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Every once in a while you have to improvise.

Last week Chris and I threw an engagement party to celebrate our upcoming marriage (only 1 year away!). He volunteered to go get beer and wine. I stayed behind, rolled up my sleeves, preheated the oven, and decided to make two very simple things for our guests: cake and cookies. I even sinned a little and bought a cake mix. Because it was 7 PM the night before the party, and I didn’t feel like slaving over the stove for more than 2 hours.

I started with the cake. I whipped it up, threw it in the pan (it was only a one layer cake), and popped it in the oven. Took it out, let it cool a little, then turned it upside down to shake out the cake.

Shake it out…

….sh…dang….it.

It was stuck. Very stuck. Not just like a little piece of the bottom of the cake was left on the pan. It was like my Pam had suddenly transformed into super glue and was holding onto my cake for dear life. So I sighed, starting humming tunes to the Sound of Music (because how can those songs not make you happy?) and scraped the cake into a bowl. I furrowed my brow and thought, “Well, hey, this isn’t so bad. I’ll just make a trifle…or something?) And admist my flustered cake failure, I posted on Facebook that people were going to get a trifle, not a cake at the party.

Then it was Amanda to the rescue, who piped up and said “Why not make cake balls?”

She’s my friend for many reasons, this being one of them.

So I took my crumbled cake, whipped up some frosting, and made some cake balls. And they were a hit! :) If your cake ever sticks to the pan, this is one easy solution to the problem.

Cake Balls

Makes 30 cake balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg cake mix (mine was for a single layer cake)
  • 1 can of frosting (or 1 recipe of your favorite frosting)
  • 1 bag melting chocolate (I only had chocolate chips, so I used both white and semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Directions:

1. Bake the cake according to package directions. Let cool. Then crumble into a large bowl. Add the frosting and mix. You may need to use your hands for this.

2. Form the mixture into individual balls, then place them on a pan lined with parchment paper. Stick in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight. If you’re pressed for time, you can also stick them in the freezer.

3. Melt your chocolate according to package directions. Dip the balls into the chocolate to coat (using either a toothpick or a spoon). Place back on parchment paper. Place in fridge overnight and take out the next day when it’s time to serve them.

My Two Cents: This recipe is so versatile. Funfetti your favorite cake? Do it. Strawberry? That sounds fun. You can make cream cheese frosting, buttercream, regular vanilla sugar, or whatever exciting frosting recipes you have up your sleeve. Alternately you can use your favorite canned frosting.The possibilities are endless.

I highly recommend using melting chocolate for this. Chocolate chips don’t melt very well, so the cake balls end up being a little clumpier–and you end up with a more chocolatey coating. But hey, this wasn’t my application to pastry school, and if you’re in a pinch, they’ll work.

Have fun! These are great for parties :)

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