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The weather is heating up and summer is in full swing. That means Independence Day in the US will be here before we know it. Celebrate our nation’s birthday with these easy and festive 4th of July cake balls.
What is a cake ball?
The name may not be glamorous, but a cake ball is just a cake pop without a stick. Some may also call them truffles or cake truffles.
A cake ball is not only a fun way to eat cake (as if eating cake isn’t always fun), but it’s also a great solution to the question of what to make with a broken cake.
You know the deal. You make a delicious cake, but either forget to grease the pan or don’t grease it thoroughly, and it sticks. Sometimes you can hide a broken cake with frosting, but sometimes it’s a goner, so making cake balls is a great alternative.
Tips for making perfect 4th of July cake balls
This recipe is pretty easy, but here are some tips to ensure success.
- Make the frosting and put it in a large bowl before adding the cake.
- Crumble the cake thoroughly so it’s easier to combine with the frosting.
- Feel free to use your hands to mix the broken cake and frosting, almost like making meatloaf. If you prefer, you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
- Make the balls about a tablespoon in size. Use a cookie scoop if you want them all to be exactly the same size.
- Using the microwave to melt the chocolate is perfectly fine and encouraged.
- If the chocolate is too thick when it melts, add a teaspoon or so of warm milk to thin it out.
- Drizzle the blue and red melted chocolate with a spoon.
With these simple tips, you are on your way to making crowd-pleasing 4th of July cake balls to serve at your holiday barbecue or as a potluck dish. Best of all, no one will know that they weren’t all that hard to make!
How to make July 4th cake balls
You can choose to bake a cake from scratch or from a box mix. You can even pick whatever flavor you want. It doesn’t matter. No one is here to judge.
I used a banana cake that I baked because I had some bananas on the counter that were going south and I didn’t have quite enough to make banana muffins with them.
If I were going to be bringing them to a party or serving them at a barbecue, I would probably choose red velvet cake or white cake, but you do you.
Step by step cake ball instructions
- Make the frosting by adding butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl and beating it on low to medium speed with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
2. Once the frosting is blended together, crumble the baked cake of your choice over the top. Be sure not to have pieces that are too large.
3. With your hands or with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, combine the cake and frosting until it is thoroughly combined and almost has the texture of meatloaf.
4. Form tablespoon-sized balls and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
5. Once the balls of cake are chilled, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments.
6. Dip a ball of cake in the melted white chocolate and cover thoroughly, turning it over in the bowl with a fork. Lift the chocolate-covered cake ball out of the bowl and place it back on the baking sheet covered with parchment or wax paper.
7. Allow the chocolate to dry for about five or ten minutes.
8. Melt the blue candy melts in the microwave in 30-second increments. If it is too thick, add a teaspoon or so of warm milk to thin it out. Using a spoon, drizzle the blue chocolate over the cake ball in any pattern you like.
9. Repeat with red candy melts, then top with sprinkles and candy stars if you choose. Allow the chocolate to dry, then serve.
How to store cake balls
The nice thing about cake balls is that they can sit on the counter for a few days, or you can store them in the refrigerator without taking up as much room as a cake.
Place the cake balls in an airtight container to store them either in the refrigerator or on the counter. They will stay fresh in the fridge for about five days.
Can Fourth of July cake balls be frozen?
The good news is YES! You can freeze chocolate-covered cake balls.
Put the cake truffles in an airtight container and pop them in the freezer.
If you are going to be storing them for a longer period of time, wrap them individually with wax paper first. You could also use a good quality freezer bag if your truffles are individually wrapped.
How to defrost a frozen cake ball
To thaw frozen cake balls, take as many pieces as you’d like out of the freezer bag and put them in an airtight container on the counter for a minimum of one hour.
- 1 9x13 cake, any flavor you like; boxed, homemade, or store-bought.
- Red, white, and blue candy melts. * You could also use 2 (4 oz) white chocolate bars or white chocolate chips in place of the white candy melts.
- Red, white, and blue sprinkles
- Candy star sprinkles
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tsp milk, cream, or half and half
- 1 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
- Bake or buy a cake of any flavor, cool completely. Flavor suggestions: white cake, red velvet cake, yellow cake, blue velvet cake.
- Add butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to a large bowl and mixing until combined with a hand or stand mixer until it is the consistency of frosting.
- Break the cooked, cooled cake into crumbled pieces into the bowl with the frosting. Combine with your hands or on low to medium speed with a hand or stand mixer.
- Once the cake and frosting are full combined, form it into balls about a tablespoon in size. Put the balls on a sheet tray and cool in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- Melt the white chocolate or candy melts in the microwave in 30-second increments. If the chocolate is thick, add a small amount of warm milk to thin it out.
- Roll a ball of cake around in the melted white chocolate and coat it evenly. Transfer the white chocolate coated ball to a tray covered with parchment paper and allow the chocolate to dry.
- Melt about a half cup each of the blue and red candy melts and drizzle over the top of the dried white chocolate covered cake balls. Top with sprinkles and candy stars.
There you have it! Easy and delicious 4th of July cake balls for your next Independence Day gathering.
Who needs a special occasion? Change the colors and the sprinkles and you can make cake balls for any occasion or any day of the week.
You could even add a lollipop stick before covering them with chocolate and turn them into cake pops!