Cake Truffles!

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

Ingredients:
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)

Directions:

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.

 

Now, after you've frozen up your cake balls, it's time to coat them in chocolate. This part can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it the process will breeze by faster. I used Ghiradelli white chocolate that you can buy in those huge chunks at Trader Joe's. I highly suggest using good quality chocolate, and if you can find it, use chocolate bark, which is best for candy coating. The most important thing about melting the chocolate is not to burn it.Make sure your bowls and spoons are dry. Use 50% power in your microwave, and do about 15 seconds at a time, microwaving about 2 ounces at a time in a heat-proof bowl. Stir after each 15 seconds, since the chocolate holds its shape even when it has melted. It took me about 40 seconds to get my white chocolate melted each time. Transfer the melted chocolate to a small and not too shallow container to coat the balls (I used a ramekin for this).

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.

Finally, feel free to decorate the tops of the truffles, just like you would with real chocolate truffles! I melted up some semi-sweet chocolate chips and using a plastic ziplock back with the corner snipped off, I decorated a bunch of them like petit fours. I think these would also be great if you rolled them in some coconut flakes or sprinkles, nuts, etc. right after you dipped them (remember to do it right away instead of waiting, since they harden fast). I also spooned some extra melted chocolate on top of a few of them so that I could sprinkle cocoa on top or draw in chocolate lines like those found on mini Napoleons. It was a lot of fun decorating them!

I think these fun little cake truffles would make a great party favor for weddings if they were made with some more expertise. They can definitely be decorated with pretty sugar flowers and such, and the cake balls can be shaped into other shapes using cookie cutters and such, once it has been chilled. These are much easier to make than petit fours, but just as tasty and impressive! I love that they are bite sized, so you can sneak a few without feeling too guilty hehe. Personally I really liked them refrigerated… the chocolate on the outside was nice and crunchy that way, giving you that wonderful snap when you bit into it, yielding to the soft cake center. Plus it didn't melt in my hands as easily either. I hope you'll enjoy them just as much as I did! Having someone help make these will make the process breeze by a lot faster too :)

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14 responses to “Cake Truffles!

  • shippouchan

    Your cake truffles look delicious~ It must have taken a loooong time to make though. They kind of remind me of donut holes… except made with cake and chocolate… :D

  • Lucy

    Thanks! It did take a long time, because I made so many – I thought about halving the recipe but I'm not smart enough to come up with 1.5 eggs for the cake mix haha.

  • shippouchan

    that's true… 1.5 eggs is hard. Hmm… ^__^Well, the more the merrier! I'd totally devour the entire bunch, whole recipe or half or not!

  • savannah lee

    Those look amazing! I am making them ASAP. Thanks for sharing. :]

  • Kelev T. Cat

    They look beautiful and mighty tasty. A trick I use for coating truffles with chocolate is to break off the middle tines of sturdy plastic forks instead of using spoons.

  • Artzy Lady

    Oooo… there are adorable! There are also chocolate dipping forks and spirals available that make dipping things like this really quick and easy. I think the confetti is fun. I guess you could get the same effect by tossing in some colorful sprinkles when you're ready to mix in the frosting.

  • Lucy

    You're very welcome! :) I was just as excited when I first saw the recipe too – I couldn't wait to make them!

  • Lucy

    That's a really clever tip, thanks! Next time this will go faster for sure :)

  • Lucy

    Oh I totally didn't think to throw in extra things while mixing in the frosting – that lends itself to a whole new dimension right there!

  • Mah

    YOU ARE SO SWEET TO COMMENT on my blog!!! !!! Your site was the first blog I
    found on here and it was a few days before my husband's birthday. My
    son and I made these truffles (well, the kids insist on calling them
    "cake balls" and we just love them!!!You have turned me on to blogging now!!! wow, i feel like a celebrity has read my blog! lol

  • Laurie

    I'm in the middle of trying these myself. (Just put my naked cake balls in the fridge to chill overnight.) I'm using orange cake, French vanilla frosting, and have both milk and white chocolate to melt for dipping. Because of the orange cake, right now they look like some kind of weird meatballs. I also got quite a bit more than 50.

  • Lucy

    Mmm orange cake sounds really good! I really liked the cake balls that I did with lemon frosting – that bit of citrus flavor is a nice contrast to the sweet chocolate.

  • Laurie

    I really like the orange/chocolate combination in anything, and I thought the orange/white chocolate/vanilla frosting might evoke the flavor of a creamsicle. I did orange white chocolate almond bark at Christmas time and it was really nice.

  • TaoTao

    Wow, you are so talented!!! These are beautiful!

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