Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Cake Ball Christmas Tree
The inspiration for this Christmas tree treat totally came from Bakerella's directions on making cake balls. This Christmas tree is made from red velvet cake mix and cream cheese frosting, and covered in melted candy wafers. The cake balls were then arranged on a foil-covered Styrofoam cone "tree" with toothpicks. A nice centerpiece for a festive holiday party.
If you think this looks festively fun, you really should check out Bakerella's site. She has a perfectionist way of decorating all sorts of cake ball-type goodies and, of course, other scrumptious baked goods.
Using the same method of arranging the little cakes on the Styrofoam tree, I've also created a more decadent chocolate truffle tree. This will be a post for another time.
Basic directions are:
Bake a cake mix in a 9" x 13" pan. Let it cool, then crumble it up in a large bowl. Then take a standard off-the-shelf tub of frosting and mix it in (I used a fork to mix) until it all is crumbly-sticky. Grab a glob of the mix, roll it with your hands and plop it onto a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. I stuck mine in the freezer to firm up before coating.
Don't tell anyone, but I didn't use up the whole can of frosting. The cake held together sufficiently using only a little more than 3/4 of the frosting. I like a little less frosting.
Here's what your hands will look like after making the cake balls!
Follow the directions for the candy coating wafers (you can get in most grocery stores or in the cake decorating section of craft stores), dip the cake balls and get festive or creative or nutty with your designs!
For the green accent, I just melted some green wafers in a glass bowl in the microwave and plopped it into a quart-sized freezer zip bag. I snipped off a tiny bit of a corner then scribbled away on the cake balls. Yep, I just scribbled back and forth. I'm no perfectionist like Bakerella. If you look closely at the tree you can see little crumbs of cake, hanging strings of green scribble, blobs of coating here and there. Nope, no time for being a perfectionist!
I ended up making smaller (and more) balls out of the 9" x 13" cake to fill up the tree proportionately. I made about 70 balls and used 66 starting with 11 on the bottom and reducing by about one each layer. So, let me see...70-66=4 means I had four lucky children who got to pop unused cake balls!
It would even look better if the balls had been smaller--even graded in size to have the larger ones (1-1/4 inch) at the bottom and smaller ones (1 inch) near the top. See how some of those top ones kind of stick out like a sore thumb?
It's just not festive to think about sore thumbs. So, smaller balls at the top equals no sore thumbs!
Your very own Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cake Ball Christmas Tree. But instead of saying that mouthful, just fill your mouth with these little crowd pleasers!
Again, for more inspiration check out Bakerella. She's full of cake ball ideas. Go wild and get creative!