Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Cake Balls Recipe

Two years ago, much to my delight, I discovered Oreo Balls.   I made them at Christmas and the following year whipped up a batch using fall Oreo cookies and deemed them Halloween Oreo Balls.  They are a popular party food down here in Texas and are gaining popularity in Maryland thanks to my sister-in-law.  Now I am venturing into the world of cake balls.  Although I've sampled a few at friendly gatherings, I had never actually made any, until now.

Today I created Pumpkin Cake Balls to share at a Halloween party that my family and I are attending tonight.  My inspiration comes from Carly a fellow blogger who left me a comment on my Roasted Pumpkin Seeds post and invited me to join her "12 Days of Pumpkin" link party.  I love anything pumpkin and thoroughly enjoyed drooling over all of the posts last night.  Her "Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles" appealed to me because they are a slightly healthier version of the a fore mentioned and  oh-so-lovable Oreo Balls.   Unless you are sharing with someone who is watching their weight, there is really no need to promote to your family and friends that these treats have less fat, more nutrients (including iron, vitamin A, and fiber), and fewer calories than the coveted party food that shares the same shape.  

I adapted Carly's recipe a bit by using a Spice Cake mix instead of a yellow cake one.  Also, in order to save time, I adorned my pumpkin cake balls with Halloween sprinkles instead of drizzling them with orange tinted almond bark. For Thanksgiving, these autumnal treats could be adorned with a few reserved cake crumbs and added to any dessert buffet.

I was skeptical that mixing just a dry cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree would actually bake into anything, but it was successful. Crumbling the resulting moist cake and then mashing it together with low-fat cream cheese was oddly therapeutic and although I think my kids would love joining in on this process, this time I kept all the fun for myself.  I then fully embraced the slightly time consuming process of hand rolling the mixture into balls and dipping them into white almond bark while listening to my new favorite radio show "The Splendid Table" on NPR. The results are scrumptious pumpkin cheesecake balls that can be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or popped into one's mouth while perusing a party.  Either way they are delicious!

If you would like to join in on the pumpkin fun, head on over to Carly's "13th Day of Pumpkin".  Be inspired, try a new pumpkin recipe, and then prepare to add Pumpkin Cake Balls to your Fall party food  repertoire.  The results will be spooktacular!

Pumpkin Cake Balls
Believe it or not, mixing a dry spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin will bake into a cake.
Mashing the cooled and baked cake is oddly therapeutic.
Mixing the crumbled cake and cream cheese is also quite enjoyable.
No these aren't meatballs, they are pumpkin cake balls.
I melt my almond bark in a double boiler and place it back on the heat if it starts to thicken.
Place the finished cake balls in the fridge for about 30 minutes before plating.

Pumpkin Cake Balls Recipe

1 Spice Cake Mix
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (low-fat or regular)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Combine dry cake mix and pumpkin puree.  Beat on medium speed until fully combined.  Mixture will be thick.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth surface.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is slightly browned.
  6. Cool cake completely.
  7. Crumble the cooled cake into a large mixing bowl.  If using crumbs for garnish, reserve about 1/2 cup of cake crumbs.  Break up the cake with your hands or two forks until fine crumbs appear.  Add the softened cream cheese, mixing well with a large wooden spoon or your hands until mixture is fully combined
  8. Roll cake and cream cheese mixture into small balls (about 1 Tablespoon per ball).  Set aside.
  9. Melt almond bark in double boiler or microwave.
  10. Using two forks dip each ball into the melted almond bark and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  
  11. Adorn with reserved cake crumbs, sprinkles, or tinted melted almond bark.


  1. I love this!!! what a great halloween version! Would love for you to come over and link up to my Tasty Tuesday party tomorrow!

  2. Yummmy! Thanks for sharing this post. Had to laugh at "no, these aren't meatballs"! :)

  3. Heidi these Pumpkin Cake Balls look awesome and a lot of fun! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. These are showing up at a Tupperware party I am going to have very soon. I can't think of a better way to prepare cake balls.

  5. so no eggs, oil or water? Interesting. I have made spice cake balls (pops) and they were awesome! My daughter and I were trying to figure out a way to add some pumpkin into them. Sounds great!

  6. Thank you all! I know it's hard to believe, but no eggs, no oil, no water. It really works and it lets the pumpkin flavor take center stage.

  7. This recipe is amusing. Pumpkin balls in that creme - yammi!

  8. What a fantastic recipe! Great tutorial too :) Thank you so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday last week. I hope to see you again this week :)

    -Trish @ Mom On Timeout

  9. Oh my gosh! I would eat them all. They look so good!

  10. You were one of my most favorite links at last week's {wow me} wednesday party. Featuring YOU over on my blog today. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Ginger @

  11. LOVE THIS! What do you do with them after you refridgerate for a half hour? I read on another recipe somewhere that if you leave them in the fridge the almond bark will melt off?!

  12. Wow, very nice post! Welcome here!

  13. Thanks for visualizing the cooking process! Think this will help me to prepare the dish successfully!

  14. Yea! I love this idea. I always do Oreo balls and I was looking for a fun treat to bring for Thanksgiving. This will be a hit. :)

  15. I am going to try this recipe for Thanksgiving but instead of using cream cheese I'm using vanilla icing. We don't care for cream cheese here...and OMG I must try the oreo balls! HA HA

  16. I made it like little hedgehogs. Very cute :)

  17. Yummi! This cake ball looks so delicious.Not everyone guesses that it's made with pumpkin. Thanks for this cool recipe. I will try to cook it with my childen. I get to see more cool recipes from you in future!

  18. Hi! It the best idea of pumkin recipe I've ever seen! Sooooo cool, nutritive and the main point - healthy! Thanks for sharing my husband will be surprised ))

  19. Never ate such a dish. Looking very delicious, I'd love to try it. I like cooking very much and am always searching for new interesting recipes. Thank you for this idea, everyone will be satisfied with such a dessert.