A recipe for cake balls that uses cake mix, frosting and candy melts to create fun and festive bites. Cake balls are perfect for gift giving and they’re easy to turn into cake pops!
Cake balls are a welcome addition to any gathering, and they make super cute party favors as well. I often make this recipe, chocolate covered Oreos or chocolate covered pretzels for a quick treat. This basic recipe formula can be changed up into tons of fun flavor combinations.
Cake balls are such a fun and festive dessert, and they’re almost too pretty to eat! I love making cake balls because they’re a total crowd pleaser, both kids and adults alike adore them.
What is a cake ball?
A cake ball is essentially a truffle make of a blend of cake crumbs and frosting that is dipped in candy melts. Cake balls are often topped with sprinkles or decorated in ways to look like flowers, animals, you name it!
How do you make cake balls?
The first step to making cake balls is to bake a 9″x13″ cake. I always use a cake mix because there are so many flavor options, they always come out moist and delicious, and it’s just so easy. The cake gets crumbled up before it’s mixed with the frosting, then shaped into balls. You can make your cake balls as big or as small as you like, I typically go for about 1 1/2 inches in size.
How do you make cake pops?
Looking to turn your cake balls into cake pops? It’s easy! Simply place your formed cake balls onto lollipop sticks, then chill and dip into candy melts as directed in the recipe below.
How do you dip cake balls?
I find the easiest way to dip cake balls is to place each ball on a fork, then spoon the candy melts over the top. Tap the fork lightly against the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. You only want a thin coating of chocolate, otherwise the excess chocolate will pool at the bottom of your cake truffle as it hardens. Gently transfer each dipped cake truffle to a sheet of parchment paper to let it harden. And don’t forget to add your sprinkles while the cake balls are still wet!
Tips for cake balls
- Cake balls are typically dipped in candy melts. I highly recommend using Ghirardelli Melting Wafers which are available in most grocery stores and come in both white and dark chocolate. They taste like real chocolate and are so easy to work with because they melt smooth and thin. If you use another brand of candy melts, you may need to add a teaspoon or two of shortening when you melt them to thin them out.
- When you mix your cake crumbs with the frosting, you’re looking for a soft dough to form, but the dough should not be sticky. If you feel like your dough is a little dry, feel free to add a bit more frosting until you get to your desired consistency.
- You can create shaped cake balls by flattening your cake mixture into a slab and using a small cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
- Be sure to fully chill your cake balls before you dip them, if they’re soft they will be much harder to work with.
Cake ball flavors
I used a classic yellow cake with vanilla frosting here, but there are so many ways to flavor your cake balls such as
- Lemon cake + lemon frosting
- Spice cake + cream cheese frosting
- Funfetti cake + vanilla frosting
- Chocolate cake mix + chocolate frosting
- Strawberry cake + strawberry frosting
- Red velvet cake + cream cheese frosting
How long do cake balls last?
Cake balls will last for 5-7 days when stored in an airtight container. If you need to store them for longer than that, you can transfer them to the refrigerator where they will keep for up to 10 days.
I love that these cake balls are so versatile, and they’re even great for the holidays! I make cake balls for my girls’ birthday parties and they are always a huge hit.
More sweet treats
Cake Balls Recipe
- 1 box cake mix flavor of your choice
- eggs, oil and water as called for on cake mix box
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons canned frosting flavor of your choice
- 1 pound candy melts I recommend Ghirardelli Melting Wafers
- 1/2 cup sprinkles
- Prepare cake mix with the amount of oil, water and eggs directed on the box. Bake in a 9”x13” pan according to package directions.
- Let cake cool completely, then break apart and crumble until fine crumbs form.
- Stir in the frosting until a dough forms. If the dough seems dry, you can add additional frosting, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Roll the cake mixture into tablespoon sized balls. Place the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for at least one hour.
- Melt the candy melts in a bowl in the microwave, heating in 30 second increments, and stir until completely smooth.
- Place each cake ball on a fork and use a spoon to pour the candy melts over the cake ball. Tap against the side of the bowl to remove excess candy melts.
- Place each ball on a parchment lined sheet pan. Top with sprinkles.
- Repeat with remaining cake balls and candy melts. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Can you add Oreo cookies to the mix? If so, how many would you suggest and would I remove the white icing?
Thanks so much!
Are you looking to make oreo balls, or cake with chopped up oreos in it? I do also have an oreo ball recipe: https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/oreo-balls-recipe/
Outstanding recipe. I followed exactly as you stated and they came out very well. Thanks for sharing.
This helped with all my confusion on how to make it and it tasted sooooo good. Thank you for sharing this with me!!!!
I’m using this as a last minute desert for a party. I want to know if I can trust this recipe that it will work or should I try to tweak a few things? I really want these to turn out right it seems like such a simple recipe and they look really good. Another question, after the chocolate has hardened can they be taken out without it melting off at room temp or will it have to be kept in a refrigerator?
If you tweak a few things I can’t guarantee the recipe will work, the recipe has been extensively tested and works as written! You can keep them at room temperature if it’s not overly hot outside.
Can you sub butter for oil?
I think it would probably work but I haven’t tested it that way myself!
This will work with any cake regardless if made with oil or butter, I have made it both ways and never ran into any problems
I used carrot cake mix and cream cheese frosting dipped in white chocolate, they were a big hit!!
I have made strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. They were awesome!!
I added a bit of vanilla & almond to the icing before mixing. Enhanced the boxed cake flavor. Yum!!
Hello! If I am making strawberry cake pops would I use strawberry cake mix and strawberry icing and then a white candy melt? Thanks!!
Yes that will work!
My first time making these and it was fun and so good
It’s getting late. Can I form my balls and leave them in the refrigerator overnight or is that too long? I’m thinking 10 hours or so.
That’s fine just cover them with plastic wrap!
Excited to try this recipe! How many does this normally make?
It makes 36!
This is a great recipe. I use it for many holidays and parties. Give as gifts etc. it’s terrific. I use buttercream or creamcheese frosting that I make. Delicious
I love these I made them for my family and they loved then they just want me to make more
My favorite recipe! So easy yet so delicious!! I have made this recipe many many times, and for so many parties and it never ever fails. Thank you so so much!! <3
Making these right now!! This will be my first time making these.. got to do something keep busy with my girls!! So excited cant wait!!
Just wanted to let you know I love this recipe. I have made it multiple times for parties/events and they are always a hit! Everyone asked me if I really made them myself. Thanks so much!
So happy to hear that you’re enjoying the recipe, thanks for reporting back!
I’ve made this recipe and I love them, they’re always a big hit! I was wondering if these could be frozen? I’d love to be able to make them a bit ahead of time for the holidays, but am afraid to try them out for an actual get together! Any advice?
I would recommend freezing the balls before you dip them in chocolate. Then thaw the balls, dip in chocolate and add decorations. Otherwise when you thaw them, there will be condensation on the chocolate coating.
how do you make these into cake “Pops”?
Place your formed cake balls onto lollipop sticks, then chill and dip into candy melts as directed in the recipe!
Canned frosting always tastes so fake and weird. Can’t you use homemade cake and frosting instead? What would be the measure?
You can use homemade cake and frosting! Any homemade 9×13 inch cake will work, and the frosting amount would also stay the same at 1 cup + 2 tablespoons. If you need to add a little more frosting you can, depending on the consistency of your homemade cake.
This is such a simple recipe. I’ve always feared them bc I thought they were difficult to make but I’m attempting them tonight!!!!