Love/hate Relationship With Cake Balls

Decorating By saberger Updated 2 Jul 2010 , 2:56pm by MariaK38

saberger Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 10:39pm
post #1 of 32

I am quickly getting frustrated with these cake balls! I have tried several different ways of dipping them and I am not satisfied with any of them....I keep having problems and don't know why! icon_confused.gif

1. First off, they crack..which I understand is because they are too cold from the freezer. However, if I don't dip them while frozen, they fall of the toothpick/skewer/cookie stick.

2. If I just roll it around with a spoon and then pick it up with the toothpick, the toothpick sometimes goes all the way through it (although I have had a couple of successful ones this way).

3. If I roll it around with a spoon and then put it on parchment it ends up with a glob of chocolate or some comes off with the spoon.

4. Why does it look like grease is seeping out of the cake balls wherever there is a gap? (which is also what happens once I pull the toothpick out)

5. If it miraculously STAYS on the toothpick throughout dipping, it often cracks when I try to remove the toothpick and drips down the toothpick leaving a clump of chcolate at the base of the ball and it won't 'sit'.

6. Lastly, I tried it with the toothpick and then putting it through the grid and removing the toothpick, but since I didn't put any parchment down, they stuck once dry.

Why oh WHY am I having such problems with this?!?! I have people who LOVE the taste, but I can't get very many that look professional! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

31 replies
kakeladi Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 10:50pm
post #2 of 32

I use a fork to dip mine. Just put the ball on the fork and lower into the chocolate. You should have a deep, narrow container so the melted choco is high enough to immerse the entire ball.
Yes, they will seep if not *completely* covered.
Once dipped/covered I knock/tap the fork on the edge of the cup to knock off excess chocolate so there is no or little puddle. If there is, once dry I use a knife to scrape off that excess.

metria Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 10:51pm
post #3 of 32

I hear your pain!

Are you freezing them with the toothpick already inserted? I just tried this method over the weekend and most of them managed to stay on the toothpick enough to survive dipping ... my problem was that I was using the cheap flat toothpicks. Some of them broke while dipping.

I've never had the "grease" problem. Perhaps you need to toy with your cake:icing ratio?

I'm still in the process of trying to make them look pretty and it's not going so well icon_sad.gif

llbesq Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 10:51pm
post #4 of 32

You are not alone in your frustration - your post sounds just like my morning with cake balls.

ziggytarheel Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 10:53pm
post #5 of 32

What type of chocolate are you using to dip?

Here's what I do with none of the troubles you describe:

Form the cakeballs and put them in the freezer. Sometimes I do it for just a few minutes, sometimes for a few days. My cake balls are small and it takes no time for them to defrost, so I work in small batches.

Melt my chocolate in a double boiler. After it melts, I remove the whole double boiler from the heat and place it on a hot pad. I dip directly into the double boiler over the pot of hot water.

I dip all different ways with general success with all methods. Most often, I use a tooth pick to dip with, place the dipped ball on wax paper, remove the toothpick and after the ball dries, I pipe over the little whole.

I sometimes use candy melts, but most often I use Ghirardelli chocolate chips of various types with just a dab of canola oil.

baycheeks1 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 11:07pm
post #6 of 32

If you take a look through my pics, I have one that has a brown cake plate and maybe about 4 dzn cake balls on them...they dont have to look perfect, just good enough to sell!

IDK how everyone else does theirs, but I will tell you how I do mine.

I usually make cake to make the cake balls, form them, and put them in the fridge, others may freeze them, but they just do better to me to let them sit in the fridge for a while. A while meaning a day or to so they have time to be formed.

I melt the candy coating, and then I take them from the fridge, that way they aren't sitting out and too much condensation doesn't occur.

I use plastic forks, two of em, one I break the two teeth in the middle, which is used as the scooper. The other is used to push the CB off the scooper fork.

Drop CB in candy coating, make sure its covered, scoop it up and tap it on the side of the bowl several times (I use a double boiler type method), make sure that all the extra coating is off, then use the other fork to push it off on to the parchment or wax paper.

Granted there will be a little pool of coating, but its ok. Then let them sit and harden. There should be no problem.

I'm not an expert, but I have made several CB, so if you need help you can pm me.

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 11:08pm
post #7 of 32

so sorry you're having all these trouble. On a positive notes I just learned so much from you ladies. Thanks,

saberger Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 11:11pm
post #8 of 32

kakeladi-I haven't used a fork, but I did use that two prong candy dipper thingy and when I put the cake ball down after dipping and slid the fork out, I got two lines on the bottom that scraped off the chocolate.

