I know I mentioned somewhere on Bird Fly Good that I am a “hopeful baker,” which I think means that I am learning and finally beginning to take a deeper interest in cooking, especially cakes, cookies, muffins … the good baked stuff. My biggest problem with cooking now is that I don’t have enough patience to let things boil, melt, rise, and cool, and then whatever I make ends up looking all frazzled and not very pretty. But who is going to judge a cupcake by how well it is frosted? Well, I guess I kind of do sometimes, like with Wicked Cakes, a local custom cake and cupcake design company. This stuff is charming and beautiful and I oh so wish that I could be this crafty with food. But I don’t want to get too down on myself for not having the knack for decorating.
In an effort to flaunt my creativity, and after falling in love with The Cake Ball Company out of Dallas, I decided to take a stab at making some cute little cake balls. Now, what is a cake ball? It’s quite simple, really – just a ball of cake mixed with frosting and then coated with chocolate, nuts, coconut, and anything else a baker can come up with. A real crafty baker could even decorate these sweet little balls and dress them up like soccer balls, lady bugs, eye balls, rock balls … you get the idea. My skills are limited, so I planned to just use rainbow sprinkles as embellishments.
The recipe for cake balls is rather simple but time-consuming because you have to wait for things to bake, cool, melt, and harden, hence funny-looking cake balls made by Jennifer. However, funny-looking usually means delicious in my kitchen.
All you need:
Box of desired cake mix (three eggs and vegetable oil)
Tub of desired frosting
Two Baker’s Bars of your desired flavor
First, make the cake. The box will tell you exactly what to do, but the directions generally say to mix the cake powder with 1 cup of water, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and three eggs. Beat or mix this until it is no longer lumpy and then bake in a pan for 32 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Bam.
Once you have the cake, let it cool slightly, just enough so that you can touch it without burning yourself. This is so that you can break the cake up in another mixing bowl. I use a fork to break it all up and then a spatula to mix the entire tub of frosting in with the cake. Just mix it all in until you have yourself another sort of “batter.” Then you want to cool the batter off by putting it in the fridge. This will make it easier to roll the batter into little balls by removing the stickiness.
Once the majority of the batter has cooled down, start rolling little balls and placing them on a baking sheet with wax paper. If you are hand rolling the batter, you can make them about golf-ball-sized and still get 30 to 40 balls out of one box of mix. Or you can use a melon baller, which is handy and prevents messy limbs.
After rolling all of the cake balls, put the trays in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes so that they can really firm up. This will make it easier to coat them in chocolate or whatever Baker’s Bar you choose. In the meantime, you can start melting the Baker’s Bar in the microwave or with a double boiler. I recommend using both bars because I ran out about halfway through when I tried this recipe.
Then take out your cake balls (careful, the tray is burning cold) and begin dipping each one in the melted coating using a toothpick. Place each ball back on the wax paper and sprinkle away. Put the trays back in the freezer so that the coating will harden, and TA-DAH … chocolate covered cake balls with sprinkles. Then you can transfer them to tupperware and put them in the fridge. Be sure to serve them chilled.
The greatest thing about cake balls is that you can mix and match flavors and ingredients to the moon. I made one batch using classic yellow cake mix with classic chocolate and chocolate coating and then another batch of strawberry cake mix with cream cheese frosting and white chocolate. Yes, the flavors are rich and we like it that way. See what kind of cake ball concoctions you can come up with and then let me know all about it.