Posted by M
You like cake balls. If you’ve never had them, you probably don’t know this yet, but you do. They’re basically boxed cakes crumbled up and mixed with canned frosting and then molded into little balls and dipped in candy coating. Cake…good. Frosting… good. Candy coating… good. My friend Marcie introduced them to me a couple of years ago, and I could probably divide my life between “Before Cake Balls” and “After Cake Balls.”
If you want more thorough instructions, you can check out the blogger Bakerella. She’s basically made a career out of constructing “cake pops,” and she does all kinds of fancy shapes like The Muppets. Good for her, but I just want to eat them as fast as possible so I don’t mess with the elaborate part.
I’m meeting some college friends for Memorial Day this weekend, and I want to bring some baked goods for the group. While brainstorming things they might like, I started to think about my friend Chris of the Fat Picture. He has a well documented love of cookie dough, and I thought I might incorporate that. And then the skies parted and God said, “Let there be Cookie Dough Cake Balls.” And the experiment began.
First, you bake a cake from a box mix and let it cool. I used plain old yellow cake and a box of fancy pink lemonade cake. I probably didn’t need to make that much cake, but I wanted to try both with cookie dough.
Next: Clean your hands! The cake balls will not go back in the over and your eating audience relies on you not to spread your gross germs.
Crumble up the cooled cake with half a can of your chosen frosting. Some people use more frosting, but I think the cake balls get too gooey and sweet. Pretend you are in preschool and mix it together with your hands. If you lick dough off your hands, wash your hands again, Disgusto.
Then get some cookie dough and roll little marble sized balls. I used the pre-fab Nestle Toll House stuff and I let it soften on my counter for half an hour or so. Don’t bother making your own cookie dough- this works just fine and you can eat it raw. You might really want to make your own cookie dough because you’re one of those Pinteresty Do-It-Yourself types, but I say: Don’t be a hero.
The next part is trickier: actually stuffing the cookie dough inside the cake balls. After trial and error, I figured out the easiest way for me. Your mileage may vary. Get a ball of cake dough and flatten it. Put the cookie dough in the middle and then kind of smush up the sides to surround the dough. Then add another little disc to the top to cover the bald spot. If it looks uneven, don’t worry; the candy coating will cover it. But if you’re worried about that, you can roll it out to smooth the cracks.
Once you have the balls made (ha… balls), pop them in the freezer so they will be firm when you dunk them in chocolate. You don’t have to wait that long. The times it takes for me to clean my kitchen is about right. You can also take this opportunity to advise your pet that they will absolutely not be trying any cake balls but they are welcome to clean the floor for you.
And now, we dunk! Melt your preferred chocolate or candy bits for this. I found these neat microwave safe cups at Target with the chocolate bits already cut up. I also used some meltable candy discs I found in my pantry. Note: Melt slowly. Put your microwave on 50% power for a minute, stir, and then repeat in 30 second intervals until it’s basically melted. If there are tiny chunks still unmelted, just stir it up and they will probably melt without further microwaving.
Dunking is the part where I get messy. Bakerella and Marcie manage to create nice smooth cake balls that look store-ready. Mine are more like the disheveled step-cousins to that. Whatever, they taste the same. Here’s how I do it: put a cake ball on a fork, gently drop it in the melted coating, and then use the fork to roll it around until it’s coated. Then I let the ball sit on the fork over the bowl while the excess coating drips off.
I set mine on a tray with wax paper as I go and then put the whole thing in the fridge to let the coating set. This takes the same amount of time as cleaning your kitchen again.
And here’s the cross-section of the finished product.
Verdict: They were pretty good. I think the ones dunked in chocolate might be too sweet, but the ones with a candy shell are about what I wanted. I slightly favor the pink lemonade and cookie dough versions, but the yellow cake ones were perfectly edible. I also made some plain cake balls for those un-interested in cookie dough (fools!), and the pink lemonade ones are the right level of sweetness. They are citrusy without being overpowering, so look for that summer-only cake mix at your grocery store.
Boxed cake mix and the required ingredients to make it (eggs, butter, milk, whatever it says)
Raw Cookie Dough
Meltable Chocolate or Meltable Candy Discs
Can of frosting- cream cheese or vanilla or whatever