Friday, August 12, 2011

Cake Balls and Cake Pops, Oh My!

My first try at cake balls and cake pops was in June for the kids' teachers end of year gift. My neighbor had made them for me before and I had seen them all over the internet but I figured they had to be too time consuming and difficult to make so I had never tried them myself.

If you've never had a cake ball, you don't know what you are missing out on. It is a whole different level of deliciousness that even the best homemade cake can't deliver. I've now made them twice and both times turned out great.

Cake Balls and Cake Pops


Cake Mix

(I make all my cakes from scratch but used boxed cake mix for these to save time)


(whipped frosting won't cut it, has to be calorie laden and thick buttercream)

Chocolate to dip them in

(I use chocolate candy melts from a craft store, see picture below, but any sort of chocolate you could melt and roll the balls in may work)

Optional: sprinkles to roll the balls in or lollipop sticks to turn them into cake pops

1. Bake the cake

Follow the directions on box or recipe. Also, I have been using non-stick dark metal pans to bake cakes in all this time and I can't get over how well the cakes bake in my glass baking dishes and don't stick with a simple rubbing of butter on the bottom. I won't go back to non-stick again.

2. Let the cake cool completely

I repeat, let the cake cool COMPLETELY. I have read different recipes online and this seems to be the step people skip and them complain that they cake balls don't turn out or are a big sticky mess. Honestly, I make these over two days since there is a lot of waiting time between steps. We bake the cakes, cool the cakes, and roll the cake balls one day, then on the 2nd day we dip them in chocolate and decorate.

3. Crumble the cake

Break up the cooled cake with a knife or frosting spreader.

4. Mix in an entire can of frosting

Frosting must be stirred really well so stir, stir, then stir some more.

5. Roll mixture into balls

For easier handling refrigerate crumbled cake and frosting mixture for 30 minutes before rolling. The first time I tried a melon baller but found rolling the cake balls by hand works better.

6. Chill the cake balls

Place rolled cake balls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet, cutting board, or other hard surface. Place cake balls in freezer for 1-2 hours or move to fridge and chill overnight. The firmer the cake balls are before rolling in chocolate, the better.

7. Roll cake balls in chocolate

You have to be careful with the chocolate when warming it. You warm the candy melts in the microwave but only at 50% power and only for 1 minute to start and 30 second increments afterwards. You must stir a lot between each cycle in the microwave and don't overcook. It is very easy to scorch chocolate and the whole batch will be ruined. Also even a drop of water can seize up a batch of chocolate so make sure all your tools are dry. There are different methods for rolling the chocolate but I found using a metal spoon is easiest. Some people like using a toothpick but I didn't find it any easier. If you are making pops instead of cake balls dip the lollipop sticks into heated chocolate and pierce cake ball with lollipop stick covered in chocolate, put cake pops with sticks in freezer to firm up. Take cake balls or pops and roll them in heated chocolate, return to freezer to harden, minimum 1-2 hours, usually longer. Chocolate can also be heated in a small squeeze bottle and drizzled on cake balls.

8. If desired, roll in sprinkles or decorations

Before chocolate hardens roll in sprinkles or other decorations.

9. Store in fridge and enjoy!

Try not eat all the cake balls yourself, they are so delicious!

No comments: