No Bake Baileys Irish Cream Cookie Balls

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So after a short break, I’m back with more Baileys treats! St. Patrick’s Day needs to get here fast before I overload on Baileys. Today it’s in the form of cookie balls.

Baileys Cookie Balls - no bake, easy to make and so delicious! Great for St Patricks Day!

No Bake Baileys Irish Cream Cookie Balls

Cookie balls? Yes, cookie balls. No cake here. And not because I don’t love cake. I LOVE cake. But these are even easier because there’s no baking involved. That’s right. You don’t even have to turn on your oven. And yet when you bite into these delightful little balls of joy, you’d never know there was no cake involved. And they are best if you make them and then let them sit overnight. The cookies really absorb all the flavor and then it all just melts in your mouth. A serious Baileys flavor explosion. Awesome! Now let’s get started.Baileys Cookie Balls - no bake, easy to make and so delicious! Great for holidays!

How to Make this Easy Cookie Ball Recipe

The main ingredient here is vanilla wafer cookies. These babies are useful for so many things and I love them for that. I used my food processor to crush them up. You need 3 cups, which was about 1 full box of vanilla wafers. Add in the powdered sugar and mix well. Then add the corn syrup and Baileys and mix it all together. It may seem kind of crumbly, but as you mush it together to form a ball it does hold it’s shape very well. My coworkers were surprised when I told them I’d used vanilla wafers to make them because not only could they not tell from the taste or texture, but they were surprised it all held together so well – but it does! Next, roll the cookie mixture into balls. I used about 2 heaping tablespoons worth of the cookie mixture in each ball.

Baileys Cookie Balls - no bake, easy to make and so delicious! Great for holidays!Baileys Cookie Balls - no bake, easy to make and so delicious! Great for St Patricks Day!

When you are done rolling the balls, get your chocolate candy melts ready for dipping. (In case you are wondering, you can use other types of candy coating products, but I don’t recommend regular chocolate chips) I melt my chocolate in the microwave in small increments of about 15 – 45 seconds. I usually start off with 45 second or so increments to get the candy melts going, but once it starts getting melty, I taper off to less time so as not to burn the melted chocolate. Once your chocolate is ready, dip away!

Baileys Cookie Balls - no bake, easy to make and so delicious! Great for St Patricks Day!
Baileys Cookie Balls - no bake, easy to make and so delicious! Great for St Patricks Day!

Allow the balls to dry and again I recommend letting them sit overnight so that the vanilla wafers soak up all the moisture and flavor of the Baileys. They will still be delicious if you eat them right away, but the cookie crumbs will be more distinct rather than fully incorporated and melt in your mouth awesome. Know what I mean?

NOTE (Updated 12/22/14): Many people had trouble with these cookie balls turning out, so I did some experimenting. I have reduced the amount of Baileys in the recipe and updated the recipe accordingly.


Read transcript
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Easy No Bake Baileys Cookie Balls
Recipe

No Bake Baileys Irish Cream Cookie Balls

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20-24 Cookie Balls 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These easy Baileys Irish Cream Cookie Balls are a delicious no bake dessert idea! Made with vanilla wafers, Baileys and chocolate, they melt in your mouth.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
  • 12 oz bag chocolate chips or candy melts

Instructions

1. Combine vanilla wafer crumbs and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add corn syrup and irish cream and mix well. Mixture will be crumbly.
3. Make balls of about 1 tablespoon each of the vanilla wafer mixture. Shape balls with your fingertips and set aside. Dough might become sticky – you can dust your fingertips with powdered sugar to help with the stickiness.
4. Melt candy melts in a bowl in the microwave using short time increments of about 15-45 seconds (more explanation on how I do that above).
5. Dip each ball into the chocolate (you can rest the balls on a fork, or use a toothpick) and set on a piece of parchment paper to dry.

Notes

The cookie balls are best after sitting overnight so that the vanilla wafers soak up all the moisture and flavor of the Baileys.

Keywords: no bake desserts, cookie balls recipe, baileys dessert, baileys cookies, easy no bake dessert

Modified from Fabulous Foods.

Enjoy!

Baileys Cookie Balls - no bake, easy to make and so delicious! Great for St Patricks Day!

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Recipe rating

91 Comments
  1. Debby

    Not cookie related, although, I do make quite a few of your recipes. My question, what color are your cabinets? Love the look.

  2. Sean aaron Walters

    I used your recipe but substitution regularly Baileys with tbe chocolate cherry Baileys. They were great, thanks!!

