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Valentine Treat 2: Cake Balls
Thursday 9th of February 2012 06:55 AM
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 By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line 

I know you're not supposed to do things just because "everyone else" is doing them. But, it's hard to ignore the Cake Pop craze. There's a cookbook featuring Cake Pops. The cover of my December/January issue of Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious showed 10 versions of Cake Pops. A bunch of cooking blogs have been singing the praises of Cake Pops and Cake Balls.

So before Christmas, I joined the band wagon and tried them, too. One of the reasons I was dragging my feet was that I really don't like canned frosting. All the recipes I was seeing featured a can of frosting. I am a self-admitted frosting snob. So when I finally saw a recipe that used homemade icing, I was sold. (I found the recipe for using the homemade frosting at The Kitchen is My Playground blog.)

Four years ago, a blogger named Bakerella first posted a photo and recipe for cake pops. As she reminisced in her February 1, 2012, blog post, she had no idea this simple little idea would take on a life of its own (and lead to appearances on Martha Stewart, with the Pioneer Woman, on the Today Show and plenty of others.) Bakerella now has her own bakeware and clothing line. She has a whole following of people called Pop Stars who try to top one another with phenomenal decorations and designs.

And it was all born from a little ball of cake and frosting on a stick.

I made cake balls - sans lollipop stick - for Christmas and then decorated some for Valentine's Day, too. Mine aren't nearly as fancy as those made by Pop Stars across the world. But they aren't bad for a Kansas farm wife, I guess.

They'd be a perfect treat for your Valentine, too! Enjoy!

White ones are Cake Balls; Chocolate ones are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Cake Balls

1 baked 9 X 13 cake (or equivalent of homemade cake recipe)
1 to 1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting (canned or your own)
1 lb. vanilla candy melts, any color
About 2 tbsp. shortening (I didn't use)
Larger sprinkles for decorating

Crumble cake into a large bowl, working it into small crumbs. Add frosting and mix until well combined. Shape into 1-inch balls, using about 1 tablespoon of the cake mixture per fall. Set aside on waxed paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour or place in freezer for about 15 minutes.

Notes: I used a homemade white cake. Since this recipe is for a sheet cake, I estimated how much of the cake to use and Randy gladly consumed the leftovers. I also used homemade icing, which I'd flavored with almond flavoring (Use the two-layer cake frosting recipe also attached to the white cake post.) When I make these cake balls again, I will just use 1 cup of the icing. I probably added too much. If you use a drier cake made from a cake mix, it might require more of the frosting. Just use your own judgment.

In a small bowl, melt candy melts and shortening (if desired) together in the microwave per candy melt instructions (typically 30 second intervals, stirring in between). Use a fork to dip each cake ball in the candy coating, letting excess coating dip off back into the bowl. Place on waxed paper. Sprinkle with sprinkles or place larger decorations on the coated balls. Let stand for coating to set up.

Note: I would just melt a portion of the candy melts and the shortening at one time. Almond bark can seize up when moisture or part of the cake ball falls off into the melted candy. So if you just work with a little bit at a time, you don't ruin the whole pot of almond bark. Can you tell that may have happened to me?

The original recipe said you could add rainbow sprinkles to the cake mixture. I didn't want to have that texture, but it would make it pretty inside. That blogger said she kept pouring them in and stirring until the mixture looked "confetti-ish." So, use your own judgment if you want to go with sprinkles.

 
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