In which I do Science!

I may have come into my Experimental phase, where I’m not content with just spending half an hour recalculating American recipes to proper European measurements. Noooo, now I must Improve and be Creative and use lots of Capitals.

It’s all going downhill now.

So in the course of making these I’ve been doing Science! to food.

Pictured: Science!

But anyway, I’ve been thinking about cake balls a lot. The humble cake ball is Awesome, and if made by Bakerella, it’s also Gorgeous. And if you have too many, it will kill you, which may or may not be worth it. What I’ve been trying to come up with, is a slightly healthier, or at least slightly less fatty cake ball.

The end result is rather nice. These things are incredibly moist. Also: they bounce off the plate a little, if you drop them. Awesome.

And I’ve failed horribly, too, of course. The downside of my semi-healthy cake balls is you can’t make pretty duckies out of them. I’ll need to work on that part. The original plan was to coat them in pink poured fondant. But when you try that, you get this.


Candy melts might work better, but I haven’t actually seen those in a store here.

So, healthier cake balls. These use quark, which has about the same fat consistency as yoghurt, but is a bit firmer. Greek yoghurt might also work.

Healthy-ish cake balls

makes about thirty

  • 1 cake (250 g) I used an old pound cake, but any firm cake will do
  • 250 g quark
  • 5 gelatin leaves
  • 60 g powdered sugar
  • half a cup of strong coffee
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)


  • 400 ml apricot jelly (or more, depending on how thick you use it)
  • shaved almonds, chocolate shavings, sprinkles etc.

Step 1

Soak gelatin in cold water for five minutes. Meanwhile, crumble your cake into a large bowl, using a large kitchen grater.

In a smaller bowl, mix quark with powdered sugar (add more or less to taste) and cinnamon.

Make half a cup of strong coffee.

Step 2

Take out gelatin leaves, wring them out and drop them in the hot coffee. Stir till dissolved and keep stirring till coffee has cooled down until it has cooled down to lukewarm.

Mix coffee with quark and whisk until smooth.

Step 3

Stir quark mixture into cake crumbs. I used a whisk to get the whole thing smooth.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, pat your mixture down and shove it in a fridge for about half an hour to firm up.

Step 4

When your cake ball mixture is moldable, take it out of the fridge and roll into little balls of about 3 cm across. Put them on a larg plate, cover in plastic wrap (or with a lid) and put in the fridge again.

They do look a lot like meatballs, don't they?

Step 5

If you want to use almonds, toast them in a non-stick pan on high for a minute, stirring constantly, until they’re nice and brown. Let cool and crush, using your hands, into a round bowl. You want the pieces to be very small (but obviously not powdered).

Put apricot jam in a bowl in the microwave, on low wattage, for about two minutes. Don’t let it boil! Stir occasionally, and add a bit of water to get a dippable liquid.

Using a fork, dip your cake balls in the apricot jam til fully covered, and let the excess drip off.

Then drop them in your coating, rolling them around until they’re covered on all sides.


Things I’ll do different next time

  • Gelatin numbs down most flavours, so I might get something stronger to put in next time
  • Better handling skills. I need them. I had to scrub apricot jelly from behind my EAR.
  • Need an alternative for fondant, or a base coating. Chocolate? Again?