23 April 2012

RECIPE: Vegan Chickie Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake Balls

Spring has sprung!  In edible, vegan form!

I decided to make these little guys after a woman at my work asked me to do some petit fours for her daughter's fifth birthday.

Wellllllll, after Googling "How to make petit fours" and seeing the grocery list-length of steps, I decided I needed to think of a Plan B...and these little guys were it!  I honestly don't know where or how I got the idea for them but I'm not questioning it.

Chickie Vegan Cake Balls


Buttercream Frosting
-  1/2 c. Earth Balance
-  2-3 T. soy milk, or more, if necessary
-  1 T. pure vanilla extract
-  3 c. vegan powdered sugar, sifted

Strawberry Cake
-  1 1/2 c. cane sugar
-  1/2 c. Earth Balance, softened
-  1 starch "egg"*
-  1 3/4 c. almond milk
-  2 tsp. vanilla extract
-  2 2/3 c. flour
-  2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-  1 tsp. salt
-  1 c. frozen crushed strawberries, thawed--save juice!
*To make the starch "egg," process 1 T. corn starch or arrowroot powder, 1 T. potato starch, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1/8 tsp. xanthan gum, scant 1/2 c. water and 2 tsp. together.

-  1 10-oz. bag of vegan chocolate chips (my favorite brand is Enjoy Life)
*Be sure and set aside some chocolate chips for the chickies' eyes!
-  1 T. vegetable shortening
-  Toasted coconut (I didn't really measure out an amount, I just toasted what I thought would be enough coconut to coat all my little chickies!)
-  Raw almonds

1.  Preheat oven to 375.'  Spray a baking sheet with canola oil and set aside.
2.  While oven is preheating, mix frosting ingredients together by first mixing the Earth Balance, soy milk and extract together and then slooooowly sifting in the powdered sugar.  After ingredients are mixed, put frosting into an airtight container and place in refrigerator for it to firm up a bit.
3.  Create "starch egg," following the recipe provided* and set aside.
4.  Use a large mixing bowl to cream sugar and Earth Balance together until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Then add the "starch egg" until incorporated and then add milk and extract.
5.  In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and slowly add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl as it mixes.
6.  When ingredients are well mixed, turn off the mixer and, by hand, stir in the crushed strawberries and juice.  The consistency will be somewhat runny.
7.  Pour batter into prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Because this cake is so thin, you kind of have to keep an eye on it as it bakes, so as not to overbake it!  Cake is ready when its edges come away from the sides of the baking sheet and are slightly golden.
8.  Remove cake from oven, reduce temperature to 300' and allow cake to cool on cookie racks.
9.  When cake has cooled, cut off edges, rip cake into pieces and place into mixing bowl.  Remove frosting from refrigerator, add to cake crumbles, and mix cake and frosting together until you achieve a moist "dough."
10.  Use a 1" cookie scoop/releaser to scoop out dough.  Roll dough into balls and place on a wax paper-lined tray.  When all your cake balls are made, place them in the freezer for at least one hour.
11.  When it's getting close to an hour's time, begin to melt your chocolate, in preparation of coating your cake balls (still leave them in the freezer at this point!).
12.  Create your own double boiler--or if you have one, use that!--by filling a pot with enough water so that when you set a heat-resistant bowl over it, the bottom and about 1/3 of the sides of the bowl makes contact with the water.
13.  Turn the burner to medium and pour in the bag of chocolate chips--make sure you've set some aside!  Stir the chips every now and then and when all of them are melted, add the vegetable shortening and continue to stir the chocolate.
14.  Remove a few cake balls from freezer and allow them to warm up a bit while you prepare your other toppings.
15.  Pour coconut onto a metal baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove and place sheet into refrigerator.
16.  Halve some almonds, both width-wise and length-wise so that you have pieces for the chickies' beaks and their feet.
17.  Remove coconut from refrigerator and line up all the toppings so that you're organized and ready to go because you have to work quickly!
18.  Now for the fun part!  Puncture cake ball with a wooden stick (taking care not to go all the way through) and dip ball in chocolate.  If the bowl of chocolate is too shallow, use a spoon to pour chocolate over areas of the ball not touched in "the dunk."
19.  When fully coated, stick feet onto bottom of cake ball and beak onto front of cake ball. Add chocolate chip eyes and then sprinkle toasted coconut over entire chick.
20.  Carefully remove stick from chick and sprinkle extra coconut over the hole in its head.
21.  Locate a pancake turner, pie server or some other flat, metal kitchen utensil to lift up the chickie to place on another wax paper-lined sheet.  Return finished chickie to the freezer to set.
22.  Repeat until all chickies are done.

*Note:  You can totally get creative with these guys!  I coated some with non-toasted coconut, yellow sugar, turbinado sugar, ground almonds...I even left one naked!  Just chocolate!  You're not limited to these modifications, though!  You could make a little demon chickie with red, dried cherry eyes or a little girl chickie with a Twizzler's bow.  You could also try out other animals entirely.  I only provide you this template!  This recipe is not mine anymore--it's yours with which to experiment and play!


  1. These have to be the most adorable creations I have ever seen lol I am sad to say that I would have such joy in eating these little guys :)

  2. thank you! i'm making them available for adoption at my work beginning tonight...lol! i'm giving each of them a name too...ha! the people who come in probably think i'm a total whack job.