Great Balls of Cake!

If you’ve been with me for the past few months, you’ve heard me mention cake balls. If you know what cake balls are and you’re not a fan, I’m about to offer you a hall pass, because there’s not much here for you to see. If you don’t know what cake balls are? Well, it’s Christmas in March, people. Gather around.

I bought the Cake Pops book back in December and have probably made at least a dozen batches of cake balls. In fact, I’m sort of shmooing myself into That Lady Who Always Has Cake Balls. If there’s a trivia night? I’m bringing cake balls. Book club? Cake balls. It’s your birthday? Cake balls. Parent/Teacher Conferences? Cake balls, Cake balls, Cake balls. (I’m proud to report that a friend called with a Cake Ball Emergency a few weeks back, and I was able to provide cake balls. This goes down as one of my proudest moments. 1. Raising kids that don’t suck. 2. Playing Chopin on the piano. 3. Being able to stay calm and deliver during a cake ball emergency.)

Let’s make some cake balls, shall we? The first thing you need to do is bake a cake in a 9 x 13 pan. You can do it by scratch, but I have no idea why you would want to. For this particular batch of cake balls, I baked a Duncan Hines lemon cake. When the cake is done and completely cooled, grab a big bowl and crumble the heck out of the cake. For you, this might be the best part of the process. For me? It’s pretty horrible. I HATE TOUCHING FOOD. Anyway, crumble it until all of the big crumbs are gone. When you’re done, it will look something like this.

Cake #1

Next up? Grab a container of icing. If you have the Cake Pops book, Bakerella has provided a really great grid that lists cake and icing flavors that blend well for the best possible cake balls/pops. For this batch, I went with Lemon Supreme.

Cake #2

And this is where I want to tell you that I normally go in and try to make my photos look good, but this is Migraine Week for me. My migraine hit on Tuesday, and it was at its worst late Wednesday night, and then yesterday afternoon I was hit with some sort of stomach thing and this has nothing to do with that! Back to the cake balls!

Cake #3

Stir no more than 3/4 of the icing container into the cake crumbs. (Helpful hint: Stir using the BACK of the spoon.) If you add the whole container, it’s going to get all goopy, and you definitely do NOT want goopy. When you’re all done stirring it in, it’s going to look like this:

Cake #4

Now the really fun/disgusting part begins. (Once again, this all revolves around your ability to touch food without cringing. These cake balls have been sort of therapeutic for me, I suppose.) It’s time to ball! (What?) Grab a hunk (I hate the word hunk), roll it into about the size of a golf ball, and place it onto a waxed paper lined baking sheet. You’ll notice that your hands start to get gross after about six balls. Please wash them frequently during the balling process. (Hello! Due to that last sentence, I just got 23 hits from people searching for something completely unrelated to cake!) Anyway, frequent hand washing will make the whole thing run a lot more smoothly. (Perhaps I’m projecting. Wash your hands. Wash them. Right now. Go.) One more thing. Don’t roll the cake balls too tightly, if that makes sense. You’re going to be refrigerating them for several hours (or putting them in the freezer for several minutes) and if they’re rolled too tightly, they might crack.

Cake #5

At this point, I normally refrigerate the balls overnight. (I like to spread the cake ball process out over two days. That’s just how I do it. I know a few people who put the balls into the freezer for ten minutes before the dipping phase. It all depends on how much time you have.) Anyway. Onward to the dipping!

I went to Michael’s and bought a bunch of the Wilton’s Candy Melts. They come in a bunch of different colors and are really easy to work with. (I find that it takes about 1 1/3 bags per batch.) If you don’t feel like dealing with that, you can also melt chocolate chips or bark or whatever. (I’ve never done that personally, but I know people who have, and their balls turn out beautifully. I’m no longer trying to be careful about the ball thing. Everyone is welcome at Fluid Pudding.) Anyway.

Here you see a bowl of the melted baking chips and three chilled cake balls ready to be dipped.

Cake #6

Toss a cake ball into the melted chips.

Cake #7

Using a spoon, make sure the ball is completely covered with chocolate/bark/melt/whatever.

Cake #8

CAREFULLY pick it up out of the melted chocolate with the spoon and carefully roll it to the edge of the spoon and sort of tap the excess chocolate off of the spoon. (You’ll develop your own technique in no time. I sort of do a lift Lift LIFT taptaptap motion. Whatever works.)

Cake #10

Roll the ball from the spoon onto another waxed paper lined baking sheet. (If some of the chocolate comes off of the cake ball, you can use your spoon to cover the rough spot with more chocolate. You’ll see what I mean. These things are completely user-friendly.)

Cake 11

After you put a few cake balls onto the baking sheet, feel free to dump sprinkles onto the top or maybe hit them with a different colored icing or whatever strikes you as being sort of fabulous. This particular batch (pink lemonade cake balls) were for Meredith’s Girl Scout troop, so I wanted them to be quirky. Whatever works for you works for the cake balls. Zen. (I always get about 32 cake balls per cake.) NOW, go make some. I would tell you to take a photo and leave a link in the comments so we can all admire your creation, but I know at least three of you who are going to mess this up for everyone. I’m on the couch and hardly in a mood for moderation. (You don’t know this, but this is the roughest you’ve seen me in quite some time. I’m wearing a baseball hat and am severely unshowered.) Cake balls!!!
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30 thoughts on “Great Balls of Cake!”

