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  • Basic Cake Balls

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  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box cake mix
    1 (16-ounce) container ready-made frosting
    32 ounces candy coating
    Bake the cake in a 9-by-13-inch pan, as directed on box. Let cool completely.
    Crumble cake into a large mixing bowl by cutting cake into 4 sections. Remove a section from pan, break it in half and rub sections together over a large bowl, making sure to crumble any large pieces that fall off. Repeat with each section until cake crumbs are a fine, even texture. Any large pieces may make cake balls turn out lumpy.
    Add 3/4 of the frosting — a whole can will make it too moist — and mix it, using back of a large metal spoon, until thoroughly combined. Mixture should be moist enough to roll into 11/2-inch balls. Roll 48 by hand, placing them on a waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours, or in freezer for about 15 minutes. You want balls firm but not frozen.
    Place the candy coating in a deep, microwave-safe plastic bowl. Working with about 16 ounces at a time, melt candy coating, according to package directions — or microwave it on medium for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between.
    Take a few cake balls at a time out of refrigerator or freezer. (If they're in freezer, transfer rest to refrigerator now.) Place 1 ball at a time into bowl of candy coating. Spoon extra over to coat thoroughly. Avoid stirring, because crumbs can fall off. Lift cake ball with your spoon, tapping handle several times on bowl edge so any excess coating falls back into bowl.
    Transfer coated cake ball to another waxed paper-covered baking sheet, letting it slide right off spoon. Some coating may pool around base. If so, use a toothpick to draw a line around base before the coating sets. Repeat with remaining cake balls, melting more coating as needed. Let dry completely.
    If you have extra candy coating, pour it into a squeeze bottle or resealable plastic bag, with corner snipped off, and drizzle it over cake ball tops in a zigzag motion to decorate. Cake balls may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in refrigerator for several days. Makes 48.
    — Recipe from "Cake Pops" by Bakerella (Chronicle Books, $19.95 160 pages).
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