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Cake Bombs!

I have made cake bombs twice now- once for a baby shower and once for Jack’s birthday and Thanksgiving. ‘Cake bombs’ are the same as ‘cake balls’ or ‘cake pops’ without the stick, but with a more fun name. The cake part is so easy to make, although the chocolate dipping can be a mess and not as smooth and pretty as Bakerella’s.

My first attempt at cake bombs. See all of those cracks? I poked the little decorations in after the dipping chocolate was set- not a good idea.
These were the left overs from Jack’s birthday party. We froze them (for 2 or 3 weeks) and then I took them out and dipped them in Ghiradelli chocolate. I sprinkled each with some combination of: gold sprinkles, chopped nuts, chopped marshmallows and/or chopped candy bars. My favorite ones, I poked a whole in the top (with a clean finger!), then filled the hole with homemade caramel. Then I poured just enough chocolate on top to seal the hole. When the chocolate was hard, I then dipped the whole ball. I drizzled those ones with a bit more caramel and then sprinkled coarse sea salt on them. Delightful! P.S. The cute turkey was made by Jack. We’ve made them two years in a row now- a great way to use up Halloween pumpkins. We just used construction paper for this one, but they look really nice if you use fancy, textured scrapbook paper.

and this was from Jack’s party

These cake balls were made from the yummy Trader Joe’s chocolate mix, and from a strawberry mix from the regular grocery store. Jack had chosen blue and orange dipping chocolate. I spray painted over the orange with a food safe spray paint. It was pretty awesome, but it smelled toxic and only covered maybe half the cake balls. I’m not sure if I would use it again (I personally wouldn’t eat the ones that were sprayed- it was just too weird, but they looked really cool). My mom and Caroline got the sprinkles from a cake store in Chula Vista that I unfortunately cannot remember the name of. The light saber party picks came from Party City and they were a huge hit with the kids.

cake ball tower

I was the death star floating in the galaxy- hence the black and glitter.

You make a box cake mix in a 9×13. When it is completely cool, you break it up with your hands and mush a can of frosting into it. You then freeze this mixture until firm and then roll the cake into small balls. Then you freeze them again and dip them in chocolate. The freezing is absolutely key. They will fall apart and be a disaster if you don’t freeze them. They make about 4 dozen, so even only taking out about a dozen at a time to dip in chocolate makes it easier. If you want to make them pops, you can stick a candy stick in them and then dip them in chocolate and then stick the other end of the stick in a styrofoam block until it dries. I have never made the cake pops. They’re cute, but seem like it would be easy for half to fall on the floor once you took a bite.
If you want chocolate ones, Trader Joe’s chocolate cake and chocolate frosting make these taste incredibly rich and fancy. Your typical supermarket box mix will taste just like that. I love good ingredients (if I’m going to eat junk, it should be worth the calories and unhealthiness), so I like the better quality mixes. Going from scratch would be even better, but these are already a lot of work.
Tips:
1. Frozen, frozen, frozen. For Thanksgiving, I made the cake balls two weeks in advance and froze them. I then dipped them the day before and they still tasted great.
2. Bakerella says to add a bit of shortening to your dipping chocolate if it is too thick. Again, I like better ingredients. Ghiradelli’s chips are my favorite for melting and dipping. Wilton’s chocolate is not that great, but their white chocolate is okay. Unfortunately, the colors all taste and melt a bit differently. Some are easier than others. Bakerella said that real chocolate doesn’t dry as hard, so it’s not good if you’re making cake pops.
3. Shapes, colors and sprinkles are cute for kids, toppings are better for adults. When I made the good TJs ones for Thanksgiving, I sprinkled some with nuts, some with Snickers, some with pretty gold sprinkles, some with nuts and cut up marshmallows and some I dug a little hole in them, filled it with homemade caramel, then dipped in in chocolate and sprinkled the top with coarse sea salt. The sea salt caramel ones were my fav. If you want to put on toppings, do it immediately after dipping so that they will adhere to the chocolate.
4. Use a deep bowl for dipping in the coating so that the whole ball gets covered. Bakerella says not to swirl the ball because it won’t be as smooth.
5. If you want to put sprinkles on just part of the cake bomb or in a pattern, let the chocolate dry and then paint on corn syrup and dip into the sprinkles. I haven’t tried this yet, but I like the idea.
6. Go on the Bakerella website or check out the book from the library for inspiration. I am not expecting to ever make shaped ones because they seem like too much work. But, they’re cute to look at and maybe you are fancier than I am! (the robots on page 91 are my favorite).
7. If you’re not as fancy Bakerella, but still want some cute cake pops- stick something out of the the top. For Jack’s Star Wars party, I bought small plastic light saber pics and put them sticking out of the top. The kids loved their tiny light sabers. For a friend’s baby shower, I bought stickers and put them on a circle of colored card stock. I then took two of the circles and glued them on to a toothpick and stuck the toothpick in shell. If you are going to stick something on the top, stick it in while the coating is still soft or you will crack the shell and be very sad.

I ran out of the silver spray, so from the back of the tower, some of the orange still shows. Oops!
Have fun baking!
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