These little treats have been around for a long time, and there are many different versions of them. But this is my tried and true recipe, these little babies are how I got my husband to marry me! Okay, not really. But, any time I tell my husband that I’m making cake balls you can see an array of emotions cross his face. First: joy, he really, really loves these. Second: concern, he begins to wonder if he has to share them. Third: mischief, he wonders how he can trick me into not sharing these little chocolate covered wonders with anyone, or how he can hide them.
Truth be told, making Cake Balls brings out my inner kid. To make these you basically have to take a cake and frosting, and well… smoosh (smush?) it. You mix it into a creamy consistency, which is why I decided to call these “truffle” cake balls.
I made my husband quite sad and took a dozen and a half of these to a big play date at the park. I polled some of the moms for opinions and one of them gave me mixed feedback, she was expecting something light, like chocolate covered cake – which would be airy. She said these reminded her of chocolate chip cookie dough covered in chocolate, which I’m okay with, because that in itself is delicious.
These cake balls can be little sugar bombs depending on what kind of chocolate you use for dipping – milk, semi-sweet, white, or chocolate barks (which aren’t really chocolate and are very sweet, but much easier to work with).
My daughter has found a love of cake balls, my husband is crazy about them, I love them, I think it’ll just be a FrankieBakes Family tradition, and I’d like to share it with you.
Onward with the recipe!
Things you’ll need:
- 1 Cake – homemade, store bought, from a box. Any cake will do.
- Frosting for 1 cake (recipe below), or no frosting if you bought a frosted cake from the store.
- 1 cup Miniature Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- 2 12oz bags Semisweet Chocolate chips – or a mix of semisweet and milk (like I did today), or chocolate/almond bark
- Frosting: 2 sticks unsalted butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 to 2 teaspoons milk or cream
In a large bowl add your cake and just start pulverizing it. Either with your hands, a spoon, potato masher, or a paddle attachment on your stand mixer. I did the latter because, well, like I’ve said before – I’m lazy.
Once your cake is nice and crumbly and no longer resembling a cake, add in your buttercream frosting.* Mix a bit and then add your cup of miniature chocolate chips. You don’t have to add these, but it adds a bit of texture which is nice. Continue mixing until smooth.
Note: If you need instructions on buttercream frosting it goes as follows: In a large bowl add your butter, using an electric mixer/stand mixer/large spoon and a lot of elbow grease start beating the butter until it becomes smooth. Add in 1 cup of your powdered sugar, the vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of milk. Mix until it starts to combine and then gradually add the rest of your powdered sugar. Once smooth and the consistency of a thick peanut butter, you’re done! If too thin, add more sugar. If too thick and doesn’t mix well, add more milk.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop out ball sized portions of cake mixture. I use a small cookie scoop, but you can use two spoons, a melon baller, anything that you can find that works.
If your mixture is a bit too thin, mine was thinner than usual today, you can refrigerate it for 15-20 minutes until it firms up and is easier to work with.
Once your balls are all lined up (heh heh) on the baking sheet, place into your freezer for 20-30 minutes, or until firm enough to roll around in chocolate.
Right before you are ready to dip your balls in chocolate (hehehehe…), place your semisweet chocolate pieces, except for 1/3 cup you will reserve on the side, into a large bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 15-20 second increments until smooth. Once melted and smooth, add your 1/3 cup chocolate, stirring until smooth. This is what I call “cheater tempering.” It helps keep the chocolate from melting when you touch it, and gives you a nice “snap” once it sets and you bite into it.
Alternatively, you can use chocolate bark – sometimes called almond bark or melting bark. It’s not real chocolate, it is sweeter, but it is a lot easier to work with. I did half and half with mine today, the white cake balls are almond bark.
Time to dip. Have new parchment paper nearby to lay the freshly coated candies on.
Take your cake mixture out of the freezer, and using any instruments that you desire go ahead coat the cake balls in chocolate. Hands will work, fancy chocolate instruments, or two forks. I’d have taken photos of this process, but I work alone in the kitchen and well, yeah.
Roll them around until coated and then place them on your clean parchment. Keep going until your done, or too tired, or you run out of room on your counter. They should start to set within 10 minutes, sometimes sooner. If your kitchen is hot it will most certainly take longer for the chocolate to set.
I recommend keeping the cake balls in the refrigerator because they taste better cold and because they do have dairy in them. But they can be left out at room temperature for 8 or so hours with no concerns.
These little lovelies have a lot of room for creativity. Mixing chocolates, adding nuts, adding dried fruits, just generally making it your own. I hope you have fun and enjoy these with your family as much as I do with mine.