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Posted on Dec 22, 2011 in Fail, Food | 26 comments

Cake “Truffles”

3 Sibs, 3 Days

In honor of there being merely THREE days until Christmas, I attempted to make cake pops for the first time ever. Well, okay, they weren’t really cake pops as much as cake balls (heh). And as a self-proclaimed lover of all miniaturized and adorable foods, I didn’t know why I had never bothered to make them before.

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Now I do.

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Making cake pops is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the lazy. I knew the general principle behind them. You mix a baked cake with frosting, shape ‘em, refrigerate ‘em, stick ‘em, and cover ‘em with chocolate. It sounds simple, right? Well, having to make an entire dessert in order to make a different dessert should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk (badoom-ching!).

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It is an extremely lengthy process. Being that I most definitely fall into the “lazy” category, I tried to make it easy for myself by spreading the steps out. I baked the cake (a box of Pillsbury Holiday Funfetti that I mixed with some green food coloring for funsies) on Tuesday night, then combined everything last night. With the refrigeration and the chocolate and everything though, it still took forevvvver, and by the end I had run out of both chocolate and patience.

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Now, I’ll be honest here and admit that this half-assed dessert effort wasn’t entirely the cake pops’ fault. I couldn’t find lollipop sticks or candy melts at Target or the grocery store, hence the amending of pops to balls (heh) because I was too scared lazy to go to Michael’s, even though I know they carry both there. In and of itself, though, not really a big deal.

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I also ended up with a bag of white chocolate instead of colored candy melts for the coating. This unfortunately, didn’t pan out that well for me because I had to find out the hard way that you can’t just add food coloring to melted chocolate and expect it to turn into colored melted chocolate.

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Nope. You end up with gross, clumpy, chocolate-ish paste. Le sigh.

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Don’t try to get fancy with me, Powell.

For the few truffles that I did actually cover with the leftover, untainted chocolate (thank goodness I was melting it in batches!), it worked really well though. Unfortunately with the chocolate shortage, I didn’t have enough to cover all 50,000 cake balls (heh) — seriously, it makes SO many of them — so I drizzled the it over the rest of them in what I thought was an artistic fashion…

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… but was clearly not. But okay, enough complaining. Let’s focus on the important stuff:

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Like how freakin’ delicious they were, in spite of the hassle. They are just like little doughy balls of Heaven. Nomnommitynom. In the future, however, I’ll probably stick to cupcakes as my miniaturized cake-form and leave the cake pops to the pros.

Have you made cake pops or cake balls before? Any secrets or tricks of the trade I’m missing out on?

Also, holy smokes — yesterday’s giveaway is still blowing up! Get your entries in for a chance to win a Vera Bradley bag!

26 Comments

  1. Wow- I had no idea they were so labor intensive! I have a friend who makes them all the time. I’ll have to ask her for secrets. You’d think there was a mold for them somewhere, since there is for EVERYTHING else!
    BTW- I love the red shirt/tan cardigan combo. I totally copied it yesterday from seeing you wearing it! :)

    • I will let your friend make them for me in the future instead. :P

  2. Candy melts are the best… These are one of my FAVORITE treats to make! The endless combinations of cake and frosting make them so fun! I’d also tell you: yellow cake with cream cheese frosting is crazy- good. Red velvet/cream cheese is divine. I’ve always wanted to try funfetti though…. Good?

    Lastly, Bakerella.com is the cake-ball guru. If you haven’t seen her site, check her out.

    Oh, and can I have just one??? :)

    • They are good! I love funfetti, but the cream cheese frosting sounds extra amazing. And yes, Bakerella is definitely the real pro! In fact, I linked the word “pros” to her at the end, haha. Her creations are ridiculously amazing though. If I thought that these misshapen doughballs were labor-intensive, I can’t imagine the amount of work that goes into hers!

  3. OMG – too funny. I literally attempted my first stab at making cake balls last night too! I am glad to hear it was not just me that took for.ev.er! (Over 5 hours from start to finish). I used the candy melts from Michaels and still had issues, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Anywho, I am glad I stumbled upon your blog – love your posts so far. From one whasian girl to another – keep it up! :)

    • Great whasians think alike! ;) I was checking out your blog too, and love it! I’ll definitely have to spend more time seeing what your take is on some of my favorite restaurants around here.

  4. You did a good job!! My mom bought me a book on how to make cute cakepops for my birthday. I sit there and admire and then mentally make them, but when it has actually come down to doing it, I chicken out!! I need to try.

    Have a great Christmas!! I plan on going home right after work tonight, sitting under the tree and shaking each gift :) (don’t judge!! lol my father taught me, haha)

  5. My one and only attempt at cake pops turned them into balls too. They fell off the sticks cause they were too heavy and after that happened a few times I just gave up and balled em. I haven’t tried again since. Also, Michael’s is terrifying this time of year. Depending on your nearest location it can be terrifying all year. But it seems worse right now.

