These delicious little pumpkin cake balls (or cake truffles, if you prefer) are an easy and festive treat to make and share this fall. Fudgy little pumpkin truffle bites and coated in chocolate, with the perfect hint of pumpkin, cinnamon, and warm spices!
Why this Recipe Works
Making these pumpkin spice cake balls is super easy! You’ll need just 5 ingredients: a loaf of pumpkin bread, cream cheese, a few spices, chocolate for coating, and any toppings you want on top of your cake truffles. They look gorgeous and make a perfect gift to share with friends and neighbors.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pumpkin Bread. We used our favorite homemade pumpkin bread recipe but store bought pumpkin bread will work just as well. You could also use a cake mix to make your own pumpkin cake for this recipe in place of the pumpkin bread.
- Cream Cheese. The tanginess of the cream cheese adds a nice flavor but also acts as our glue for our cake balls. The cream cheese gives these truffles their signature soft and fudgy texture.
- Ground Ginger and Cinnamon. The extra ginger and cinnamon just amps up that pumpkin spice flavor we all know and love.
- Almond Bark or Chocolate. I think almond bark or candy melts are the easiest to work with when it comes to dipping your pumpkin cake balls. They melt easily and coats the cake balls beautifully. But, you can also use melted chocolate to coat them as well.
How to Make this Recipe
- Make the dough. Using your hands crumble up your pumpkin bread into fine crumbs and mix it you’re your cream cheese, ginger, and cinnamon until you have a soft dough. If your mixture is too dry you can add additional cream cheese to your mixture.
- Shape the cake balls. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once all of your pumpkin spice cake balls are scooped, freeze for 1 hour.
- Melt the chocolate. Melt your almond bark or chocolate in a heat safe bowl or container. Using a fork or spoon or a skewer, dip your pumpkin truffle into the melted candy coating and coat it completely.
- Finish and chill. Place back on lined baking sheet to set. If you are adding any toppings that need to stick to the chocolate (i.e. sea salt, cinnamon, graham cracker crumbs, etc.) add them immediately as the chocolate will set quickly. If you are adding chocolate drizzle over top, that can be done later if desired.
How to Dip Cake Balls
What kind of chocolate should you use to coat these?
White, Dark, Milk, flavor preference is totally up to you! I used white and milk because that’s what I had on hand. But I know that dark chocolate would be amazingggg with these too. My favorite combo was definitely the milk chocolate with a bit of sea salt on top!
As for as what kind of chocolate to use, I really like using something like almond bark or candy melts because they melt super easy and set up quickly! If you’re using the microwave to melt your chocolate, almond bark or candy melts will make your job much easier.
How to melt the chocolate:
You can melt the chocolate two different ways—in the microwave or in a double boiler.
The Double Boiler:
A double boiler is great because you have a pot of water on the bottom that keeps the chocolate smooth and silky. AND it keeps the chocolate on an even constant heat so you don’t have to keep reheating your chocolate.
In the Microwave:
If you decide to go the microwave method, I have a few tips!
I actually did these ones in the microwave. Because the chocolate tends to set up quickly I like to heat up the chocolate in small batches, as I need it. That way I don’t end up burning the chocolate by microwaving it over and over again, and it keeps your chocolate cleaner—crumbs tend to find their way into your chocolate.
Heat your chocolate in 15-second increments, stirring in between. Again, this will make sure you don’t overheat and end up burning your chocolate!
Before you dip anything, make sure your cake truffles are nice and cold and make sure your chocolate is the right consistency. If your coating is too thick even when the chocolate is nice and warm, try adding a few drops of canola oil and mixing it into the chocolate. If your chocolate is too thin, let it cool for a minute or two before dipping your next cake ball.
I like to put my chocolate in small, somewhat deep container. You can see I used this little glass liquid measuring cup. I found that it’s easier to dip them in a small, deep pool of chocolate, because there is less rolling the cake ball around. You drop it in and it gets completely coated right off the bat.
Cooling the Chocolate
You’ll want to have a couple baking sheets lined and ready to go for your cake balls to set up on after you dip them. I lined mine with parchment paper for easy clean up and the chocolate peels off of the parchment paper easily!
You’ll notice I do have little puddles of chocolate around my cake balls. If that is a look you dislike I recommend placing a cooling rack on top of your baking sheet and then placing your dipped pumpkin cake balls onto the cooling rack.
