This simple recipe for vegan gingersnap rum balls is from Vegan Unplugged, a pantry cuisine cookbook and survival guide written by John Robertson. This emergency collection includes dozens of delicious recipes that can be prepared in minutes, even when the refrigerator is bare. It’s a treasure for those days when your resources are limited or your motivation to cook is waning. We originally shared his recipe about a decade ago, but this seemed like a good time for a big update, and to move it into our recipe section.
Vegan Gingersnap Rum Balls are Super Easy Unplugged Sweets
The following back story for this recipe was written by Jon and shared with us.
Desserts are the ultimate comfort food, in my estimation. They can be downright therapeutic, too, especially after a stressful day. As for myself, not having something sweet when I want it can actually be a source of stress.
I know what you’re thinking: since I’m married to Robin Robertson, surely my home must be filled with amazing desserts. But the terrible truth is my wife doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. So when I want an impromptu dessert, I often have to make it myself.
That’s why the easy dessert recipes in Vegan Unplugged allow even a kitchen klutz like me to make quick-and-yummy desserts with on-hand pantry ingredients. These vegan gingersnap rum balls are a good example, and I particularly enjoy them in the fall and winter. Developed for emergencies when the power goes out, you can make them anytime at all.
The best thing about this recipe, next to sneaking tastes of the rum, is that they require no cooking and keep well at room temperature. In fact, they benefit from sitting out at room temperature as the flavors get richer. You can make them without rum, too. For a non-alcoholic and child-friendly version, substitute apple juice for the rum.
Jon does include an alcohol-free option for the recipe, but if you still want to add some rum flavor, you can add a little rum extract, to taste.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Gingersnap Rum Balls
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 1 cup finely crushed vegan gingersnap crumbs (can sub gluten-free, if needed)
- ¼ cup finely crushed walnuts
- ½ cup plus ¼ cup powdered confectioners’ sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (can sub apple juice for alcohol-free)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- If the power’s on: Use a food processor to process the gingersnaps and walnuts until finely ground. Then add the ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, rum, and maple syrup and process until well mixed.
- If you’re unplugged: Combine the crushed cookie crumbs and walnuts in a bowl with ½ cup of the confectioners' sugar, rum, and maple syrup. Mix thoroughly until the mixture holds together.
- To assemble: Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the remaining ¼ cup of confectioners' sugar and arrange them on a plate.
- Cover the gingersnap rum balls with plastic film wrap and let them sit for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to develop. If using an alcohol-free version, it’s best to refrigerate them.