Ok. The first thing you'll need to do is decide on flavors. Really, any kind of cake will do, although I would probably avoid anything with chunks. Rainbow chip does sound delicious, though, so if anyone tries it with success, let me know! Our favorite is probably red velvet cake. Bake the cake according to the directions on the box in a 9" by 13" pan. Let it cool completely and cut into quarters. If you don't want to make a full batch, here is where you can freeze any sections you don't want to use. Just adjust the amount of frosting and coating you use accordingly. Each quarter of cake will make around twelve balls.
Next, take each quarter and break it into half. Rub the two pieces together so the cake starts to crumble. Continue on with the rest of the sections, and work through all the crumbs to make sure there aren't any big chunks.
After that, it's time to add the frosting. For the red velvet I use cream cheese frosting, but again, any kind will work, although make sure it's not the whipped kind. For a full cake, you will probably need about 3/4 of a tub of frosting. I usually start by adding about half, then more as needed. Use the back of your spoon to mix it in, until it's a consistency that can be formed into balls without being too mushy.
Start rolling! This can get a little messy, but it's fun. For a whole cake, you should probably get between 45 and 50 balls, depending on how big you roll them. Put them on waxed paper on a baking sheet, and when they're all rolled pop them into the freezer for 20 minutes, or the fridge for a couple of hours. You want them to firm up a little bit, but not freeze.
Next, you need to figure out what kind of coating to use. Michael's sells just about every color of the candy coating - most of the colors are vanilla flavored. I know they also make peanut butter and chocolate, too. I've been using the Meijer brand chocolate coating and it seems to work well and taste pretty good, too! Follow the directions on the package and melt it in a small bowl. For a full batch, you'll probably need two bags of coating.
Take only a couple of balls out of the fridge at a time so they don't start warming up. Put one ball at a time in the bowl of melted coating. Don't stir! Use a spoon to cover the ball, then lift it up and tap your spoon on the side of the bowl a few times to get rid of the excess coating and smooth everything out.
Slide the ball off the spoon onto another piece of waxed paper. This might seem a little tricky at first, but you'll get the hang of it! If there is extra coating pooling around the bottom, you can always break it off when it dries, or use a little toothpick to scrape it away.
Here is where you can get a little fancy. Sprinkles? Colored sugar? Mini chocolate chips? Go for it!
All that's left now is enjoying all the fruits of your labor. Sit back, relax, and pop a few of these bad boys in your mouth and let the cake take over!
It doesn't hurt to have an extra cute helper, either...
Extra special thanks to my photographers - Mike and my mom. You really did a wonderful job of capturing the beauty of the ball-making process. xoxoxo