Milk Bar Birthday Cake Truffles

by Christina Tosi 1:32 PM, February 13, 2017

Aired February 14, 2017

Serves 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
multi-layered cake, we decided to get smart and 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.”


For the base: Cake scraps, the fresher the better. We stick to one flavor of cake scraps at a time. (We use 3 cups of scraps from our birthday cake.)
For the binder: Fruit juice, fruit purée, flavored milk or a moist filling, such as curd, or sauce. Depending on the moistness of the cake base, we use more or less 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 2 to 4 tablespoons vanilla milk: whisk 1/4 cup of milk with 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract.)
For the shell: To seal in freshness and flavor, roll each truffle in melted white chocolate (use 3 ounces for this recipe). 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. (We use 1 cup birthday cake sand, ground into a sandy consistency.)

For the Birthday Cake Sand:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon tightly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract


Combine the cake scraps and vanilla milk in a medium-size 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 the Birthday Cake Sand:
Heat the oven to 300°F.
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.
Add the oil and vanilla, and paddle again to distribute. The web ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small sandy clusters; continue paddling until that happens.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Let the crumbs cool completely before using. Grind down in a food processor if the crumbs are not small and sandy enough (they will no glue to the white chocolate coating in the birthday cake truffle recipe!). Store in an airtight container, the sand will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.