Homemade Chocolate Cake Balls

Before this post, I never thought I would be able to make my own cake balls. I always thought about trying to make some from scratch, but I never got around to it. Knowing what I know now, I feel like I have to share how easy it is to make these amazing creations with everyone I know. This might sound silly, but trust me when I say if you haven’t made your own homemade cake balls yet, do it! Have you ever baked a cake at home (from scratch or boxed mix)? Then, you can make cake balls. I cannot believe how easy it is to make them, and they are so much better homemade than bought from a store.

Lots of people use cake mix and store bought frosting, which is great! You can definitely do this and they will still be delicious. I decided to go all in and not only make my own cake, but whip up a homemade frosting as well. I really wanted to make my own chocolate for dipping, but I strongly suggest using candy melts that you can simply buy from the store and melt in your microwave. After researching for a few days, I had no idea how much science is behind chocolate and what needs to happen in order to create the perfect type of coating for cake balls. So, I gave myself a pass this time since I made the cake and frosting from scratch. πŸ™‚

Cake balls are awesome because you have so many options. First, you pick a cake flavor. Next, pair it with your choice of frosting. Last, choose your dipped coating flavor. In three steps, you can create endless combinations. For my first attempt I chose to start with chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and used chocolate candy melts for dipping. Can you tell this household loves chocolate? πŸ™‚

I can’t wait to experiment with other flavors and combinations. The fact that they are bite sized pieces of cake did not help my diet, but they have definitely become a favorite dessert option for any type of occasion. I hope you find them just as easy to make as I did. We just made these delicious treats and gave them out as Valentine’s Day gifts — so cute! Let us know which combination you decided to make in the comments of this post, or share with us on Instagram or Facebook with #cookiesandcalligraphy and tag @cookiesandcalligraphy! Happy baking!

What You Need

Chocolate Cake
You can opt for a store bought cake mix, but I decided to bake my own chocolate cake using my favorite homemade recipe. It is the same one featured in a previous post for cupcakes (click here to view the post). It has never disappointed me or my guests. Feel free to use my recipe below, or use your own.

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs (room temperature, lightly beaten)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or 1 instant coffee packet dissolved in 1 cup hot boiling water)

Chocolate Frosting
Again, you can purchase store bought frosting from the baking aisle, but I decided to make my own. Feel free to use my recipe below or create your own.

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 3 Tbsp. Heavy Whipping Cream

Chocolate for Dipping/Topping

Step by Step

  1. Bake The Cake:
    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Spray 2 9-inch Round Cake Pans with Baker’s Joy or your preferred pan release. Set aside.
    3. Go ahead and remove your butter from the fridge (for the frosting) and set aside on your counter so that it can begin to warm to room temperature.
    4. Place eggs in a separate bowl, and beat them lightly. Set aside.
    5.Β Measure out 1 cup of your hot coffee and set aside (or, dissolve one instant coffee packet in 1 cup of hot boiling water, and set aside)
    6.Β In a large bowl, add all your dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and thoroughly combine.
    7. Next, stir in your wet ingredients one at a time in the following order (thoroughly combining after each addition)…vegetable oil, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and lastly, your hot coffee. Please be aware that the hot coffee will make your batter very thin. This is exactly how it should be, so don’t panic!
    8. Fill your cake pans equally with your cake batter. Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes, using a toothpick to test if the batter is ready (if the toothpick comes out clean, they are done baking). Allow your cakes to completely cool (I placed mine in the fridge to speed up this process).
  2. Make your Frosting: First, cream your softened butter with a hand or stand mixer. Add in your cocoa powder, powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream and mix until you create a light and fluffy texture. Set aside.
  3. Make Your Cake Balls: Break your cakes up into chunks and place them into a large bowl. Add in your frosting and stir until incorporated. I found it easier to simply use my hands for this and mix until combined. Your mix should look similar to the below. Place your cake and frosting mixture in the fridge for 30 -45 minutes (or you can leave it in the fridge overnight). This will help firm up your mixture in order to form the balls easier. Once firm, start forming 1 inch balls from your mixture and place each on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Return your cake balls to the fridge to firm up for another 30-45 minutes (or, again, you can leave them overnight to chill and firm up).Β 
  4. Dip Cake Balls: Melt your candy melts according to the package. The only note I have on this step is to not overheat. I started with 1 minute,Β stirred, and then returned the chocolate to the microwave for another 30 seconds until the chocolate was melted all the way. You don’t want to overheat because it will make the chocolate too thin (or it will create a thickness that does not coat the cake balls with a smooth surface). Once melted, use a fork (or two) to begin dipping each chilled cake ball into the chocolate. Let remaining chocolate run off back into the bowl and simply place each ball on the parchment paper to harden. This will happen pretty fast, so if you want to add sprinkles or any type of topping, add it right after you place each cake ball onto the parchment before it hardens. Continue until all cake balls are coated with chocolate. Viola! Now, you have homemade chocolate cake balls!

