No Bake Desserts

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

at a glance
Prep Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 5 hours
Servings 36 balls
5 from 1 vote

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These bourbon balls are equal parts fudgy, creamy, and so delicious!

Best Bourbon Balls Recipe

Made with heavy cream, chocolate, bourbon (just a little bit!), and vanilla, then rolled in crushed pecans, these truffles are decadent, creamy, and an incredible addition to your next gathering.

While these bourbon balls are fantastic for ANY time of year, they’re especially perfect for holiday celebrations and cookie boxes (hand delivered, not shipped). They’re the perfect decadent treat to snuggle beside an assortment of cookies and other yummy holiday goodies. 

Who invented bourbon balls?

Good question! Ruth Hanly Booe, cofounder of a Kentucky chocolate company called Rebecca Ruth Candy, created bourbon balls in 1938. They’ve been a holiday hit ever since!

Bourbon Ball Recipe Ingredients

Bourbon ball ingredients on a grey and white marble surface.
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 16 ounces of chocolate
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of bourbon
  • 3 cups of crushed pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

What can I substitute for bourbon in bourbon balls?

These truffles are very mild in bourbon flavor, but if you want to skip the bourbon, feel free to use an equal amount of water in its place. The key here is really just to get a little bit of extra moisture in the truffle mixture.

How To Make Bourbon Balls

Hand adding shaved chocolate into a white sauce pan with heavy cream from a wooden cutting board.
Black spatula stirring chocolate into heavy cream.
Black spatula in chocolate ganache in a white saucepan.
Cookie scoop scooping chocolate ganache out of a bowl.
Hand rolling bourbon ball in a bowl of pecans.
Parchment lined sheet pan with rows of bourbon pecan truffle balls.
  1. Heat the heavy cream – add the heavy cream to a small to medium saucepan and heat until it simmers.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients – add the crushed chocolate, bourbon, sea salt, and vanilla to the pan with the heavy cream, and whisk everything together. The heat from the cream should melt the chocolate, but feel free to put it back on the stove if it needs more heat to melt.
  3. Chill – transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours to allow the mixture to set and cool.
  4. Scoop and roll – use a #40 cookie scoop to scoop some of the mixture and then roll into balls. Roll each truffle ball in the crushed pecans.
  5. Refrigerate – refrigerate the bourbon balls for at least 2 hours to set.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Bourbon Ball Toppings

This recipe calls for rolling your bourbon balls in crushed pecans, but if you want to try a different topping, feel free! Here are a few fun options:

  • Crushed walnuts
  • Cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Crushed toffee
  • Sprinkles
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cinnamon sugar
Black plate of bourbon balls on a blue surface with one bourbon ball with bite taken out of it in the middle.
Q Can you get drunk on bourbon balls?
A

There’s only 2 tablespoons of bourbon in a whole batch of bourbon balls, so the likelihood of getting drunk off of these creamy truffles is pretty low!

Q Does the alcohol cook out of bourbon balls?
A

It doesn’t. The bourbon isn’t on the heat for nearly long enough for it to cook off, but because there’s only 2 tablespoons in the whole batch, I wouldn’t worry too much about consuming an excessive amount of alcohol from these.

Q Can you ship bourbon balls?
A

Because of their soft, creamy nature, bourbon balls aren’t the most ideal sweet treat to ship. There’s a good chance that they’d arrive to the recipient melted and messy. If you’re looking for a good treat to ship, check out our Rolo pretzel candies, cookies, and graham cracker chocolate bark.

Storing Chocolate Bourbon Balls

Do bourbon balls need to be refrigerated?

Yes! We recommend storing your bourbon balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

How long do bourbon balls last?

Stored in the refrigerator, your bourbon balls will last for 1-2 weeks. Stored in the freezer, they’ll last for a month or more!

overhead shot of a grey ceramic plate of ginger molasses cookies on a wooden cutting board with a cup of coffee and a grey towel alongside

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Bourbon Balls

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 25 mins
Chill Time 5 hrs
Servings: 36 balls
These bourbon balls are equal parts fudgy, creamy, and so delicious!

Ingredients  

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 16 ounces chocolate chopped
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3 cups crushed pecans

Instructions

  • Add the heavy cream to a small to medium saucepan and heat until it simmers.
  • Add the crushed chocolate, bourbon, sea salt, and vanilla to the pan with the heavy cream, and whisk everything together. The heat from the cream should melt the chocolate, but feel free to put it back on the stove if it needs more heat to melt.
  • Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  • Use a #40 cookie scoop to scoop some of the mixture and then roll into balls. Roll each truffle ball in the crushed pecans.
  • Refrigerate the bourbon balls for at least 2 hours to set.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Coating Variations:
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Crushed toffee
  • Sprinkles
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cinnamon sugar
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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    Recipe Rating




  1. Elizabeth says

    Elizabeth —  09/16/2022 At 05:34

    Step 3… Chill for how long? Looks like a blank needs to be filled in. Just till cooled? Till firm? 1 hour?
    Looks like a great recipe. Hubby loves bourbon and these would be a treat!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  09/19/2022 At 19:40

      Oh gosh, so sorry about that, Elizabeth! Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The chocolate mixture should chill for 3-4 hours, or until cooled. We have updated the recipe card. Hope you enjoy! -Team FF

  2. Kris says

    Kris —  09/16/2022 At 07:00

    What type of chocolate? Unsweetened? 70%? 55%? something else?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  09/19/2022 At 19:42

      Hi Kris! We used a 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate. -Team FF

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