When I first started making cake balls it was mainly a way to keep from wasting the scraps of cake I’d end up with after leveling the tops off of cakes. Now that they’ve gained so much popularity, I actually have to bake cakes sometimes specifically to turn into cake balls.
People often ask me how I make them, and though I’ve posted about them before I haven’t really done a tutorial. My last post got me thinking it’s about time I do one!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cake (Un-iced, any flavor will do. If you’re feeling lazy you can even use store bought pound cake)
- Icing (I usually use buttercream. Here is a great recipe for a traditional vanilla buttercream that doesn’t include shortening)
- Candy coating such as candiquik or almond bark
- small, deep microwavable container for dipping
- a fork
- a paring knife
- 2 cookie sheets lined with waxed paper
- large bowl
- mixing spoon or spatula
- Food processor (optional)
- Small cookie scoop, Tablespoon sized (optional)
- gloves (optional)
- Plastic squeeze bottle (optional for applying drizzle)
1. Crumble the cake into the large bowl. It makes it easier and faster to use a food processor, but you can crumble the cake by hand if you don’t have one.
2. Add the icing a little bit at a time, stirring afterward, until it just comes together. You don’t want too much icing or else the cake will be too saturated and won’t hold its shape when rolled into a ball. This is especially important with cake pops. Too much icing will make the ball too soft and the pop will fall apart when you try to dip it.
3. Using your hands (or the cookie scoop if you’re using one) roll the cake/icing mixture into balls. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until chilled and firm.
3. Melt the candy coating according to package directions, making sure that not even a drop of moisture makes its way into the melting container or else the candy will seize. This includes food coloring. If you have white coating that you wish to color, use an oil based color meant specifically for candy. Make sure you have a good amount of candy in the container so that it’s deep enough to cover the cake ball. I usually melt 4- 5 squares at one time. You can add more and remelt as necessary.
4. Stir the melted candy to make sure there are no lumps and that the candy is thoroughly melted. Place a cake ball on the fork and dip it into the melted candy, gently moving it around to make sure it’s completely coated. Try not to touch the top of the ball, and scoop it up with the fork from the bottom. Lift the cake ball up out of the melted candy and gently tap off the excess coating on the rim of the container. Try to keep the ball closer to the end of the fork so it’s easier to remove.
5. Carefully move the cake ball onto the other cookie sheet. You can wiggle the fork back and forth slightly to get the cake ball on the cookie sheet without touching it. Repeat the process until all the cake balls are dipped. Chill the cake balls for 5-10 minutes in the refrigerator until the candy coating is firm.
6. Using a paring knife, carve off the excess candy around the bottom edge, being careful not to break the hardened candy coating on the cake ball. It helps if you wear gloves to do this to keep the candy free of fingerprints. Place the finished cake balls on the clean cookie sheet.
7. For decoration, melt a contrasting color of candy coating and use a clean fork to drizzle it on, or fill a plastic squeeze bottle with the melted candy to get a more even look. Chill the cake balls for a few minutes again to harden the drizzle.
Cake balls can be stored at room temperature for a few days, in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for up to six months in an airtight container.
Check out these other blog posts I’ve done on cake balls: