Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Balls

I decided to make cake balls again to take to our annual family hayride a couple weeks ago. Call me crazy because apparently I forgot how time consuming they can become. Call me awesome because I stumbled upon an even better recipe than my last attempt. I was looking for something thoroughly fall/hayride appropriate and Bridget at Bake at 350 totally came through for me. She calls these delicious autumn wonders "Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls" but I found that when adapted a tad, they can come out with the consistency of pumpkin pie. Okay, okay, "adapted" means I accidentally used a whole can of pumpkin instead of 1 cup and my cake fell because it was super thick and dense. Guess what? It turned out great. Since it was so moist, I added a 1/2 a can of cream cheese versus the standard full can and the sweetness and texture was spot on.

Here's my adapted recipe for Pumpkin Pie Balls
(Makes about 4-5 dozen balls)

1 box French Vanilla cake mix
1 full can of pumpkin ( not pumpkin pie blend- just straight up canned pumpkin)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1/2 can cream cheese frosting
chocolate candy melts or almond bark
Nuts, sprinkles, grated coconut, or reserved almond bark for decorating ( optional)
1. Beat all top section ingredients until blended and bake according to package instructions in a 13x9 pan. Cake should rise and toothpick should come out clean from center. However, since the cake is extra dense, it will fall when removed from the oven.
2. Allow cake to cool enough to handle. Crumble and smoosh the cake together- it will be pretty mushy. Add 1/2 can of cream cheese frosting and blend well. NOTE: I don't know why but I really prefer Duncan Hines cream cheese to Pilsbury. The Pilsbury one tastes like plastic cotton candy. Is that just me?
3. Shape into bite size balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet ( you'll probably need a few.) Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. You want these to be pretty cold.
4. Melt almond bark or chocolate melts however you like but not over a direct flame. 10-15 second intervals in the microwave works well. Or, you can put a mixing bowl in a a stock pot to steam water in order to melt them. I'm pretty sure there's an actual piece of equipment for this but why buy one more thing?
I bought lousy bark from the convenience store because I thought I had some but I didn't and I didn't want to drive all the way to the Wal-Mart and get suckered into buying forty more things. Lousy bark or overheated bark may require the addition of shortening to loosen things up a bit. Add in small spoonfuls if needed until it is a smooth consistency that will easily coat your pie balls.
5. Remove balls from the fridge and individually dunk into the almond bark using a fork to remove from the bowl and a spoon to toss chocolate over the top. The use of a toothpick is very handy for replacing the ball back on the parchment paper. You can see a great example of this technique in action courtesy of P-dub here.
6. If decorating with loose bits like nuts or sprinkles, top while the chocolate is still tacky. If decorating with piped almond bark, wait until the chocolate coating is fully set.
I prefer these chilled but I also hate warm pie so, there ya go. I'd use your pie preferences as a guide here because, they aren't cake-like in texture at all. One last piece of advice...if you want any of these for yourself, hide them. I only got one.


Tiffany said...

I assume you used a small can of pumpkin, not the giant ones? lol. I think I'm going to give this a try. It sounds delicious!

raspberrykitty at aol dot com

Traveling Spork said...

Yes...small can. 15 or 14 oz? Something like thaty.

I hope it works out for you!

BananaCat said...

Oh my, those look delicious! I want to try it out. Beautifully displayed as well.

alli said...

I might try this out if my idea for pie balls falls flat. If it works out i will share it w/ you. =)