Birthday Cake Truffles

momofuku cake truffles recipe

Makes about one dozen 1-ounce balls

“My favorite offering at milk bar is our cake truffles, spawned entirely from leftover bits and pieces of cake! We had once served slices of cake to order, but after hemming and hawing with our endearing staff of counter employees over the correct way to slice and serve a multilayered cake, we decided to get smart, so we decided to make cake truffles with all of our leftover cake and cake layering scraps. Now, instead of committing to a whole slice of cake, you can get a bite or two or three. You can choose to follow the recipe, or get crazy, without our guidance, using leftovers to concoct your own. Don’t limit yourself to birthday cake; you can use any cake scrap and any leftover fillings, crumbs, or crunches from your kitchen.” – Christina Tosi

The basics for cake truffles are as follows:

The Base:

Cake scraps, the fresher the better. We stick to one flavor of cake scraps at a time. (We use our birthday cake for the birthday cake truffles, recipe follows)

Birthday Cake

Makes 1 quarter sheet pan cake

Unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 tablespoons (½ stick)

Vegetable shortening – 1/3 cup

Granulated sugar – 1 ¼ cups

Light brown sugar – 3 tablespoons tightly packed

Eggs – 3 each

Buttermilk – ½ cup

Grapeseed oil – 1/3 cup

Clear vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons

Cake flour – 2 cups

Baking powder – 1 ½ teaspoons

Kosher salt – ¾ teaspoon

Rainbow sprinkles – 1/3 cup

1. Heat the oven to 350°F.

2.  Combine the butter, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.

3.  On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogenous.  Don’t rush the process.  You’re basically forcing too much liquid into an already fatty mixture that doesn’t want to make room for that liquid.  There should be no streaks of fat or liquid.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4.  On very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and the 50 g (¼ cup) rainbow sprinkles.  Mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5.  Pam-spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment, or just line the pan with a Silpat.  Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan.  Sprinkle the remaining 25 g (2 tablespoons) rainbow sprinkles evenly on top of the batter.

6.  Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes.  The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense.  At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.

7.  Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack or, in a pinch, in the fridge or freezer (don’t worry, it’s not cheating).  The cooled cake can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.

The Binder: 

This can be fruit juice, fruit puree, flavored milky or a moist filling, curd, or sauce. Depending on the moistness of the cake base, we use more or less binder. We have recipes, but there is always a range for the binder. You can also choose to add in sprinkles, chips or any other textural element you want in the center of your cake truffle here. We use vanilla scented milk (whole milk with a splash of vanilla extract for our birthday cake truffles)

Vanilla Milk

Milk – ¼ cup

Clear vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon

Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small bowl. 

The Shell:

To seal in freshness and flavor, we roll each truffle in melted white chocolate. The melted white chocolate also serves to glue the crunchy coat onto the outside. For the crunchy coat, finely ground crumbs or crunches work best, but we’ve even been known to use toasted yellow cake mix (i.e: Birthday Cake Sand)

Birthday Cake Sand

Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup

Light brown sugar – 1 tablespoon, tightly packed

Cake flour – 2/3  cup

Baking powder – ¼ teaspoon

Kosher salt – ¼ teaspoon

Rainbow sprinkles – 1 tablespoon

Grapeseed oil – 1 tablespoon

Clear vanilla extract (below) – 1  teaspoon

1. Heat the oven to 300°F.

2.  Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined.

3.  Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute.  The wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small sandy clusters; continue paddling until that happens.

4.  Let the crumbs cool completely before using. Grind down in a food processor if the crumbs are not small and sandy enough (they will not glue to the white chocolate coating in the birthday cake truffle recipe!) Stored in an airtight container, the sand will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

To Make The Truffles…

Birthday cake – 3 cups

Vanilla milk – 2-4 tablespoons

White chocolate, melted – 3 ounces

Birthday cake sand – 1 cup

1. Combine the cake scraps and vanilla milk in a medium sized bowl and toss with your hands until moist enough to knead into a ball. If it is not moist enough to do so, add up to 2 tablespoons more vanilla milk and knead it in.

2. Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out 12 even balls, each half the size of a ping-pong  ball. Roll each one between the palms of your hands to shape and smooth it into a round sphere.

3. With latex gloves on, put 2 tablespoons of the white chocolate in the palm of your hand and roll each ball between your palms, coating it in a thin layer of melted chocolate; add more chocolate as needed.

4. Put 3 or 4 chocolate-covered balls at a time into the bowl of birthday cake sand. Immediately toss them with the crumbs to coat, before the chocolate shell sets and no longer acts as a glue (if this happens, just coat the ball in another thin layer of melted chocolate).

5. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes to fully set the chocolate shells before eating or storing. In an airtight container, the truffles will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

*For Christina’s Full Story, Click Here