Tropical Pineapple Coconut Cake Truffles, are my easy recipe using leftovers. Leftover Christmas fruit cake, cookies & coconut. No need for buttercream frosting or cream cheese, these cake truffles, can be made from pantry staples. Make beautiful handmade Valentine's, Christmas or birthday gifts and taste amazing.
Pineapple And Coconut Cake Truffles
Easy Cake Balls Using Leftovers
Jump to Recipe
Why Make These Cake Truffles? 1.No-bake Recipe (kind of) 2.Uses up left-over cake & cookies 3.Quick & Easy To Make 4.Pantry staples - no cream cheese or buttercream 5.No experience/special equipment needed 6.Personalise & customise toppings 7.Ideal Christmas or Valentine's Gift 8.No additives or preservatives 9.Kid friendly
No-bake Recipe (kind of)
These cake truffles don’t directly involve any baking. But I say no-bake ‘kind of’, as I would love it if you used a left-over homemade fruit cake (mine right haha), and of course that involved baking, but pre-making these cake truffles.
You can of course use any left-over cake you might have. Fruit cake is going to work best and what I based the recipe on. The high fruit content and sugar, means the cake lasts longer and also takes on the flavour of Bailey’s or pineapple extract so well, without making the cake soggy.
You also will use left-over biscuits/cookies and I used my Scottish Shortbread. I don’t use as much of a binder for the cake balls as other recipes, so soft cookie crumbs are best, and other examples being digestive biscuits. Graham crackers is a close alternative, but a sugar cookie would be better.
Uses Up Left-overs
Now for my house, it is rare to have left-overs, but for some people, and in particular with our homemade British Christmas Cakes, these can be big cakes and last a long time (again because of the high fruit content), but you might get fed up eating it for weeks and weeks. You also might have carved a cake and have trimmings left-over. So any cake crumbs can be used. And the same applies for the cookie crumbs. No buttercream or cream cheese is added to these cake truffles, so you really can use left-overs and whatever you have to hand. Bind the truffles with maple syrup, honey or Golden Syrup.
Quick & Easy
The hands-on process of making these truffles is very easy, only involving mixing, forming and dipping. The longest part is waiting for the truffles to set. With about 1 hour preparation time (or 1 hour 30 if chocolate dipping).
As mentioned these cake truffles use up pantry staples and left-over cake and cookies. No need for making or buying buttercream frosting, or going to buy cream cheese. Use maple syrup, honey or Golden syrup to bind the truffles. I highly recommend the coconut inside the truffles too as it adds more flavour and texture. Don’t have any chocolate to dip them in, then just roll in the same coconut, or cocoa. You can use icing/powdered sugar. But, it will fade and melt into the truffles when freezing them, and so only will look nice if you coat them just before serving.
No Experience Or Special Equipment Needed
Beginners and children can easily make these cake balls, just make sure someone helps with the melting chocolate.
You also don’t need any special equipment. All items used are found in most kitchens with many alternatives possible. You don’t need any chocolate making equipment either.
Personalise & Customize
Add favourite flavours to the cake truffles (Bailey’s and the Foodie Flavours’ Pineapple extract are both highly recommended). Add favourite coatings or choice of chocolate or even candy melts. Finish off with favourite toppings or sprinkles. Add colours for a special theme.
Ideal Christmas & Valentine’s Gift
Since they are so customizable, you can decorate for Christmas, Valentine’s Easter, Halloween, anything you like. And then place in a nice box to present as a homemade gift. Ideas for that are included in the recipe card.
No Additives Or Preservatives
If you have been here before, you will know, I advocate home baking and reducing the amount of additives and preservatives we consume. So use homemade cake and cookies and pure maple syrup or honey and you have avoided relying on processed products.
Kids can help make these cake balls, and this will also encourage them to try them. They are more likely to try tasting something with dried fruit in it, if they helped make it. You can of course omit any ingredients they don’t like or are not able to have. Let them help dip in chocolate and get messy and decorate. They will love that!
Cake Truffle Ingredients
Fruit Cake Crumbs – fruit cake is best as these will bind much easier, and last a lot longer too. Try my Quicker Christmas Cake recipe, Simple Boiled Fruit Cake, or use your own left-over Christmas cake. You can of course use any left-over cake or ready-made one. Just note you may require more maple syrup.