  1. As I am not generally a cake person, I am not sure how I would feel about Cake balls!
    I am more of a pie/ice cream/fruit tart person.
    BUT – if you called these Cake Truffles (what with the shape and the dipping) I could probably be fooled into liking them more than I otherwise would.
    They do look like a LOT of fun to make. Especially since I dont’ mind touching food as long as it is not raw meat or fish.

  2. I’m sorry you’re feeling so awful and hope things turn around soon.

    Forgivecake for saying that cake balls sound most unappealing to me, like something a meth addict might crave. Of course my that means my kids would probably think them AWESOME.

  3. OK. Now I see WHY you’re such a big fan of cake balls–as I am now a fan as well. It’s even kid friendly–they can help out and there’s so many possibilities with combinations! Yum!!! They look phenomenal!

    Thank you for solving the mystery of cake balls for me. Now I want to go and make some of my own–another way to solve crumbly/dry cake dilemmas other than trifle!

  4. The balls are beautiful, but Ewww, you’re a mess!!

    What I do not understand is how you actually (and apparently accurately, though more’s the pity) predicted the onset of “Migraine Week”. I mean, on the one hand, it’s probably good to know ahead of time (“Hmm, looks like Migraine Week will be coming up again in the middle of March — better re-schedule that tap dance class”) but on the other hand, I bet you sort of feel like slitting your wrists ahead of time.

    Ugh.

  5. Ok that does it. I am going to attempt these for the tea party we are having to celebrate my middle’s First Communion. They’re cute, appear to be easy, and definitely Tea Party~ish. Be forewarned: if they leave me feeling Mad Hatter-ish, I’ll have nobody to blame but you. ;)

    Feel better soon.

  6. Hi, I found this post searching for “dipping balls in chocolate” and this is not what I expected. I would like to write a Sternly Worded Letter of Complaint.

    ;)

    Cake balls! One of these days I need to make these. I just need someone fun to have a birthday. Or a baby. I need an excuse, because I can’t make them just for me. I can’t eat that many balls at once.

    Uhh…you know what I mean.

  7. I’m sending get well soon vibes from MI. *hugs*

    After seeing how easy and awesome this process is, I may go from the Cupcakes Girl (I had a period of time when, like you, any event I attended found me bringing along my cupcake carrier) to Cake Ball Girl. Woot!

  8. You are brilliant, even when suffering. Not *especially* when suffering, however; you are not a romantic poet (as far as I know) for whom suffering is required in order to produce Art. This comment is probably giving you a headache, isn’t it? I love you. Cake balls!

  9. Having stolen the cake balls idea from Miss Zoot last summer I am now the Cake Ball Queen of Jacksonville. However, I’ve been stuck on Red Velvet and these Lemon sweeties are just thing to get me out of my RUT! Softball carnival day bake sale dilemma solved! Woo!

    Hope you feel better.

  10. If I had a dollar for every time my girl child baked a cake but then borfed it while trying to flip it out of the pan onto the server thingie and it fell apart and she wanted to trash it and we had NO IDEA that we could just make cake balls out of it … well! From now on, CAKE BALLS.

  11. Holy cow, CAKE BALLS! Off to make some now. Have you seen the “schweaty balls” Alec Baldwin skit on SNL? Cake balls! Feel better.

    (You’re probably better about not throwing the whole artillery at a migraine, but when they used to be really, really bad for me, I would go in for a shot of demerol. Did the trick.)

  12. There’s a great song by Aussie artist Paul Kelly called “Little Boy don’t lose your balls” & some of the words go like this:

    Balls run wild
    Balls may get way out of line
    You may not even know you’ve
    left your balls way behind
    You know money only buys you what you want
    And you can’t buy your balls back
    like you buy a pair of pants
    And once they’re gone you’ve really got f*** all
    Watch out little boy don’t lose your balls.

    I don’t think he was talking about cake. But who knows?

    Hope you feel better very very soon!

  13. “Balls!” said the Queen, “if I had two I’d be King”. And the King laughed because he had to (two). Bad, old joke my dad used to say. Anyway, cake balls look awesome! I am totally making them! Feel better!

  14. Ive thought of doing cake balls, but havent yet attempted. Ive been out drinking tonight and although I wont be doing cakeballs this evening, I will bookmarking this, so when I sober up I can refer back. Cake Balls Indeed!

  15. I have the book about Cake Balls(!), but have yet to make any. I guess I thought they had to be on a stick to be Real.

    But you have showed me the error of my ways — while enduring a migraine! quite impressive — and I will have to make some very, VERY soon.

    Unless you cater. :)

    Feel better very soon. I am sorry you’ve had such a rough week.

  16. These look absolutely decadant. I must find a reason to make some!

    BTW If touching the stuff bothers you, you might try wearing some vinyl gloves. My husband keeps a box of them on hand for various work projects and I think they’d come in handy here, especially seeing how sticky a job that cake crumbling would be.

  17. I will now be saying “CAKE BALLS!!!” all throughout the day and possibly the weekend. If my excitement and happiness in doing this could make you feel better, you would be splendid right about now.

  18. If only Charlie Sheen found out about this receipe sooner. It may have saved him from drugs, smoking and the two Goddesses who live with him Winning!! Hope you feel better soon.

  19. I came to know of these confections as ‘baked truffles,’ so your balls went over my head. That’s what she said.

  20. The cake balls sound awesome…pink lemonade, yum!

    I am completely impressed you are able to wear a ball cap while in the midst of a migraine! I can barely stand my sunglasses – even though I need them at times to block sunlight – when my head is a-pounding.

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