Cake Ball Finale

I have wanted a double boiler for years. My mom had one when I was growing up and she used it to melt cheese and chocolate and other goodies I don’t even remember.

I’ve seen them in stores, but their either too small — or come with a bunch of other pans I already have.

But after researching the cake ball making process, I realized I already have a double boiler.

Double boiler parts

You just take a sauce pan like my husbands potato pan that you see above (he uses it to make his world famous mashed potatos), and a glass mixing bowl that will fit inside the sauce pan without touching the bottom.  You’ll also want to make sure the sides meet up snugly to keep water out of the bowl, since water will ruin the candy coating.

That said, I pulled out my handy-dandy double boiler and filled up the pan about half way with water and put it on the stove top to boil. Once the water started bubbling, I put the bowl on top and added the almond bark to melt.

Coating in boiler

I just let the water boil and stirred the candy until it looked like this:

Melted Coating

Warning: Before we go any further, I must warn you. I started out using almond bark to dip my red velvet cake balls. This was a bad idea. The almond bark was gloppy, messy and ended up looking like crud. Like this. So don’t use almond bark. Instead, use the candy coating wafers or other coating that is made for dipping. It works out  much better.

After I realized the almond bark wasn’t working, I added several candy coating wafers and it started behaving much better, but was too thick. When the candy is completely melted, you’ll notice that if you pick up a spoonful and pour it back into the bowl, it kind of glops off the spoon. That means the coating is too think. So what you’ll need to do is add about a tablespoon of shortening. That will thin the coating so it will work better.

Once the coating is melted and pours smoothly off the spoon, it’s time to pull one of your wax paper lined cookie sheets full of cake balls out of the freezer.

Note: The recipes I followed all suggested that I freeze the balls for at least 6 hours. I actually started the cake ball process on Monday and put them in the freezer. But with all the snow, kids running around the house cooped up and other random craziness, I wasn’t able to start dipping them until today.

How to dip the cake balls

I read in several places that the trick to dipping the cake balls is to tap the spoon. You drop a ball in the coating and use a spoon to pour more coating on top. Then scoop up the ball and tap the spoon on the side of the bowl to remove the extra coating.

I had a problem with this the first time I made cake balls.

See, I’m a night owl,so I dipped them around 3 a.m. Since my kitchen is near a couple of bedrooms in our house, I really didn’t want to spend an hour tapping a spoon on the side of a glass bowl.

Instead, I used a small, quick side-to-side shaking motion to shed the extra coating. I also used the side of a second spoon in my other hand to scrape the bottom of the cake ball spoon and made sure to leave a pool of coating in the spoon behind the cake ball (which I held on the end of the spoon) to pour down the side of the ball as I gently tipped it back onto the cookie sheet. This helped fill in any holes in the coating left by the spoon.

Here are the pretty cake balls:

Funfettie cake balls

Would love to hear your cake ball stories!

Making Cake Balls For Valentine Dinner

Making cake balls is super easy.

If you can bake a cake from a mix, you’re in business. If not, seek help.

Back to the cake balls.

This week, I’m making red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla confectioners coating, and also funfetti cake with funfetti frosting and the same confectioner’s coating.

My 9×13 pan is still in use, so I decided to pull out my Bundt pan. Here’s what my cakes looked like as they cooled:

red-velvet-

funfetti-cake

Once I made sure the cakes were completely cool, I used the mixer to crumble each cake. Wheee!

blend-velvet

Then I blended 3/4 of a tub of frosting into the cakes to make a pasty kind of cakey dough. Not sure how else to explain that…

funfetti-frosting

Forgive me, but this next photo looks pretty gross.

velvet-frosting

After I blended the cake and frosting, I put the mixture into the freezer for 30 minutes to chill out.

Then I used a mini ice cream scoop to dip out even portions of dough, rolled them into balls and placed them on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet.

scoop-funfetti

Funfetti cake balls!

funfetti-balls

Red velvet cake balls!

velvet-balls

I put both pans of cake balls in the freezer to hang out for at least 6 hours.

The next step

Dipping the balls into confectioner’s coating. Subscribe to Night Owl Chronicles near the top of the right column and I’ll send you a notice when I post the rest of the story…

Great Balls of Cake!

Don’t these cake balls look delicious? Sorry about the photo quality — I took the picture using my iPhone in a fairly dim dining room.

That said, I have never had case so moist and decadent as these cake balls.

Are you drooling yet?

They’re terribly easy to make. Just checkout these links that I used to make my creations:

Here is the exact recipe I used:

  • 1 Devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 can chocolate fudge frosting
  • 1 package chocolate candy coating

Bake the cake just like you normally would. I ended up using two 9? round pans because my 9×13 has peach dump cake in it.

Let the cake cool completely. Then break up the cake and put it in your mixer on low speed. Low speed is important, because if you have the old style mixer like mine, you’ll throw crumbs everywhere. Keep mixing until the cake is completely crumbled up — no large pieces left.

Scoop the frosting into the bowl. I used the whole can, but I’ve seen some recipes recommend 3/4 of a can. Guess that’s up to you… Mix until the frosting is completely blended into the crumbs.

Put the bowl of cake/frosting mixture into the freezer for a couple of hours. This is important so that the mixture will hold together while you’re making your balls.

Pull out a couple of cookie sheets and line them with waxed paper. Then scoop out some cake and start making balls. I used a handy-dandy mini ice cream scoop to make my balls nice and uniform. I was able to make 57 balls. I only had room for 56 on my cookie sheets, so I fed the extra one to my husband at this point. It can be given to a random child as well.

Once you have your cake balls in nice, neat rows on your cookie sheets — stash them in the freezer for at least 6 hours. I ended up leaving mine in overnight so I could do the dipping later.

When you’re ready, melt your candy coating. I thought about melting it in the microwave, but figured it would be tough to keep the chocolate warm while dipping 57 56 balls. I didn’t want to melt it in a saucepan because I’ve had bad experiences with burned chocolate. Yuck! So I created my own little double boiler, using a saucepan and a glass bowl I already had. I was able to melt all the chocolate, then turn the heat down and keep it melted throughout the dipping process. Perfect!

Hold the presses! When the chocolate is ready, you can dip the cake balls. There is a trick to this though. I had two spoons, one a table spoon, to aid in the dipping process. I dropped a ball into the chocolate, spooned chocolate over it and then scooped it up with the tablespoon. The cake ball instructions I read suggested that I tap the spoon on the rim of the bowl — but there were people in my house asleep (after all, I carried this process out in the middle of the night). So I just used the tapping motion, without the actual tapping. I also scrapped the bottom of the spoon on the side of the other spoon.

I also found that if I rolled the cake ball to the back of the spoon first, let the extra chocolate drip off and then rolled the cake ball to the front of the spoon, I could carefully drop the ball on to the cookie sheet without too much of a mess.

WARNING! I did have some issues with the spoon scraping chocolate off the side of the ball. So I’ll have to work on that next time.

Once I dipped all the balls and they had set — which happened in just a few seconds! — I put them in a display container for safe keeping.

Check out my favorite cake ball videos on Youtube!