Cake balls have become one of my favorite desserts to make. I don’t make them all fancy and wonderful like Bakerella does, (she’s amazing!); mine are just plain and simple. And I’ve learned a lot in the two years that I’ve been making them. In this post I’ll tell you some tips I’ve learned along the way through trial and error. This post isn’t a tutorial, but if you’d like one, check out these posts here and here I made over a year ago and this past July, respectively. Just please be kind to me and naivety. As I said, I’ve learned A LOT.
So here are my top-10 things to do/not do when making cake balls. (And they are in no particular order.)
1. To melt candy melts, or chocolate, (which I’ve done before too), do not use a double boiler to melt the cancy coating. Or, if you do, make sure it’s still not on the burner and the stove top isn’t on. You’ll melt the cake balls, which will make it very difficult to coat, since most of it will end up being clumps in the candy melts.
2. Don’t use too much frosting. Start with 1/2 of the can and then work up to 3/4 of the can if need be. It’s a lot easier adding more than taking it away. (To see if you have just the right amount of frosting, make sure there are no traces of frosting in the cake. Then grab some cake in your hand and gently squeeze. If the shape holds, then you have just the right amount.)
3. Watch the microwave. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned the candy melts!
4. Shortening is your best friend when the melts are too thick. Put in 1 tablespoon at a time and fully mix it in to thin it out. The candy melts should be the consistency of heavy cream.
5. Take your time. This can be said for everything, but it’s important to not be rushed or distracted.
6. Let the cake balls get really cold. I usually make the balls in the morning and coat them later in the day. If they’re not cold enough then they will fall apart when you melt them. And then there are small cake clumps in your melts. No bueno.
7. Place finished cake balls in fridge when done, especially if you have a cream cheese frosting.
8. If, after you coat the balls, they crack, recoat. It just means you rolled them too tight.
9. Work in small batches. I pull out 5-6 balls at a time to work with. This allows the balls to stay cold in the fridge and not get to room temperature while you work with the other balls. If they’re too warm, they won’t stay on the stick and/or crumble in the melts.
10. Have all the supplies ready. It’ll ease frustration and make for a smoother, more enjoyable ride.
I hope these tips help. And by all means, if you have one that works for you that I didn’t state, please share it in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you! Enjoy! xoxo
Christmas Cake Balls
1 boxed cake mix, any flavor
1 can frosting, any flavor (make it match with the cake)
1 bag red candy melts
1 bag white candy melts
Shortening (such as Crisco)
Bake cake according to box directions in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Let the cake cool completely. Once it is cooled, place the cake into a large bowl and crumble it using a straight spatula.
Start by adding about ½ of the jar of frosting to the crumbled up cake. Only add a little bit at a time, mixing the frosting in. You want to make sure there are no traces of frosting. To achieve the correct consistency, the balls will hold together when gently squeezed in your hand.
You can make the balls as big or as small as you like. (I made mine about the size of small golf balls.) Place them next to each other on a cookie sheet with wax paper over it. Once you have rolled out all the balls, put them in the fridge for at least an hour or in the freezer for 15 or so minutes so they are good and cold. (It makes rolling them in the candy melts easier.)
To melt the candy melts, follow the instructions on the package. If the melts are too thick, use 1 tablespoon at a time of shortening to thin it out. It should be the consistency of heavy cream. (Mix the shortening into the candy melt until the shortening has melted.) Use one color at a time. Working with a few cake balls at a time, dip the lollipop stick into the candy melts about 1” down and then dip in the cake ball. (This makes it easier to coat the ball near the stick. I also leave all the cake balls in the fridge and pull out 5-6 balls at a time to work with. This allows the balls to stay cold in the fridge.) Then dip the ball into the candy melt to completely cover it. Tap the stick on the side of the bowl to let any excess candy melt drip off. Place onto wax paper to dry completely. Do this for all the balls.
Melt the other contrasting color and pour into a squeeze bottle. Working with one ball at a time, gently squeeze the bottle as you use a back-and-forth motion over the ball to create the “stripes.” Let dry.
Serve immediately, or store in the fridge until ready to eat.