If you’ve been on the internet, you’ve probably seen cake balls recipes. I’m not sure who started it, but bakerella is most definitely the queen of them. She even took it a step forward and became the queen of Cake Pops, which she really does an amazing job with. Anyway, I’ve made both cake balls and cake pops before and have usually gone the boxed mix route because seriously, you’re going to crumble up a cake and combine it with frosting–are you really going to start with a homemade cake? Bakerella often uses red velvet cake mix, which must be a southern thing because I had never found it, until one day when I squealed in delight when walking through the baking aisle at the grocery store and saw a Duncan Hines red velvet mix. I highly anticipated making the balls with the red velvet mix, but imagine my surprise when they came out, well, lacking. I guess I’ve spoiled myself with ‘real’ cake enough that this wasn’t cutting it. Not that I’m above using shortcuts or whatnot–I buy crushed garlic in a jar from Trader Joe’s. What? I hate those stupid skins!
Anyway, after the underwhelming cake balls, I decided at some point to take on the ‘from scratch’ cake balls. I ended up making them for a school event. I used my favorite red velvet cake recipe along with my fave cream cheese frosting recipe. What resulted was pretty sublime. Though the balls were a bit softer than those I make with the cake mix, they were so delicious. I also covered them with probably one of my top 5 Trader Joe’s products: their baking callets. Oh my goodness–this chocolate melts beautifully. I will often use chocolate chips, but they are designed to not melt, so it can end up a little chunky and undesirable. These callets are just gorgeous. I know, this sounds weird, but trust me. I keep buying bags whenever I go in fear that they will go away. Plus, the chocolate quality is really good, unlike most candy melts, and makes a good nibbling chocolate in a pinch. Besides being a little tedious, these truffles are really easy and so very fun to decorate. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are really endless–just look at bakerella’s site!
“from scratch” Cake Balls
adapted from bakerella
1 9×13 sheet cake, either made from a box mix or from scratch, any variety
1 recipe cream cheese frosting (or 1 can prepared frosting)
Candy melts or semi-sweet chocolate
Any decorations you would like (sprinkles)
Allow the cake to completely cool. Crumble up the cake into a large bowl. I usually use my hands as it’s the easiest. Start spooning frosting into the bowl and mix together. I usually add it in steps as you don’t want to add too much and make it too sticky. When I use canned frosting, I usually don’t need the whole can. Once the frosting has been added to the point where all the crumbs stick together well and you can from a ball.
Line some baking sheets with parchment paper. I like to use a cookie scoop to make the truffles around the same size. My method is to scoop out portions then roll them up more with my hands. I usually refrigerate these overnight or pop in the freezer for a while. This makes it much easier to dip them.
Put your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until they are melted and smooth. I try and find bowls that are deeper as it makes for easier dipping. Using a spoon drop a ball into the chocolate, roll around to cover, then scoop out and tap off the excess as best you can. Gently place on parchment . Continue until all balls are covered. If using sprinkles or other decorations, sprinkle them on when the chocolate is still melty so they stick. In these, I used silver and gold sprinkles. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.