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 package vanilla flavored Almond Bark
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Combine dry cake mix and pumpkin puree. Beat on medium speed until fully combined. Mixture will be thick.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth surface.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is slightly browned.
- Cool cake completely.
- 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
- Roll cake and cream cheese mixture into small balls (about 1 Tablespoon per ball). Set aside.
- Melt almond bark in double boiler or microwave.
- Using two forks dip each ball into the melted almond bark and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Adorn with reserved cake crumbs, sprinkles, or tinted melted almond bark.