Cookie Crumbs – I used my Scottish Shortbread biscuits (cookies), but any soft sugar cookie, or digestive biscuits would work. You could use Graham Crackers, but would suggest sugar cookies are a better alternative.
Desiccated Coconut – the US alternative is unsweetened shredded coconut. However, desiccated coconut is smaller, so recommend a light chop of the shredded coconut. (See comparison photo). Alternatively, if you are using a food processor for the cookie crumbs (not the cake), you could add the shredded coconut then instead of chopping. You can of course omit the coconut but it really makes it special and different form other cake truffles and cake pops.
Maple Syrup – this is used to bind the crumbs and coconut together. Golden Syrup and honey are also good alternatives.
Cocoa Powder – the formed & set cake truffles can be rolled in cocoa if you like.
Chocolate – these cake balls can be coated in melted chocolate and I recommend it if you want to gift these. I used Lidl’s basic range of dark (bitter) & white chocolate bars (39p/100g bar), so no need for expensive or high cocoa content chocolate.
Sprinkles, Nuts – Use some sprinkles you might have, or some roughly chopped nuts. Pistachios look good on the white chocolate. Use any you might have, or want to customise the cake truffles with.
These cake truffles taste great as they are, but adding some extra flavouring to the truffle dough, takes them to the next level. Divide up the truffles dough and add some flavours such as these below:
Foodie Flavours Pineapple Extract
Ever since trying pineapple extract by Foodie Flavours, I have been obsessed with it! It goes amazingly well in everything I have added it to. Examples being my pineapple & coconut banana bread recipe. Works really well in anything you have citrus flavours in. Can’t wait to try some more of their dozens of flavours. But in the meantime, the pineapple pairs excellently with the coconut in the cake truffles.
Here is a link to Foodie Flavours to see what other flavours they do. You only use drops of the extract and not tsps.
I have not been sponsored by Foodie Flavours or gifted anything in exchange, I just highly rate these extracts, that are a British company, made with natural ingredients and the extracts are also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan & some are alcohol-free.
Bailey’s Irish Cream
Bailey’s is a favourite with lots of people, and some have some left-over from Christmas, just like the Christmas fruit cakes. So this is an ideal flavouring to add to the cake truffles.
I am not a fan of overly ‘alcohol’ tasting cakes, but I think it is just a nice amount I used, to give them a different taste, that worked well with the fruit in the cake.
If you want these truffles to be a luxurious gift, then you can use champagne as an added flavouring. They would pair beautifully with Taittinger Champagne if that is your favourite. Rum or Brandy are also popular choices for truffles.
Just add the amounts as directed in the recipe card below, do a taste test of the cake ball dough and add more if desired. And if needed add more coconut or cookie crumbs to balance the consistency.
Notes On Adding Flavourings
I divided the cake truffle dough so I could make several different types of flavours. So please bear that in mind, when adding the extracts or alcohol. I will list in the recipe as well as here, the ratios I used, per proportion of the batch.
Per ¼ Batch – 10 drops Foodie Flavours Pineapple Extract, (other brand ½ – ¾ tsp), or ⅜ tsp Bailey’s.
Per ⅓ Batch – 14 drops Foodie Flavours Pineapple Extract, (other brand ¾ -1tsp), or ½ tsp Bailey’s.
Per 1 Whole Batch – 40 drops Foodie Flavours Pineapple Extract, (other brand 2-3 tsp), or 1½ tsp Bailey’s.
How To Make Cake Truffles
Making these cake truffles could not be simpler. Mix the cake & cookie crumbs and coconut (1), and add maple syrup before forming into cake balls (2). These are frozen to set quickly, before either being rolled in cocoa or coconut (3), or dipped in chocolate and sprinkles added (4).
All that then remains is for the chocolate to set, and you can serve or gift these easy cake balls.
