Cake Balls, cake pops, cake truffles or cake bites are all the same name for this cake phenomenon that’s making cupcakes shiver in their wrappers. Yes, believe it or not, cupcakes have a competitor creeping up on their cute little expensive and exalted backside. Cake balls aren’t eating away at cupcakes because of their pricing (each little ball costs around the same as a cupcake) no, it’s their cute perky look of chocolate coated cake on a stick that’s making people swoon.
I’ve been aware of the cake ball trend for a while now. In fact, I’ve even had a couple from some of the “best” cake ball shops around. But I just haven’t been able to get into them. Cake balls are a really simple thing…you take a perfectly nice cake and mush it up with some icing…roll it into a ball…shove a stick into it….and dip it into chocolate or some “chocolate like” coating – viola. I’m not sure if it’s the consistency or the flavor of the mash up that I don’t like, but whatever it is I’m not sold.
That being said, a friend of ours recently had a birthday and I needed to make her something. I know how much she adores sweets (in any way shape or form) so I thought I would make her some cake balls. I thought that maybe my dislike of the dessert that I encountered was due the flavor combination (could I really be a cake ball snob and think that I could make one that would taste infinitely better?).
So I whipped up my favorite white cake mix (yes, I do use boxed cake mixes for some things) and added some jimmies (those oblong rainbow sprinkles) to make a colorful funfetti cake. I made a batch of homemade frosting to mix into the cake and pulled out my inner child to do some serious mashing and mixing. I have to admit, it was kind of fun mashing up that cake with the frosting (if you have kids, let them do this part…isn’t that why you had kids in the first place – division of labor?). Word to the wise…mashing up a funfetti cake, even with vanilla icing looks pretty gross. Either go with a solid color cake or add the “mix-ins” when your mashing and mixing the cake and icing together. I decided not to do the expected, and roll little cake balls and impale them on sticks. No, I had to be more creative than that. I decided to make them into mice – no, I don’t know why I chose mice (actually, I do know why…I was going to make ladybugs but didn’t want to use those candy melts to get the red and black colors…I don’t like the taste of those melt things) but I thought that they would look really cute dipped in white chocolate.
As I was forming them I tasted a bit here and there but decided to hold my verdict until they were coated in white chocolate. I coated and decorated 6 cake balls…errr mice and had Craig deliver them. While he was gone I did my official taste testing. I’m still not a fan of cake balls but I think I figured out why. I’m not a big icing person, so for me the icing to cake ratio is off just enough that they’re a bit too sweet for me. Our friend, on the other hand, inhaled the little cuties. After she had someone else take the heads off. She couldn’t bear to bite their heads off with those beady little eyes staring at her.
Speaking of balls….
I know the guys out there are going to think that I’m picking on them (2 posts in a row directed right at the guys might make them a little paranoid – but it must be done). Let’s talk about your balls. Seriously, those things are ugly. Really. Ugly. I get it, you’re proud of them. So proud of them, in fact, that if someone made a bumper sticker that said “My Balls Made the Honor Roll at Heywood Jablomie State” you’d plaster it all over your bumper (and be as proud of that as your kid being on the honor roll). And the bigger they are, the happier you seem to be.
Newsflash…big and hairy is no way to go through life. The same mantra that goes for your back, also goes for your ball sack. The skin on those things (regardless of your age) looks like something only seen in one other place in nature, on a turkey’s neck. We women spend lots of hours and dollars to avoid having skin like that appear on any part of our bodies. If our boobs looked like that you’d have a stroke when we took our top off. But I digress.
Here’s the honest truth guys. As a rule (and yes, there are always exceptions to the rule), we don’t want to stare at your balls. We don’t want to see you drop trou and then brag about how big they are, how evenly they hang or how virile you are because of their huge size (There is no better birth control method than telling us how virile you are. Like your super sperm is going to crush any birth control method we might be on…just to prove it – we believe you okay?).
We know you have pride in your manly bits, we know your ego’s are as fragile as glass. So we’ll make you a deal. Do a little manscaping and clean up the underbrush. We don’t need a clear de-forestation just a bit of maintenance. If you can do that for us, I can’t promise you that we’ll gaze adoringly at them, or at all, but we promise not to ignore your man bits the next time we’re feeling a little amorous. Deal?
Makes 12 – 50 Pieces (depending on size)
- 1 Box Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines white cake)
- 1 16 Ounce Can of Frosting (I used my favorite homemade frosting recipe: Wilton buttercream frosting recipe)
- 5 Ounces White Chocolate Baking Chips (half of a bag)
Bake cake according to package directions. I made it in a 13″ x 9″ sheet pan. Let it cool completely.
Crumble cake into a large bowl and spoon in the frosting.
Mix the cake and frosting together thoroughly. You have two choices here. You can go all neat and tidy and mix with a large spoon or spatula or you can get your inner kid on and mush it all together with your hands. I prefer the later because it’s always fun to lay with your food, but it is a little messy. Consider the finger licking to be some foreplay.
Using an ice cream scoop (if you’re making balls) or your hands roll the cake mixture into balls (about the size of a quarter) or whatever simple shape you are looking to make. You could form mice or ladybugs by hand or use a small cookie cutter as a form that you fill with the mixture for an interesting shape. Place each shape on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
Chill the shapes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. If you want to speed up the process you can chill them in the freezer.
Chop chocolate chips into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir the chips after each interval until they are melted and smooth.
Dip the chilled cake shapes into the melted chocolate and turn to coat (use a spoon or a fork for this). Remove to the wax paper and set aside to allow the chocolate coating to firm.
*To make the mice I cut the ears and tail from bubble gum tape and affixed them to the mice while the chocolate was still warm. The eyes were made with leftover buttercream frosting. The nose was made with a pink nonpareil. The whiskers were painted on with melted dark chocolate.Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.