  3. Kenn

    Well I have made these twice in the past month…and have had no issues…I did not use a food processor but used a freezer bag and a rolling pin to crush the cookies and turn them into crumbs…these are delicious….I used the chocolate cherry Bailey’s
    For those having issues with the cookies going flat…I wouldn’t add all the liquid at one time…I would hold some in reserve…mix the karo and Bailey’s together first before adding to the crumbs…also I used domno powder sugar…which does not contain cornstarch…some other powder sugars do contain cornstarch

    One other note…I make these a bit smaller and get about 28 to 30 cookies…for me that is a perfect size and I think the smaller size helps the cookies to maintain it’s roundness

  4. Heather

    Hi! Do you think I could just crush the Nilla wafers with a rolling pin or do you think I’d have to use a food processor? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I’d suggest the food processor. You want nice crumbs that will hold together well. A rolling pin will likely give you larger chunks of cookie.

    1. Mary Ellen Ditrinco

      Brenda, did you try freezing them? I’d like to make 10 dozen or so for the holidays, so I would need to freeze them for sure.

  5. Kristen Brolinski

    Just made these this weekend – twice actually! First for 18 women in my BUNCO group RAVE REVIEWS! Second for my camping Halloween weekend (I put neon green spiders on them!) for 60 men and women – again, LOVED THEM! Asked over and over for the recipe and was once even accused that I didn’t really make them (Betty Crocker I’m not!). I added the 1/3rd cup of Bailey’s, however I make my own, and wish they were a little stronger. As you changed the recipe a bit, I wonder if I can add more Bailey’s or if I should make my Bailey’s stronger to begin with. I had absolutely NO PROBLEM with the consistency or them rolling fine. And didn’t particularly stick to my hands either. Thanks so much for this “keeper”!

    1. Lindsay

      I would just experiment with it a bit. You could try adding an additional teaspoon or so at a time, then roll a ball and see how it does.

  6. KatherineW

    Secret to making chocolate bars/chips into dipping chocolate is addition of paraffin. The correct ratio is 1 oz paraffin (1/4 bar) to 6 oz chocolate. Thr other option is using Crisco or coconut oil instead of paraffin (coating will not be as firm) – using slightly less 2 Tablespoons per 6oz chocolate.

    The trick is to heat the flow agent (paraffin, Crisco, coconut oil) first and then stir in chips or broken up chocolate bars.

    Note to anyone getting too moist of dough: the addition of rice flour, instant potato flakes or corn starch (ingredient in powder sugar besides the sugar) will firm up dough. Add in small qualities, giving 5 minutes for moist to absorb) potatoe flakes in my opinion not only firmed up the dough but improved the recipe – less cakey, more creamy.

    Some tried and liked non-alcoholic versions:
    1/4 cup orange juice + 1.5 tablespoons almond extract
    1/3 carmel syrup (sticky, potatoe flakes needed) + 1/4 cup fine chopped walnuts
    1/3 canned pumpkin + 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice

    1. Lindsay

      I would think they’d be ok. I actually think these get better after they sit for at least 24 hours anyway. 🙂

  7. Lorraine Morrow

    I made these for Saint Patrick’s Day, delicious!!!!My friend’s also loved them. I did n’t have a problem making these. I followed the recipe and all went well. Will make again. Thank You !!!!Lorraine

      1. Gina

        I just wish it was more clear that Nilla wafers were different from the sugar vanilla wafers. Since the recipe mentioned vanilla wafers, I ended up using the sugar ones and it turned out to be overly sweet 🙁

      2. Lindsay

        Oh gosh, I’m sorry. I hadn’t even really thought about that cookie confusion. Those definitely would create a very different textured cookie ball. I hope you get a chance to try them with the correct Cookie because they really are good.

      3. Lindsay

        I actually just looked at the recipe more closely and saw that I already linked to the correct cookies. But still, I’m sorry for the confusion.

  8. Susan

    Well, I just made these little gems, and it is a humid day and I think that contributes to how they turn out. I made them in my food processor, grinding the Nilla wafers in it, then adding all the other ingredients in it. It all came together well. I used a small ice cream type scoop to for m them into balls, then used my hands using powdered sugar as suggested and it worked. The only problem I had was dipping in chocolate, that was a mess and I think it was the humidity. Mine are not pretty like the picture so they are in the fridge for now hardening. All in all I would say this recipe worked for me but I let the processor do the work. It is very similar as some others said to a rum ball recipe of old.

    1. Susan

      After going back and reading the preface to the recipe, I see that even though the recipe calls for chocolate chips OR chocolate melts, the preface recommends not using chocolate chips. I used chocolate chips and didn’t have good luck so maybe it wasn’t the humidity, don’t know why that would be in the recipe if it is not recommended. If I make these again ( the jury is still out) I will use the melts.

