How to: Make Cake Balls

It’s about that time, folks.  Time for baking extravaganzas! The holidays are just around the corner (or we’re in the middle of them after Halloween…whatever) and it’s time for parties, potlucks, and pretty desserts.  Sorry, went with the “p” theme there. Perfect!  Okay, I’ll stop now.

If you’re looking for something that’s a crowd pleaser, that won’t take forever to make, you’re reading the right post.  Cake balls are the perfect two-bite dessert that most people love and they’re super portable.  They also happen to make wonderful gifts in themed pastry bags or boxes.  All hail the inexpensive, homemade gift!!

And yes, they’re pretty easy.  But it’s a step-by-step process, and many sites have “how-to” posts for them.  Here’s how I make mine:

You’ll need:

  • Your favorite cake, baked. One 8″ layer yields ~28-30 cake balls.  Two 8″ layers (1 boxed cake) yields ~56-60 cake balls
  • Frosting- 1 can or ~1.5 cups frosting for two 8″ layers of cake
  • Almond bark or other candy coating
  • Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Cookie scoop
  1. Bake your favorite cake.  Whatever flavor you like (not cheesecake or angel food cake, obviously). I chose chocolate cake for my last batch.
  2. Allow cake to cool until cool enough to handle.  Crumble cooled cake into a large mixing bowl.  Really large. I use my mixer’s bowl for it.
  3. Add frosting to crumbled cake.  The proper ratio is two 8″ cake layers to one can (about 1 1/2 cups) of frosting.
  4. Stir until well combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out heaping tablespoons of cake/frosting mix.  Roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Refrigerate until fairly stiff.  I typically refrigerate overnight because it’s easiest.  However, fridge for an hour or so (or freezer for 1/2 and hour to one hour) would most likely be enough.
  7. Once cake balls are properly chilled, melt your candy coating.  My favorite is almond bark because it melts beautifully and can be colored with candy colors. *Note:  You have to use candy colors, not regular, water-based food coloring.  The oil-based candy colors won’t make the coating seize and become clumpy.  However, I also regularly use candy melts that are already colored.
  8. If you’re making cake pops instead of plain cake balls, dip about 1/2 inch of a popsicle stick (not the brown craft ones) into the candy coating.  Insert about 3/4 of the way through the chilled cake ball.  Repeat for all.  Refrigerate another 15 min or so.
  9. Dip cake balls.  If the candy coating becomes too cool and isn’t runny enough, pop it back in the microwave for 15 second intervals until warm enough. It should be runny enough to drizzle off of a spoon, but not so hot that you burn yourself or it doesn’t coat the cake ball.
  10. If I’m going to drizzle over the top of the cake ball to decorate it, I dip half of the ball, then go back and dip the other half to make it easier to hold and dip.  And less messy. However, this does not yield the prettiest results, so do this only when necessary. 🙂
  11. Allow coating to cool and harden at room temp.  Or you can pop it in the fridge for a while.  However, do NOT put them in the freezer.  It will cause there to be condensation on the cake balls when they come back to room temp.
  12. Decorate as desired with drizzles of the same candy coating, or a variety of colors.  And please don’t be like me and forget to take a picture of the final product.  Sorry about that.
    Or you could make them super fancy, like these dressed up cake balls:Or maybe these ninja turtle cake pops:

So now, when someone asks you to bring a dessert for a potluck, work party, whatever…you should try to make/bring cake balls!

Have you made these little treats before?  What has been your favorite cake ball or cake pop decoration?


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