 24


  • 8 cups shredded coconut or finely grated fresh coconut
  • ¾ cup fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 ¼ cups organic sugar or superfine sugar
  • 1 zest lime


  • Preheat oven to 95°C / 200°F.
  • In an oven-proof dish, mix coconut, ginger, lime zest and rum. (you may want to use clean hands to mix ingredients well). Place dish on middle rack in oven.
  • In a large heavy pan over medium to low heat, melt sugar while occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon. When the sugar is completely melted, it should be brown, (not dark brown or light brown) add coconut rum mixture quickly and mix vigorously to incorporate all ingredients. Let the mixture cook about 1 minute while stirring. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a large bowl with water, next to the pan, moisten hands and form small balls. You may need to re-moist your hand if your hands become too sticky and make sure you remove any excess water. Place each ball on lined baking dish 1 cm – 2.5cm (0.5″ – 1″) apart. Store in refrigerator for a few hours, so the Rum Balls get slightly firmed. You may also serve them immediately if preferred.


Rum Balls or Coconut Rum Balls made with shredded coconut, fresh ginger, rum, sugar and lime zest.
Use a good quality rum such as Rum Barbancourt

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

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  1. 4 stars
    1.25 cups of sugar to 8 cups of cocomut was not nearly enough binding and to miz in the 8 cups before the sugar re-hardened was impossible – i ended up adding a can of condensed milk to make macaroons.

    1. The recipe from Dorinda Hafner – A Taste of Africa has always worked for me as in my home we try not to eat a lot of sugar. The addition of condensed milk probably made the rum balls easier to form. Let us know.

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