Cake balls are such a fun and festive dessert that both kids and adults adore. And now, you can easily make this allergy-friendly version for your next special celebration.
What is a Cake Pop or Cake Ball?
A cake ball is a truffle make from a mixture of cake crumbs and frosting that is dipped in melted chocolate or candy melts. A cake pop is pretty much the same thing, except it is attached to a lollipop stick. Comparing the two is kinda like saying that the truffle is the sophisticated version while the pop is the party version. Which version are you? 🎉
Steps to make Chocolate Cake Balls
- The first step to making cake pops is to bake a 9”x13” cake. Any flavor of cake will work, however my chocolate cake is one of my favs because it always turns out delicious and it’s so easy to make.
- Once your cake it baked, it gets crumbled up & the frosting is added as the “glue” to help the truffles hold their shape. A small ice cream scoop makes the perfect sized cake balls (approximately 1.5 inches).
- Roll into balls then chill in the refrigerator because they’ll fall apart if you dip into warm chocolate right now. 1-2 hours on a lined baking sheet will do. 30 minutes in the freezer will also do the trick.
- The last step is to simply dip the cake balls in melted chocolate.
How do you Dip Cake Balls or Cake Pops?
The easiest way to dip cake balls is by using a special cradling spoon (#ad) but a fork also works. Simply place cake ball on the spoon, lower into the melted chocolate until covered. Lift up then tap the spoon/fork lightly against the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Gently transfer each dipped cake truffle to a sheet of parchment paper, add sprinkles and let it harden.
Want to party with cake pops instead? It’s easy! Simply dip the end of a lollipop stick in a little melted chocolate then insert into the center of the cake ball. Only push it about halfway through. Dip the cake ball into the coating until it is completely covered. Gently tap the stick against the edge of the cup and allow excess to drip off. It’s the same way I made my Chocolate dipped rice krispie treats.
What can I use instead of Candy Melts?
Cake balls are typically coated in candy melts but because we’re needing ours to be allergy-friendly and vegan, I found another option.…melted chocolate chips. Nestlé Toll House launched allergen-free Simply Delicious baking chocolate chips earlier this year and I started testing their chocolate chips in recipes like these Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and these Chocolate chip cookie bars (SOOOOO good ya’ll!). But just this month, Nestlé introduced safe white chocolate chips and I just had to try! (FYI, Walmart carries them).
They taste like real white chocolate and are so easy to work with because they melt smooth. I still recommend adding a teaspoon or two of shortening when melting to thin them out a little more.
Tips for making Vegan Cake Pops
- Make the cake the night before, cover and let it sit out on the counter until morning. I also like to make the frosting while the cake is baking, just to save time. That way, everything is ready to assemble in the morning.
- If there’s a safe store-bought brand, then feel free to use that and save yourself a step. With the homemade cake, white chocolate coating, and festive sprinkles, no one will notice or care!
- When working with cake balls, remove only 3-4 cake balls from the refrigerator at a time and keep the rest cold until your ready to start coating them.
- Want to make perfectly round cake pops? Dip in chocolate, decorate and press the end of the lollipop stick into a styrofoam block so the cake ball won’t touch any surface.
- Have too many cupcakes you won’t get around to eating? Don’t throw them away, just make them into cake balls or pops. Mash up the entire cupcake, icing and all, then roll into balls and coat.
How long do Cake Balls Last?
If you have will power, then these chocolate cake balls will last for 5-7 days when stored in an airtight container. In the refrigerator, they will keep up to 10 days if covered or even better, toss them in the freezer for up to a month.
Cake Ball Flavor Ideas
Here are a few more other delicious flavor combinations:
- Chocolate cake + chocolate frosting (double the yum)
- Red velvet cake + cream cheese frosting (this is a perfect combo for Christmas)
- Pumpkin cake + cream cheese frosting (perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving)
- Carrot cake + vanilla frosting (a delicious springtime treat)
- Funfetti cake + vanilla frosting (currently sitting in the fridge waiting to be coated).
- Chocolate cake mix + raspberry frosting (classic and sophisticated)
- Blueberry lemon cake + lemon frosting (light and refreshing, a wonderful summer dessert)
- 4 cups prepared and cooled Chocolate cake
- 1/4 cup Vanilla Frosting of choice
- 1 bag Nestlé Simply Delicious white chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or shortening
- Lollipop sticks
- Make cake and frosting as instructed.
- Crumble the cooled cake into the bowl on top of the frosting. Make sure there are no large lumps. Turn the mixer on low and beat the frosting and cake crumbles together until combined. (Alternatively you can mash together with hands if you don't mind getting dirty).
- Using a mini cookie scoop, measure 1 scoop of moist cake mixture and roll into a ball. Place balls on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or freeze for 1 hour.
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, microwave white chocolate and 2 tablespoons coconut oil in 30 second intervals until melted. *Use the double boiler method too and pour into the liquid measuring cup for easier coating.
- Let the coating cool down for a few minutes before you begin dipping. If it’s too hot when you dip, the coating will crack.
- Dip chilled cake balls into melted chocolate, shaking off excess chocolate. Immediately decorate with sprinkles and return to baking sheet. Refrigerate until hardened, 15 minutes.
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