If you like creepy candies, these Bloody Truffles are for you! They’re soft cake truffles with an optional cherry filling, decorated with candy weapons and a bit of edible “blood.” Perfect for scaring your friends and family!
Bloody Cake Truffles for Halloween
We’ve been sharing a lot of wholesome pumpkin desserts lately, and don’t get me wrong–I love a good pumpkin cookie as much as the next person. But there’s so much more to Halloween baking than just pumpkin recipes.
I’m talking, of course, about spooky sweets! Gory goodies! Creepy candies! Whatever you want to call them, Halloween is prime time for gross-out, blood-and-guts desserts, and I am here for it.
I first made these Bloody Truffles years ago, for About.com (now The Spruce Eats) and they’ve proven to be surprisingly popular over the years. I guess everyone secretly loves tiny edible weapons in their food! They’re always one of my most popular Halloween pins, so I thought it was time to revisit an old friend and pull out the candy knives once more.
I’ve updated the recipe and added an optional cherry component, and took step-by-step pictures to walk you through the whole thing. Let’s get started!
How to Make Bloody Truffles
To make these Bloody Truffles, you’ll need:
- Baked and cooled 9×13-inch cake. I always use a cake mix cake for cake truffles–it’s faster, easier, and honestly once it’s made into truffles, it tastes about the same as homemade
- Frosting. You can use store-bought frosting in a can. I prefer homemade Easiest Swiss Meringue, just for the flavor, but this recipe calls for such a small amount of frosting, it’s not worth it to make a whole batch if you know you won’t use it for anything else
- White candy coating. I like Mercken’s brand because it is more fluid when melted, but Wilton is also good!
- Royal icing weapons. Mine are Wilton brand, purchased at craft stores like Michael’s or online on Amazon. Their selection/availability seems to change from year to year, but here are some that I’ve found for sale right now: royal icing cleavers / royal icing axes.
- Red gel food coloring.
- Amarena cherries. (Not pictured–optional but so good!) More on this below!
Crumble the baked and cooled cake into a large bowl. You can probably use a spatula or spoon for this, but I’m not a fancy person so I just use my hands. Work the cake between your fingers until it’s in small crumbs.
Next, add the frosting. I usually start with a smaller amount of frosting (around 3/4 cup), because it’s easier to add more later, and this way I avoid adding too much and making gloopy cake truffles. The exact amount you need will depend on the cake recipe you use, and the type of frosting you use.
Stir the frosting into the cake crumbs with a spatula. You want the cake mixture to hold together when you press it into a ball, so if it seems very crumbly after stirring in the frosting, add more a bit at a time until you get a texture you like. Avoid adding so much that the cake mixture gets very soft or greasy.
Now you have some choices! You can roll them into plain balls–just use a candy or cookie scoop to get a ball of cake truffle mixture, and roll it gently between your palms until it’s round. If you’ve been careful with your mixture and avoided adding too much frosting, it should hold its shape pretty well.
If you want to add a bit more flavor, flatten out a ball of cake truffle mixture, and press it into a thin disc. Drain a jar of Amarena cherries and pat them dry. Place a cherry in the center of the cake mixture, then press the cake up and around the cherry, rolling it between your palms until it’s completely covered and round.
You can use other jarred cherries, like Morello or even maraschino, but Amarena cherries are by far my favorite. They have a great depth of flavor and complexity, and aren’t cloyingly sweet. (I buy mine from Trader Joe’s.) Alternately, you can fill each truffle with a small spoonful of chunky jam, although I found this variation to be a bit time-consuming and messy.
As you roll the truffles, place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or waxed paper. If you don’t fill your truffles, you should get around 36 from this recipe, and if you add the cherry center, you’ll get closer to 42-48 truffles, because each truffle requires less cake mixture.
Once they’re all shaped, refrigerate the tray until the truffles are very firm, for at least an hour. (Longer is fine too!)
Dipping Bloody Truffles
The most important part of successfully dipping candy is the texture of your melted chocolate or candy coating! Too thin, and it will run off of the candies and pool at the bottom. Too thick, and it will be difficult to work with and make lumpy, bumpy truffles.
Mercken’s brand is my preferred candy coating. It’s thinner when melted and provides a nice smooth coating. Always melt your coating in short intervals, stirring frequently, to prevent overheating. Overheated coating will always be clumpy!
The other thing to look for is old product. Older candy coating will invariably be thicker when melted. So if you try to use an old dusty bag of coating you found in the back of the pantry (or if you unknowingly purchase an old batch), don’t be surprised if you have trouble with it. You can always try adding a bit of vegetable oil, coconut oil, or paramount crystals to your coating to thin it out. But be warned that if it’s really old, or overheated, all the oil in the world won’t make it workable.
For the best dipping, you’ll want your coating warm and fluid, but not hot, and your truffles cold and firm, but not frozen. Use a fork or dipping tools to dunk a truffle in the melted coating, then let the excess drip back into the bowl.
Set the dipped truffle back on your prepared baking sheet, and while the coating is still wet, press a candy knife or ax into the top. Press it down enough so that you can feel it going into the cake part itself–this ensures that it’s really secure in the top of the truffle.
Once all of the truffles are dipped and the coating is set, time to add the creepy final touch: the bloOoooOoOd! (said with maximum vampire voice and hand-waving). You can use those gel decorating tubes found in the grocery store, but I usually just use a bit of gel food coloring, applied with a small paint brush. Let it dry, and your terrifying treats are ready to enjoy!
- Zombie Brain Brownie Bites
- Melting Chocolate Skulls
- Red Velvet Hot Chocolate and Witch Finger Cookies
- Floating Eyeball Jello Shots
- “Moldy” Matcha Chocolate Tarts
This recipe makes about 36 cake truffles, but if you add the optional cherries in the center, you’ll get closer to 42-48 out of the batch.
Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the package, and bake it in a 9x13-inch cake pan. Once baked, allow the cake to cool completely.
- Crumble the cake into a large bowl and work it with your hands until it is in small pieces.
- Spoon three-quarters of the frosting into the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is well-combined. It should be moist and hold together if you squeeze a ball of cake between your fingers, but not too wet or greasy. If the cake mixture is still a bit dry and crumbly, add more frosting to get it to the desired consistency—the exact amount you need will depend on the texture of the cake you started with.
- Using a small cookie or candy scoop, scoop out 1-inch balls of cake and roll between your palms until they are round. You should get about 36 balls from this recipe.
- Cherry Variation: If you want a cherry filling, drain 48 Amarena cherries and gently pat them dry. Flatten out a ball of cake truffle mix on your palm, and place a cherry in the center. Gently press the cake mixture around the cherry, and roll it between your palms so it’s completely covered.
- Place the cakes balls on a baking sheet covered with parchment or waxed paper, and refrigerate them until firm, at least 1 hour. Longer is fine, and even overnight works well.
- Place the candy coating in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave it until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.
- Using dipping tools or a fork, submerge a cake ball in the melted candy coating. Remove it from the coating let the excess drip back into the bowl. Replace the dipped truffle on the baking sheet. While the coating is still wet, firmly press a royal icing knife or axe into the truffle. Repeat until all of the truffles are dipped and decorated.
- Once all of the cake balls are dipped, refrigerate the candies to set the coating completely, about 20 minutes. Take a clean paintbrush and brush some red gel food coloring around the tops of the truffles where the royal icing decorations are.
- These Bloody Truffles are best served at room temperature, and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.