Friday, April 22, 2011

Cake Balls

So I've been asked for this recipe so many times I figured it had to be shared! These are really easy once you figure out all the little tricks. Plus, you can decorate them any way you like at the end! Kudos for this recipe goes to my friend Tracee, who perfected the cake ball and has taught me all the tricks!

1 box cake mix (whatever kind you like!)
1 jar of corresponding icing (red velvet cake mix = cream cheese icing, etc)
1 package of almond bark chocolate coating (or you can use Baker's chocolate if you can't find almond bark!)

Ok, so first you bake the cake just like you normally would according to the instructions on the box. When the cake is done, let it cool for a few minutes and then use a spatula to cut it up into chunks and move it into your mixer bowl. Spoon the container of icing into the bowl and then turn the mixer on low, using the spatula to scrape the sides and make sure the icing gets dispersed through the whole cake mixture. Turn the mixer up a little so that it gets really well blended. Once that is done, remove the mixing bowl and put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes. When you take it back out, the mixture should be slightly hardened. Don't worry, this makes forming the balls easier!

Some people use a melon baller to scoop out the balls, but I prefer to use a mini ice-cream scooper (the one where you squeeze the handle to release the ice cream). Scoop out each ball and gently roll it between your palms to make a more perfect circle, then lay it on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Once you have your whole sheet full, place it back in the freezer for another half an hour or so.

Now, heat up your almond bark chocolate (white chocolate if you used vanilla or cream cheese icing and chocolate if you used chocolate icing). My friend shared the secret with me that it's easier if you heat up a little bit of the chocolate at a time in the microwave in a coffee mug (that way the chocolate is deep instead of spread out like in a bowl). Heat the chocolate for about 20 seconds, stir, then do it again until it is melted. Spear your cake balls one at a time with a toothpick or shishkebob skewer (those seem to work better) and then dunk it down into the chocolate. Tap off any excess chocolate, then either twirl the skewer or use a toothpick to loosen the cake ball so it drops onto the parchment paper. Most of the time twirling the skewer should make it fall off. You will have to keep putting new bricks of chocolate in the coffee mug and heating them, but that prevents you from getting little pieces of cake falling off into the chocolate!

Once all of your cake balls are done and have set in the fridge for a bit to harden, you can decorate them further if you like, either by drizzling another color of chocolate to make stripes, or piping little dots or flowers on them. My neighbor found all different colors of chocolate at our local Hobby Lobby, and she has made all kinds of cute decorations for her cake balls. The other week she even got lollipop sticks and molded her cake balls into eggs and made cute Easter lollipop cake balls!! Another friend piped three white dots onto each cake ball to make them look like bowling balls. (This also helps cover up the hole from where the skewer was!) Now all that's left is to get creative and enjoy!!


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