Intro: Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Balls
These spooky little treats are a perfect way to celebrate Halloween.
Step 1: Supplies
You will need:
-Orange Food Dye *non water based*
I used pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting.
Step 2: Pumpkin Cake
Although any flavor of cake and frosting works for cake balls, I decided to go with pumpkin cake.
For the cake, I mixed the following:
-1 Cup sugar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 Cup canned pumpkin
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
-3/4 Cup flour
Then I spread out the batter on a sheet pan and baked it at 350 for ~12 minutes. Cooking time varies though, so be sure to check the cake while it is cooking.
After the cake is cooked and cooled, crumble it. If it is still pretty moist, break it into small pieces.
Step 3: Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese frosting pairs nicely with pumpkin cake. However, just like the cake, any flavor of frosting will work.
I mixed together:
-8 oz cream cheese
-1 Cup powdered sugar
-2 Tablespoons butter
-1 teaspoon cake vodka
Make sure to taste the frosting to make sure it is sweet enough. If the cream cheese flavor is too strong, add in a bit more powdered sugar.
Add some orange food coloring to the frosting so the inside color of the pumpkins is also pumpkin-like.
I tried out cake vodka because we were out of vanilla. It added an excellent flavor layer and I will probably use it in future frostings too.
Step 4: Mixing the Frosting & Cake
After the cake crumbles and frosting are ready, mix them together. The consistency should be a bit heavy and sticky. Try not to over mix the frosting with the cake, or the texture will be mushy.
Refrigerate the batter until it is chilled, so it is easier to roll into balls.
Roll the batter into balls. Keep in mind they need to be big enough for jack-o-lantern decorations, yet small enough to still be easily eatable.
If the batter is too sticky, even after chilling it, add more cake. If the batter is not sticking together, add more frosting.
After the balls are rolled, freeze them for at least an hour. They need to be nice and firm for dipping.
Step 5: Prep for Dipping
Cut your caramel squares into stem shapes for the pumpkins. I got 6 stems out of 1 square of caramel.
Cut your chocolate into slivers for melting.
-I used almond bark for these pumpkins. You can also find chocolate / white chocolate chips, big blocks of bakers chocolate, or pre-colored candy melts.
Step 6: Melting the Chocolate
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. This is important because if it melts directly on the heat of the stove, it can easily overheat.
Add in your food coloring as the chocolate melts. Do Not use a wooden spoon as shown in the picture- it can add moisture to the chocolate which breaks it. Also, make sure your dye is not water based, or the chocolate will break.
Once the chocolate is melted and dye added, it should be a nice smooth texture. Turn down / off the heat for dipping.
Step 7: Dipping the Cake Balls
When the chocolate is ready, dip the cake balls one at a time. They should be completely coated in chocolate. After coated, place them on wax paper to cool.
I find it is easiest to use a tooth pick for dipping, and have a second toothpick ready to help detach the pumpkin ball. In the hole left from the toothpick, add a caramel "stem" before the chocolate is completely cooled.
If the cake balls are turning too mushy in the chocolate, put them back in the freezer until completely firm.
If it is too hard to dip the balls with a toothpick, a fork can also be used.
Step 8: Decorating
When the pumpkins have cooled completely, they are ready to decorate!
If any of them have cracked on the outside, they can be patched very carefully with any remaining chocolate.
Add any features that a jack-o-lantern might have.
I used a candy-decorator that needed to be warmed up in water to be useable. After I decorated my jack-o-lanterns the candy turned solid again.