So, cake balls are kind of awesome, right? It’s cake shmushed together with icing and rolled in chocolate. If you can’t get on board with that then I pity you. Deep, dark, chocolate-covered pity.
I made cake balls once when I had leftover cake scraps and a boatload of icing after making this gorgeous monstrosity. They turned out quite well — but honestly, how can you screw up balls made out of cake and icing? So I decided to give try it again when the time came to make holiday treats for my co-workers.
For a holiday spin on cake balls, I used red velvet cake for that burst of cheery red color. My go-to frosting is Martha’s Fluffy Vanilla Frosting from her Cupcake Book. It is exactly as she describes it — fluffy and vanilla. It was the perfect glue to hold the cake crumbs together. Just make sure you bake your cakes in advance so they are cool when you crumble them up. I’m a big fan of baking things ahead of time and freezing them. It makes life so much easier.
Guess what? It’s really uber satisfying to crumble up a whole cake with your bare hands. Please note: my hand is freakishly white in the photo above. It looks like I’m wearing a latex glove, which I’m not (don’t worry, clean hands are a cook’s best tool. Thank you, Ina). Using your hands is the best method for evenly combining the cake and icing — it’s kind of like making a meatloaf mixture, only, with cake.
Using my handy dandy cookie dough scooper, I scooped out even amounts of cake/icing mixture and rolled them into nice little balls. To help them keep their shape, a trip to the freezer spread evenly on a cookie sheet is the way to go. The frozen balls take a dip in a bowl of melted chocolate with a little peppermint extract mixed in for that extra dose of holiday cheer. I finished them off with a shower of festive sprinkles.
The chocolate-covered balls (that will never not be fun to write) set up pretty quickly, but it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. They really do make perfect little gifts and people will lose their minds, they are so delicious. I got my cute little green takeout containers at (where else?) the Container Store and they hold four cake balls just perfectly. Add a festive gift tag and you’re good to go! Merry Merry!