Semi-Homemade German Chocolate Cake Truffles (aka Cake Balls)

German chocolate cake truffles

German chocolate cake truffles

Since it’s been a crazy couple of weeks and schedules are tough to coordinate, we decided to celebrate my daughter’s 20th birthday along with Father’s Day….which means LOTS of food and some sort of German Chocolate dessert (as that’s a favorite for both of them)!  I usually make a homemade cake with homemade frosting, but this year I wanted to do something just a little different, so I opted for German Chocolate Cake Truffles (otherwise known as “cake balls”).  With our basement recently flooded and just due to lack of time, I decided to go the Sandra Lee route and make these “semi-homemade”.  Given a choice, I’d go for boxed cake mix over pre-made frosting any day, as pre-made frosting always seems to have a weird after taste to me, ick.

I followed the instructions on the cake mix box, but cut down on the oil a little and only used 2 eggs.  Then for the frosting I used the recipe from my original German Chocolate Cake post, but only made a 1/2 batch of it and it was the perfect amount.  I did reserve some toasted coconut and pecans to sprinkle over the top of each truffle, but you could also just do a simple chocolate drizzle for a nice finishing touch.

The recipe for any “cake ball” is fairly standard: 1 batch of cake + frosting + chocolate coating

You simply need crumble up the cooled cake, then mix in your desired amount of frosting.  I cheat and do this while the cake is still just a little warm, as the frosting blends in a little easier and I can then use less frosting then what most cake ball recipes call for. Then just refrigerate the mix for at least 2-3 hours.

When you are ready to dip them, heat up your chocolate in a double-boiler or chocolate melter and ball out a dozen or so with a cookie scoop and quickly shape them (any more then that and they may get to warm to work with).  Leaving the remaining cake mix in the fridge to stay chilled.  I use a dipping fork for the dipping process (but a regular fork will work too), and some even use toothpicks but I’ve never tried that.

I used Callebaut Dark Chocolate Snaps on these, but you can also use a chocolate bark (found in many grocery stores) or “melting wafers” (found at many craft stores).

If you have never made cake balls before, I highly recommend taking a look at this post, which is a more in-depth tutorial.

Let Them Eat CAKE…with Homemade Coconut-Pecan Frosting!

I have to admit, I’m not a huge cake and frosting fan, but my hubby and oldest daughter LOVE German Chocolate cake and always request it for their birthday. So 2-3 years ago I found a recipe on how to make it homemade, and I have to say, it was VERY good but a bit time intensive. In all honestly it’s the homemade frosting that I thought was the highlight, so I semi-cheat by using boxed cake mix (using milk instead of water) and slathering it with the homemade Coconut-Pecan frosting, YUM!!! I load mine up with toasted coconut and pecan pieces, so much so that it’s more of a chutney then a frosting, as it doesn’t spread very easily, lol. But of course you can adjust the amount of coconut and nuts you add in to your liking!

The cake and frosting recipe can actually be found on the same page, it is called German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting. I used only 1 stick of butter for the frosting and toasted the coconut and nuts before adding it into the pot. Also, make sure to bring the heat up on the frosting VERY slowly, I kept mine on low for at least 6-8 minutes, or else you will end up cooking the egg yolks and tiny yellow pieces will be floating around in your frosting. And of course whisk often! Lastly, my frosting takes at least 20 minutes to cook on the stove to my desired thickness, so don’t be alarmed if it seems to be taking forever….I think once it took me 30 minutes even. But it’s a simple recipe and just needs to be stirred frequently in the beginning, after that you can let it simmer fairly un-attended. Trust me, this frosting is just divine and the sweetness level is perfect.