We couldn’t very well run a Valentine’s Day recipe round-up without offering something of our own to the mix, now could we? We did make these hawt Mexican Chocolate and Vanilla Bean whoopie pies but I was feeling like I’d left out the kids in your life with that recipe. So, when someone e-mailed us and pointed out one of our very old recipes, Brown Velvet Cupcakes, was missing a cooking time, we took the opportunity to remake them and rewrite the recipe correctly.
With a batch of cupcakes on hand, my mind started flooding with recipe ideas. When I remembered a bag of cocoa butter that we’d ordered and not yet used – I knew exactly what I wanted to make! These double chocolate cake balls are layers upon layers of deliciousness. A brown velvet chocolate inside, a strawberry frosting and smothered in homemade dairy-free white chocolate. What could possibly be better than that?!
The good news is, cocoa butter is naturally allergen-free and is one of the most stable fats available and full of antioxidants. Before you ask, there is no way to make this recipe without nuts or eggs… unless you have a cake recipe you know and trust. In which case, it could be completely allergen-free and vegan. I’ll leave that up to you!
If you love cake balls and cake pops, make sure to check out Elana’s versions and our German Chocolate Cake Balls, also based off of this Brown Velvet Cupcake recipe. A single batch makes enough for a whole school class plus some for you!
p.s. We tested these on our meat-up group, who declared them to be worthy of your love on Valentine’s Day. Not a single one escaped the meeting!
White Chocolate Strawberry Velvet Cake Balls
Strawberry Velvet Cake
3/4 (18 cupcakes) of the Brown Velvet Cupcake recipe, crumbled
1 C freeze-dried strawberries, finely diced (fresh would work well too, you just need to eat them within 1-2 days)
1 C palm shortening
1 C freeze dried unsweetened strawberries
1/2 C unrefined granulated powdered sugar (we used palm sugar powdered in a coffee grinder)
2 Tbsp coconut, almond or hemp milk
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions for Cake Balls
- ♥ Add all icing ingredients together in a food processor and puree until combined.
- ♥ Mix icing in a bowl with crumbled cake and diced strawberries – a potato masher works great!
- ♥ Mixture will be wet; scrape out rounded tablespoons into approximately 45 balls, set in greased or non-stick pan and set to chill in fridge for at least an hour.
- ♥ Make white chocolate (below) while chilling.
- ♥ After an hour in the refrigerator, test the dough to ensure the fats have solidified. Then follow the instructions to assemble the cake balls.
Warning: I’m going to ask you to make your own white chocolate here. Feel free to buy or use whatever you want instead (dark chocolate would be good too). I based this technique off of CupcakeProject’s instructions. If you’d prefer not to use the microwave, there is a honey-sweetened traditional version over at OurNourishingRoots. We found that the cocoa butter easily “breaks” since we don’t use milk as an emulsifier. You can try different ingredients in place of ours, but we just can’t promise it will work for you. I do promise, though, that this simple technique and ingredients produce amazing results! Just keep in mind, the darker your sugar crystals, the less “white” (but just as delicious) the chocolate will be.
Super Simple Paleo(ish) White Chocolate
3oz (weighed) edible cocoa butter
1/3 C unrefined granulated sugar (we used raw sugar)
2 tsp arrowroot powder (tapioca would likely work if you do not have this, but this is essential)
Optional: one vanilla bean (this is purely for the speckled appearance and a bit of added vanilla flavor)
- ♥ Cut vanilla bean in half, scrape out seeds and add both to microwaveable bowl with solid cocoa butter.
- ♥ Liquify cocoa butter in microwave, about 3-4 minutes. Check and stir every minute or so. You’ll hear popping sounds as more vanilla bean seeds “pop” out of the bean – SUPER fun for the kids to listen and watch!
- Powder the granulated sugar in a coffee or spice grinder. Once powdered, add the arrowroot and pulse a few more times until fully incorporated.
- ♥ Slowly pour (we always tell our kids, slowly slowly slowly like a sloth) in the sugar to the liquified cocoa butter while constantly whisking, allowing the sugar to completely dissolve in the cocoa butter. Whisk for at least a full minute to ensure you’ve incorporated the chocolate. The oil should NOT separate – if it does, another zap in the microwave and then add a tablespoon or two of coconut milk to try and salvage the separated chocolate might work;but, you might have to start over.
- ♥ Pour or spoon the incorporated mixture evenly into silicon mini-muffin (teaspoon) or muffin tray (tablespoon). If you have a different candy mold or a lined baking tray with a lip, that will be fine too. You’ll just be melting this later, so the smaller the pieces the easier it is to melt.
- ♥ Set in the fridge or freezer until hard; voila – white chocolate!
- ♥ Microwave white chocolate in microwave safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds to fully melt but not liquify. Chocolate should be able to coat spoon evenly (see above). If you overheat, stir to incorporate ingredients, chill and start over again a while later.
- ♥ Prepare an assembly line: chilled cake balls, melted chocolate, powdered strawberries (about a 1/2 C – we used leftovers from the 1.2oz bag), candy (or mini-muffin) wrappers or container of choice for chilling of final cake balls.
- ♥ Once prepared, roll cake ball in the chocolate. We double dipped some of ours after the first had hardened – those were GOOD. But one is enough, or even a drizzle would work – whatever you want to do.
- ♥ Once dipped in white chocolate, set into candy wrappers or back onto non-stick dish, sprinkle with a dusting of leftover strawberry powder, repeat. Don’t wait too long to add strawberries, the chocolate sets quickly and it has to still be liquid in order for the strawberry dusting to stick.
- ♥ Once complete, set back into the fridge to let chocolate harden (they’ll go from being barely white to really white when they set).
- Keep chilled until ready to serve, let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.
Recipe makes 45 moist, dense, and addictive cake balls!