Kentucky Bourbon Balls

Kentucky bourbon balls

The Spruce


  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Chill Time: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 36 servings

These classic Kentucky bourbon balls are the easy, no-bake treat everyone asks for around the holidays. This is a basic recipe for bourbon balls. The bourbon balls can be rolled in powdered sugar, granulated sugar, or finely chopped pecans. You don't have to wait for a holiday to enjoy these delicious little treats.

These yummy little confections are made with bourbon, vanilla wafer crumbs, and cocoa, along with pecans and confectioners' sugar. So easy and so good!

Feel free to cut the confectioners' sugar back to about 3/4 cup and add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder if you like them less sweet.


  • 1 cup fine vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Thoroughly combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, chopped pecans, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and the cocoa powder.

    Kentucky bourbon ball flour mix.
     The Spruce
  3. In a separate bowl, blend the bourbon and corn syrup.

    Bourbon and corn syrup.
    The Spruce 
  4. Stir the bourbon mixture into the dry mixture; blend well.

    Kentucky Bourbon Balls
     The Spruce
  5. Cover and chill for at least a few hours.

    Kentucky bourbon ball mixture.
     The Spruce
  6. Sift about 1/2 to 1 cup of confectioners' sugar into a wide, shallow bowl.

    Confectioner's sugar
     The Spruce
  7. Shape small bits of the dough into balls and roll them in the confectioners' sugar.

    Shaping Kentucky bourbon balls.
     The Spruce
  8. Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator in tightly covered containers for up to 2 weeks.

    Kentucky Bourbon Balls
     The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!


  • Make these a few days in advance for best flavor, and roll in confectioners' sugar again before serving, if desired. 
  • The bourbon balls can also be frozen for longer storage.
  • Makes about 3 dozen delectable bourbon balls.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the bourbon with a good quality rum to make delicious rum balls.
  • Make the bourbon balls with toasted pecans for a nuttier flavor. Spread pecan halves out in a dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the pecans are lightly browned and smell toasty, remove them to a plate to cool completely. Chop them finely and use in the recipe.