Bourbon Balls Recipe

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Bourbon Balls are a delicious boozy dessert for all adults to enjoy. These no bake treats are the first thing to go at Holiday parties and also make wonderful gifts.

Borbon balls on a baking sheet decorated for Christmas.

Jim Beam Bourbon Balls

As you likely guessed, Jim Beam is my favorite bourbon for this recipe. It gives the whiskey balls an old-fashioned flavor that I love. It pairs so well with the rich cocoa and the toasted pecans. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I highly recommend making these bourbon balls the next time you have an adult-only gathering.

These bourbon balls are also fantastic for a holiday party! Whether you wrap them in a cute festive bag with ribbon and give them as gifts or dress them up in powdered sugar to serve to guests, I guarantee these will be a hit. I love to roll them in holiday sprinkles for Christmas!

Can Kids Eat These Bourbon Balls?

If you are looking for a tasty treat for the kiddos, don’t worry! Even though there is minimal alcohol in this recipe, I recommend that they skip these bourbon balls. Instead, you can try these Peppermint Oreo Balls. They are chocolatey and safe for little ones to enjoy.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

There are only 6 ingredients needed to make these bourbon balls. Then, you can use your favorite sprinkles or powdered sugar to decorate these for the perfect boozy holiday treat. 

  • Vanilla Wafers: Crush into coarse crumbs.
  • Powdered Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Toasted Pecans: These can be purchased toasted from your local grocery store.
  • Bourbon: Jim Beam bourbon works best, but you can use your favorite variety instead.
  • Cocoa Powder: I use unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Corn Syrup: This recipe calls for light corn syrup, but you can use dark corn syrup if you prefer.
  • Powdered Sugar/Chocolate Jimmies/Holiday Sprinkles

Other Things You Will Need

  • Medium bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Mini cookie scoop
  • Baking pan
Ingredients measured out to make bourbon balls.

How to Make Bourbon Balls

This is a very easy recipe to make! There is no baking involved and minimal refrigeration. You can make these bourbon balls ahead of time for a party or same day to enjoy.

  • Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and setting it aside.
  • Combine crushed vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, pecans, bourbon, cocoa powder, and corn syrup in a large mixing bowl. 
  • Mix with an electric mixer until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Scoop out the mixture and roll into 1 – ½ inch balls.
  • Roll the bourbon balls in additional powdered sugar, chocolate jimmies, or holiday sprinkles.
  • Set the balls on the parchment-lined tray and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
  • Once set, enjoy chilled!
Borbon balls on a baking sheet decorated for Christmas.

Tips and Tricks

  • Decorate these bourbon balls however you choose. Roll them in additional chopped pecans or dip them in melted chocolate to make them even more decadent.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 
  • Swap the alcohol for your flavor preference. Use a different brand of bourbon, perhaps Woodford Reserve or Maker’s Mark. Or switch it completely and try rum, or whatever you want!
  • Try this bourbon ball recipe with chopped walnuts or almonds instead of pecans.
  • I do not recommend freezing extra bourbon balls. They do not freeze well because of the alcohol content and will have an undesirable texture when defrosted.
A hand holding a bourbon ball with a bite out of it.

Can I Get Drunk from Kentucky Bourbon Balls?

When you are making these bourbon bars, it uses a 1/4 cup of bourbon which is about 1 and 1/3 shots. This is split between the 24 balls. Since there is no cooling involved, the alcohol is not getting cooked out of the balls. There is only a small amount of alcohol in each ball but it is in there.

More Boozy Treat Recipes

Bourbon Balls feature
5 from 2 votes

Bourbon Balls

Bourbon Balls are a delicious boozy dessert for all adults to enjoy. These no bake treats are the first thing to go at Holiday parties and also make wonderful gifts.
Servings: 24 Balls
Prep: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes



  • Line a tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the crushed vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, chopped pecans, bourbon, cocoa powder and corn syrup.
  • Using an electric mixer combine everything.
  • Roll the mixture into 1 to 1-½ inch balls.
  • Roll the balls in either powdered sugar, chocolate jimmies or holiday sprinkles and set on the parchment lined tray.
  • Chill for 1 hour to set.
  • Serve!

Last Step:

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Store leftovers in airtight container in fridge for up to 2 weeks. 
  • You can use other crushed nuts if you prefer. 
  • Roll the balls in crushed nuts or even dip them in chocolate if you prefer. 
  • You can switch out the bourbon for rum or your favorite alcohol. 


Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 0.05mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg


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1 thought on “Bourbon Balls Recipe”

  1. Jackie DeBlanc

    I think this needed more cookie crumbs. It was very wet and sticky and very boozy tasting. Added another cup and a half of the vanilla wafer crumbs and was much better consistency. I got 42 balls and they tasted much smoother.