This recipe, will make about 40 cake truffles, if you roll them the recommended size. You can also use the listed ingredient amounts to make less or more truffles, according to however much leftover ingredients you have to hand.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: beginner, super simple
Tropical Pineapple Coconut Cake Truffles With Leftovers
- Digital scales or measuring cups
- Mixing bowl (for truffle mixture)
- Measuring spoon – tsp (baking/cooking teaspoon)
- Baking/parchment paper
- Small bowls (for dipping in cocoa &/or coconut)
- Microwave-safe bowl (for melting chocolate or a Bain–marie)
- Fork (for chocolate coating)
- Latex Gloves (optional but useful with all the handling of truffles)
- 420 grams Left-over Christmas Cake, crumbled (Fruit cake or any other dense left-over cake* – 2¾ cups, 14¾ oz)
- 210 grams Scottish Shortbread, crumbs (or any other cookie crumbs* – 1⅓ cups, 7½ oz)
- 30 grams Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped – optional, ¾ cup/1 oz per ½ batch*)
- 8 tsp Maple Syrup (Golden Syrup, or Honey – approximate, for whole batch)
- ⅜ tsp Bailey's (or other Irish Cream Liqueur, optional* – per ¼ batch*)
- 10 drops Foodie Flavours Pineapple Extract (optional, but so worth it – 10 drops/ per ¼ of batch*)
- 300 grams Milk, Dark &/or White Chocolate (optional – Semi-sweet, Bitter or white chocolate or candy melts – 10½ oz – for about ¾ batch*)
- Desiccated Coconut (optional for coating/rolling – small bowl/1 cup)
- Cocoa Powder (optional for coating/rolling – small bowl/1 cup)
- Crushed Pistachios/nuts, sprinkles etc (optional for decoration)
* denotes please see notes
Prepare The Cake Truffle Dough
- Begin by preparing your work area with some baking/parchment paper for placing the prepared cake truffles on. Place the paper on top of either some large plates or trays, that you are able to fit in the freezer or fridge.
- Have your small bowls with cocoa powder and/or coconut ready for dipping.
- Start by crumbling the Christmas fruit cake after removing the marzipan and fondant layer first.
- Now crumble the Scottish Shortbread, Sugar cookies, or any other left-over biscuits/cookies (digestive biscuits would also be good or Graham Crackers). You can do by hand or place in a food baggie and crush with a rolling pin or large bottle.
- Add the cake and cookie crumbs to a mixing bowl, and then add in your desiccated coconut. If using unsweetened shredded coconut, I would advise roughly chopping to make the pieces smaller. See comparison photo in notes below for a reference point. You could place the shredded coconut and biscuits/cookies in a food processor instead of chopping and crumbling, (but not the fruit cake).
- Gradually add in 2 of the 3 teaspoons spoons of maple syrup, honey or Golden Syrup, mixing in-between. Have a test of the dough by trying to form a nice ball. Using some latex gloves for this is ideal. If too dry add in small drops more of the syrup, or proceed to the flavouring part below first.
- Add in flavourings such as Foodie Flavourings Pineapple, Bailey's Irish Cream, or some champagne if you fancy. If using more than one, divide the dough up first in smaller bowls. If the cake truffle is still too dry after adding flavourings, add more syrup. Or add a little more coconut, if it becomes too sticky (failing that, some more cookie crumbs). See Photo 4.
Form The Cake Truffle Balls
- Just a point to note before you form the cake truffles. If you are going to roll in cocoa powder or coconut, I advise only forming 3 or 4 truffles at the most, at any one time. This is because the coconut will not adhere to the cake balls as good, if they are sitting waiting too long to be rolled. Too wet a cake ball, the longer and harder they are to set. So if you form and coat 3 or 4 at a time, it makes things much easier.
- To form the cake truffle balls, simply take about a walnut size, or tbsp worth of the dough, and squeeze and then roll into a ball. You can make bigger or smaller if you like. Roll a few cake balls, and then simply place one in your bowl of cocoa powder or coconut, and push the ball gently to coat. For the cocoa coated ones, shake gently some of the excess, back into the bowl, before placing on the prepared baking/parchment paper. Repeat the forming and coating. For coating in melted chocolate, just form the cake balls and place on the paper.
