“WE CAN ONLY BE SAID TO BE ALIVE IN THOSE MOMENTS WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE CONSCIOUS OF OUR TREASURES.” Thornton Wilder.
I was recently asked by Karina, a friend and former co-worker, if I had a recipe for red velvet cake balls. While I knew I had a recipe for red velvet cupcakes, I had never attempted to try and form them into cake balls until now. Karina and I share a love for baking. (Especially on Sunday mornings!) And she also told me that she wanted to make these to bring to her family on Thanksgiving. So I was definitely up for the challenge! Karina has so many wonderful qualities about her. But the thing that I’ve always admired the most is that while she considers herself happy and lucky in her life, she has such a sense of gratitude about it and never seems to take it for granted. So Karina….I hope you enjoy these. And I wish you a lifetime of happiness and a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family! I have never been a huge red velvet fan ……until now! And I think what has made all the difference for me is……….
……the ‘inside-out’ frosting situation. Red velvet cakes use cocoa instead of chocolate. And so the flavor has never been deep enough for me. But adding the cream cheese icing to the crumbled cake….most definitely adds a richness. And I really enjoyed red velvet like never before! I experimented with making cake pops. But I thought the balls were easier to decorate.
And I suppose you can do this easily and quickly by using a box mix and some prepared frosting. But honestly, I don’t think it would be as good! So here’s the real deal…..
Yields: 48 cake balls
Level of Difficulty: Easy
RED VELVET CAKE:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 TBSP red food coloring
- 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.
Sift all of your dry ingredients together in a bowl. In the bowl of your electric mixer, blend the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
CREAM CHEESE ICING:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients using an electric mixer. Beat until smooth.
Crumble completely cooled cake into a large bowl. Add the frosting (you want 2 cups, which is exactly what the icing recipe made.) Mix the icing and cake together until it is well incorporated and you no longer see any white streaks from the icing. Roll into quarter size balls (if you are making cake pops, you might want to make them slightly larger). Place each ball on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for at least an hour.
This recipe makes about 4 dozen balls. I used 3 packages (14 oz each) of Wilton candy melts. Melt the chocolate according to directions which is at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Dip the ball into the bowl of melted chocolate, coating completely, and gently remove to a piece of parchment to dry. If you are going to decorate with sprinkles, etc….do that right away. The chocolate melts dry quickly. Transfer to small baking cups. If you are making cake pops, dip the tip of your stick into one of the balls to make a small hole, then dip the tip of the stick into some melted chocolate and insert it back into the hole (edible glue!).
I found that if dipping cake balls, it was best to let the cake balls rest from the freezer for a bit first. Otherwise, I found the chocolate had a tendency to crack if they came right from the freezer. But conversely, the pops worked best dipping right from the freezer, otherwise the sticks loosened if they sat too long at room temperature.
I also used food coloring in the white melts (though Wilton does offer some colored chocolate melts). If the chocolate becomes hard when you add the food coloring, then just put it in the microwave for another 3o seconds and stir until smooth.
Experiment and ENJOY!!!