All the extra chocolate will drip through the cooling rack instead of pooling around the cake ball. Any little bits that dry funny, you can always cut off with a sharp knife afterwards. I use this method on my homemade candy corn butterfingers if you want to see what that looks like!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes! Obviously, not all loaves are the exact same size, but this recipe is easy to scale to whatever size of pumpkin bread loaf you have.
You’ll need about 2 ¼ tablespoons of cream cheese per 1 cup of pumpkin bread crumbs. So, if your pumpkin bread loaf only gives your 6 cups of crumbs, then add about 13 ½ tablespoons of cream cheese.
It doesn’t have to be exact, this dough is pretty forgiving. Don’t forget that you may need to adjust the amount of cinnamon and ground ginger you add as well.
What is the difference between cake pops and truffles? Can I turn these pumpkin cake balls into cake pops?
Cake balls, cake truffles, cake pops, really they are all the same thing. The only difference between a cake truffle/ball and cake pop is the lollipop stick! You can find lollipop sticks in most baking aisles or over in the cake decorating/craft section at a store like Walmart.
After you roll your truffle mixture into a ball, stick your lollipop stick into the center, then freeze them! Adding the lollipop stick definitely makes dipping these in chocolate a lot easier!
Can you leave cake balls in the fridge overnight before dipping?
Yes! If you do not have time to complete the batch in one day, you can shape the cream cheese truffles the day before, place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and cover them with plastic wrap until the next day.
Do cake balls have to be refrigerated? How do you store these?
These pumpkin cake truffles should only be left out at room temperature for about 2 days, then they need to be stored in the refrigerator. They’re best eaten with 1 week in sealed container in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer. If you do freeze them, let them thaw for at least 30 minutes before eating.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Make them look like pumpkins. You could easily make your cake balls look like pumpkins if you wanted to be extra festive! Use orange colored candy melts to coat your pumpkin cake balls and green candy melts to pipe on a little leaf and vine.
- Add toppings. Toppings can give these pumpkin cake balls a totally different look. Want something more fun? Try adding some colorful sprinkles or a drizzle of orange colored chocolate! What something more elegant? A contrasting (ex: white on dark chocolate or dark on white chocolate) or a simple sprinkle of cinnamon or sea salt is perfect.
- Take these as a gift. These cake balls are perfect for sharing and taking as gift. Plus, they look great wrapped up in a little cellophane bag!
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Pumpkin Cake Balls (Cake Truffles made with Cream Cheese)
- 1 loaf of pumpkin bread (homemade or store bought) (9 cups of pumpkin bread crumbs)
- 1 ¼ cups cream cheese, softened (10 ounces)
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 18 ounces of almond bark white, milk chocolate, or dark—your choice!
- ground cinnamon
- pumpkin bread crumbs
- graham cracker crumbs
- contrasting chocolate drizzle
- sea salt
- chopped nuts
- Take your loaf of pumpkin bread and using your hands, crumble the loaf into fine crumbs. You should have about 9 cups of crumbs. See notes if you have less than 9 cups of pumpkin bread crumbs.
- In a large bowl, take your softened cream cheese and beat it with your hand mixer, until it is light and fluffy. Then add in the ground ginger, cinnamon, and 3 cups of pumpkin bread crumbs. Use your hand mixer to mix together to create a soft dough.
- Add in your remaining pumpkin bread crumbs and mix them in using your hand mixer. Your mixture will be similar to cookie dough. It might be a little crumblier, but should stick together and not fall apart when rolled into a ball. If your mixture is too dry you can add more cream cheese until you reach the desired consistency.
- Take your pumpkin bread cake mixture and scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all the pumpkin truffle mixture has been used up.
- Freeze your pumpkin cake balls for 1 hour. Then prepare your almond bark. Melt your almond bark (like to do it in the microwave).
- Using a fork or a spoon to assist you, take one pumpkin truffle and dip it into your melted almond bark and coat it completely. Place back on lined baking sheet to set (you may want to have a second lined baking sheet ready!). If you are adding any toppings that need to stick to the chocolate (i.e. sea salt, cinnamon, graham cracker crumbs, etc.) add them immediately as the chocolate will set quickly. If you are adding chocolate drizzle over top, that can be done later if desired.
- Continue to coat your pumpkin cake balls in chocolate until done! Eat and enjoy once the chocolate is set.