Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Christmas Favorites: DIY Decor & Cake Balls

If you read my previous post, then you're aware that I spent the little free time I had last week making DIY Christmas decorations for our Christmas party on Saturday. See my last post for my inspiration (via Pinterest, of course). Here are my final products:

Styrofoam cone + floral pins + LOTS of ribbon!

Tall vase + fresh cranberries and dill + floating candle

Mason jar + Epsom salt + small candle + twine

Free Christmas printable from this blog that I found on Pinterest

I also made my spinach dip (my favorite go-to party dip), Pillsbury Christmas cookies (so easy...) and, for the first time, cake balls! I've been wanting to make them ever since they started popping up all over the internet. I ate them on Thanksgiving for the first time and they looked easy to make. Since I didn't have enough time to whip up a batch of homemade cupcakes for the party - plus I had yellow cake mix leftover from apple crisp - I thought I would give these a try. They turned out to be pretty simple, but having the sticks to go in them (a la cake pops) would have been better, since toothpicks are too small and flimsy for dipping, and barbecue skewers are too fat and just look ridiculous (yes, I tried them). I know there are a lot of ways to make these, but here's how I did it:

Chocolate Cake Balls

  • Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix (I used half a box, which was enough for a 9x9 pan and 18 large cake balls) - see back of box for remaining cake ingredients
  • Vanilla buttercream frosting (from my 200 Cupcakes book - I made half):
    • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tsp hot water
  • 2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles to decorate
  • Bake cake according to box directions - in a 9x13 pan for a full box and a 9x9 pan for half a box.
  • Make frosting while allowing cake to cool. I made vanilla buttercream, but I've heard cream cheese is really good, too. If you're short on time, just use a half-tub of store-bought frosting.
  • When cake is cooled, crumble all of it into a large mixing bowl. Add frosting and mix together so that it's mushy.
  • Roll little balls from cake-frosting mixture and place on wax paper or foil.
  • Heat chocolate chips in microwave, mixing every 30 seconds until smooth and creamy. If necessary, add some hot water to make the consistency thinner (I did this).
  • Dip cake balls into chocolate, coat evenly, and place back on paper/foil. Use sticks if you have them. If not, just drop the cake balls in and use a spoon to cover them with chocolate. Toothpicks didn't work for me because of the thickness of the chocolate, but they may work for other toppings.
  • If you want, add sprinkles as you finish coating each cake ball with chocolate.
  • When finished, place them (covered) in the fridge to sit. Serve and enjoy!

If you're a visual learner, here's a helpful video I found on YouTube for making cake balls.

If you have any delicious cake ball/pop recipes, please feel free to comment and share! These might be my newest obsession... :)

Now, time to watch Love Actually and drink some egg nog (another favorite) after a day of Christmas shopping at the Mall of America - yes, we braved it. Good luck with all of your shopping/crafting/baking/traveling this holiday season! Lots of love from snowy Minnesota. ;)

<3 Mrs. G

P.S. Our Christmas cards came in this week! If I can figure out how to upload them on here, I'll show you what they look like. I actually ended up buying them through Walgreens because I could fit a lot of our cute Christmas photos into one card. :)


  1. Girl I'm in love with your ribbon tree!!!!!!!!

    I put up pics of my snow candles too. I like yours!!! I like how everyone's can look a little different (my mom made some with gold candles, it's cute and different) but still be adorable!

  2. Oh by the way, there's so nothing wrong with Walgreens Christmas cards. I think that's what most people do, and if you do it at the right time you get a really great discount. If you'll email me your address I'll mail you one of our Christmas cards :D

  3. Thanks! I've been meaning to check out your blog to see yours, too! I think the snow candles were my favorite.

    I actually really like the cards I picked out from Walgreens. I looked at quite a few websites, but they had one of the better values for what I wanted. Christmas cards are so expensive...

    Send me your email address (via Facebook?) and I'll send you my home address. :)



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