    • RIGHT?! Oh my gosh, I swear, starting on like, November 1st, Michael’s is a nightmare. I just couldn’t bring myself to go inside this week… but maybe by the time I’m ready to attempt cake pops again (if ever), it’ll be holiday low-season and I can brave the aisles there again without fear of getting glitter bombed. :P

  6. Cake pops are my new obsession! I make them all the time. Here are some tips: don’t worry abt your first attempt it is always a disaster, don’t get the Wilton’s chocolate – get the almond bark or the high end stuff because they get thin enough to dip the balls in, if you do pops, after you form the balls but before you refridgerate dip the sticks in melted chocolate then stick them in the balls this way the chocolate will bond w the cake in the fridge and they will stay on better, finally Sony use a scoop use your hands. Cake balls have to be dense and while a cookie scoop makes them both round and uniform it doesn’t get them dense enough to hOld together in the dipping process.

    I hope I’ve given you some good tips. :) don’t give up! Cake balls are amazing and fun. And if you want a recipe that doesn’t require baking look up Oreo cake pops. Have a merry Christmas!

    • Thanks for the tips! Maybe I will try them again… when I’ve recovered a little, haha. Good tip on the higher-end chocolate that will get thinner. I think the only thing that it sounds like I did “right” was using my hands for the balls. Scoop schmoop — that’s just one more thing I’d have to wash, hahaha. :D

  7. Making cake balls is SUCH an ordeal. I’ve done it once, more than a year ago, and while the end product turned out relatively fine, who wants to wait so long and work so hard to eat a dessert?! Bake a cake. Let cake cool. Mix it with frosting. Form balls. Refrigerate balls. Melt chocolate. Dip balls in chocolate. Refrigerate balls. Blergh. I’m like you, I’ll stick to things that don’t take more than an hour to make and then put in my mouth haha

  8. Hey where did you get the little pearl looking things in the last picture? I remember the silver ones (we called them ball bearings) but they are impossible to find!

    • They’re actually my roommates, so I’m not 100% sure where she picked them up. I’d imagine from a grocery store or from Michael’s though. They’re called sugar pearls, I think. If you want a bazillion of them, you can buy them through Amazon too! :)

  9. I made them once, for my husband’s birthday. I was almost in tears I was so frustrated. And then the husband said, you destroyed a perfectly good cake to make these? Blerg. I’ll stick to regular cake from here on out. :)

  10. Looks like you melted the white chocolate at too high a temp in the first try. It’s very touchy (learned from experience). Use the micro at 50% power for like 30 seconds and repeat until melted. My DIL and I (and helpers) made cakeball favors for her wedding in Oct. and we made 400!! I gave her Bakerella’s book last year for C’mas and we made the bride and groom ones from the book.

    • Yeah, that may have had something to do with it. The two pictures are actually of the same batch of chocolate. I melted the white chocolate down first in 15-second rounds (mixing in between), and it was perfect! Then when I added the red food coloring, it really screwed with the consistency (maybe because the food coloring wasn’t warm?). Then I tried to re-microwave the stuff but it didn’t do anything. I’ll be sticking to pre-colored chips or just the plain stuff from here on out, that’s for sure!

  11. They look yummy so save me one! That being said- I have yet to attempt to make them myself because the idea of having to bake a cake, and then not being done/having to do MORE is just too much hahaha.

  12. Will you mail me some? ;-) Those look delish! I am tempted to try this…. nah

  13. I made cake pops a few months ago (shaped like little farm animals, they were adorable). Michael’s has all the melting candies, sprinkles, and lollipop sticks. I’ve tried white chocolate before and failed miserably as well, it just has a weird gloppy (not sure if that’s a word) consistency. Also, I found that it helped to put them in the refrigerator (not the freezer or else they will crack) before you stick them and dip them. They’re more solid and hold on the lollipop stick better.

    Cake pops are so awesome, you should definitely try them again.

  14. So I’ve made cake balls (way too lazy to ever attempt the pops!) a few times and I always get really excited for it and forget that it takes FOREVER and I’m begging to be done at the end. Funny story to help justify your making balls instead of pops. One of my friends tried making the pops once and had them all in a piece of styrofoam (as bakerella recommends) and somehow dropped it and lost all of her pops! Not an issue when we make cake balls! Not that you’ll ever make them again… :-)

  15. I don’t have the patience to make these, they are really cute, but I know that I’m too lazy for this kind of dessert!!! I’ll stick to cakes and cupcakes :)

  16. I tried to make brownie pops and they were kind of an awesome disaster. They were so gooey that they just fell right off the sticks. So I turned them into brownie truffles and stuck them in mini cupcake liners which worked much better. I agree on that leaving it to the pros–cake pops are no joke!

  17. How exactly did you melt the white chocolate?!!! I wanted to scream yesterday when I was making truffles because the white chocolate chips never melted to a good consistancy.

    • I just melted it in the microwave, starting with a small amount, in 15 second batches. So I put a little bit in, did it in 15-second intervals, stirred in between until it was melted and smooth, then added more chips and continued. It probably took like 2 minutes or so all together.

      • Thanks Gretchen!

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