Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake Balls!

In the category of yum, I'd like to enter cake balls.

Cake balls are likely old news to you. They have been the topic of blogs for a few years now, I think. I've seen cake balls go like hot cakes at parties recently. They are middle-aged news to me. A trendy friend told me about them some time ago. She had been making them for a while. But rather than jump on the cake ball wagon immediately, I waited. But let me say now...I wonder why I waited so long.

We have a little event coming up where there will be many guests and the need for lots of food. I thought to make cake balls to serve since the recipe makes several dozen. So I read through a number of recipes on the web, talked to a few trendier friends about their cake ball escapades and set aside a day for making cake balls.

I must interject here that all I can think about when I say "cake balls" is Alec Baldwin in SNL's Schweddy Balls skit. If you don't know that one, Google it. Unless you are my mother, in which case, don't Google it and just keep reading here.

Back to my cake balls. Like I do with most recipes I find, I made these recipes my own by adding a few personal tweaks. The basic cake ball recipe is this:
  • Bake a box cake mix according to package directions. It doesn't matter what pan size or shape you choose because you will deface the cake once it is baked.
  • When completely cooled, remove cake from pan and thoroughly crumble it in a large bowl until it resembles, well, crumbs.
  • Completely mix cake crumbs with a tub of frosting. It should be a thick, moist consistency. You could stop right now and eat the entire bowl if no one is watching you.
  • If you are being watched and therefore must continue with the recipe, form spoonfuls of cake mix into balls and place on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Stick the balls, except for the three to five that you jam in your mouth, into the freezer for at least one hour.
  • Nap off sugar buzz.
  • After your nap balls are frozen, melt chocolate or other flavor for dipping. Dip balls with a toothpick into coating. Return dipped balls to wax paper to set and cleverly cover toothpick hole with a sassy garnish.
  • Depending on the size of the balls and how many you eat during the production, you might end up with as many as 4 dozen cake balls. I suspect you will have fewer than that.
Those are the basics. I made two different flavors and used two different dipping methods. I needed a lot of balls so I used the opportunity to try both ways. They both turned out great and neither one was easier than the other. But good to know.

First I made these cuties.

I used lemon cake mix and lemon cream frosting. The coating is vanilla flavored almond bark with 2 teaspoons of lemon extract stirred in. I used the microwave melting method and thinned it for dipping with about 1 tablespoon Crisco shortening (yes! I've been looking for a reason to use that old tin of it.) The sassy garnish is yellow candy "melts" melted and squeezed from a bottle in a cute little flower design then topped with chocolate sprinkles. They sort of look like the Maryland state flower, the Black-eyed Susan, don't you think? And they taste like a slice, or, ball of lemon heaven.

Next I made these little devils.

These handsome things are made with german chocolate cake mix and coconut pecan frosting. The coating is Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate Bar. That is not a typo. It's really called Baker's German's. Click here to see what I'm talking about. That chocolate is so good. My brothers and I used to sneak it from my Oma's kitchen cupboard. I gave my boys a square to eat while I melted the rest. Now they know the secret of Baker's German's too. I melted this in a double boiler and didn't have to add anything for thinning.

And by now you know that those aren't just crushed pecans on top of those chocolate balls, but serve double duty in beauty and function as they cover the toothpick holes and warn those with peanut and treenut allergies that these balls may be lethal. Thus, they are beautiful, ingenious and delicious to the allergy-free.

So went my cake ball adventure. My cake balls are delicious. They were well worth the wait. They are addictive. But I will tell you, they are not Schweddy.


  1. Wow, they look great!!! Now I am hungry!! Glad they turned out so well, and thar they are NOT schweddy! LOL

  2. Oh no-now I've got that schweddy business on my mind too. I'll take a box of the German chocolate. Thanks! : )

  3. Yummy, I'm impressed with your cake ball decorating skills. I melt my candy coating in the crock pot and that works out great too. The boys like to "help"with that part... and as you know, with witnesses, you don't eat as many. Enjoy! ; )

  4. I"ve never thought of using lemon cake! I make these for Christmas and use red velvet cake mix and cream cheese frosting. Oh, and I mix the baked cake and frosting while the cake is still warm. That may save you some time!

  5. One more thing: How do you get the balls so perfect? When I dip them and put them on the wax paper, I end up having quite a bit of chocolate under them. Maybe I"m just too impatient to get them on the paper and don't let them drip enough???


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