Metria-no, I put the toothpick in afterwards...they never break, but the cake ball starts to spin around on the toothpick or fall off or just break the ball itself.

llbesq-I feel better knowing that, thank you!

ziggytarheel - I used the Mercken candy melts in the wilton candy melter. I did the exact same process you described.

saberger Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 2:53am
post #9 of 32

Does anyone have any other suggestions? TIA

Margieluvstobake Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 4:04am
post #10 of 32

One method I have not seen here is the hand rolling method. I have done this with regular truffles also. Starting with very clean hands, put about a tablespoon of your coating (chocolate or whatever) in the palm of your left hand - if you are right handed. Put your cake ball in the coating and roll it around. Then transfer to your parchment or wax paper. It really works great and tends to give you a thinner coating, which can be desirable if you don't want a thick coating to bite through. You've got really messy hands when you are finished, but what could be better to be coated in than chocolate!!

Kitagrl Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 4:15am
post #11 of 32

Mine crack too. Maybe its the freezer....the poster who suggested sitting them in the fridge overnight might have a good point there.

ziggytarheel Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 10:41am
post #12 of 32

I'm really wondering if the cracking problem has to do with the size of the cakeball? Mine are small...I use a small cookie scoop to start with. I wonder if larger balls crack more easily because it takes them longer to warm up and are therefore colder when dipped?

saberger Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 12:07pm
post #13 of 32

Thanks for describing the hand method! I think I will give that a try although I would still think my fingers would leave marks (time to cut my nails!!).

I tried it by putting them in the fridge, but they were still too soft when I put them on the toothpick. icon_sad.gif

That is a good point about the size...not sure though. Mine are 18 oz and end up about an inch in diameter, give or take.

Barb1959 Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 12:52pm
post #14 of 32
Originally Posted by saberger

Thanks for describing the hand method! I think I will give that a try although I would still think my fingers would leave marks (time to cut my nails!!).

I tried it by putting them in the fridge, but they were still too soft when I put them on the toothpick. icon_sad.gif

That is a good point about the size...not sure though. Mine are 18 oz and end up about an inch in diameter, give or take.

do you mean .8 oz? and 18oz. cake ball is huge. Mine are usually between .8 and 1.0 depending on the type of cake.

2SchnauzerLady Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 12:55pm
post #15 of 32

Check out this thread on cake balls, a lot of these things have been discussed there. Plus, lots of combos and a google document for flavors!

JenniferMI Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 1:03pm
post #16 of 32

If you are having problems with dipping, you should get a spiral dipper tool. They are the bomb! Very inexpensive as well. It's a spiral and the ball sits in the middle and when you tap the tool on the bowl side.... all the excess goes between the coils. I use this ALL the time and can dip like a mad man - FAST.

If you want more info, just PM me.

Jen icon_smile.gif

saberger Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 4:37pm
post #17 of 32

See what happens when I type things before I am heading out the door!?!?! I meant 18 grams not oz. Sorry

metria Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 4:54pm
post #18 of 32

Spiral dipper?? Brilliant! I've never seen these before. Thanks for sharing! I'm not sure if I can get one in town ... might have to order it.

karenapple Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 10:43pm
post #19 of 32

icon_sad.gif I'm so upset... it's the THIRD time I'm trying to make cake balls this year and I simply CANNOT!!! It's all about putting them on the wax paper after coating. NO matter how smooth my coating is, when I have to take them of the toothpick, fork, spoon, dipping tools, whatever, the bottom gets all messed up!!! GRRRRRRRRR I'm so angry!!!! icon_mad.gif If I freeze them, they crack and sweat, If i don't, they fall apart while dipping. I've tried all the methods I've read here, I swear!! I tried the hand coating, but it was even worse icon_sad.gif
I don't know what to do, I'm really sad about it. I have so many ready to be coated but I don't want because I'll just get angrier and angrier.
I really don't know the mystery of the cake balls.
I tried with tool that looks like a fork without the two center teeth and it's perfect for a peerfect smooth after tapping. BUT them i have to take them off and they simply don't slide off the tool, because the chocolate it's starting to cool, no matter how fast I do... and it's hot in here. icon_cry.gif
And I just love how they taste.
With the pops, they kind of work, but I want truffles, they are so fine and gorgeous, icon_cry.gif when they have their bottoms on.
I even thought about recoating the bottoms, but that just can't be. I don't think if somebody has hundreds to do, they'll come back and coat each one. icon_sad.gif

metria Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 10:56pm
post #20 of 32

my local cake shop actually offers a mini-class on cake balls. perhaps there's something similar in your area? i was hoping to afford to sign up for their next class because i just can't seem to get mine pretty!

KHalstead Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 10:59pm
post #21 of 32

I use a sheet of styrofoam and put a piece of wax paper over it, then I dip my cake balls and then stick the toothpick into the foam and let them set up. When they're hard, I just twist the toothpick to release it and pull it out. I'm only left with one tiny hole in the bottom and then I stick the cake ball in a candy paper and nobody ever knows about the hole lol.

cheatize Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 11:24pm
post #22 of 32

I don't usually do this, but here a link to my blog where I describe and have visuals of my latest method:

It's similar to KHalstead's.

