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Kids Take Over the Kitchen — Making Cake Balls!

Cooking is my absolute favorite hobby, and do you know what makes it even better? Doing it with my two-year-old—especially when we make cake balls. I have high hopes that she’ll share my passion for being in the kitchen one day, but I have had very little luck getting her interested in helping with risotto or roasted veggies. But cake? She was sold. If you google a recipe for “cake balls,” you’ll get hundreds (if not thousands) of results. I’m not looking to make any money off of my baking skills; I just wanted to have a fun afternoon with my best girl. For both of these reasons, I opted to use the easiest methods and refused to beat myself up over aesthetics. End result: we had a blast.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 box of any flavor cake mix you like, plus whatever ingredients that particular cake mix requires. This time around, we used white cake mix.
  • 1 container of whatever flavor icing you want. We chose strawberry!
  • 1 bag of candy melts. Any color is fine!
  • Sprinkles, if you like. Which of course you do. Everyone likes sprinkles. Right?

Mix the cake as directed on the box. Let that toddler mix away! Of course you’ll have to step in at some point to actually mix the ingredients together, but at least let them try. If yours is like mine, it will totally make his or her day.


May you get this much joy from mixing!

Bake the cake accordingly. After removing from the oven, break the cake up into pieces. You have to do this eventually anyway, and it helps it cool down faster. The cooked cake pieces have to cool down all the way before proceeding. (Due to the infant member of our household, this step took six hours… Normally, however, you only have to wait about 45 minutes or so for the cake to cool off.)

Move cake crumbs into a large bowl, and break up into even smaller crumbs. Add icing. Different recipes will give you different recommendations for how much icing, but we typically use about 3/4 of the can. Mix well! Allow said toddler to sample icing. You are making cake balls, after all. “Healthy” is not really your priority here.


She spent most of the time doing this, if I’m being honest.

Roll the icing/cake mixture into balls—about the size of a golf ball. After you’ve rolled all of the mix, place in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes OR in the fridge for 30-40 minutes.


Just a LITTLE more icing…

Melt the candy melts in the microwave according to the instructions on the package. Take your cake balls out of the fridge, and roll in the melted candy mix. Transfer to a baking sheet with tin foil or waxed paper. Top with sprinkles before the candy hardens. Store in the fridge. Take the leftovers to the office (or send them to work with your husband) so that you don’t eat all of them! (Or is that only my problem?)


Sprinkles are very serious business.

This is not a project for the freshly cleaned kitchen or for when you want to make impressive looking treats for your boss. It was messy and sticky, but when we finished, my favorite redhead looked at me and said, “Do it again?” I’d say it was totally worth all the sprinkles on my kitchen floor.

Absolute success.

Absolute success.

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6 Responses to Kids Take Over the Kitchen — Making Cake Balls!

  1. Donna Swan September 23, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    Another great blog post, Torrey. Looking forward to trying your recipe. Adorable red headed kitchen helper!

    • torreyswan September 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      Thanks, Donna!

  2. Jennifer Tilson September 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Sprinkles are mandatory. Even if you find them three months later. It’s worth the fun.

    • torreyswan September 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      Totally agree, Jennifer!

  3. Lisa Torrey September 24, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    Good philosophy about picking the easiest method and not worrying about the perfection factor. You set your self up for success! The more fun they have cooking when little, the more they will enjoy it growing up, in my humble opinion.

    • torreyswan September 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      That’s my theory, too Lisa! And if anyone knows a thing or two about cooking, it’s you!

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