peppermint cake truffles {video}

Isabella went on a cooking spree a few weeks ago. I’m not sure what inspired it exactly, but she pulled my cookbook off the shelf, and asked “mom, is it okay if I make cupcakes?” I mean, who says no to cupcakes, especially cupcakes baked by their kiddo? She proceeded to make a dozen cupcakes, a batch of vanilla buttercream frosting, my homemade chocolate syrup, and chocolate egg creams for all of us.

Peppermint Cake Truffles |

Thankfully, my compulsive habit of saving even the tiniest bits of food paid off. When I spied the meager 1/4 cup of frosting leftover after she finished decorating the cupcakes, I scooped it into a container, figuring I could make use of it. A few days later, we still managed to have three unfrosted cupcakes remaining (a freak accident, I’m sure). There was no doubt in my mind—the universe was compelling me to make cake pops. I may be the only person left on earth, still enamored with those sweet treats. It’s cake and frosting, all rolled together. My two favorite food groups, and the girls’, too!

Transform leftover cupcakes into these festive holiday cake truffles. Perfect for dessert buffets, or delicious homemade gift giving.

After coming home from Michael’s, I realized I forgot to buy the sticks. Determined I remained, and decided to call them peppermint cake truffles. These festive little truffles, garnished with some crushed candy canes, were the perfect post-school pick me up. And you know what? I like making them so much more than cake pops. No fussing around with getting the balls of dough to adhere to a stick (this part defeats me more times than I care to admit). Go ahead and put your own spin on them. Swap chocolate or gingerbread cupcakes in for the vanilla. Use sprinkles or coconut instead of candy canes. Do whatever makes you happy because two words—cake truffles.

Peppermint Cake Truffles

Makes 12

Music Pairing: Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen

(this 1978 live version is worth a watch, too!)

3 vanilla cupcakes, crumbled into fine crumbs

1/4 cup vanilla buttercream, at room temperature

6 ounces (170 grams) white candy melts (or white chocolate), melted

Crushed candy canes, for finishing

In a deep bowl, combine the cupcake crumbs and buttercream. Stir until well mixed, and it forms a solid-looking dough. Cover. Chill in the fridge until firm enough to scoop, 2 to 3 hours.

Line a counter or cutting board with waxed paper (makes for easy clean up). Set a wire rack on top.

Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls of dough. Roll it into a smooth, round ball. Using a fork, dip the ball in the melted chocolate, turning to coat it all around. Transfer to the wire rack. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let the truffles sit out in a cool, dry place until the chocolate it set (timing depends on the temperature of your room). Store in a tin, using waxed paper layers to prevent the truffles from sticking together. Truffles will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days.