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Chocolate Cake Balls

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There is no gift more heartfelt than something you made with your own hands. This Valentine’s Day, make these delectable chocolate cake balls for someone special.

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake Balls

Don’t think there’s anything complicated about making cake balls. If you can mix, scoop and shape, you’re halfway there. The remaining half consists of controlling the urge to eat the cake balls yourself instead of putting them in a box to surprise a loved one.

Oh, they are delicious. Moist and, at the same time, bursting with textures. And you know what the best part is? You can make cake balls out of leftover cake (or even that animal called cake-like brownies) that had dried out in the fridge. Or, if you have excess extra-moist chocolate cake, just let it air dry in a cool place for a day.

Alex made these cake balls in the photo above using excess cupcakes and frosting. Someone ordered a dozen triple chocolate cupcakes for Christmas, there was some excess so she recycled them.

Chocolate cake balls covered in crushed peanuts and coconut flakes

The chocolate cake balls in the above photo were made a couple of years ago. I was testing a brownie recipe that turned out badly and I was wondering what to do with the dry and oh-so-unappetizing brownies. That was the first time I made cake balls and I’ve been making them since — often as a salvage operation.

Chocolate cake balls covered in crushed peanuts and coconut flakes, step 1

It’s the same procedure whether you’re using dried out cake or brownies in the fridge or leftover cake, cupcakes or brownies allowed to sit at room temperature for a day or so. Just crumble the cake or brownies, stir in frosting, chill if the mixture is too soft to shape, scoop, shape and, optionally, roll in whatever you fancy.

Tip: I use a ratio of 1:4. That’s 1/4 cup frosting for every cup of crumbled cake or brownies. You may, of course, use a different ratio. Whatever your formula, after mixing the crumbled cake / brownie and frosting, taste the mixture. If it’s too sweet, you may want to add a pinch or two of salt. If you want to add depth of flavor, try stirring in a tablespoon or two of Kahlua or rum. We’ve tried both and both work perfectly well.

How to Make Chocolate Cake Balls for Valentine's Day

Coating the cake balls in nuts or coconut, or even dipping them in melted chocolate is totally optional. Visually and texturally, a coating elevates plain cake balls to awesome heights.

But what to roll the cake balls in? Chopped toasted walnuts? Lovely! Desiccated coconut? Just as good.

Chocolate cake balls covered in crushed peanuts and coconut flakes, step 2

If you want to play around with the coating, you may opt for finely crushed nuts or toasted flaked coconut which is more moist and rich in texture than desiccated coconut.

But… but… A Valentine’s gift made from leftovers? Why ever not? Material girls and material boys will likely expect something pricey like an expensive dinner or a bouquet of roses that comes in a box screaming with the name of some high-end flower shop. But a person who truly appreciates you will appreciate even more something that you lovingly prepared for him or for her even if it’s made from leftovers.

Chocolate Cake Balls for Valentine's Day