Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014
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Cake balls Q and A.


Q. Hey, I’m e-mailing the expert with a freezing question! I’m making cake balls for my sister’s wedding reception next week. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of or made the cake balls yet. They are kind of a big thing around here. It’s just a crumbled up cake mixed with frosting and then formed into balls. Then the balls are dipped in melted chocolate and voila, cake balls! One of my friends has made them and frozen them before dipping them into the chocolate and frozen them after dipping them. She says both times as they are thawing they get little condensation droplets and look weird, but still taste fine.

I wondered if you have any tips for how I could freeze these things without them getting the condensation droplets on them. I was hoping to make up all the cake balls and then freeze them this week, and then dip them next week just before the wedding. Any tips would be great if you get a chance. I’m not really sure how I got roped into making these things. If freezing them isn’t going to be a good option then I can just make them all next week, I just thought I would see what my options were and if you had any good ideas!

A: Hi Gwen, the problem I see with freezing these is the frosting inside the cake balls. Frosting does not freeze well because it will separate and hold in a lot of moisture. That’s why little droplets form on them after they are frozen. My advice is to bake all the cakes up to 2 months ahead of time, crumble them when cooled and freeze in zip top bags. Squeeze all the air out of the bags and stack the zip top bags like bricks in your freezer to make room for all of them.
A few nights before the reception, pull out the frozen crumbled cake bags and let them defrost on your counter with the bags open. This will let some of the moisture escape. Mix in the frosting, and form the balls. Refrigerate them for a day or two so they won’t crumble when you dip them, and then dip in melted chocolate when it’s reception time. These look so yummy, I can’t wait to try them myself!
Another tip for melting your chocolate, I learned that you can put bakers chocolate buttons in a oven safe bowl and set in your oven on the lowest setting (150 degrees) for as long as you want. It will melt and if it hardens up a bit while you are dipping, just stick it back in the oven until chocolate melts. This way you don’t have to worry about burning the chocolate in the microwave or using a double boiler. This won’t work with regular chocolate chips, just bakers chocolate. Chocolate chips have too much wax in them so they tend to burn.

Response:

Hey Jenny, thanks for your freezing tips. I did a trial run yesterday and made them up today and I think it’s going to work PERFECT. So I’ve been baking cakes all day and I just put the last of 16 cake mixes in the oven and I’m so glad that part is out of the way!

By the way, I figured out a way to make chocolate mint cake balls. I picked up some Andes mint chocolate chips and dipped the chocolate (devils food cake and chocolate frosting) cake balls in the melted andes mints…HEAVEN!!!! I think they are my new favorite cake balls. Thanks for the idea!

-Gwen


8 Comments

  1. Wilton has a great item to melt chocolate, its a little pot that plugs in. Very easy to clean and keeps chocolate at the right temperature. It runs about $20.00 at Walmart.

  2. Yesterday I made your delicious red velvet cake balls, along with oreo cake balls. To say they were awesome would be an understatement. More oohs and aahs from relatives that I ever received before and I love to cook. However I while everyone says how easy they are to make on your website, I had so much trouble. I made the red velvet cake mix- No problem. I bought three kinds of chocolate. Nestles Toll House semi sweet chocolate bar, Ghiardellis semi sweet chocolate bar and Nestles white chocolate chips. First I TRIED to melt the Ghiardellis and followed the instructions in the microwave at 50 percent power level for a minute and then 10 second intervals. All of a sudden there was smoke coming out of my microwave and the chocolate burnt. Okay, so I now followed other directions with the Nestles semi sweet bar and melted it at 100% power for 45 seconds and had to do it maybe once or twice more for 10 seconds. It melted okay, not quite as thin as I thought and there was my problem. I had frozen the cake balls for an hour and when I stuck a toothpick in them and dipped them in this chocolate, they just fell apart when lifting them out of the thick chocolate. WHAT A MESS!!!! So I added maybe a 1/4 of a teaspoon of oil, but when I took the balls out of the chocolate they always had the hole in them from the place where I tried to take the toothpick out. It was horrible. Yes they did harden and yes they were delicious, but they looked disgusting. So then I melted the chocolate chips, but this time I added a little more oil. NOT A GOOD THING. While it was thinner, I still had the same problem putting them in with the toothpick and when I took them out they just fell apart. They also hardened but looked horrible. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? The dipping was so hard for me.

