I saw these wonderful little cake truffles on Bakerella's blog, where she also has many other delectable baked goods and decorating ideas. She calls them cake balls, although I found that name to be a little non-descript and didn't do justice to the actual thing, which is very much a truffle with cake and frosting in the middle (can we say yum?). Not only did this dessert look fun and creative, it was also the perfect way to use up some of my boxed cake mixes and frostings that I bought on a whim on a 10 for $10 sale. I think the best part of this recipe is that there are endless possibilities for these truffles – the three ingredients are boxed cake mix, cake frosting, and chocolate for the outer shell. Bakerella used red velvet with cream cheese frosting and semi-sweet chocolate, which sounds and looks great. I went with a white confetti cake mix and made some truffles using cream cheese frosting and some with a lemon frosting, just for variety, all coated with white chocolate.
One thing to note though, is that while this recipe is beyond simple in procedure, it is very time intensive, at least the first time you make it. It took me one night and one whole afternoon to complete everything, with most of the time spent on repetition of simple steps. Still, it was definitely worth the hard work! I was able to make about 70 cake truffles from the recipe, and they are absolutely delicious – it is surprising how moist the cake centers are! I guess when I first went to make this recipe I envisioned the cake centers to be like little balls of the boxed cake, as if I had taken a melon baller and just scooped out rounded cake bites. But really with the frosting mixed in, the taste and texture is entirely different, very moist and decadent. These would be perfect to bring to a party, and they look great when they're done! I'll definitely be adding this one to my repertoire to bring to future dinner parties.
Cake Truffles (makes about 70) original recipe from Bakerella
1 box cake mix, any flavor (I used white confetti – "rainbow party chip")
1 container of ready to use frosting (16 oz.), any flavor (I used some cream cheese frosting and some lemon frosting)
Chocolate for coating the truffles, any type (I used just a little more than 1 lb. of white Ghiradelli chocolate)
1. Bake cake as directed on box. Allow to cool completely.
2. Crumble cake finely, using hands.
3. Stir in frosting, at room temperature, until well distributed through cake crumbs.
4. Shape cake into small balls, about 1" in diameter (I made mine similar to the size of Lindt truffle balls). Place balls on a cookie sheet and chill for several hours in the freezer (I did mine overnight).
5. Melt chocolate in the microwave a couple of ounces at a time, and one by one, dip the frozen cake balls into the chocolate to coat. Set on wax paper to allow to set.
6. Store in an air-tight container. The are great at room temperature or refrigerated – try it both ways!
Okay so you've seen how straightforward the directions are. Now you can see the process I went though – hopefully my tips will be helpful to you as you make these truffles yourself:
So I went and baked my cake in two 8" round pans, since I'm not too fond of my 9×13" casserole pan. I think in the future I will stick with 9×13", since that size means less cake skin, which is actually really tough to crumble. Of course, you could also just trim off the tougher skin, but I didn't want any of it to go to waste.
Crumbling the cake was a pretty laborious process, since I was doing it by hand. I wanted to maintain the lightness of the cake crumbs, so I had to be careful not to end up squishing the cake together as I was crumbling it. The skin would always crumble into giant chunks instead of soft crumbs, so I had to work extra hard to break those up. It was also sad to see the pretty confetti broken up into tiny little dots – the confetti effect didn't exactly make it nicely into the truffle like I had hoped, but it was there more or less.
To make the cake balls, I recommend working with the cake crumbs in batches (I did mine in 3 separate ones). That way you don't have crumbs flying everywhere as you stir in the frosting… unless you have a really big bowl. I also separated mine into batches so that I could make some with lemon frosting instead of cream cheese frosting. You can't skimp on the frosting at all – I tried doing that for one of the batches and the balls were really really tough to form. They kept crumbling in my hands as I was rolling them together. You really need enough frosting to serve as the glue between all the crumbs. When I had less than adequate frosting, some of the crumbs wouldn't stick together, and a few of those in the centers of a ball would cause the whole ball to fall apart as soon as you applied pressure while rolling it. But be patient, and wash your hands often since they will get gunky after you roll enough of them. The original recipe says you can get about 50 balls, but I got 70 of them, so your mileage may vary.
To coat the balls, use two spoons – spoon up some chocolate on the first spoon (left hand for righties), and place a cake ball onto the chocolate in the spoon. Using the second spoon (right hand), scoop up some chocolate and spoon it over the top of the ball, and using the second spoon to pick up and rotate the ball on the first spoon so that the entire ball is nicely coated. Pick up the ball with the second spoon and deposit gently onto wax paper to allow to harden. Note that since the cake balls were frozen, they will be very cold and will cause the chocolate to harden very fast. So work quickly as you are dipping and rotating the balls, otherwise the chocolate on your spoons will start to get stiff. I didn't have any trouble with cake bits crumbling off and falling into the chocolate this way, so remember to freeze the cake balls well.