Monday, March 16, 2020

Pot of Gold Cake Balls

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I’m so proud of these cake balls. They’re chocolate pots of gold with rainbow cake inside. They’re probably my favorite thing I’ve ever made for St. Patrick’s Day. If I'm being honest, they were more time consuming than I originally thought, but they were definitely worth it!

Cake balls always look adorable when they come from Starbucks or a bakery, but it seems they rarely turn out that pretty at home. There’s a lot that can go wrong, so I will share some tips I’ve discovered since the first time I attempted rainbow cake balls.

First, a cake ball is cake crumbs mixed with frosting and dipped in chocolate. That being said, it’s important to recognize the top of the cupcake is a different texture than the rest of the cupcake, so I recommend cutting off the tops and not using them.

Second, bigger is not always better, especially when it come to cake balls. If the cake ball is too big, it will be more likely to fall off the toothpick when you dip it. Try to make your cake balls about one inch in diameter.

Third, don’t spend too much time swirling your cake ball around in the chocolate. Dip it and get it out of there. That’s the key to a smooth surface. Also, your chocolate coating will be lumpy if your burn it in the microwave. The best way to prevent that is to heat it up slowly. Initially, microwave the chocolate for 1 minute and stir, but after that, heat up the chocolate in 15-second intervals, stirring every time.

Fourth, it’s tough to include every color of cake when making rainbow cake balls. I found it’s easier to grab a fairly large (size of a quarter) chunk of cake of every color, roll it together as one big ball, and then divide it in two, or three balls depending on how big it is.

Fifth, if you find the chocolate coating on your cake balls cracking after you dip them in the chocolate, it’s probably because of the difference in temperatures between the cake ball and the coating. (You froze your cake balls so they’re very cold; meanwhile, you just heated up the chocolate, so it’s very hot.) When the cold cake ball warms, it expands and cracks the chocolate coating. Make sure to let your melted chocolate sit for a few minutes after heating it and pull your cake balls out of the freezer for a few minutes before dipping them.

Also, when dipping your cake ball, make sure you coat the entire cake ball in chocolate and there are no leaks for the cake to pop out of.

You’ll notice I made homemade Irish cream buttercream frosting for these cake balls. I thought the Irish cream would make these cake balls even more Irish. It was certainly very tasty! But you can use any buttercream frosting flavor your want, or if you’re trying to speed things up, you can purchase store-bought frosting. It’s up to you!

I used Challenge butter in both the frosting and in the cake for this recipe. Challenge butter is 100% real cream butter with nothing artificial so you taste only the rich and natural sweet cream.

Pot of Gold Cake Balls
For the Irish cream buttercream frosting
  • 1/2 cup Challenge butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons Irish cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
For the cake balls
  • White cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Challenge butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • Red, yellow, green, blue, and purple food coloring
  • 1 (12-ounce) package dark cocoa candy melts (you can substitute with dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 Tablespoon oil (coconut oil, vegetable oil, anything to thin it out a bit)
  • Gold sprinkles
For the Irish cream buttercream
  1. Cream softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add Irish cream, vanilla, and salt and mix thoroughly.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat with mixer until combined.
  3. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more Irish cream (1 teaspoon). If frosting is too sweet, add more salt (1/4 teaspoon).
  4. Set aside while preparing cake balls
For the rainbow cake balls
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix cake mix with eggs, butter, and milk. Divide the batter into 5 separate bowls. Color with a few drops each of red, yellow, green, blue, and purple food coloring.
  3. Pour cake batter into muffin tin. Each color will make about 3 cupcakes.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cut off the tops of the cupcakes and crump each color into its own separate bowl.
  6. Add 2 to 3 Tablespoons of frosting to each bowl of cake crumbs and mix throughly until crumbs are consistency of coarse sand.
  7. Grab a small amount of each color of cake and roll it into a ball.
  8. Place the cake ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Stick cake balls into freezer and let harden for about 10 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, heat up candy melts with oil. Start with 1 minute, stir, and then continue to heat up in 15-second intervals, stirring each time, until chocolate is smooth.
  11. Remove cake balls from freezer. Place a toothpick in the top of each cake ball and dip in the chocolate, turning to coat. Lift the cake ball out of the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off before placing back on the parchment paper.
  12. Allow chocolate to harden. Remove the toothpicks and dip the top of the cake balls back into the chocolate. Quickly shake gold sprinkles on top and allow chocolate to harden again.
  13. Store cake balls up to 3 days.

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