  9. Sara

    Looking forward to making these for a fundraiser tomorrow! I have two questions for you, before I make them tonight:
    (1) May I ask why you recommend against chocolate chips, in favor of melts? Hoping to spare myself an extra trip to the store.
    (2) Have you by any chance made with a non-alcoholic substitute for the Bailey’s? I’d like to make two batches, one for the kids and one for the adults.

    1. Lindsay

      I think at the time I just preferred the chocolate chips. They do give you a softer chocolate coating. But the candy melts are totally fine and can be easier to work with. If you have those, definitely go with those. I haven’t made a non-alcoholic version, but one option is to get the Baileys flavored coffee creamer and use that in place of the alcohol.

  10. Bakerlover

    Hi Lindsay, I might have a silly question for you. I love to try the recipe but I also would like to give it to my kids. Is this something I can give my kids since there is alcohol involved?

  11. Osnat

    Hi. Thanks for the yummy recipe.
    In my county we don’t have corn syrup. Can you suggest substitute for that?
    Can I mix sugar with water?

  12. Daria

    These turned into a messy pile of goo that were not workable, even after letting them chill. I will not be coming back to you for recipes again and I wish I had read all of the negative feedback on these ones before wasting my time.

  13. Lee

    TOO MUCH BAILEYS! should be no more than a half a cup, plus one half cup pecans or walnuts. Refrigerate before rolling. Wish I would have used my regular rum ball recipe and just substituted the baileys.

  14. Ashley

    So mine did not turn out to look like this at all. I used light corn syrup though. Could that have messed it up?

  15. diane

    When I was young my mom would make rum balls. When I started making these for Christmas myself I changed the recipe and used Bailey’s. You should try the caramel Bailey’s too! It was just like the recipe you have here. I don’t dip mine in chocolate. I just roll the cookies in chopped nuts and then press half a maraschino cherry in the center. I have also used Kahlua in the chocolate flavored cookies. If my dough is too sticky I add more vanilla wafers and refrigerate the dough overnight before rolling into balls. Of course now I use my small cookie scoop. It’s a time saver!

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  17. lou

    The same sticky mess happened to me too. At first I thought it was from not mixing the ingredients well enough because it seemed like 1/3 cup was wayyyyy too much corn syrup. I used the round disks of vanilla wafers and not the wavy sandwich bars. I have flat gewie cookie shaped treats that don’t look appetizing at all 🙁 since I couldn’t form them into balls, I couldn’t dip them into chocolate so I just drizzled the melted chocolate on top. I’ll try again

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I’m sorry about that Lou. I’ve been meaning to go back and adjust the recipe based on the trouble people have had with it, but haven’t had a chance.

      1. lou

        Thanks for the reply! I ended up using the gewy bit as filling between the vanilla wafer cookies and made sandwiches. i even dipped some of the top cookies in white chocolate. The best part was that I added a milk chocolate/Bailey’s drizzle mix on top then sprinkles. Everyone loved them and enjoyed the slight Bailey’s after taste and not too sweet treat.

      2. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

        Oh my gosh, they sound great! I’m glad you were still able to use them!

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  19. John

    I may be out in left field, but I’ve been baking for nearly 50 years and I would suggest setting aside enough to make 3 or 4 balls and adding 1/2 Nilla Waffer at a time (obviously crumbled) to stiffen your batter. If you think back to when you were a kid and made your first pancakes from scratch, the batter was either too thick or too thin. The principal is the same. Too wet to form into a ball, add more crumbs to it. Careful to make note of how much extra you have to add, so you can adjust your recipe in the future. Overall this sounds like a great non bake way to start the day! Thanks for letting an old man express his thoughts.

    John P.

  20. Zahran

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this
    site before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

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  24. Patricia

    Hi…I tried making these no bake bailey’s irish cream cookie balls today & it was a disaster. I followed the directions to the T too. I can’t figure out what happened…I too used my food processor to crush up the wafers…when I “mushed” everything together I couldn’t form a ball and it didn’t hold it’s shape…Everything was very sticky…when I tried to shape into balls…they got flat…I even put them in the freezer to harden up before dipping into chocolate…that didn’t help….I ended up throwing the whole batch out…what a waste of the Irish Cream….I so wanted this to work out.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I’m so sorry that happened Patricia! If you decide to try them again and they still aren’t holding their shape, try adding a little more liquid. If they seen too sticky and you don’t want to add more corn syrup or Baileys, you could try a little milk or melted butter. Again, I’m sorry about that – I hate that they didn’t work out for you – they really are tasty if you want to give them another try!

