When I was getting ready for my wedding, I was worried we wouldn’t have enough cake. I wanted to find a solution that would feed everyone delicious sweets and add my personal touch. At the time, I was falling in love with a local Austin shop that specialized in Cake Balls.I meant to serve everyone a few cake balls to supplement the cake we had bought so I started practicing. I ended up having enough cake afterall, but now I love making these cake balls and have added my own twist on the filling.
I’m sure we’ll look back on them as such a food fad, but I think they are the absolute perfect dessert. They are cake, frosting and chocolate all in one bite without the “I just ate a whole tub of sugar in that frosting” kind of feeling. It’s not too much, but just enough–although I have had days of eating these like candy too.
This particular recipe I did because I was coming to visit Amanda for her birthday AND graduation from business school all in one day. Since she and I both have connections with Boston, I decided to do my version of Boston Creme Pie in a cake ball.
I also wanted to celebrate her graduation so I tried to figure out a way to add little hats. They’re not the prettiest, but if you have square molds they might look a bit better. Hats are completely optional obviously, however I used melted chocolate cut into squares attached to a round caramel candy, but anything kind of cylindrical would work and a mini chocolate candy on the top. All of these were “glued” together with melted chocolate and then stuck on the top.
To make these delicious treats you will need:
1 box of cake mix baked with the ingredients and per the instructions on the box*
1/2 to 1 cup of buttercream frosting (canned is fine, but recipe is below)
1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix & milk made per instructions on the box
16 oz of melting chocolate or chocolate chips of your preferred sweetness
Your choice of sprinkles or graduation hat topping
*you can make your own cake with your favorite homemade recipe if you’d like but dipping these guys in chocolate is time consuming enough for me–box all the way
Makes : about 24
First, bake the cake according to the box instructions or per your favorite recipe. Allow to cool completely–sometimes I make this the day before. This is also the easiest part because shape and flatness doesn’t matter!
First, make the vanilla pudding according to instructions on the box and chill until firm.
Funnel the completed pudding into a zip top bag and cut one of the bottom corner tips off to create a hole for piping.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pipe the pudding in little droplets onto the parchment paper so each one is about a 1/2 tablespoon of pudding.
You’ll only need 30 pudding droplets at the most so if you’d like to use the rest of the pudding for something else, you should have some leftover. However, if you’re on a piping roll, these do make good snacks on their own.
Put the baking sheet of pudding drops in the freezer and freeze until hardened.
In the meantime, break the cake into chunks and stick in your mixer fitted with a paddle. S
Spoon buttercream frosting into the cake and mix. The amount of frosting will depend on the kind of day and your preference, but it should make the cake moist enough to form ball that is not crumbly. I typically don’t use as much as other recipes recommend, but it is entirely up to you.
Chill cake for about 2 hours in the fridge. This will firm everything up.
Once everything is chilled, melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using microwave, I typically do this in 20 second increments, stir and repeat until smooth.
Also, line a baking sheet or flat surface that is easily transported to the fridge with parchment paper to prepare for the cake balls.
Then, use a disher or spoon to spoon out equal amounts of the chilled cake/frosting dough and form into a ball the size of a golf ball.
Take a pudding drop from the freezer and stick into the ball like you’re hiding a pill for your pet inside a treat.
Roll the ball in your hands to smooth out and dip in the chocolate.
I am still perfecting my dipping technique but I have had the most luck with a trusty fork and then shaking off excess chocolate on the side of the bowl. When I transfer to the parchment paper I can usually smooth out the chocolate that was disrupted by the fork and cover with sprinkles or the topping.
As stated above, if you are using sprinkles as your topping, this is the time to add them while the chocolate is still wet. If doing graduation hats or something that needs to be “glued” into place, wait until everything is hardened.
Repeat with the rest of the cake and transfer what you have to the fridge for the chocolate to harden.
Keep in fridge for 4-5 hours so the pudding inside can melt and then they are ready to consume!