I'm making these wedding cake bites (based on Bakerella's Wedding Cake Pops) for a bridal shower tomorrow afternoon. I made a test batch last weekend, and my cakes kept sliding down the stick, so I decided to just leave them off the sticks, and serve them on miniature doilies, or possibly in cupcake liners.
To make these on your own, here's what you'll need:
- 1 box of cake mix (any flavor), or from-scratch recipe for a 13x9-inch sheet cake
- 1 (16 oz) can frosting, or 16 oz of homemade frosting
- Candy melts, or coating chocolate (about 2 lbs)
- 1 recipe of Royal icing (see below)
- Parchment or wax paper
- Two round cutters, ½-inch difference in size (I used ¾-inch and 1 ¼-inch)
- Miniature doilies or paper cupcake liners
- Bake your 13x9 cake (according to package directions, or according to your homemade recipe). Allow to cool completely.
- Break cake into chunks into the bowl of a stand mixer, or a food processor. If using stand mixer with the paddle attachment, stir on low until the cake becomes crumbs. If using a food processor, pulse several times until cake becomes crumbs (Note: if using food processor to make crumbs, I recommend pouring crumbs into stand mixer bowl before continuing).
- Spoon about ¾ of the frosting into the bowl, and using paddle attachment, mix until crumbs are coated in frosting. Add more frosting, a spoonful at a time, if needed.
- Line a sheetpan with wax or parchment paper, and using a tablespoon measure, scoop balls of the cake mixture. Using your hands, roll these into smooth balls. Start with about fifteen large balls. Switch to the teaspoon measure, and scoop out fifteen smaller balls. Roll until smooth. Switch back to the tablespoon and make more balls, then switch back to the teaspoon and roll an equal number of smaller balls. Repeat until you've used up all your cake mixture (your total number of cake balls will vary depending on your ball size and cake recipe).
- Refrigerate about fifteen minutes, until firm.
- Take the larger of your round cutters, lightly mist the inside with nonstick cooking spray, and place it on a hard surface lined with parchment or wax paper. Place a large ball of cake inside, and press down so that the ball becomes a round shape with a flat top and bottom.
- Pick up the cutter, and gently press down around the edges, forcing the cake out the bottom. Repeat with the large cake balls, misting the cutter with spray every three or four cake balls. Repeat with the smaller cutter and the smaller balls. Refrigerate until firm.
- Place a small amount of royal icing or liquid candy melts in a parchment piping bag and snip a tiny opening. Pick up a small cake bite, pipe a thin line around the edge on the underside, and place it in the middle of a larger cake bite.
- Repeat with the rest of your cake bites. Place in the freezer for about fifteen minutes.
- While they are freezing, melt your coating chocolate or candy melts over a double boiler (this method is recommended over microwaving, because it is easier to re-melt if needed).
- Now comes the dipping. Here is how I coated my mini cakes:
- Place a coating rack inside a lipped sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I took two of the cakes from the freezer and placed them on the coating rack.
- I placed one of the cakes on a fork, and used a large spoon to pour the chocolate over the cake. It took two or three spoonfuls to coat the cake on all sides. Do this quickly -- the cold cakes make the chocolate set fast.
- Then I gently nudged the cake off the fork with the spoon onto the coating rack to set completely. You can scrape any drippings off of the parchment paper and back into the bowl of melted chocolate, if needed.
- Repeat with each cake, taking two or three out of the freezer at a time.
- After the coating has dried, you can decorate your mini cakes. I recommend keeping decorations simple. A thin line at the base where the two layers meet, or a simple Swiss dot pattern on each layer. Also, about a week ahead of time, pipe some tiny royal icing flowers and leave them out to dry. Use a dot of royal icing to "glue" them to the top of the mini cakes.
Royal Icing Recipe
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder (egg whites may also be used, but because they will not be cooked, I recommend against them, if the elderly, children, or pregnant women may be consuming your cake bites)
- 1 lb confectioners sugar
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- Make sure your mixing bowl, paddle attachment, and all utensils are clean and grease-free.
- Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks, about 7 to 10 minutes at low speed in a stand mixer. Do not mix on a higher speed -- you do not want to incorporate air into the icing.
- Once mixed, keep covered by a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to prevent the icing from drying.