Malibu Snowballs (Coconut Rum Balls)

These all started after I saw the pictures of Christmas baking, from my amazing cousin back in Canada. One picture which stood out (as truthfully, there were many) was of rum balls. Now, this is a typical Canadian item found at Christmas time. And if you are not all that familiar with it, and not a big fan of rum, then you just might not get it. But, living here in the UK for as long as I have, I have found things from my childhood have become considerably appealing. Even the stuff I would have bypassed in my youth. Although, it could also be that my tastes have grown and I now genuinely like them on their own, not just for the nostalgia they provide!

So, picture seen and prompt begging to cousin begins, it’s her mother’s recipe! Thankfully the lovely cousin obliges and I then begin my convert recipe to UK ingredients (Queue panic stations!). Year 1 – make half the recipe. Partly out of concern that I might be the only one eating them. Also due to limited access to some key ingredients!

Year 2 – Make the full recipe, knowing the half batch from last year didn’t last very long and they were great to whip out for guests who pop in. And they seem to get better with age!! Part way though the season… As I examine my ingredients stock… Start wondering what they would taste like with Malibu (coconut rum), then begin mentally adjusting ingredients to accommodate the new taste.

Year 3 – set out to attempt modified version. Intimidated by the potential ruin of a significant portion of my holiday food budget.. I allocate 1/3 of the recipe to my new version and make 2/3 of the original recipe. Taste testing result – husband suggests I make only Malibu snowballs from now on. We are onto a winner!!

Year 4 – we forgo the usual recipe and only make Malibu snowballs. Originally rum balls were sacrificed as I am the only one who eats them – my husband isn’t really into rum. Coconut rum doesn’t count as rum apparently!

This year, we will be making both version. Thankfully I have taken it upon myself to invite some serious foodie types over for pre-Christmas gluwëin and nibbles. (Invites are still forthcoming!!)

So, I share with you this recipe, adapted for the UK and notes for those of you in Canada or the US. Don’t worry that it is just the beginning of November… They take two weeks to mature and develop their flavours, they also store in the freezer really well!


  • 1 cup (215g) White Chocolate , melted (dairy free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup Marzipan (Almond Paste)
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream (or Coconut Yoghurt if you are going dairy free)
  • 4 cups Sponge Fingers, crushed (Christie Vanilla Wafers)
  • 1 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3/4 cup Butter, melted (or dairy-free spread)
  • 3/4 cup Malibu Rum
  • 1 cup Macadamia Nuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Essence (if available)
  • Shredded Coconut – for rolling the balls in. (roughly 2 cups)

Combine the melted chocolate, marzipan, sour cream and salt. Blend until smooth and well mixed.

In another bowl, combine the crushed sponge fingers, icing sugar, melted butter, rum and macadamia nuts. Stir through to ensure the rum has mixed through all the ingredients, then mix into the melted chocolate mixture. refrigerate the mix until it is firm. This could take a couple of hours, if you leave this longer (which I often do) remove the bowl for about 15 minutes before the next steps, to soften the mix enough to hold the coconut, but still hold its shape.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll it between your hands to form a nice ball shape. Then roll the ball in the shredded coconut (I find it best to have a shallow bowl to put the coconut for rolling). The mixture should be firm enough to keeps its shape but soft enough for the coconut to adhere to the outside.

Place finished balls in a tin lined with parchment paper, or a airtight container if you are going to be freezing them. They will take a couple of weeks to mature and develop their flavour. When you are ready to serve, remove them from the fridge for a few minutes to allow them to warm and reach their best flavor.


You can substitute the shredded coconut for white chocolate sprinkles (or any other type of sprinkles for that matter) or even icing sugar if you prefer.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. erin says:

    Haha! Boy, those look good! 😉
    I’m doing half and half this year for my cookie exchange. It’s nice to have a proper recipe for the snowballs now 😆


    1. Well, I cannot thank you enough for the inspiration dear cousin!! Maybe pistachio next?!?!


      1. erin says:

        Oooooh pistachio would be amazing!!!
        Hey quick question: have you ever used unrefined coconut oil in place of the butter?


      2. I have for other baking. I am sure you could use it here. Sometimes I refrigerate it if I need to keep it firm.


  2. Yum! These are definitely going on my To Do list! I looked up sponge fingers and they are ladyfingers here in the US 🙂


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