Last year, I made one of my new favorite desserts for Christmas. Cake balls. These lovely little balls of cake are delicious and easier to serve for a crowd. They are also labor intensive and take several hours. Just givin it to ya straight ;)
Last night, I decided to make them again this year and take you along for the ride. However, my red velvet cake recipe didn't turn out exactly as I wanted it to. Eatable but not phenomenal. Sad. But I'll still give you the basic steps :) The greatest thing about cake balls is that they can use any combination of cake and frosting you prefer. I love the look of red velvet cake balls so I've tended to stick with them. But I would love to try other flavors as well. While the cake recipe didn't turn out the best, this cream cheese frosting sure did...
Cream Cheese Frosting
from The Velveteen Baker
makes 2 cups
- 4 Tb. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
By the way, we only use organic dairy because of the treatment of the animals. I honestly think that organic dairy always tastes better but there are some products that are more noticeable than others. Organic cream cheese was the best cream cheese I have ever tasted. I highly recommend you use it. It had the taste of mascarpone without the price (Organic Valley at my store was $3.39 for an 8 oz block)! Absolutely excellent.
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.
Slowly sift confectioners' sugar into the mix. Continue beating on a low speed until smooth.
Easy peasy! I always forget how easy real frosting is....and sooo much better than the can!
makes about 40-50 balls
- 1 9x13 cake, made from scratch or from a box
- 2 cups frosting, made from scratch or a 16 oz can
- 2 packages chocolate bark (or white chocolate)
Bake cake according to recipe/package directions. Let cool completely.
Crumble cooled cake into a large bowl. Add frosting.
Mix until fully incorporated.
Take by spoonfuls and form into balls. This part can be tricky because the mixture doesn't always stay together. Keep going at it, it gets easier. Plus, after they've been chilling for a while, you can always fix any shapes. Put in the freezer for at least 20 minutes, but no longer than an hour. You do not want the balls to completely freeze. If you're have to leave them overnight, transfer them to the fridge.
I was very excited to use my new Wilton Chocolate Pro that I got in my blogger kit, which I'll explain after the recipe. Keeping chocolate warm is always a trouble for me so I was very excited to try it.
I topped my cake balls with colored sugars this year. I had the varieties out and ready to go because the chocolate hardens fast so it needs to be done immediately after dipping. You can also drizzle extra chocolate like I did last year....
the sprinkles were much easier this time around, though. ;)
Chop your chocolate before melting to make it faster and more even.
Put the chocolate in the chocolate melter and let it do it's magic! I do have to say that I definitely loved using the Chocolate Pro. It kept the chocolate at the perfect temperature for dipping the whole time. While my cake balls weren't perfect, they were definitely smoother than last years'.
If you don't have a chocolate melter, you can definitely just use a microwave. Melt the chocolate on 50-70% power, depending on the strength of your microwave, in 30-second intervals so that it doesn't burn. Stir between intervals. To keep the chocolate warm, I've seen AB put the bowl on a heating pad during dipping.
Once chocolate is ready, take one cake ball at a time and dip or roll in the chocolate. I tend to sit the ball in the chocolate and use plastic spoons to pour the chocolate over. Then I tap off the excess. This leaves less crumbs in the chocolate.
Transfer to parchment paper and top with sprinkles or colored sugar. Let harden at room temperature. Don't put in the fridge. The chocolate loses it's sheen and will crack sometimes. Trust me, it's just better to let them set at room temp.
And there ya have it! I do not have nutritional information for these babies. I tend to just eat one and try to control myself from eating more. :) It's also difficult to provide the info since there are so many options of cake and frosting combos!
I mentioned earlier that I got the Chocolate Pro from a blogger kit. I was chosen as one of the bloggers to receive a Wilton Pops blogger kit for the Wilton Pops Blogger Contest. I have to create my own, original pop. We have an excellent idea. I'm super pumped about it. :) But Wilton was kind enough to provide all this stuff to get me started!
Wow, right?! I was so freakin excited when I opened my package! I'm so excited to start creating my own pops after the Christmas rush is over! And all bloggers are encouraged to participate, even if you didn't receive a pops kit! Put those thinkin' hats on. There's cash prizes at stake. :)
Well, I hope you all have a very, very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I'll be back on Monday with a great appetizer I'm making tonight!
Disclosure - I was provided with the products discussed in the post by Wilton for my personal use in the Pops Blogger contest. However, this was an unsolicited review and the opinions expressed are my own.