These lemon cake balls are a bite-sized and delicious treat that will be your new favorite party recipe. Bursting with lemon flavor, these truffle-like mini desserts will be a huge hit at your spring and summer events.
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Easy Lemon Cake Balls Recipe
Lemon lovers will go crazy for these tangy and sweet lemon cake truffles that are also incredibly easy to prepare. The recipe starts with a boxed cake mix, but you can also buy a premade cake from the store to make it even easier. The cake is crumbled and blended with cream cheese for a delicious lemon cheesecake filling, which is then rolled into balls and dipped in creamy white chocolate.
Each cake ball is coated in candy melts and topped with colorful bright yellow sprinkles. they would be perfect for spring or summer, Easter, baby showers, and birthday celebrations or even your New Year’s table.
In addition to being delicious, these sweet treats are also beautiful. They look like lemon truffles from a fancy candy store, and they’d be right at home at any baby shower, brunch, or spring party. But if you don’t feel like waiting for a special occasion, you can make a batch of these easy treats any time. They’re the perfect little bites to satisfy your sweet tooth!
We Love This Recipe
- These delicious cake balls look and taste like fancy truffles, but with just a few simple ingredients, they’re super easy to make.
- Next time you have leftover cake, this recipe is a great way to turn it into something even more delicious!
- The small size of these cake bites makes them a perfect party dessert, kids’ treat, or just a little something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- You can make all kinds of variations on this versatile recipe just by changing the cake flavor and the candy coating.
- Lemon cake mix (plus water, oil, eggs)
- Cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- Ghirardelli vanilla melting wafers
- Yellow nonpareil sprinkles
Learn How to Make Lemon Cake Balls
Step One: Make Cake
- Preheat the oven, then line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make a lemon cake – Prepare the boxed lemon cake mix according to the package instructions and bake according to the box instructions, probably around 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove the cake from the oven. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature.
Making the cake ahead of time will save you time when making the lemon cake balls. You can make the cake up to a day in advance.
- Once cooled, crumble the baked cake, leaving it in the same pan.
Step Two: Form the Cake Balls
- Using an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth.
- Add the crumbled cake into a large bowl with the cream cheese and mix together on low to medium speed until combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape all sides of the bowl to make sure all the cream cheese is incorporated so that the consistency is where the mixture can be formed into balls.
- Use a 1½ inch cookie scoop to form the cake mixture into balls and place on the the lined baking sheet. Tip: after scooping the dough, roll the mixture in the palm of your hand and roll to smooth the ball shape. Continue with the remaining cake mixture until you have all the balls made.
- Place the cookie sheet into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours (at least 1 hour). (This step will help the balls keep their shape during the dipping process.)
Step Three: Dip and Decorate
- Using a double boiler or microwave, melt the vanilla melting wafers on low heat, stirring until melted and smooth and the chocolate if fully melted. Do not overheat, or the coating may seize and thicken.
You can also melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30-second intervals.
- Use a fork to dip cake balls one at a time into the melted white chocolate, then remove and gently tap the fork on the edge to tap off excess chocolate. Place the dipped ball back onto the parchment paper after dipping.
- Place the leftover chocolate coating in a small piping bag or plastic bag and cut off a small piece of the corner.
- Add extra chocolate on top for decoration by drizzling the melted candy coating over the coated cake balls and then immediately top with the yellow sprinkles before the chocolate sets and place on a lined cookie sheet.
- Place cake balls in the refrigerator to let the coating harden, about 10 minutes. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
Tips and Suggestions
- Be sure the cake balls are chilled before you start dipping. Otherwise, they may crumble and make a mess in the coating.
- Be sure to heat the melting wafers on low heat. High heat can cause the chocolate to seize, dry out, or clump.
- Spray your hands with a bit of coconut oil before rolling the cake balls. This will prevent them from sticking.
- Change cake flavor – You can substitute any flavor cake mix in this recipe to create all kinds of fun variations.
- Almond bark – Instead of vanilla melting wafers, you can use almond bark.
- Freeze-dried fruit – For a fun variation, try mixing in some freeze-dried fruit or mini chocolate chips.
- Make a cake pop – Add a lollipop stick and make these into lemon cake pops.
- More lemon – Add a teaspoon of lemon extract to the cake mix for added lemon flavor.
- Glitter – make these cake balls glitter by using gold and white sprinkles or gold star sprinkles. These would be perfect for your New Year’s party.
- Yellow chocolate – use yellow chocolate melts for the base coating of chocolate or for the drizzle to add extra yellow color.
- Lemon Pound Cake – save time by purchasing a lemon pound cake instead of making the lemon cake.
Can I Use White Chocolate Chips Instead of Candy Melts?
We love using candy melts because the consistency when they are melted is perfect to coat cake balls, however you can use white chocolate chips. Just melt them in the microwave or over a double boiler and add about a teaspoon of coconut oil to make it smooth and silky.
How Do I Store Lemon Cake Balls?
These are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them for up to 6 weeks, just let them thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Are There Other Ways to Decorate Lemon Cake Balls?
Sure – you can decorate these the way you would any truffle. Try using lemon candy melts or another contrasting color of candy coating and drizzling in a zigzag pattern. Or you can top them with nuts, shredded coconut, lemon zest, or mini chocolate chips in place of the sprinkles.
What if My Cake Balls Won’t Hold Their Shape?
If you can’t get the balls to hold together, try adding a bit more cream cheese and blending again. Once you get them formed, chilling will help to hold their shape.
If they are cracking, add more frosting and reroll before dipping in chocolate.
Are Cake Balls and Cake Pops the Same Thing?
Yes, they are the same thing, but cake pops are on a popsicle stick. You can easily make these lemon cake balls into lemon cake pops by inserting a stick into the melted chocolate and inserting into the bottom of each cake pop, then placing on baking sheet to harden.
More Lemon Recipes
- Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust
- Frosted Lemonade (Chick-Fil-A Copycat Recipe)
- Creamy Lemon Pie
- 4-Ingredient Lemon Cookies
- Lemon and Lavender Cupcakes
- Lemon Bundt Cake (Nothing Bundt Cake Copycat Recipe)
- Lemon Blueberry Popsicles
- Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
- Strawberry Lemon Lasagna
- Apple Dumplings with Lemon Glaze
- Lemon Bars
- Lemon Lush
Lemon Cake Balls
- 15.25 ounce lemon cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 8 ounce cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 10 ounce vanilla melting wafers
- yellow nonpareil sprinkles
- Start by preheating the oven and preparing the boxed cake mix according to package instructions.
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan over a wire rack.
- Once cooled, crumble the baked cake.
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer on medium high speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
- Add the crumbled cake to the cream cheese and mix it together on low to medium speed until combined. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and ensure all of the cream cheese is mixed in.
- Use a 1 ½ inch cookie scoop to scoop even sized cake balls and then roll the ball in the palms of your hands to smooth it out. Place on the prepared baking tray.
- Place the balls on the baking tray into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. This will help the balls set and keep its shape when dipping.
- Using a double boiler or the microwave method, melt the vanilla melting wafers on low heat, stirring often, until fully melted and smooth. Do not overheat otherwise the melts may seize and thicken.
- Use a fork to dip one cake ball at a time into the melts then remove and gently tap the fork on the edge to remove the excess coating. Place the ball back onto the parchment paper and repeat with the rest.
- Place the leftover vanilla melting wafers in a small piping bag or ziplock bag and snip a small piece of the corner off.
- Drizzle over the coated cake balls and then immediately top with sprinkles.
- Place in the refrigerator for the coating to harden, about 10 minutes.
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