Yield: 36 cake balls
- One 9 x 13 white cake, baked according to instructions
- One can (16 oz) prepared white frosting
- Red gel food coloring, preferably "no-taste" variety
- Blue gel food coloring
- 4 cups white candy coating
- Red and blue sprinkles
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or waxed paper.
2. Place the cake in a large bowl, and crumble it roughly with your hands. Once it's in fine crumbs, add about 2/3 of the frosting and begin to mix it with your hands into the cake crumbs, working until the mixture is evenly moistened. You want the cake mixture to easily hold together when you press it into a ball, but still retain a little texture. My personal preference is to have some “crumb” left to the crumb, so that it is not just a gooey ball. Of course, tastes vary, so if it seems as if the cake mixture is too dry, or you like a gooier taste, add more frosting until you're happy with the taste and texture.
3. Take about 1/5th of the cake mixture and set it aside in a different bowl. Add blue gel food coloring to the cake and mix it together until the cake is a vivid blue color, adding more food coloring if necessary.
4. Now divide the remaining cake, setting aside 1/3rd to leave plain white, and dyeing the remaining 2/3rds with the red gel food coloring until it is a bright red color. You might need to use a good amount of dye, which is why I prefer to buy "no-taste" red color so that the cake doesn't have any odd chemical flavors.
5. Making these balls is a multi-step process. Start with the blue cake, and form it into tiny balls about the size of a dime. Depending on how much cake you set aside, you should get about 3 dozen miniature cake balls. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, and stick them in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
6. Once the blue cake balls are firm, remove them from the freezer. Take a spoonful of white cake and press it into a flat disc between your palms. Put a frozen ball of blue cake in the center of it, and fold the white cake over it, pressing it together so that it completely covers the blue. Roll it between your palms to get it round, and replace it back on the baking sheet. The white layer should be fairly thin, so that the finished ball at this point is about the size of a nickel. Once all the blue balls are covered with white, put the tray back in the freezer to firm up the cake balls, about another 30 minutes.
7. Finally, add a layer of red cake on top of the white. Once the white balls are firm, take a scoop of red cake and press it between your palms until it is a thin disc. Place a white cake ball in the middle and fold the red cake over it, rolling it between your palms to get it round. Repeat until all of the balls are covered with red cake.
8. If your kitchen is warm, place the tray in the refrigerator (not the freezer) while you melt the white chocolate candy coating. The cake balls should be cool enough to hold together, but if they are too cold they will cause the candy coating to crack, so it's best if they are at cool room temperature.
9. Once the white chocolate coating is melted, it's time to dip the truffles. Using dipping tools or a fork, submerge a cake ball in the melted candy coating. Remove it from the coating and drag the bottom across the lip of the bowl to remove excess coating. Replace the dipped truffle on the foil-covered baking sheet. While the coating is still wet, sprinkle the top with red and blue sprinkles.
10. Refrigerate the balls to set the coating completely, about 20 minutes. These Red, White and Blue Cake Balls are best served at room temperature, and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Variations: There are several ways you can simplify this recipe if you don't have the time to perform all of the steps. The most basic variation would be to simply divide the cake in 3 equal parts and dye one red and one blue. Instead of layering the cake, simply roll the different colors into cake balls and dip them all in white coating and top them with sprinkles. When guests bite inside they will be surprised to find either red, white, or blue cake.
Another option is just to do two layers of cake instead of three. For instance, you could make a blue center layer, wrap it in white cake, and then dunk the whole thing in red candy coloring. You still get layers of red, white, and blue, but you've eliminated one of the cake steps. These are just suggestions to get you started—feel free to play with the idea to make the perfect red, white, and blue cake balls for you!