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My husband doesn’t have a lot of close friends, but he has one who’s been a constant ever since they first met.
He’s always there for us. He was at our out-of-state wedding without hesitation. When the Hubs was faced with the prospect of losing his job, Paul drove four hours to where we lived at the time just to be with us. And then there’s the time he pulled our car out of a ditch after a snafu with AAA, or the time he helped us get rid of a mattress.
He’s awesome… even if A has a weird fear of him. Oh, well. It won’t be long before Uncle Paul is his favorite and Mom and Dad are old news.
Needless to say, with him now graduating from the police academy, we wanted to do something special. We saved up and bought him a nice set of handcuffs and a handcuff key both engraved with his last name, but I still wanted to do something more, because he’s been such a good friend to us.
I’d seen cake balls and cake pops before, but I’ve never made them. Or even eaten them! The prospect sounded great, though. Cake, mixed with frosting, dipped in chocolate? I don’t think you can go wrong with that.
I considered making cake pops, but I made balls instead simply because I didn’t want to have to fuss with packaging too much, but you could totally use these directions for cake pops, as well.
Thin Blue Line Cake Balls
- Chocolate cake mix
- Chocolate frosting
- Candy melts in dark chocolate and royal blue.
First, I baked the cake. Normally I add pudding to the mix when I make a cake, but I left that out because I wasn’t sure if that would make the cake balls too moist. Then I destroyed it and mixed in frosting. Side note: I also removed the edges of the cake before destroying it. You might not need to, I was just worried they wouldn’t break apart the same way and would leave lumps in the finished cake balls.
I was going to use the whole container of frosting, but luckily I looked up a recipe that said an entire can would be too much and to only use about half. I can’t remember what recipe I found that said that, but I’m glad I read it. Half the container was perfect.
After combining, the mixture was the consistency of play dough.
I chilled the dough overnight; I’m not sure if it needed that long, but with having a one-year-old, I preferred to split the labor over a couple days.
The next morning, I put the candy melts in a bowl and put that in water in the crockpot.
I turned the crockpot on high and waited… And then got impatient, took the bowl out, popped it in the microwave, and put it back. The crockpot works well for keeping the chocolate melted, but it takes some time to actually melt. The upside is if you don’t have a double boiler it’s an easy substitute you probably have on hand (and if you don’t.. well, you should!) I can’t guarantee it, but I’d guess that if you had a smaller crockpot you could put the chocolates straight in and turn it on low. If you try this, let me know how it goes.
EDIT: According to this link, the double boiler method is NOT recommended for cake balls/pops. So ignore me on this step. There are a lot of other good tips on that link though, I’d definitely check it out if you have a minute.
During the time I waited for the chocolate to melt (before I got impatient) I rolled the dough into balls. A cookie scoop would have made this way easier, but I didn’t have one, so hey. I used parchment paper to line the pan I put the balls on.
Then came the fun part: dipping!
At first, I did it by hand, then I thought they looked too messy and did it with a fork instead. Looking back, the ones I did by hand actually turned out the neatest, so I’ll do that in the future.
When I had about 12 cake balls left, I ran out of chocolate from the candy melts. I tried to use Hershey kisses, but that was a flop. Don’t get me wrong, they still tasted good, but the coating left from the Kisses was kind of soft, and combined with the super moist cake ball it was just too much. I much preferred the candy melts because the coating has a “crunch” to it.
There’s a subtle swirl in some of the chocolates and I think it’s from accidentally getting some water in the chocolate coating mixture. So, try not to do that. 🙂
Once I was finished dipping all the balls in chocolate, I melted the blue candy melts in a measuring cup and put them in a Ziploc for decorating.
My original intention was to just put one blue line across the middle of each, but I screwed that up almost immediately. But, I liked the way it looked, so I just went ahead and made lots of blue lines. This had the added benefit of making the imperfections in the chocolate coating less noticeable. Yay!
To package them, I cut the bottom off a small box and wrapped it in foil.
Then I wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap and added a note to the top.
I’m sure there’s a prettier way to wrap them, but in a pinch this totally worked.
Have you ever made cake balls before? How’d they turn out for you?
- Cake mix and necessary ingredients
- 1/2 can of frosting
- Candy melts (2 bags main color, 1/2 bag contrasting color)
- Bake cake according to directions.
- When completely cooled, crumble with a fork or use food processor.
- Mix in 1/2 can of frosting. Combine until consistency resembles dough.
- Chill dough for at least an hour or overnight.
- Roll into about 1" balls, place on parchment paper.
- Melt main color candy melts.
- Dip balls, place back on parchment paper. Let dry.
- Melt contrasting color, put in Ziploc bag. Snip corner.
- Drizzle contrasting color over the top, in as thick or thin lines as you'd like.
- Store in cool place/refrigerator in an airtight container.