My friend Joann, sales associate at Toms-Price furniture store in Lincolnshire, turned me on to cake balls. "Cake balls are the new cupcake, " she declared.
Turns out Joann was right. The December 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine called cake balls the " new baking trend," with bakeries from New York to Dallas pitching them to the public. Bakeries around here offer them, too, including Bleeding Heart and Angel Food bakeries.
Cake balls are basically mashed cake and frosting which are mixed together, formed into small balls and then dipped in melted candy coating. My efforts resemble chocolate bon-bons.
Creating cake balls is a no-brainer and making them is a fun project to do with kids. Here's a recipe adapted from Midwest Living.
1 cake created from any flavor 2-layer-size cake mix, made according to directions (or substitute 2-4 tablespoons liquid flavoring--liquor, coffee, etc. for part of the liquid used to make the mix)
1- 16 oz. can of frosting (any flavor)
2 lbs. candy coating such as Almond Bark*
Crumble cake in a large bowl. Add frosting and stir until combined to make a thick paste. Use a melon baller to shape into balls. Place on trays lined with waxed paper. Freeze one hour or until firm. Melt candy coating according to package directions. With fork, dip balls into melted candy coating and place back on wax paper-lined trays. Add sprinkles or nuts if desired. Let set until coating is firm. Store one week in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer. Makes about 70 cake balls.
*Note: You can substitute melted chocolate chips for the Almond Bark.