Bourbon balls are one of the easiest and most delicious no-bake treats you can make during the holiday season.

All you need is a food processor, some vanilla wafer cookies, nuts, your favorite Kentucky bourbon, and some pantry staples. A staple in any Kentucky Nana’s recipe arsenal. Making Kentucky Bourbon Balls puts everyone back in the kitchen with their Nana.

Remember, bourbon balls are no-bake. The alcohol is not cooked off and should be reserved for adults only.


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons sorghum syrup, cane syrup, molasses or honey
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces vanilla wafer cookies (about 60 wafers)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Whisk together the bourbon and sorghum syrup in a small bowl until well combined.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together 1 cup of the powdered sugar with the cocoa powder, cayenne, cinnamon, mace and salt.

  3. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the bourbon mixture into the dry mixture until smooth, glossy paste forms.

  4. In a food processor, pulse the vanilla wafers into fine crumbs, about 10 (5-second) pulses.

  5. Add the wafer crumbs and pecans to the bourbon mixture and stir until consistently doughy and workable, about 2 minutes.

  6. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar in a shallow bowl or a plate. Roll each ball in the powdered sugar, then place it on a sheet of waxed paper.

  7. Store in the refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid, with a sheet of waxed paper between layers, for up to 4 days.

The balls can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to three months. 

Click here to sign up for The Bourbon Flight Newsletter.
Click here to join The Flight Club.
The Bourbon Flight Staff | + posts