Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cocoa Fudge Cake Truffles

Have you noticed that cake truffles (or cake balls) seem to be the rage lately? I have and thought I'd give them a try. I looked on several  blogs and compared. The recipes all seemed to be the same—one cake mix, one can prepared frosting, and chocolate or almond bark. And the instructions are simple enough—bake cake, crumble cake in a bowl, mix in frosting, form into balls, dip in coating. No problem, right?

Well, so I thought.

For my first attempt, I bought a strawberry cake mix (it's close to Valentine's Day), a can of cream cheese frosting, and some chocolate coating. I whipped them up for Family Home Evening treats. I brought them to the table. They looked great. We all grabbed a ball and popped them in our mouths. The reaction was instantaneous. Ooooh, yuck! The insides were like slimy Play-Doh and they tasted like cheap perfume.

What did I do wrong? I went back to the internet. It looked like I followed the recipe correctly. I even followed some of the helpful hints like crumbling the cake while still warm and incorporating the frosting well.

I hate failures in the kitchen, and I new I had to try again. Plus, there was another birthday at the office.

After thinking about it for a while, here's what I came up with. And the result? Amazing!

Here are my tips:
  • Do not crumble the cake while warm. It's best to let it cool completely. I even prefer to bake the cake the day before. You get a much better texture if the cake is a little bit dried out.
  • Maybe I'm a cake snob, but if you've got the time, make it from scratch. Homemade cake has much better texture. If you are short on time, at least make the frosting from scratch. Canned frosting is disgusting.
  • Use a 1-in. cookie dough scoop. It helps a lot, and makes for uniform sized balls.
  • Put the balls in the freezer for about a 1/2 hour. This makes them easier to dip and coat. You can also store them at this point in a ziplock bag to do later.
  • Use real chocolate. It just tastes better. Really.
If you follow these tips, I promise your taste buds will be in heaven. I promise. People at work were ooohing and aaahing all afternoon.

So, the next time you need to make a treat. Try these. I already know this recipe works, but what other cake, frosting, and coating combinations can you come up with. I've already thought of some exciting possibilities. And you can bet I'll post them.

Happy birthday, Kristen! The hardest part of making the 
cake truffles was stacking them.

Warning: Once you start snarfing, it will be hard to quit!

Cocoa Fudge Cake
  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsps. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
Heat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour 9x13-in. pan. Beat all ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Pour into pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Curtis' Cocoa Butter Frosting
  • 8 Tbsps. Butter
  • 6 Tbsps. cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsps. vanilla
  • 4 ½ to 4 ¾ cups powdered sugar
Mix melted butter and cocoa powder in a bowl or stand mixer. Mix in milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, mix on high for 30 seconds.

Cocoa Fudge Cake Truffles
  • Cocoa Fudge Cake
  • Curtis' Cocoa Butter Frosting
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Shortening
After cake has cooled thoroughly, cut into quarters. Place one cake quarter in a large mixing bowl and break apart using 2 forks until it resembles consistency of lumpy oatmeal. Repeat with the remaining quarters. Add in frosting and combine. Hands work very well here. Cake and frosting should be mixed until everything holds together well, but be careful not to over mix. Using a 1-in cookie dough scoop, form round balls and place on parchment or wax paper. Place balls in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Melt a package of chocolate chips in the microwave with 2 Tbsps. of shortening. Stir until smooth. Using a fork, dip balls and coat. Place on parchment or wax paper and put in the refrigerator for until chocolate is set.


  1. Blake wants to know just how you know what cheap perfume tastes like???

  2. I thought someone might ask that. Actually, I do not really know what perfume tastes like, but I imagine it's sicky sweet with chemical overtones. That's what the first batch tasted like.

  3. After my family was gagging and dry-heaving into the kitchen sink with that whole "sucking hot cocoa through a Tim-Tam" experience (except for my son, who now drinks EVERYTHING through a cookie), I don't know if I can trust any of your recipes -- but those do look good.

  4. Lois--Gagging and dry-heaving?! What?! Were you using the proper technique? I think I'll have to come over with a package of Tim Tams and supervise. In my humble opinion, the Tim Tam Slam is one of the loveliest things ever invented.

  5. I bought some cake "truffles" and they were gooey and perfume tasting or more like the candle that she was burning when I picked the order.. I never went back. I will try your recipe! Why do you think it has a perfume taste?


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