She’s not quite my fictional baking spirit animal, but Angie “Bakerella” Dudley is at the very least a huge inspiration to me. If you’ve never been to Bakerella.com, you should seriously just go now (It’s not even hard, just slide your eyes to the right a bit and look, there’s a convenient link right there!). She makes amazing things, all her posts have incredibly awesome photographs, and she’s artistic to boot! And she’s totally adorable, so she’s a huge winner in my eyes.

I don’t even really remember how I found her website, but finding it is what really lit the baking fire in me. I’d always really liked to bake already, but everything in her blog just made me want to bake all the time. Baking things she puts on her blog and having them come out like hers did always made me feel victorious. Even when they don’t come out like hers (as you’ll soon see), I just ended up admiring her more.

Woo, let me back my truck up, I don’t want to come off creepy.

She’s the closest thing I have to a hero. She’s just a girl with no real professional training (although she has taken cake decorating classes) who loves to bake and made a blog about it! Now she’s totally internet famous and has a book published and has been on TV and got to go to an Emmy Party and hug Seth Green! Do I want to be the next “Bakerella”? Good golly, no. As I’ve mentioned, this blog is just for fun and I don’t want nor do I expect anything from it other than to share my passion and make people excited about baking too. But would I take her life if she offered it to me? You bet your sweet muffin tops I would. In a heartbeat.

Oh man, talk talk talk talk talk. Let’s get to the part about the baking! I didn’t make this post just to profess my love, I made it to show off the Bakerella recipes I’ve made. It would be silly to make a whole long recipe post for each of them when you can easily find just as much detail on Bakerella’s blog. I’ll include all the links, so you don’t even have to go searching!

So just relax and enjoy~

The first Bakerella recipe I made were her signature cake balls. It was also probably my first venture into baking experimentation. The typical formula is a cake and a can of frosting, but I used a peanut butter and nutella instead. (What can I say, I’m a rebel). The peanut butter is my favorite kind of cake ball and I know a lot of you are nutella nuts, but in my opinion the flavor ended up being too subtle. If you do want to use nutella, I’d suggest not pairing it wil chocolate cake or all that chocolate will completely eclipse the hazelnut goondess.

They were really, really tasty. The best thing about the cake balls is that they’re probably the easiest thing in the universe to make, but everyone is always blown away by them. So they’re a must for potlucks and shindigs and if you want, you don’t have to tell anyone how easy they are, it can be your secret!

Then came the 4th of July and I wanted to do something really special for the picnic I was going to with my boyfriend’s family, so I attempted these special burger themed cake balls. Burgers for the fourth, it was a perfect match and oh so cute. I had no idea what I was getting into, but these specific cake balls are a lot of work. If I had only made about 30, it would have been fine, I think. But I ended up with over 100.

And I, sadly, do not have any artistic flair.

Honestly though, I was just proud they turned out resembling burgers! Sure, they’re messy and the bottoms were impossible to keep flat, but they still came out okay! And they were a big hit at the picnic!

They were super cute all nestled in their tupperware.

Okay, maybe I was a little more proud of them then I’ve let on. Here’s a little advice if you attempt to decorate cake balls:

  • When I was melting the candy melts, I tried to be all fancy with a double boiler method, but I found the microwave worked the best. I had to stir and re-microwave continually, but it still was the most effective method. And use a bowl that won’t burn your candy either. It becomes completely unsalvageable.
  • I have yet to find an effective dipping method when it comes to coating the whole thing. If you watch Bakerella’s video on how to make cake pops, she makes it look incredibly simple, but I didnt have any lollipop sticks to work with. I found that when you’re working with actual chocolate (as opposed to the chocolate candy melts), it’s smoother, so you can pop the cake ball in there and roll it around with a spoon and then pull it out with little difficulty. The candy melts, however, melt down much thicker, so it made the cake ball fall apart when I tried to get an even coating. So if you can, I would recommend using proper chocolate, like a bar of Ghiradelli’s Special Dark, for instance 🙂
  • Wonder Baker Tip: This is probably more a common sense thing, but if you ever think that maybe you can thin out your hot melted chocolate by adding milk THINK AGAIN. I thought I had a clever idea, but it ended up turning my chocolate into clumpy, crunchy, unappealing, blobs. Did I just do it wrong? I honestly have no idea, but I would recommend if you don’t know either, just avoid that altogether.

The next Bakerella recipe I went for were her Pillow Cookies.

It’s a brownie…inside of a cookie. A GIANT cookie.

The cookie dough was my favorite part of this whole recipe. It had lots of tasty brown sugar in it and molding it around the brownie was an experiment in itself. I think I decided that the best course of action was to err on the side of more cookie dough on top of the brownie because it tends to spread out to the sides and expose the brownie center. But even if your secret centers pop out, they’re still yummy!

Anyone in the mood for some Cheesecake Bars?

Bakerella’s recipe uses that very specific special cookie for the crust and if you have those cookies, let me know how they are! I just used graham crackersl. This was also my first time making cheesecake! Cream Cheese is really intense to work with in such bulk.

The cheesecake was okay, but it’s that ganache on top that really makes the whole dessert. It’s just chocolate and cream, but it’s soooo gooood. I think I could eat it by the bucketful.

Nick sure can. Fingers are the most appropriate utensil in this case, but if you have enough to take whole spoonfuls then more power to you.

And there you go! I have maybe a dozen other Bakerella recipes bookmarked, so expect another post like this some day for sure.

Now I invite you all to come and appreciate Bakerella with me! Have you ever made a Bakerella recipe? How did it turn out? Do you think she’s really great like I do? Do you have a cake pop idea you think would be amazing and cute? Do you have any suggestions on melting candy and chocolate? I would love to hear anything you have to share, so c’mon and let’s talk!

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