Dayti Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 11:29pm
post #23 of 32

I found that the most effective way for me to coat the cake balls was to put them on a toothpick, and spoon the chocolate over, rather than dropping them in the warm chocolate. Tap toothpick on the side of the chocolate bowl so excess drips off. To get them on the parchment paper to dry (I tried using a cooling rack but all the bottoms just stuck and went bumpy), I put the toothpick between the tines of a regular dinner fork and pulled the toothpick downwards. Then used the same toothpick to push the ball off the fork. Yes, you do get some little bits of chocolate on the paper, but these easily break off before you put them in the paper cases.
But I absolutely agree they are a real pain to do!!

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roweeena Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 11:36pm
post #24 of 32
Originally Posted by karenapple

With the pops, they kind of work, but I want truffles, they are so fine and gorgeous, icon_cry.gif when they have their bottoms on.
I even thought about recoating the bottoms, but that just can't be. I don't think if somebody has hundreds to do, they'll come back and coat each one. icon_sad.gif

If you want truffles why dont you make them like truffles? Yeah its messy but so is making cake balls!

Instead of dipping, smear some chocolate on your gloved hand and throw the truffle onto it, adding more chocolate with your now free hand, roll around and put onto some greaseproof. Then you can either re-roll if you want more chocolate or put neatly into papers.

Like I said, its messy but you get perfect bottoms!

Dayti Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 11:40pm
post #25 of 32

Hey I like your getting-them-off-the-toothpick method cheatize. I see how the thin styrofoam method by KHalstead would work too (except I don't normally have thin styro). Both ways seem to be much easier than how I did it!

Sherry1030 Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 12:10am
post #26 of 32

I completely feel your pain!! It seems like such a simple concept but boy what a pain in the butt! I have the same issues, especially with the 'oozing' which I don't understand icon_confused.gif .. I have some that crack and some that don't in the same batch, not sure what makes the difference. I usually end up making cake pops because its so much easier!
I do like the idea of putting them on toothpicks before freezing, then drying on the styrofoam - will definitely try that next time, because there WILL be a next time!

karenapple Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 1:29am
post #27 of 32

KHalstead your cake balls are sooo beautiful!!

roweeena I tried the hand coating, but what got messy were the balls, the coating looked horrible!! lol I don't care get my hands messy with chocolate and stuff, that's not what I meant.. it was the results I was talking about icon_smile.gif because I want a smooth finishing like when we get tapping the fork on the sides of the pan...

cheatize thank you so much for this tip. I'll definitely try it! But tomorrow, I'm tired and disappointed to try something new now. I'll come back to tell if it worked.

Dayti your cake balls are gorgeous too!!!!!

Thank you much all of you!! icon_smile.gif

cheatize Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 5:54am
post #28 of 32

I think I'm going to try the styrofoam if I can get hubby to snag me some from work. I'm thinking you don't push them all the way down so the chocolate drips off the truffle instead of pooling at the bottom. That would mean no more trimming the bottom.

However, that's a lot of toothpicks to use. Hmmm. What to do, what to do?

I'm glad my experiment helped you!

bimmer Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 10:01am
post #29 of 32

Hi! This is my virgin post. I gained a lot from CC and the moment I saw this thread, I just had to say to Saberger, that I encounter most of your problems too for my cake pops and cake balls! And I thought it is due to me being near the equator where we only have summer or rain all year round.

I do both cake pops and balls (for sale! OMG, I do hate them a little now) and these are things I do the same for both:
1) keep the balls in the fridge for at least overnight before dipping
2) use compound chocolate with a little shortening or canola oil

Cake Balls
- 22g
- I do the same way as Dayti except that I use a skewer.
I get bottoms that do not look nice, most times bottoms do not even get totally coated. But they go into the paper liner anyway and I am ok with that.
- For some chocolate that has accumulated on the parchment paper, I cut them off with a small knife.
- usually no cracks

Cake Pops
- 15g to 18g
- Usually will crack more when I use white chocolate, less when I use brown chocolate
- Initially thought the cracks are due to sudden change in temperature, so when I take a few cake pops out from the fridge, I leave them for about a min before I start dipping them. Seems to help sometimes, and have to work really fast for the next few pops/balls, but this does not help everytime.
- I do get grease seeping when there are gaps (and I thought I am the only disgusting one!!)

But what I really want to say is my cracks have a "self-healing period".

Once I ignore (because I am so angry with them haha) them for about at least 2-3 hours and miraculously, the cracks disappear!!

Now I do this every single time. I leave them at room temperature for a few hours untouched and most of the cracks will self-heal, but there are sometimes some big ones that won't, and I will use a clean finger, dab some chocolate and brush over the cracks.

Seriously I have no idea why this happens. I leave them at room temperature so I guess it's due to temperature/humidity.

neelycharmed Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 10:18am
post #30 of 32

Hope you cake balls work out for you,
lot's of great hints and tips to try..
Sounds like I will have to try and make some to see what they are all about. icon_smile.gif

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