Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls

All your cake and frosting in one little bite- Yum! Plus- Starting to Simmer's first giveaway!

Guess what- I'm alive and blogging again! Earlier this month I was really freaking busy abducted by aliens so I couldn't blog. I'm back with some cake balls for everyone. Cake balls and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship going on right now. I love the idea of them. Compact and cute, very portable, and more durable with a longer lifespan than cupcakes. Ok that was the love part. I hate dipping the little suckers! I cannot figure out how to do it right. The chocolate was really too thick to pour (I tried) and without making up a huge vat, it would be tough to actually completely submerge them in chocolate, and I would hate to waste chocolate! The best method I could come up with was to dip half the ball, and let it harden, then flip, and dip the other half. Simple right? No. This involved much swearing and the kitchen looked like some sort of chocolate grenade had gone off inside it. It also caused me to stay up much later than intended. So I need help. Does anyone have tips for dipping cake balls?? At the point its just such a labor intensive process that its not something I would do regularly. If I found a better way to do it I would be much happier and much more inclined make more cake balls!

The first step to making cake balls is to make your cake, icing, and filling. Once you have all the components ready you can start making the cake balls. In addition to the cake, frosting, and filling you will need candy or chocolate melts to dip the cake balls in, so be sure to pick up a few bags of those. You can use any cake and frosting combo, and you don't have to fill them if you don't want. I used chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and a peanut butter filling. I dipped some of the balls in chocolate and some in peanut butter candy  melts. 

One Bowl Chocolate Cake
adapted from: allrecipes.com
yield: one 13x9 cake

2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13x9 inch cake pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk oil and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water. Batter will be very thin. Pour into cake pan

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

printable recipe

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
adapted from: allrecipies.com
yield: enough frosting for one cake

1/2 cup butter
4 oz  unsweetened chocolate
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave, or in the top of a double boiler. In a large bowl combine sugar vanilla and 1/2 cup of the milk. Blend in the chocolate mixture. Whip on medium high setting of mixer with whisk attachment.  Add remaining milk a little at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Peanut Butter Filling
adapted from joyofbaking.com

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon butter at room temp
1 pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar

Place the peanut butter, butter and salt in a microwaveable bowl. Heat for about 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds until warm and soft, but not hot. Stir in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix until it has reached the consistency of cookie dough, adding more sugar if necessary.

Cake Ball assembly instructions

Ok now that you have all the cake ball elements its assembly time. Break the cake into large pieces and pulse in a food processor to make crumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add frosting one scoop at a time, mixing until the dough will hold together.(Kneading with clean hands may be helpful.) Keep testing by trying to make a ball, if its crumbly you need more frosting. At this point you can form the cake/frosting dough into 1 inch balls. If you want filled cake balls use your knuckle to press a dent into the ball. (Don't be shy, you want the dent to go down half way into the cake) Take a pinch of the peanut butter and roll it into a ball the size of a marble. Push the peanut butter ball into the dent and pinch the cake closed over it. Assemble all cake balls and pop into the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.

While cake balls are chilling melt chocolate, following the instructions on the bag. Remove cake balls from fridge, and dip one side into the chocolate. Let set in fridge for about 5 minutes. Dip other side in chocolate using a small spatula to fill in any gaps. Add any sprinkles or decorations while the chocolate is still soft.

I've done a little research on my problem with dipping the cake balls. People suggest adding vegetable oil or shortening, but caution that it can cause the chocolate to taste funny, or not set up. So I'm stuck. I really hope people have some suggestions!! The good thing was even though they were a bit frustrating to make, these tasted great! I was afraid when I was baking the cake since the batter was so so thin, but it tasted great. This frosting was much more fudgy and decadent than cocoa based chocolate buttercreams. I'm completely in favor of using melted chocolate in frosting instead of cocoa powder now. To get the chocolate drizzle on top of the cake balls I melted a contrasting color of chocolate, and put it in a frosting bag, snipped off the end and then drizzled across the cake balls. Another tip is that you can skip the cake all together and just dip the peanut butter filling if you want!


I was inspired by the comment from Galexi Cupcakes and have decided to do an impromptu giveaway!

Here's how it works:

1. Leave a comment on this post

2. "Like" Starting to Simmer on facebook (use the link on the right side of the blog)

Next Monday August 1st a winner will be randomly selected and I will send them some Cake Balls!

To participate you must live in the continental USA. One entry per person. Only comments left before 11:59pm 7/31/11 will be entered in the drawing. Family members who I have already mailed cake balls to are ineligible. Make sure to leave a link to your blog, or a way for me to get in contact with you if you win!


  1. These cakeballs looks so delicious!! Send me one in the mail pronto!! J

  2. Ok, reading this while hungry is a bad idea. I need cake balls. Stat.

  3. More cake balls! Must have! - Carl

  4. These would be PERFECT for my bridal shower coming up!! These look AMAZE-BALLS (haha)! I now have drool all over my keyboard! you have the BEST stuff on this blog. thanks for sharing!

  5. These look so yummy. Thanks for the recipes. You are so creative. Good things you're on the left coast or I'd be as big as a house ordering goodies from you daily !!!. Hugs,

  6. I make cake balls as well for the company I work for... an easy way to dip them is to take a toothpick and dip the tip in a little melted chocolate. Then stick the tooth pick into the center of the rolled cake ball and let it harden in fridge or freezer for a few minutes. Then dip the cake ball into the chocolate holding the toothpick, gently shake off excess chocolate and put on parchment paper. twist the toothpick to take it out the ball after the chocolate has hardened. cover the hole with chocolate drizzle,swirl,nut,sprinkles what ever. this method allows me dip 3-4 per minute.

  7. The chocolate will act a glue holding the cold ball to the toothpick while you dip.

  8. I push a toothpick about halfway into the cake ball. Hold it over the bowl of melted choc and pour choc over with a spoon. Let choc drip off, can shake a bit if necessary to hasten excess choc dripping, then using another toothpick, 'help' the cake ball off the first toothpick gently onto parchment paper and use the 2nd toothpick to cover the little hole with the chocolate before it sets. Works really well.

  9. Just find a ganache recipe and have it heated over a double boiler. Have the cake balls frozen and when you pull them out, stick a fork into the bottom, dip completely in the ganache and tap a little, then carefully place on dripping rack. Next when done back into the frezzer till set and your done. Easy

  10. First, the recipe looks ridiculous! I will be them this weekend! Also, thank you everyone for the tips on dipping. I, like other people, freeze the cake balls with the toothpicks in them, use a spoon to pour the chocolate over them, twist the toothpick out, and then use a 2nd toothpick and chocolate to cover the whole. I really love the idea of dipping the stick in chocolate first before putting into the cake ball. I'm sure it will help it stick better. Also, about the chocolate being too thick for dipping. I add paraffin wax to thin it and it works well without altering the taste. Happy baking.

  11. I have made cake balls for several years now. You must must must freeze them until they are rock solid, not just for 10 minutes or so. Make them a day ahead if possible...just put them on waxed paper on a cookie sheet, and plop the whole thing in the freezer. I take only half the batch out at a time, and if I get distracted or the work goes slowly, back into the freezer it goes. These babies must be solid, or they will fall apart when you dip them. I also use the toothpick method, and I will now try freezing the toothpick with the balls. great idea. Your recipe looks great...sadly, I am now allergic to chocolate AND peanut butter, probably from years of abusing both substances. Peace out.