    Also, can I freeze the ones I had left over because I made so many because of the mess I made of the dipping?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Oh Fran, I am so sorry you had a hard time with melting the chocolate and the cake balls were falling apart. How frustrating! Yes you can freeze your leftovers. They only problem with freezing cake balls is when you bring them out to serve again and they defrost, tiny drops of moisture form on them. They still taste wonderful, but the dew drops make them not look as beautiful.

      There is nothing worse then burning chocolate. Such a tragedy, I am so sorry. Everyone’s microwave is different and sometimes it will burn the chocolate so easily. I think I will change the instructions to say “stop and stir chocolate every 10 seconds until chocolate is melted”. Also, often the lowest you can turn an oven is 170 degrees F and that temperature will burn the chocolate. Here’s another idea. Melt your chocolate in a pan over a stove top. Place unwrapped chocolate in a pan. Melt over very low heat and Stir constantly. Add 1 teaspoon of shortening for each ounce of chocolate.
      Sometimes Moisture can cause chocolate to become stiff and lumpy. Here is a link to my family blog where we dipped cake balls last year for Christmas. If we took too long, the cake balls defrosted and I had to place a tray or two back in the freezer to dip with. Also, your local grocery store often will sell bakers chocolate that is easy to melt in it’s own package. That is what I used for the white chocolate.
      For dipping balls, you can dip the entire frozen ball (better to freeze over night) and use two forks to pull it out if you do not want a hole where the toothpick is. Thanks for your feedback, I hope you will attempt to make them again. I’m sure next time will be much easier for you.

      Any more tips from the cake ball experts out there? I will ask my friend who has made hundreds of these babies for weddings. Have a great day Fran!

    2. Fran, good news, I heard back from my friend who has many hundreds more cakeballs then I and she gave some great advice. I’ve added her tips to my cake ball post.

      “As far as cake balls go….the very best way I found for melting chocolate is to put it in the crock pot on low for about an hour and then on warm once it’s melted. It melts perfectly smooth and then you can just take a bowl out at a time to dip and the chocolate stays smooth in the crockpot. When using the microwave, it tends to need re-heated and I always have problems with it cooking to much. I also like to use the melting chips from Winco or any craft store…they just seem to work best.
      Now dipping…honestly, mine look horrible because I’ve yet to master the dipping. I still just use my hands to plop them in and pull them out…not the prettiest, but it works. I’ve never frozen them before dipping, but I do refrigerate them for a while (preferably overnight) and that seems to firm them up a bit for dipping. I wonder if this person has too much frosting to be causing them to fall apart??? But I have frozen leftovers once they are dipped and other than the condensation they get on them when thawing, they still taste great…sometimes even still partially frozen.

      Hope this helps!!!”
      ..

      1. Now keep in mind, my friend makes her cake balls with frosting, I found cream cheese is better for freezing but that is why she mentions frosting.

  3. I need help! I am making red velvet cake balls, and I am not eating them for four days. My family like them cold. After I make them can I put them in the refrigerator to stay cold? How can I store them without getting the bloom and staying cold? I NEED YOUR HELP NOW because I am making them now! Thanks you!

    1. If your cake balls are dipped, they will last for 2 weeks without drying. The candy coating will seal in the moisture without you having to freeze them. If they are undipped, then they will dry out in 2 days in the fridge.

    2. Here is some advice from an expert. Hi,there! I haven’t been doing cake pops for very long, but I have made several different kinds. Mine have all stored well in a ziplock baggie or individually wrapped for almost 3 weeks. The cake stays fresh and moist because the candy coating seals it. If your house runs on the hotter side I would put them in the fridge to prevent melting, otherwise mine did fine at room temperature.
      http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=16&threadid=146775

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