Cake Ball Truffles

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Vanilla Cake Ball Truffles

So apparently “cake balls” or “cake pops” are a new American dessert trend right now… everyone is making them, and some people (like Bakerella) are making some really extraordinary designs.  I decided it was time to jump on the bandwagon, and give cake balls a try.

Cake Ball truffles are sooooo good – I can’t believe I waited so long to try them!  Even Mr. Picky (my dear husband) liked them… so they must be good.  This recipe is for a basic vanilla cake version, but you could mix it up with different cake flavors and frosting flavors, such as:

  • Lemon cake + lemon frosting + white chocolate coating
  • Strawberry cake + strawberry frosting + chocolate coating
  • Carrot cake + cream cheese frosting + white chocolate coating
  • Chocolate cake + nutella or PB (instead of frosting) + milk chocolate coating
  • Chocolate cake + chocolate frosting & kahlua + dark chocolate coating
  • Red velvet cake + cream cheese frosting + white chocolate coating
  • Yellow cake + vanilla frosting + milk chocolate coating (and sprinkles) “birthday cake”

The vanilla cake recipe below is a “reduced fat cake” recipe… I figured since the cake balls are coating with chocolate, and have tons of frosting in them, it would be better to go a little light on the cake portion.  Each cake ball (using this recipe) works out to be about 125-130 calories per piece.  (To use cake mix for a lower fat version, mix 1 box cake mix + 1 can diet soda and bake according to box directions – do not add eggs, oil, or water.)

Next time, I will probably use regular cake mix just to speed it up.  I would probably also use chocolate chips to coat the truffles, rather than candy melts or the dolci frutta that I got in the produce section of the supermarket.  Microwave chocolate chips in the microwave at 70% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between to melt.  Add a couple of teaspoons of canola oil to thin (do not add any water or water based liquids or the chocolate will seize!).  3 regular sized (16 oz) bags of chocolate chips should be enough to coat one cake mix worth of cake ball truffles.  I did half chocolate, half white chocolate, and used contrasting (leftover) melted chocolate to decorate.

Vanilla Cake:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 can diet 7up
  • 3 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Cake Balls:

  • 1 recipe vanilla cake (or any boxed cake mix, baked)
  • 16 oz. can cream cheese frosting
  • 16 oz. white chocolate chips (1 1/3 bag)
  • 8 oz. melting/dipping chocolate (1 can)

1.  Make the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the dry ingredients together, and mix the wet ingredients together.  Mix the wet into the dry, and immediately pour into a greased 9″ X 13″ pan and bake for 25-27 minutes.  Cool.

2.  Mash the cake (into crumbs) with a fork in a large bowl, mix in the frosting.

3.  Roll rounded teaspoons of the cake crumb mixture between your palms to form 1″ balls.  Set them on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet.  Put the cake balls into the freezer for 1-2 hours until fairly firm (but not frozen).  (I was able to make about 53 one inch cake balls with this recipe.)

4.  Melt the chocolate according to package instructions (Basically, microwave at 70% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.  Thin with a teaspoon of canola oil if needed).  Using chopsticks (or toothpicks) to swirl each cake ball in the melted chocolate, remove, and set on waxed paper to cool.  It’s best to do this in small batches, and remove only a few cake balls from the freezer at the time (if the cake balls warm up too much, they will fall apart while you are coating them).  Do not let any water or moisture get into the melted chocolate, or it will seize.

5.  Once all the balls are coated, use the remaining chocolate to decorate.  I put the chocolate into a ziplock bag and snipped off the tip, and drizzled ribbons of melted chocolate over the top of the balls.

6.  Store the cake ball truffles in a plastic containers at room temperature.  It’s best not to refrigerate, otherwise condensation will form on the surface of the chocolate.

**Update 5/11/2011:  Since my blog post, I have made some more flavors:

Peanut Butter:

White cake (from a box) + 1 1/4 c. peanut butter.  Use about 2+ bags of milk chocolate chips to coat.  These are to DIE for!!!

Chocolate Hazelnut:

Devil’s Food cake (from a box) + 1 jar (13 oz) Nutella.  Use a 1:3 ratio of milk chocolate chips to white chocolate chips for a nice light brown chocolate coating.



  1. shaquanda says:

    I want to know what’s a good recipe for left over spice cake. All i have is chocolate frosting and I don’t know how that or if it will even work but I don’t have any more money so Idon’t know what to do with the spice cake lost and confused can anyone help me pleeaassee!!

    • Mika Mika says:

      Why don’t you try it? Chocolate spice cake doesn’t sound that bad to me… Could be good!

  2. ylusion says:

    I’m making chocolate cake pops with PB but i don’t have chocolate melts. Can I use Skippy’s Dark Chocolate spread melted? I also have m&ms I can use.. HELP pleaseeeee :)

    • Mika Mika says:

      I don’t think you can use a soft “spread” in place of a coating that is meant to cool into a solid. If you can’t find any chocolate melts, you could always melt chocolate chips with a teaspoon of shortening, then refrigerate the coated cake balls to harden the coating. If you cannot find any chocolate at all to coat and melt the cake balls, then the next best thing might be to roll the moist formed cake balls into powdered sugar, cocoa powder, or colored sugar/chocolate sprinkles.

  3. Ann says:

    If I were to use this recipe to make cake pops at what point do you push the stick into the cake? Thanks mika!

    • Mika Mika says:

      To make cake pops, you would probably want to push a lollipop stick into the formed cake balls right before freezing.

  4. ann says:

    for the variations you listed, we would add either the peanut butter or nutella in place of the frosting. is this correct? sorry, i’m sure this is obvious…but just making sure :)

    • Mika Mika says:

      Yes, the PB or nutella is to take the place of the frosting.

  5. Ann says:

    Mika, you mentioned that you would use chocolate chips to coat rather than candy melts. Is there a reason for this preference? Does candy melts not taste as good.? I am trying to make these as party favors which is why I wanted to use candy melts for the color. But if they don’t taste as good I will go forego color and just use regular chocolate chips. Thanks so much for answering all my questions!!!

    • Mika Mika says:

      You can really use either – they taste the same. I found it was easier to melt the chocolate chips than the candy melts due to the smaller size. So it’s more for convenience that I liked the chocolate chips better – but you do have to refrigerate them to get melted chocolate chips to harden. Really the candy melts are fine!

  6. Mary says:

    Hi Mika, how do you prevent the melted chocolate from going hard as it cools down. This happened to the first batch of cake pops I made…! Or do I just need to work a bit quicker…? :)

    • Mika Mika says:

      As chocolate cools, it does tend to harden or stiffen. But you can just return the bowl to the microwave and zap it for about 15 seconds at a time (stirring in between) until it is the right consistency again. I usually will have to stop and microwave a few times once the chocolate begins to stiffen up.

  7. Shelly says:

    I have 3 bundt shaped Rum Cakes leftover, no icing, just a soaker glaze on them. Making crumbs for pie crust and layering with puddings. But I really would like ideas for the cake balls. Suggestions please!

    • Mika Mika says:

      Rum cake balls? Sounds amazing! If they already have soaking glaze on them… I would mash them up and see how moist they are before adding frosting… you might not need that much frosting to form the cake balls. I would probably go with cream cheese frosting (maybe with a splash of extra rum) + white chocolate or dark chocolate glaze?


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