I love cake balls. They are tiny, little bits of cake heaven. And because they are small, you feel like you can eat a whole handfull without feeling guilty. (Dessert calories don’t count, right?) I was inspired to make these balls from one of my favorite blog sites, bakerella.com, for my friend Maggi’s birthday. In fact, I just bought her book so I can improve my technique and get my small issues with these balls resolved. (More on that later.)
Unfortunately, I had more issues making these than I thought. First of all, the kitchen I was using was not my own. Nor was the town familiar. I was in Walla Walla, where the weather is much hotter than the mild Portland, Oregon weather I was used to, which created some problems when coating the balls. (More on that in a bit.)
To make these treats, you need to bake a cake. You can bake it in 9-inch round pans or a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan. You can use any flavor of cake you like. You can also make the cake from scratch or use a store bought cake mix. For sake of time, I used a store bought vanilla cake mix.
Let the cake cool completely. Once it is cooled, crumble it up (my favorite part) and place in a large bowl.
Add about 3/4 jar of frosting. Only add a little bit at a time, mixing the frosting in. However, if you use the whole jar, you will end up with very wet cake balls, so it is best to incorporate the frosting a bit at a time. (You can also make the frosting from scratch, and do the same thing–mix a bit in at a time.) To achieve the correct consistency, the balls will hold together when gently squeezed in your hand.
Now, the fun part! You can make the balls as big or as small as you like. I made mine about the size of a golf ball. Place them next to each other on wax paper in any size baking dish. Put them in the fridge for about an hour or in the freezer for 15 or so minutes so they are good and cold. (It makes rolling them in the chocolate easier.)
This is my first time working with candy melts. They are really easy to use. Either microwave them or use a double boiler. I used both flavors to create contrast.
Once the candies/chocolates have melted, dip each ball in and place back on the wax paper to dry.
The problem I had today was the fact that the weather was so warm, the cake balls were softening up too soon. So, when I put the balls in the melted chocolate and coated them, some of the cake came off into the saucepan, creating a thick, gooey mess. As a result, my cake balls tasted great, but looked a little lumpy. It’s good that I bought Bakerella’s new Cake Pops book so I can figure out how to make them look fantastic! At least Maggi, the birthday girl, loved them. And I’d have to agree–they did taste fantastic.
P.S. After doing some research on cake balls, I realized that you need to work with a bit at a time. Put the remaining balls in the fridge to keep cold while you work with a select few. It would also be easier to transfer the chocolate to a deeper dish, so you can easily dip the chocolate. Store the cakes in an air-tight container at room temperature or in the fridge.