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. Continue reading
I love chocolate. It’s hard to go a day without any. Sometimes I put chocolate chips in the fridge, so they’re nice and cold, and then eat them as a snack. However, I have never liked chocolate ice cream. Ever. Won’t touch the stuff. And I usually don’t care for chocolate cake (Devil’s Food Cake, German Chocolate Cake, you name it), but every once in a while, I have a hunkering for a small bite. Weird, I know. And when I have a craving for chocolate cake, I make this super easy, super simple Texas Sheet Cake.
You will need these ingredients, plus powdered sugar. (Since I bake a lot, I buy powdered sugar by the 50-pound bags and put it in plastic bins. It looked ugly in the picture, so I omitted it.)
Make sure you have good quality vanilla. Not all pure vanillas are made the same, and it makes a HUGE difference. And certainly don’t buy imitation vanilla. (Why they tempt people with this, I don’t know.)
You need 2 sticks of butter, water, and cocoa powder in a saucepan. Bring it to boil. (Make sure to stir it occasionally!)
Remove from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool down to room temperature. You don’t want to cook the eggs before they go into the oven. Add all the dry ingredients, including the eggs and sour cream, in a separate bowl.
Slowly add the cooled chocolate and mix until it is all moistened.
My friend Natalie helps run a children’s ministry program, AWANA, at her church. Today is the last day of the AWANA year, and she and her husband wanted to recognize all the volunteers who help make the ministry possible. So, she asked me if I’d help her make some cake balls for the volunteers. Originally we thought to make one large cake ball per volunteer, but eventually settled on three small ones, in the AWANA colors (yellow, red, green, and blue). This meant that we were going to make 210 cake balls, as there were 70 volunteers. I’ve made 60 cake balls before, but nothing like this. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well Sunday night. I was in a little over my head, but at least I had help from Natalie, and her friend Esther, who came over for a bit to see how to make cake balls and to help in whatever way she could. Here we are making a big mess.
Natalie and I were working in stations. She was putting the balls in the muffin liners while I was coating them.
We made yellow, lemon, and chocolate cake. (Yum, except the chocolate. I don’t like chocolate cake.) Continue reading