Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Cake Balls (Rudolph and Candy Cane)

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer Cake Balls
Candy Cane Cake Balls

These cute and festive cake balls would be perfect to serve at a holiday party or give as a gift! They are surprisingly easy to make and will definitely impress all your guests!


1 box chocolate cake mix, or you can make homemade chocolate cake with my recipe here.
1 16 oz. can vanilla or cream cheese frosting
2-4 cups milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate melting wafers

For the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Cake Balls:
Small pretzel twists
Round red candy
White sprinkles
Black food marker (or non-toxic marker)

For the Candy Cane Cake Balls:
2-3 large candy canes or 5-6 mini candy canes


Prepare the cake as directed on the package for a 13" x 9" cake, or follow my chocolate cake recipe. After the cake is cooked and cooled completely, tear and crumble into a large bowl. Mix the torn up cake with the can of frosting using either your hands or a wooden spoon.

Roll the cake and frosting mixture into quarter size balls and place on a baking sheet. You can make the balls bigger or smaller depending on your preference. Chill the balls in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. You can speed up the chilling process by putting them in the freezer for an hour or so.

Once the balls are done chilling, melt the chocolate in the microwave per directions on the package, or if you’re using melting wafers put half of them in the microwave for about 30 seconds at a time until melted. Be careful not to burn your chocolate! Only melt a little bit of chocolate at a time because it starts to cool and thicken pretty quickly. It’s easier to work with when it’s hot - so if it starts getting too thick then just microwave it for 10 seconds at a time until it’s a more liquid consistency.

Cover 2-3 baking sheets with wax paper. Roll the balls in the melted chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. It helps to use a spoon to dip and roll the balls in chocolate and then tap off extra. It may take a  little practice to get the right technique for coating the balls in chocolate, but it doesn't have to be perfect! You can always touch it up in spots by spreading more chocolate onto the balls once they are on the wax paper.

You want to decorate the cake balls quickly, before the chocolate hardens, so you will have to decorate each individual cake ball immediately after coating it in chocolate.

Decorating the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Cake Balls:
 For the Rudolph cake balls, I gently pressed small white sprinkles into the chocolate for the eyes. Then I dabbed a small bit of melted chocolate onto a small, round, red candy and "glued" it onto the cake ball underneath the eyes. I used two small pretzel twists for antlers and to attach them I again dabbed melted chocolate onto the bottom half of the each pretzel and glued it to the bottom back of the cake ball. You want the pretzels to be connected to as much of the cake ball as possible so that they do not break off. You might have to gently press the red nose and antlers onto the cake ball for a few seconds so that they don't fall off before the chocolate has a chance to harden. Once all my decorations were attached, I used a black food marker (you can find these at craft or party supply stores) to make the pupils in Rudolph's eyes. If you don't have a food marker then you could dab a toothpick in the melted chocolate and make small dots, or just use any non-toxic black marker.

Decorating the Candy Cane Cake Balls:
Prior to coating the cake ball in chocolate, crush your candy canes by sealing them in a plastic bag and pounding with a heavy object. You want there to be a good mix between larger chunks of candy cane and more finely crushed candy cane. Place the crushed candy canes in a small bowl for easy access. Once you have coated a cake ball in chocolate, quickly sprinkle some crushed candy canes on the top before the chocolate hardens. You may have to gently press the candy canes into the chocolate to make sure they stick on. If you want, you could also try rolling the entire cake ball through the crushed candy canes so it is completely coated all over, but this may get a little messy.

Once all of the balls have been coated in chocolate and decorated, chill in the refrigerator or freezer until the chocolate has hardened. For transporting the cake balls, package them snugly in wax paper-lined tupperware containers, with a layer of wax paper in between each layer of cake balls. Store in sealed containers in the refrigerator so they do melt at all.

*Cake ball recipe adapted from Bakerella
*Decorated cake balls by Brooke McMillan

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