I meant well. Really, I did. I baked a batch of chocolate-chocolate cupcakes as a thank you for the friend who picked me up from the airport after my trip. In my brilliant plan, I would bake them one evening, let them cool overnight, and frost and deliver them the next day. But when do things ever go according to plan?
The next day turned into the next, then the next, then the next… By the time I got around to pulling the powdered sugar off of the shelf to whip up the frosting, the cupcakes were completely stale. So stale that I’d be embarrassed to feed them to a raccoon.
Seeing as I find throwing away chocolate—in any form—to be the 8th cardinal sin, I couldn’t just chuck them in the trash. As I attempted to pry off the wrappers, which simply resulted in getting cupcake crumbs all over the counter, an idea popped into my head. Cake balls.
A moist frosting would surely fix the stale cake problem. My first attempt at making a batch looked rather ugly and lopsided, so I refused to photograph them. But I started kicking myself the next day after I brought them into work and Boss sent out a group-wide email with a line reading, “My compliments to the chef of the tasty chocolate balls.”
So I remade them, this time using a different chocolate cake recipe. It was moister and didn’t require as much frosting as the last batch, but I failed to realize that until it was too late… Although the “balls” look more like mounds in the photographs, they disappeared just as fast!
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake Balls
makes 2-3 dozen
To avoid using too much frosting, spoon in about ¾ of the recipe, and add more as needed. (If they’re too moist, they won’t roll into balls!) Dip in chocolate for an extra chocolatey treat.
(from CL’s double-chocolate cupcakes)
1 c. flour
⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp salt
⅔ c. sugar
¼ c. butter, softened
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
½ c. milk
1¼ oz. dark chocolate, chopped
½ c. peanut butter
1 tbsp butter, softened
¼ tsp vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
1-1½ tbsp milk
- To prepare cake, preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9” round cake pan with nonstick spray, and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Mix in vanilla and eggs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Gently fold in chopped chocolate.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once completely cool, deconstruct with a fork until cake resembles coarse crumbs, being sure not to leave any large chunks.
- To prepare frosting, mix butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. Add ¼ c. of powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. Mix in ½ tsp milk. Continue adding powdered sugar and milk, alternatively, until frosting reaches the desired consistency. (You may need to add a little more powdered sugar or milk in addition to the amounts listed!)
- To prepare balls, line two cookie sheets with wax paper. Add cake crumbs into a large bowl, spoon in the frosting, and mix with a fork until crumbs are all coated. Take 1 tbsp of dough, shape into a ball, and place on wax paper. Continue forming balls until all of the dough has been used up. (Dip in melted chocolate, if you want!) Refrigerate for at least 30 min before serving.