      1. Patricia

        Hi….Thank you for responding to me…but I was wondering how more liquid can make it better?
        When they were so sticky, I couldn’t even handle them. I ground the vanilla wafers real fine in my processor…would that have made a difference? Would adding more powdered sugar help? Please let me know. Thanks. Patricia

      2. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

        It sounded as though they weren’t holding together, so I thought maybe more moisture would help. It really is hard to say without being able to see and feel it. I don’t remember them being sticky. If the problem you’re having is that they are too sticky to form balls because it’s sticking to your hands, adding powdered sugar could help. You could also try putting powdered sugar on your hands to keep it from sticking to you. I’m sorry you had that problem. 🙁

      3. Jennifer

        What kind of corn syrup works best for this recipe…light or dark? I’m about to try this and I’m not sure which to use! THANK YOU! 🙂

    2. Liz

      Hello. I think Patricia may have made the same mistake that I did. I just finished mixing all my ingredients…and the balls just weren’t holding together. So I started reading through the comments to see if anyone else had this problem. Then I discovered it…you used Nilla Wafers. And I used sugar wafers. It’s my own fault, but when I read vanilla wafers, I pictured the sugar wafer sandwiches we all ate as kids. Ya know, they have a waffle look to it? Anyways, they don’t work…and I have a feeling the balls would be TOO sweet even if it did. So now I’m off to the grocery store to get some Nilla wafers! We have a St. Patrick’s Day bridal shower for my cousin this weekend and my mom is looking forward to this recipe!

      1. Liz

        OK – I’m back again. Unfortunately, I’m still with Patricia. I got the correct Nilla Wafers and the recipe still isn’t working for me. The only thing I can think is that it’s too much liquid, too. Maybe the corn syrup? I am trying to double the recipe. Not sure if that’s the problem. I’m using light corn syrup. Is there another kind?

        It’s a great looking recipe! I just wish I could figure it out!

      2. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

        Hi Liz! Thanks for letting me know that you’re having trouble. I cam home after work to try and make them again to see if I can recreate the problem. For me, they are very moist. Not having an issue holding together at all. Are you having trouble getting them into balls, or with them staying together when dipping them in the chocolate?

      3. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

        Also Liz, as the mixture sat for about 15 minutes, it really firmed up a lot for me which made the balls even easier to make. Did that not happen for you? I’m really trying to figure this out. I’d like to be able to update the instructions so that people don’t keep having trouble. So thank you for your responses. And I’m sorry for all the trouble you’ve had with it.

    3. megan

      I had the same problem that Patricia had. 🙁 I ended up with a bowl full of sticky mess that would not form balls. I even tried adding more powder sugar and freezing them…. I currently have what looks like very flat cookies in my freezer. I keep hopping for a way to save them. I was so excited about these! 🙁

      1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

        I’m sorry to hear that Megan! After a few comments about having trouble, I tried making them again myself last night and while the mixture was certainly moist and sticky, after sitting for about 15 minutes, it really firmed up and was quite easy to shape into balls. I hope you were able to use them. I’ll be updated the recipe soon to make the instructions more clear.

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  26. Robin L Smith

    I’ve been making these for a while using my rum ball recipe, also different alcohols . Dipping in chocolate is a new thought, I usually roll in a coco powder and 10x

  27. SarahE

    I was wondering, do you dip then , then let them sit overnight? Or make the balls, let them sit overnight, then dip them?

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Dip them, then let them sit overnight. The chocolate coating holds in the moisture and the flavors really soak into the cookie crumbs.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I haven’t tried it, but it shouldn’t mess anything up. The taste of Baileys may not be as strong though. Also, you might want to refrigerate the balls, since they’ll have the creamer in them.

  28. Heather

    I’m in the UK and wanted to know what vanilla wafer cookies are? I’ve googled and found the wafer sandwiched fingers which we have here in the UK and also little circular biscuits which we don’t have here like Nilla wafers.

    1. Life, Love and Sugar

      The vanilla wafer cookies I used were Nilla Wafers. I’m not sure what you have available there to suggest the best substitute, but I’d think graham crackers would work. The flavor might be a little different since Nilla Wafers have more of a vanilla flavor to them, but the texture should be similar.

      1. Anne

        I was just going to ask if they were the “Nilla Wafers” or some other sort of vanilla wafer.

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  30. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    Lindsay these are adorable!! And sometimes no-bake is just what I need when a hectic week hits me. 😀 YUM.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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