Pumpkin Cake Balls

Pumpkin this. Pumpkin that. 🎃 It’s all anyone is talking about these days, and we are all about it. Forgive us…we can be “basic” sometimes, too. 😂 I mean, we jumped on the PSL train just as fast as everyone else (even though we aren’t really a fan of these 😬…gasp!). Anyways…running away from this comment as fast as possible so we don’t have to explain ourselves…okay…byeeee! 💃🏼

I mean, it is fall after all. 🍁 So, a pumpkin recipe is in order, don’t you think? We thought so, too. We always love to get creative with classic recipes, and put our spin on it. So, this is where today’s post shines. We have a delicious family favorite Pumpkin Cake recipe that has been a crowd-pleaser for years. It makes the entire house smell like fall. ☺️ A full can of pumpkin puree is used in this cake, which we love. Plus, dark brown sugar, 4 large eggs and vegetable oil create a moist crumb. Add in the perfect combination of seasonal spices and this cake goes straight to the top of the fall recipe charts! Then, top it off with the perfect compliment to any spice cake, which is…you guessed it…cream cheese frosting. It’s absolute perfection.

With this family favorite recipe, we decided to reintroduce it in a new and exciting way. That’s where “bite-sized” quickly came to mind. That’s right…Pumpkin Cake Balls! 🙌🏻🤗 Seriously y’all….making any favorite cake combination into cake ball form is so easy. We cannot tell you how many times friends ask us to make and bring cake balls instead of requesting a simple cake. What can we say? People love a bite-sized version of cake! 🍰🤷🏼‍♀️ Plus, the recipe makes so many cake balls, you can make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge (Hint: Those exhausting Thanksgiving or Christmas meal rotations!). Simply, box up and bring a couple dozen to each house you have to stop by this holiday season! And, it goes without saying that they make great holiday baked gifts! 🎁

So, we suggest you go ahead and skip the pumpkin patches, hay rides, and apple farms (Alright…maybe not skip. Just, make this recipe first). These pumpkin cake balls are the best way to celebrate fall the right way. Grab your pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices. We have some pumpkin cake balls to make! 👩🏼‍🍳

What You Need

Pumpkin Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese (full fat block), room temperature/softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature/softened

3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

White Chocolate Coating

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers (24 ounces)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Gold glitter dixie dust (optional)

Orange food coloring (optional)

Step by Step

Bake the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 inch aluminum or glass pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and spices. Whisk together until mixed thoroughly.
  4. In another bowl, combine your oil, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Whisk together thoroughly.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until completely combined.
  6. Pour your batter into your 9×13 baking pan and bake 35-38 minutes depending on the heat of your oven (mine went for closer to 38 minutes). Use the toothpick test to see if batter is fully baked through at 35 minutes, and place back in the oven if batter is still wet. Test again with a toothpick at 38 minutes, continuing baking for an additional 2 minutes until baked through.
  7. Allow your cake to completely cool on a wire rack in the pan.

Make your Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. To create your cream cheese frosting, place the butter and cream cheese in a medium sized bowl and mix with a handheld or stand mixer until smooth. Slowly add in your powdered sugar a little bit at a time until fully mixed and smooth.
  2. Lastly, add in your salt and vanilla. Finish by whipping on high speed for about 2-3 minutes.

Create your Cake Balls:

  1. Once your cake is cooled, cut or break up with your hands into smaller pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Add in your frosting and stir until fully combined.
  2. Place your cake/frosting mixture in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to chill.
  3. Once your cake/frosting mixture has chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Start forming 1 inch balls (or 1 Tbsp in size) 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 2 hours (or, again, you can leave them overnight to chill and firm up). 
  4. Melt your Ghirardelli white chocolate melting wafers according to the package. The only note I have on this step is to not overheat. We started with 30 seconds, 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, add in your vegetable oil and combine. Using a fork (or two), 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. We let ours harden all the way, then followed up with extra white chocolate to create a fun drizzle on top using orange food coloring.
  5. OPTIONAL: Add some glitter dust to the top of each cake ball by placing a small paint brush into the dust. Hover your paint brush with the dust over each cake ball and simply tap the brush for the glitter to fall onto each cake ball. We only needed to tap a few times to give each ball a small gold coating. A little goes a long way!

Pumpkin Cake Balls

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 dozen cake balls Cooking Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (full fat block), room temperature/softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature/softened
  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • White Chocolate Coating
  • Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers (24 ounces)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Gold glitter dixie dust (optional)
  • Orange food coloring (optional)

Instructions

1

Bake the Cake:

2

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

3

Spray a 9×13 inch aluminum or glass pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

4

In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and spices. Whisk together until mixed thoroughly.

5

In another bowl, combine your oil, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Whisk together thoroughly.

6

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until completely combined. 

7

Pour your batter into your 9×13 baking pan and bake 35-38 minutes depending on the heat of your oven (mine went for closer to 38 minutes). Use the toothpick test to see if batter is fully baked through at 35 minutes, and place back in the oven if batter is still wet. Test again with a toothpick at 38 minutes, continuing baking for an additional 2 minutes until baked through. 

8

Allow your cake to completely cool on a wire rack in the pan.

9

Make your Cream Cheese Frosting:

10

To create your cream cheese frosting, place the butter and cream cheese in a medium sized bowl and mix with a handheld or stand mixer until smooth. Slowly add in your powdered sugar a little bit at a time until fully mixed and smooth. 

11

Lastly, add in your salt and vanilla. Finish by whipping on high speed for about 2-3 minutes.

12

Create your Cake Balls:

13

Once your cake is cooled, cut or break up with your hands into smaller pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Add in your frosting and stir until fully combined.

14

Place your cake/frosting mixture in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to chill.

15

Once your cake/frosting mixture has chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Start forming 1 inch balls (or 1 Tbsp in size) 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 2 hours (or, again, you can leave them overnight to chill and firm up). 

16

Melt your Ghirardelli white chocolate melting wafers according to the package. The only note I have on this step is to not overheat. We started with 30 seconds, 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, add in your vegetable oil and combine. Using a fork (or two), 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. We let ours harden all the way, then followed up with extra white chocolate to create a fun drizzle on top using orange food coloring.

17

OPTIONAL: Add some glitter dust to the top of each cake ball by placing a small paint brush into the dust. Hover your paint brush with the dust over each cake ball and simply tap the brush for the glitter to fall onto each cake ball. We only needed to tap a few times to give each ball a small gold coating. A little goes a long way!

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