Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cake Balls - A 2 Day Adventure

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin Samantha turned 21.  Her mom hosted a fabulous party filled with food, family, drinks and CAKE BALLS.  I had never heard of cake balls but was quick to try one at the party.  I quickly found out that I was in love.  These things were amazing!  I proceeded to eat a few too many cake balls throughout the night and found myself thinking about them in the days after the party.

I was snooping around online and came across the website for Bakerella.  She has an entire section of her website devoted to these tasty treats.  Her recipe for red velvet cake balls had me drooling and it was then that I realize that I had to try to make these myself.

Now, a little background about my culinary skills.  I have none.  My sister Heather is the baker in the family, as are my grandmothers and aunts.  I have the creative gene, however that gene really has not influenced my skills in the kitchen.  I was really set on making these cake balls though, so I psyched myself up for them by telling myself it was simply an Art project with a new medium.  I could totally handle that, right?

Well, Day 1 of the cake ball adventure started.  I was following this simple recipe:
-Bake any boxed cake mix (I chose devil's food)
-When cake is done, take it out of the oven and crumble immediately
-Let cake cool
-Once cool, mix crumbs with one jar of frosting (I chose cream cheese)
-Roll mixture into bite size balls, lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper
-Freeze for 30 minutes or until cake balls are firm
-Once firm, dip in white or millk chocolate, refridgerate, and serve

Sounds easy, right?!  WRONG.

I started the adventure with my sister -she had high hopes in making some rather fancy cake balls.  I was sticking to plain chocolate.  By the end of the evening, I had burned 2 batches of chocolate and ruined one strawberry cake.  I still had my devil's food mix and was able to dip them.  Online you will find photos of beautifully smooth cakeballs that look divine, like this example from Bakerella:

Now, please feast your eyes on the tragedy that was my first set of cakeballs:

How awful!!!  This nightmare was the result of hours of work and frustration.  I had watched 2 YouTube videos, read articles and researched my dipping skills.  Obviously, it is not as easy as it looks!

So, I went to bed feeling defeated, but I wasn't ready to give up just yet.  The next day, my cousin and good buddy, Emily, came over and we got to work.    We made our next set of cake balls a little smaller and worked hard to perfect our dipping:

Emily was a good dipper and this was what we got in our 2nd round - a big improvement I must say!

In the meantime, my Aunt purchased Bakerella's book and brought it over.  After some more research, we realized the key to great presentation would have to involve a candy mold.  So, we got one and the results were so much better than before!

However, as we worked, we realized we still had some issues.  Note the size difference of these two!:

 After we put the cake balls in the molds, we let them sit in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  We then spooned chocolate on the top and the result was so irresitably cute!  I was so proud of us!  AND, the kicker is, not only did they look great, but they tasted awesome!

So, all in all, the cake ball process was pretty intense and fun.  One boxed mix made 112 cake balls - that is a lot of work!  However, they were cute and delicious and I was finally able to put my craving to rest.  My final thought - I'm sticking with creating stationery and purchasing tasty treats.


  1. LOL - you are too funny and seem to be about as good in the kitchen as I am. Speaking of, it's about time to try another run at the macarons for my wedding! Glad to see you all finally got the hang of it.

  2. Okay, I can see you are one determined artist and would not let those cake balls defeat you.

    I bet the first batch still tasted good! Now that that is out of your system, maybe you can make cupcakes. Little cupcake cards would be so cute and you don't have to eat them later.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures in the kitchen.

  3. Wow! You did a great work!Glad to see your delicious creativity I love it! BTW, if you have etsy coupon you can share your coupon at

  4. Not so sure I will attempt to make cake balls-but I might!!