This idea is taken from a book by Bakerella, and written below are the techniques that work for me.
What You Need:
1 510g box chocolate cake mix
1 450g (16 oz.) can frosting
~2 cups (16 oz.) chocolate candy wafers
~2 cups (16 oz.) colored candy wafers (I used purple)
~60 Plain M&M’s (or other candy)
Candy cup mold, with 1 ½” diameter cups
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 just under 1 ½” in diameter (the idea is to have them be a bit smaller than the width of the candy mold cups) and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You should be able to roll between 50 and 60 of these from one box of cake.
3) 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.
4) Melt the chocolate candy wafers 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. Once melted, pour into a squeeze bottle (if you don’t have a squeeze bottle, you can just use a spoon for the next step, but it’s bound to get messy).
5) With the squeeze bottle, fill each mold cup about halfway with the melted chocolate; the exact amount is hard to describe, but you get a good feel for it after 10 or so :) As soon as you fill a cup, carefully place one of the rolled, refrigerated cake balls in the center and LIGHTLY push down until it causes the chocolate to fill up to the top of the cup, around the ball. You may need more or less than 2 cups of melted wafers to do all of the cups, but it’s hard to know ahead of time; just plan for a bit more than you might need and you’ll be okay.
6) Place the mold tray in the freezer for a few minutes to let the chocolate set; once it’s set, gently push on the underside of the tray and pull on the cake balls to remove them from the mold. Set them back on the lined cookie sheet while you make the rest.
7) Melt the colored candy wafers 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.
8) With each cupcake bite, push down on the outside edges of the exposed cake ball to make it a bit more cupcake-shaped. Holding the bottom of the cupcake (I used tongs so that my fingers wouldn’t melt the chocolate), dip the top into the melted wafers, so that you completely cover the exposed cake ball and just a bit of the top of the chocolate cup (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 cup, you can remove it by sliding a toothpick along the edge you want to clean. Before the coating sets, place one M&M (face down) on the very top of the cupcake and sprinkle on some sprinkles. Very carefully place right-side-up on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set completely.
9) Repeat 50-60 times!
Sometimes if the cake balls are too cold when you do the second coating (coating the tops), the cake expands as it warms up and cracks the coating. To prevent this, do not do the second coating while the cake balls are still cold. Wait for them to reach room temperature. 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.