Setting The Cake Truffles
- For all 3 types of cake truffles, you need to chill them to set. They can take 2 hours to set nicely in the fridge, but the freezer only takes 30 minutes. So much better. I placed the truffles on several smaller trays & plates so I could get them in the freezer.
- For the cake truffles you want to cover in melted chocolate, you can freeze for just 20 minutes. Just make sure they are frozen on the outside, as this makes the dipping in chocolate much easier.
Coating In Chocolate
- Before the freezing time is up for the truffles you are going to chocolate coat, prepare all your decorations like crushing/roughly chopping nuts, and having any sprinkles you want to use, all ready in small bowls or plates. If you want to be super precise you can use crafting tweezers, to help position sprinkles if only using a few. Have baking/parchment paper ready to sit the truffles on when wet (again on top of plates or trays to go in the fridge this time). You can place directly in little petit four paper cases (or mini muffin cases) if you like, or do after set. (If you make the cake truffles bigger, small fairy cake paper cases might work. But cases are not essential). Also break up the chocolate, and melt in the microwave, in 30-second bursts, mixing in-between each time. (Don't do any longer than 30 seconds or you run the risk of burning the chocolate). Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (heat-safe bowl on top of a pan of barely simmering water, where the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water). See notes for more tips of melting chocolate.
- Once ready to do the coating, take about 1/3 of the frozen cake truffles from the freezer (don't take all out at once as it makes dipping harder). Then to coat the cake balls, simply take one, and place in the melted chocolate, and use a small spoon to move the ball gently to turn so all is coated. You can also use a second spoon to drip over if needed.
- Then carefully transfer the coated cake ball on to the prepared paper-lined plate or tray, by using a fork (small forks are best). Scoop under the cake ball to lift it, and use another fork or butter knife, to gently push the cake off the fork, making it slide onto the paper.
- Immediately add on any chopped nuts or sprinkles now, to the top of the wet chocolate coated truffles. If you want to completely coat in sprinkles or nuts, this is harder. I suggest waiting a few seconds, and then lifting the cake truffle with the same fork, and turn the cake ball over onto the bowl of sprinkles, letting the topmost part of the cake hit the sprinkles first. Then gently push the cake ball to coat more. And add more sprinkles by hand if need be, before transferring back to the paper to set.
- Repeat the chocolate dipping and decorating process, one cake truffle at a time. The dark/bitter chocolate will take longer to melt and I was not a lover of white chocolate, but it melts so easily, and quicker and was much easier to dip in. And tasted great with the cake truffle filling. In the end I really was happier with just chocolate coated, or with a simple small decoration on top. They look more professional.
- Once all coated, place the plates in the fridge for about 30 minutes, to set up completely.
Serving & Storage
- After the chocolate coated cake truffles have been chilled for 30 minutes, these will be ready to eat. The coconut & cocoa powder coated ones, are ready to eat after their 30 minutes freezing time.
- To store the truffles I advise placing in the fridge and removing when needed. Mine were in the fridge on plates with cling film/plastic wrap on top. They never lasted long enough to end up being put in a container! But chocolate coated ones would last about 1 week. Probably longer since there is no buttercream or cream cheese in them and since fruit cake lasts a long time. Uncoated cake truffles can also be frozen for a few months, just cover with baking/parchment paper before placing in a food bag.
- These cake truffles fit nicely in old jewellery gift boxes I saved. Just remove any fillings, and add a small folded piece of tissue paper (or line with some tin foil if you don't have any). Place the truffles inside, close the box, and add a bow or ribbon if you like. And you can certainly recycle the likes of bows and ribbons too.
- For Christmas, you could also use bigger boxes you might have. Shops like Card factory (UK), sell cardboard giftboxes flat packed in lots of sizes. You can also use cellophane food gift bags. These come in clear, or with patterns, and you can source in bargain stores like Poundland, The Works, and online on eBay. Or if you make gift baskets regularly, long rolls of clear cellophane for covering those baskets, can also be cut to make homemade little bags/pouches, closed at the top with some ribbon or twine.
- Be creative and think of other clever ideas for storing or presenting them in. Some nice small glass jars, or mason jars could also be used.
***I am not a nutritionist, so any nutritional information below is approximate & based on average values.
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