Red Hot Red Velvet Cake Balls

I haven’t posted in quite some time, but I’m back and baking (and blogging) in my new tiny kitchen. As an update, I recently graduated from college and moved out to the big apple, making a new home in my 4-bedroom apartment. It’s taken some time, but I’ve finally gotten used to my new and very narrow kitchen, but have all the amenities I need to bake (all thanks to my roommate!). I’ve done a couple projects here and there (see my instagram), but this is the first one that I thought was worth posting.

These red hot red velvet cake balls were my contribution to a Halloween party. Considering that I put negative effort into my costume, I thought I should probably bring something to the party. My roommate and I were going as cocktails, and I thought it would be a perfect thing to incorporate into my dessert. Thus, these red hot red velvet cake balls were born.

Can I say? FIREBALL! Not only do these cake balls have a kick of cayenne pepper, they also have a nice jolt of cinnamon fireball whisky cream cheese frosting.. What a happy way to celebrate halloween and ridiculous costumes..

I’ve never made cake balls before, but after see all the cute photos on Pinterest, I couldn’t resist wanting to try and make these myself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find lollipop sticks in my frantic Friday night search at my local grocery store, so I ended up just manhandling my perfect cake balls when trying to dip them in chocolate. At least they tasted good..

If you aren’t into the whole cooking with whiskey idea, you can absolutely leave out the Fireball or sub it for a cinnamon syrup or just ground cinnamon. However, in my opinion, the whiskey brings the frosting a more wholesome, diverse, and spice-y flavor. I loved it!

I know these aren't very pretty, please don't judge..
I know these aren’t very pretty, please don’t judge..

Red Hot Red Velvet Cake Balls with Cinnamon Fireball Frosting

Adapted from Food Network
Makes approximately 50-60 cake balls

Ingredients

Red Hot Red Velvet Cake

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (can sub for cake flour of gf flour)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 oz red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (sub: non-dairy milk (I used coconut) + 1 tbsp white vinegar)

Cinnamon Fireball Frosting
6 oz reduced fat cream cheese frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3-4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1 shot cinnamon whiskey/ cinnamon schnapps/ goldschlager

Chocolate Coating
24 oz white or dark chocolate (I like and half)
1-2 tsp vegetable oil

Method
For the cake –

Preheat oven to 350C. Prepare two 8 or 9inch cake rounds with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, spices, salt, and baking soda). Whisk to combine so that there are no clumps of cocoa powder in the batter.

In the bowl of your mixer, or another large bowl, beat the oil and eggs together with the paddle attachment until thoroughly combined. Then, add red food coloring and vanilla extract and remix.

Use the alternating dry and wet method by adding in 1/3 of your dry mixture into your mixer followed by ½ of your buttermilk. Scrape down the bowl, making sure to get all of the bits and then repeat. Finish off the batter by adding in your dry mixture and then stir on low speed until just combined.
Remove bowl and pour batter into 2 8 or 9 inch cake rounds, lightly greased. Tap out the bubbles of the batter and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a toothpick can be removed cleanly or the tops are set and bounce back when lightly pressed.

Let cool completely before proceeding to make the cake balls. After 5 minutes of initial cooling, the cakes can be placed in the freezer to cool down faster (approx 15-20 minutes).

For the Frosting –

Prepare the frosting, so it is ready when your cake is done cooling.

In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and the butter together for five minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt.

Add in half of the powdered sugar and continue to paddle at high speed to ensure the buttercream is fluffy. Add in the schnapps, beating continuously to ensure incorporation of the liquid. Then, add in the rest of the powdered and beat on high for another five minutes until light, fluffy, and delicious.

Cake Ball Time –

Crumble the cake in a large bowl and combine with the frosting. It’s important that both of these are at room temperature to make sure your frosting doesn’t melt (gross). Using a fork smash the two together, and combine until smooth. If you have a food processor, you can also blend the two together until very homogenous. Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop the mixture into even dough scoops and form into nice round spherical balls. Chill balls until firm (1-2 hours in refrigerator or 25 minutes in a freezer).

The coating –

Pour 12oz chocolate (chocolate pices should be roughly the same size) into a microwave safe bowl. Add in canola oil, toss to coat, and place in the microwave for 30 seconds on medium heat. Stir every 15-30 seconds until chocolate is nice and melted. If you want to use the double boiler method, thats even better, I just no longer have those materials in my NYC apartment.

Coat the cake balls!

Using two spoons, dip your cake ball into the chocolate mixture. Move around to coat entirely, pick up with your spoons, let the excess chocolate drip off as much as possible and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Have fun with this! I alternated between white and dark chocolate, because why not. I tried to make mummy/ghost white cake balls (see below), which was partially a perfect cover up to my terrible chocolate dipping skills.

Alternatively, buy lollipop sticks, puncture your cooled cake balls and dip nicely into the chocolate. This is so much cleaner and my recommended method if you can get your hands on the sticks. Amazon prime, my friends.. it’s so worth it

Dip until all the chocolate is gone and decorate however you please. Dip these cake balls in chocolate cookie crumbs, cake crumbs, sprinkle-fy it. GO CRAZYY!!

Since this recipe makes sooo many cake balls, I ended up freezing my extras and every so often I pop one (or maybe more) into my mouth as an after-work treat. It’s delightful!

Hopefully, you enjoy this recipe and let me know in the comments below how you ended up decorating your cake balls. (I think I’ve been watching too much YouTube lately, because this sounds like the end of a food video blog)

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