Strawberry Chocolate Ganache Cake Balls
Yield: about 4 dozen
for the cake
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, see note
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee, see note
for the chocolate ganache
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 12-ounce bag of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
for the cake balls
  • 1 bag freeze-dried strawberries, about 1 ounce
  • About 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (see note) or chocolate coating wafers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or coconut oil
for the cake
  1. If you want to use a box mix, bake it according to the box directions in a 9x13 pan then skip ahead to the last step in this section.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth.
  5. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and stir until combined. The batter will be extremely liquidy. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back mostly clean.
  6. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before making the cake balls.
for the chocolate ganache
  1. Heat the cream over medium heat until steaming, stirring constantly.
  2. Once steaming, remove the cream from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir then let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the butter to the chocolate mixture then stir until smooth. You may need to return to low heat to stir and melt all the final bits of chocolate and butter. Let cool.
for the cake balls
  1. Line 2 baking sheet that fit in your fridge or freezer with wax paper. Set aside. Turn the freeze-dried strawberries into a powder using a food processor or by carefully crushing into a powder in the bag with a rolling pin. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, completely crumble the cake then combine with 1½ cups of the cooled chocolate ganache. Stir together until the chocolate ganache is completely incorporated and the cake balls are roll-able, but not too wet, adding more chocolate ganache as needed. Roll the mixture into balls, then roll each ball in the powdered freeze-dried strawberries. Place on the prepared baking sheets then either freeze for a little bit or refrigerate for a few hours. You want them to be cold and solid, but not frozen.
  3. When you’re almost ready to take the cake balls out of the fridge or freezer, melt the chocolate chips and vegetable oil or the chocolate coating wafers. I melted mine in two batches instead of melting it all at once. Microwave in a tall deep bowl (like a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup) for 30 seconds, stir, then continue in 15 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Make sure not too over heat it or the chocolate will seize up. Alternatively, you could melt the chocolate using a double boiler. Use a spoon or fork to dip each chilled cake ball into the chocolate, letting the excess drip off before placing back on the wax paper lined baking sheet. Top each cake ball with a sprinkling of the powdered freeze-dried strawberries and some Valentine’s Day sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. Store in the fridge - if you don’t eat them all right away!
To make your own buttermilk: pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk, any fat percentage, into the measuring cup until you have 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using.
If you don’t want to use coffee you can use hot water, but the flavor of the chocolate won’t be as pronounced. You can use decaffeinated coffee if you prefer.
For the chocolate ganache (and if using chocolate chips instead of chocolate coating wafers for the outer layer), I recommend using Ghiradelli, Guittard or Scharffen Berger.
Any leftover ganache will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
Recipe by Lemon & Mocha at