Mario Mushroom Cake Balls
Adapted from Bakerella's basic cake balls, for my own purposes.
Rolled white fondant for the bases and spots, melted red and green candy candy wafers for the heads, and black dye paste for the eyes.
Made for an SNES party my boyfriend and I hosted.
What You Need:
1 510g box white cake mix
1 450g (16 oz.) can white frosting
~2 cups (16 oz.) red candy wafers
~2 cups (16 oz.) green candy wafers
Black gel icing
note: if you want you can use white candy wafers (probably 2-3 cups) for the mushroom base; I didn't have any, so I used rolled fondant.
I know it’s lame to use pre-packaged cake mix and frosting, but there are a few good reasons for it. First, the proportions and textures are just right for making cake balls, whereas those of homemade mixes will vary or be inconsistent throughout. Second, making these things takes a good three to four hours, so cutting out extra time by using packaged cake and frosting is extremely helpful. Don’t worry, they still taste wonderful.
1) Bake your cake according to the directions on the box for one 13X9” cake. Let it cool completely then drop it into a LARGE bowl and crumble with your hands until it is fine and fluffy, with no chunks. Using the back of a large spoon, mix three quarters of the can of frosting in until even and thoroughly moist, so that you could roll some into a ball and have it hold its shape.
2) Roll the mixture, one piece at a time, into balls about 1 ½” in diameter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You should be able to roll about 48 of these from one box of cake. Using a 3/4" to 1" circular cookie cutter, shape the bases of the mushrooms, making them thinner than the tops.
3) IF USING WHITE CHOCOLATE WAFERS FOR THE BASE, SKIP TO STEP 4. Cut out circles of rolled fondant about 2" in diameter, and fold them onto the bases of the mushrooms, making crimps and folds around the tops as you need to. This will be covered by the coating so they shouldn't show on the finished product anyways.
4) At the same time, cut out circles of fondant 1/2" in diameter (about 3 per cake ball) to use as the mushroom spots. Put these aside in ziploc bag, to keep them soft.
5) If you would like to finish the treats on the same day, chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until they firm up (but don’t let them freeze). If you would like to leave the rest for the next day, you can cool them in the refrigerator for a number of hours and come back to them later.
6) Melt the candy wafers (I work two cups at a time, and usually one color at a time) in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring thoroughly between. For 2 cups of wafers, this should only take 1:00-1:30. DO NOT OVERHEAT OR LET ANY WATER TOUCH THE WAFERS: either of these ruins the consistency of the wafers and makes them useless to you. Try to microwave them in a deep bowl, as you need the melted candy to be deep enough to dip.
IF YOU ARE USING WHITE CHOCOLATE WAFERS FOR THE BASE, MELT THE WHITE CHOCOLATE FIRST. Otherwise, pick one of the two colours to start with.
If using white chocolate wafers instead of fondant:
Holding on to the tops of the mushrooms, dip the base into the melted coating and then turn upside down and turn at a slight angle, letting the excess coating run down to the top or drop into the bowl below, using a toothpick lengthwise to remove excess as necessary. Place them top-down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to set. Once they have set, proceed to melting the coloured coating, as above.
7) With each mushroom, hold on to the base and dip the tops into the coloured coating so that you completely cover the exposed cake ball and just a bit of the top of the base (to seal the treat completely). Turn right-side-up after dipping to let any excess coating slide down and seal the edges more completely; if there is a LOT of excess and it threatens to roll down the base, you can remove it by sliding a toothpick along the edge you want to clean. Before the coating sets, place three fondant spots on the head of the mushroom. Very carefully place right-side-up on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set completely. Once set, you can use a bit of black gel icing on a toothpick to apply the eyes to the base.
8) Repeat ~48 times!
Sometimes if the cake balls are too cold when you coat the tops, the cake expands as it warms up and cracks the coating. To prevent this, do not do the coating while the cake balls are still cold. Wait for them to warm up a bit after being in the freezer/refrigerator. However, if it does happen, you can use a toothpick covered in melted coating to seal up those cracks so that they don’t leak condensation or grease from the cake inside.