You can store these in an airtight container for up to a week (mine were eaten well before that!). You can also place in an airtight container and keep chilled in the fridge. I personally LOVED the chilled option. πŸ™‚

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Homemade Chocolate Cake Balls

Print Recipe
Serves: approx. 6 dozen 1 inch cake balls Cooking Time: 45 minutes (plus chill time)

Ingredients

  • CHOCOLATE CAKE
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs (room temperature, lightly beaten)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or 1 instant coffee packet dissolved in 1 cup hot boiling water)
  • CHOCOLATE FROSTING
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 3 Tbsp. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • CHOCOLATE FOR DIPPING/TOPPING
  • 2 bags Wilton Candy Melts (I used chocolate, but feel free to use whatever flavor you prefer)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

1

Bake The Cake: 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 2. Spray 2 9-inch Round Cake Pans with Baker's Joy or your preferred pan release. Set aside. 3. Go ahead and remove your butter from the fridge (for the frosting) and set aside on your counter so that it can begin to warm to room temperature. 4. Place eggs in a separate bowl, and beat them lightly. Set aside. 5. Measure out 1 cup of your hot coffee and set aside (or, dissolve one instant coffee packet in 1 cup of hot boiling water, and set aside). 6. In a large bowl, add all your dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and thoroughly combine. 7. Next, stir in your wet ingredients one at a time in the following order (thoroughly combining after each addition)…vegetable oil, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and lastly, your hot coffee. Please be aware that the hot coffee will make your batter very thin. This is exactly how it should be, so don’t panic! 8. Fill your cake pans equally with your cake batter. Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes, using a toothpick to test if the batter is ready (if the toothpick comes out clean, they are done baking). Allow your cakes to completely cool (I placed mine in the fridge to speed up this process).

2

Make your Frosting: First, cream your softened butter with a hand or stand mixer. Add in your cocoa powder, powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream and mix until you create a light and fluffy texture. Set aside.

3

Make Your Cake Balls: Break your cakes up into chunks and place them into a large bowl. Add in your frosting and stir until incorporated. I found it easier to simply use my hands for this and mix until combined. Your mix should look similar to the below. Place your cake and frosting mixture in the fridge for 30 -45 minutes (or you can leave it in the fridge overnight). This will help firm up your mixture in order to form the balls easier. Once firm, start forming 1 inch balls from your mixture and place each on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Return your cake balls to the fridge to firm up for another 30-45 minutes (or, again, you can leave them overnight to chill and firm up).

4

Dip Cake Balls: Melt your candy melts according to the package. The only note I have on this step is to not overheat. I started with 1 minute, stirred, and then returned the chocolate to the microwave for another 30 seconds until the chocolate was melted all the way. You don't want to overheat because it will make the chocolate too thin (or it will create a thickness that does not coat the cake balls with a smooth surface). Once melted, use a fork (or two) to begin dipping each chilled cake ball into the chocolate. Let remaining chocolate run off back into the bowl and simply place each ball on the parchment paper to harden. This will happen pretty fast, so if you want to add sprinkles or any type of topping, add it right after you place each cake ball onto the parchment before it hardens. Continue until all cake balls are coated with chocolate. Viola! Now, you have homemade chocolate cake balls!

Notes

You can store these in an airtight container for up to a week (mine were eaten well before that!). You can also place in an airtight container and keep chilled in the fridge. I personally LOVED the chilled option. πŸ™‚

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