Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cake Balls

Wanna know a secret? Shhh, don't tell anyone. I actually ruined this cake. But, you'd never know it by looking at these lovely cake balls now would you?

See, I had intended to make a beautiful two-layered chocolate cake using the recipe for Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake. I could see it all in my mind. It would be frosted with a white buttercream and I would use melted chocolate to make a spiderweb pattern on the top. Oh yeah, it was going to be stunning.

Except, that I messed up on the cake itself. I knew I should have used parchment paper in the pans. But, I rationed that it would all be alright and they would come out right as rain. I was wrong. They stuck to the pans leaving me with half a cake here and half a cake there, here a cake, there a cake, everywhere a cake, cake. I still figured that I could somehow glue it back together with the buttercream. Did I also mention I had them cooling on plates since I don't have actual cooling racks? So, they stuck some more and broke apart some more and looked like they had been hit by an earthquake. I had to admit that no amount of buttercream was going to remedy this.

Onto Plans B, C, and D. I could make another cake in a 9x13 pan and that would work. But, then what am I supposed to do with THIS cake? After all, the cake itself was absolutely delicious (super chocolatey and moist) and it seemed such a shame to waste it. Well, I could crumble the cake up and make this Chocolate Trifle. That's it, a trifle. But, then I'd have to go out and buy more ingredients, a cost that I did not plan for and would rather avoid. That only left one solution - cake balls!

I made several different types - white chocolate covered, mint chocolate covered, and another one that I'll share tomorrow (one hint - it's my specialty). They were fairly easy to make, though I did learn some things along the way. One - if you made a dark colored cake, use a dark colored coating, especially if you're the type that stresses like me when you can clearly see the cake peeking through. Two - using melted chocolate chips is a lot easier than candy melts. Somehow, the candy melts just didn't work as well for me. As you can see from the picture (the white ones), they came out kind of fraggly. Three - before you dip, freeze those cake balls! Believe me, I speak from experience. It'll save you a world of mess and fuss. Other than that, they are totally easy to make and I think they're even better than a cake.

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I say, when life gives you a ruined cake, make cake balls!

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake (adapted from Hershey's)

2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (I decreased this to 1/2 tsp.)
1 c. milk (I used skim milk)
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I used melted margarine)
1 c. boiling water

Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9" inch found baking pans or a 9x13 cake pan.

Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients (except for the boiling water) and add. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the boiling water. Pour batter into the pans.

Bake 30-35 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 min. before removing from pans. Let cakes cool on a wire rack.

Cake Balls (Sweet as Sugar Cookies)

1 ruined cake
1 1/2 c. buttercream frosting (recipe below)
white candy melts or melted mint chocolate chips

Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 1/2 - 3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 - 1/3 cup milk (depending on how thick/thin you want it to be)

Beat the butter with the sugar. Add the milk a little at a time until you have the consistency you want.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Crumble up the cake and mix it with your frosting. Form the mixture into balls, lay them out on the cookie sheet, and freeze until firm.

Melt the candy melts or chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip the cake balls into the melted chocolate and lay out on the waxed paper to let the chocolate set. Chill in the fridge for the tastiest results.


  1. Hooray that the cake stuck and was ruined cause these cake balls look good :) We LOVE cake balls here, I mean come on, a bite of cake and frosting AND chocolate in one bite?? Heaven! Sometimes from ruin comes beauty. Like this :)

  2. Sometimes "mistakes" turn into the best happy accidents. Case in point - these look delicious!