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Friday, December 23, 2011

Red Velvet Cake Balls

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.  I sure did, although it was quite hectic.  I was planning on talking about cake balls before the holiday, but just didn't have time.  But now I have some time to share this great recipe.

I have been making Red Velvet Cake Balls for the past 2 years now, since I found them on  They are pretty simple to make and I always get compliments on them.  Bakerella is a very talented woman.  It is amazing what she can do with cake balls.  Check out her site, if you haven't already.

There are not many ingredients.  A cake mix, pre-made frosting, and some candy melt.  Easy peasy.

So far I have found that only Duncan Hines makes a Red Velvet Cake Mix and Cream Cheese Frosting and not all stores carry them.  I always find mine at Price Chopper. 

I usually dip the cake balls is a mix of dark cocoa candy melt and a bar of dark chocolate like Ghiradelli for a more intense chocolate taste, but a hard candy coating.  And since I usually do mine around the holidays, I buy colored candy melts to decorate.
Last year for decorating, I used my cake decorating bags and tips, but this year I decided to try squeeze bottles.  The squeeze bottle has more control, but I like the smaller holes on the cake decorating tips.  Either way, everyone loves them.  Adults and kids.  The taste is incredible and they are so moist.  I get compliments every year.  I had to make a double batch this year to please everyone.

Red Velvet Cake Balls

  • 1 pkg red velvet cake mix
  • 1 container (16 oz) cream cheese frosting
  • 1 pkg (14 oz) dark cocoa candy melt
  • 1 large bar dark chocolate
  • 1 pkg (14 oz) red candy melt
  • 1 pkg (14 oz) green candy melt
  • 1 pkg (14 oz) white candy melt
  • optional sprinkles

Cooking Directions
  1. Bake the cake mix as per instructions on the box for a 9 x 13 cake.
  2. Once cake is completely cooled, crumble it by hand into a large bowl.
  3. Then add in the cream cheese frosting and mix well. This can be done by hand or throw the crumbled cake and the frosting into a large mixer and mix on low.
  4. Then take a scoop at a time of the mix and roll into small balls about the size of a quarter. This will be very messy and you may have to wash your hands several times. But please refrain from licking them!
  5. Place the balls in a freezer friendly container lined with parchment/wax paper.
  6. When all balls are complete, place them in the freezer overnight or until you have time to do the rest of the recipe.
  7. When you are ready to dip, melt the dark cocoa candy melt and the dark chocolate together in a deep bowl in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until all melted.
  8. Dip the cake balls in the chocolate mixture and place on parchment/wax paper until chocolate has hardened. ( I use a fork to dip, roll, and shake off any extra chocolate.) If you want you may add fun holiday sprinkle before the chocolate hardens.
  9. In separate bowls, melt the red, green, and white candy melt and place in the squeeze bottles. Then decorate with any patterns you like. Or if you want, dip some of the balls in the colored candy melt instead of the chocolate.
  10. Makes about 50 cake balls.

I did buy pretty boxes to place the cake balls in to give as gifts for my daughter's teachers and a few other people, but I was so busy I forgot to take pictures of the boxes all tied up with a nice ribbon and tag.  But here are what the balls looked like decorated.
Last year I put them in tins to give out as gifts.  Here is what they looked like.  I placed the cake balls in mini cupcake liners to they don't stick together and they look pretty.  There are so many ways to decorate the cake balls and many different varieties of cake mixes and frosting to use.

The best part of the recipe is that it can be done in stages.  One night I bake the cake.  Another night I crumble and mix with the frosting and make the balls.  I freeze them until I have the time to finish.  I had them in there for a week and no worries.  I think I will make some again for Valentine's day.

Gingerbread House

Hold on...let me catch my breath.  With Christmas around the corner, I have been doing nothing, but running around trying to get things done.  Shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts, taking pics of the kids for Xmas cards, sending out Xmas cards, going to my daughter's Xmas concert at school, baking goodies for my daughter's Xmas party, going to my mom's to celebrate Xmas....phew...and I am not even done yet.  But I thought I'd take a break to post a little fun project for kids (ok, for parents too).  My mom found these Limited Edition Gingerbread Graham Crackers.  She gave me a pack to make a mini Gingerbread house for my daughter.

How cute!  I have never made a Gingerbread house, perhaps next year I will make one from scratch with the two kids.  For now this is perfect. Quick and easy.  Just how I like it.  I already had some cookie icing on hand and some mini marshmallows and mini M&M's.  Let the creativity begin.

I set to work cutting the pieces and gluing them together to form the basic house shape.  The cookie icing worked great.  It hardens up quite well.  There is a recipe on the Honey Maid box to make your own icing if you want.

My husband did not approve of my building skills and therefore took over the project.  I think he just wanted to have some fun too.

We did of course have to taste test the broken pieces.  Not bad, a very light flavor of gingerbread mixed with graham.  Mmmmm.  Great with a cup of coffee!

Hubby also decorated the house.  My daughter just picked out the color of M&M's she wanted.  The mini marshmallows were used as roof shingles.

My daughter requested a wreath for the door, so we had some Smarties in the pantry.  A green Smartie and a red M&M did the trick.  Looks fabulous, thanks honey.  He did a great job!

We didn't feel to let the Gingerbread house go stale, so we decided to eat it right away.  My daughter took the first couple of bites.  It was quite yummy!   There was also a recipe on the box to make Gingerbread loaves.  I will have to try those next time, if I can find another box of these.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts w/ Peanut Butter Glaze

Whew!  It's been crazy busy in this neck of the woods these past couple of weeks.  Between trying to do some Christmas shopping, celebrating Thanksgiving twice, decorating for Christmas, packing for vacation, going on vacation, unpacking from vacation, doing some more Christmas shopping and taking pictures of the kids for our Christmas cards, I have not had much time to sit.  So now that I have a little time, I wanted to post another donut recipe I made before all the hoopla took place.  Averie from said I should try her donut recipes, so I chose to try the Peanut Butter Chocolate ones.  I love chocolate and peanut butter together.  These little gems satisfy my craving without feeling guilty.  They are so light and fluffy, they don't feel like a brick on your stomach like regular fried donuts.  I am really getting some use out of my babycakes machine.

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts
by loves veggies and yoga

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk ( I didn't have any, so used reg. milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small bowl, soften/melt the butter and peanut butter in the microwave, about 15- 30 seconds. Stir.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Add the butter/peanut butter mixture and stir together until well blended.
  4. Fill each cooking reservoir with about 2 tbsp of batter.
  5. Bake 2-4 minutes or until toothpick inserted in donut comes out clean. Makes about 12 mini donuts.   

Peanut Butter Glaze
by loves veggies and yoga

  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the melted butter and peanut butter. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  2. Slowly add the water or milk, one teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

For some reason I am having trouble getting the glaze to adhere to the donuts, so I end up having to make the recipe a little thincker and put it on as more of a frosting.  I wonder if the machine gives the donuts a slicker finish than if I baked them in the oven?  I guess I will find out when I finally get to buy my pans.  Maybe Santa will bring me some for Christmas. 
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