Sweet Success

I’ve tried my hand at cake balls and cake pops a few times before, and I’ve never been completely satisfied with the result. For whatever reason, no matter what I do (aka follow the recipe exactly), I can’t seem to get the cake balls to stay intact long enough to coat them in melted chocolate or candy melts. After giving up on the cake ball phenomenon, I decided to give truffles a try. I started with the basic chocolate truffle, and graduated to the (barely more complicated) Oreo truffle. After feeling confident enough in those attempts, I decided to try something new.

The biggest problem I’ve had with the cake mix and frosting mixture, as I’ve said, is that it just doesn’t stick together. The frosting is sticky, but it just isn’t sticky enough. I’ve only had success when ingredients like cream cheese or peanut butter are involved. So, after thinking long and hard about what I could use as a bonding agent, I realized there was a simple solution: sweetened condensed milk! Not only would it add an extra sweetness, but it’s sticky enough to hold everything together without being over the top sticky, like some syrups. Enter the cake truffle!

On Wednesday at work, my (new) department decided to celebrate Festivus. This meant a White Elephant, an ordered lunch, and of course, treats! Since I’m known as the resident baker and food provider in the office, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try my truffle idea. You only need four ingredients, and everything comes together quickly. Sure, you have to spend some time waiting for the cake to harden so it can be shaped into balls and coated in chocolate, but I don’t mind the down time… it lets you do other things!

These are a perfect last minute dessert to take to a Holiday party, or something just to enjoy for yourself! These were such a success, I’m thinking I may have to make a few more batches to share before the year is up.


Vanilla Cake Truffles
– makes 30-40 truffles, depending on the size –

2 cups of vanilla cake mix (I used French Vanilla)
½ cup + 1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
8 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Combine the cake mix, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Make sure everything is well combined; the mixture should easily stick together. 
2. Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes. 
3. Using the chilled dough, shape them into balls, placing them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. My truffles measured out to be about 1.5 teaspoons each. Of course you can make them smaller or bigger – it’s up to you!
4. Freeze the dough balls for another 15 minutes. 
5. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in a glass bowl. Your time may vary (I like to do 1 minute, stir, and then do another minute). 
6. Using two spoons, drop each dough ball into the melted chocolate, being sure to coat every side, scraping it along the edge as you finish. Lay them back on the baking sheet with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 15 minutes, and then refrigerate to keep intact until you’re ready to eat them! 

A Cake Ball Attempt

I’ve been following Bakerella’s blog for about a year and a half, and have finally gotten around to trying my hand at cake balls. She seriously makes the cutest edible designs on sticks I’ve ever seen! Since my decoration abilities are nearly nonexistent, I decided to keep it simple for my first try. I let the fiancé pick out the flavors, and then got to work.

The actual making of the cake balls themselves is really easy. It’s when you try and get snazzy and decorate them that you actually need some skill. The fiancé decided on a white funfetti cake, with chocolate fudge icing. I was a little skeptical at first with the combination, but it came out really yummy, a little like a marble cake with some extra fudge. I ran into my first problem when it was time to prepare the ingredients to coat them, though.

I thought I had plenty of chocolate chips at home, but it turns out I didn’t. So, I wound up only being able to coat about 8 of them with chocolate. My second issue was actually coating them. I need to do some more research on Bakerella’s blog for some tips and techniques, because this was a disaster! I couldn’t fully coat them (probably because there really wasn’t enough chocolate), so it kind of became a mess. But that’s okay, because they were just for my fiancé and I to enjoy ourselves.

They tasted like really gooey munchkins, if I had to compare them to something. And let me tell you, they’re delicious! I’ve been looking around the past few days to maybe get some proper tools to make some of the adorable cake balls I’ve seen. I did buy that $20 for $10 on Amazon deal from Living Social last week that I think everyone got, and of course it’s burning a hole in my pocket!

So even if you’re like me and aren’t exactly cake decorating savvy, I would suggest making these just to eat as-is because they are awesome. But, if you’re creative I’d suggest checking out Bakerella and trying some of her adorable designs! I’m going to leave out any decoration instructions, just because I’m still working on trying to make that a success. But you can simply melt some chocolate and coat them. I’ll keep you posted on my next attempt!

Cake Balls
– makes about 30-40 balls, depending on how big you make them –

1 box of cake mix and ingredients to make (any flavor – I used yellow funfetti)
1 container of frosting (any flavor – I used chocolate fudge)

1. Bake cake according to box directions
2. Let cake cool completely, then crumble into a big bowl
3. Add icing to crumbled cake, coating completely
4. Form cake and icing mixture into balls (I rolled them, similar to how you’d form a meatball) and place on parchment paper, or sprayed foil on a baking sheet
5. Place in the freezer to harden about 1-2 hours