D’s Perfect Cake (Balls)


Just over a week ago we got that dreaded call, the one where your child’s school phones to say there has been an accident. “Come immediately,” they said, “we think your son has broken his collar-bone.”

A trip to A&E proved them to be right. The x-ray showed a clean break just by his shoulder joint. D would have to spend the next few weeks with his arm in a sling. He arrived home subdued and pale dosed up on pain killers.

It turned out that the breakage was a result of a few of the boys “playing” rough during break time. D called the game “benching” and, although he explained it to me, I still can’t quite get to terms with exactly how it works. All I know is it involves a lot of pushing and shoving  and knocking each other to the ground. From a female perspective, I just don’t get it, but all the men I’ve discussed it with, including my OH, grin in acknowledgement. That’s the way boys play.  

I’d like to say this was my first experience in A&E but it wasn’t. Having four children opens you up to a whole world of accidents, incidents, and injuries. We’ve had broken teeth, splintered arms, banged heads, sliced legs, and even a bout of lyme disease. I’ve had the pleasure of a few nights “sleeping” in a cot bed on the Paeds ward but luckily it’s never been for anything life threatening. (And believe me, I totally get that I am very lucky in this regard.)

I remember talking to a friend who was pregnant a while back and she was talking about all the worry you take on during those nine months. I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “get use to it, this is just the beginning”. The thing about having children is that it suddenly makes you vulnerable in a way you could never anticipate. Would you have them at all if you know how desperate it could make you feel at times?

My first big scare as a mum was at his birth. I had D at home but unfortunately within about an hour he had trouble breathing and we ended up in an ambulance. He spent his first few days of life in an ICU and I walked up and down the corridors of that maternity unit countless times just to be with him.  He was fine in the end and they never knew what caused it but the experience really shook me and I was depressed for months afterwards.

The more things that have happened, the more detached I have become. I am not completely aware of my feelings until much later on when talking about it chokes me up or I feel weary and low a while later for no particular reason. When my daughter E cut her leg open to the bone two years ago, I literally “transported” myself from the room and although there was a flurry of activity around me I couldn’t actually see or hear any of it coherently. I think I really just wanted to scream but in recognising that was slightly inappropriate I simply turned my “emotional” self off.

Now that my eldest is 17 and eligible for driving, I have awaken to a new fear. The image of her behind a wheel, with friends as passengers, laughing, talking, changing the music on their iPods, texting all while trying to drive…..well you get the point. Terrifying right? I can’t bear that I will have gotten her this far through life only to lose her in a tragic and very avoidable traffic accident. It happens all the time. I also know that these fears have to be pushed back, that driving is a rite of passage and one she will eventually experience no matter what I say or do.

So I’ve learned to say “what will be, will be” quite a lot now. When D was in the ICU there was a bible in the drawer by my hospital bed. I was terrified that he was going to die and not knowing where to turn or how to allay my fears I opened it. It was one of those goose pimply moments when my eyes went directly to this quote “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  I have turned to those words a lot over the years as a way of safeguarding myself against all the unknown possibilities that might happen sometime in the future.

D is doing much better after only a ten days. We were camping at the weekend and he managed to join in as much as his affliction would let him. One consequence of all of this – he has been unable to take part in his usual “gaming” activities (computer, play station, etc) and has instead taken an avid interest in the FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon. He’s checking scores, charting the wins and losses, reading up on the players, analysing the mechanics of the different matches, and keen to share his knowledge with any who will listen.

So with every cloud, right?

In honour of my gorgeous highly resilient boy and his recent love of all things “ball” related (and also to take the edge off a rather serious post), I have included below a recipe for Cake Balls (try saying that without giggling, I dare you). The amazing thing about them is they look and taste like truffles but are made from cake. They are so easy and quick to do and incredibly delicious. Perfect for any of you “anti-bakers” out there.

cake balls

Cake Balls

1 (18.25 ounce) package cake mix
1 (16 ounce) container prepared cake frosting
6 ounces of chocolate (white chocolate, dark or milk) 

Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. When cake is done allow to cool completely. Crumble the cake into a large bowl using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Add the frosting and mix until combined. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Line a baking tray with wax or parchment paper.

Using a scooper, if you have one, or just your hands, form 1 inch balls with the crumbled cake mix. Place on the baking tray. You should get about 36 balls depending on size. Once you have used all of the cake mixture, place the tray in the freezer for 1 hour.

Cake balls

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl of the microwave, stirring every 5-10 seconds until smooth.

Remove the balls from the freezer. Using a toothpick, pick up the balls one at a time and dip in the chocolate. Use a second toothpick to slide the ball off the first toothpick onto the wax paper lined baking tray.

NB : If the balls fall off the toothpick into the chocolate, they are not firm enough to work with and you’ll need to place them back in the freezer for additional time.

Once you have covered all the balls in the chocolate place the tray in the refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set. If you want to decorate the balls with sprinkles of any kind (as I have done) you need to do this before putting them back in the fridge. However, if you want to drizzle other chocolate on the balls for decoration, do that after they come out.

You can make these balls using homemade cake if you are particularly offended by the idea of mixes. That is entirely up to you!

Cake Balls

This post was written for week 17 of The Gallery and for the Writing Workshop. Josie and Tara have joined “forces” and asked participants to write a post and include a photograph that covers the topic of emotion. I think you can safely say my chosen emotion is worry!

29 thoughts on “D’s Perfect Cake (Balls)

  1. Pingback: You Can’t Always Protect Your Loved Ones | NEW DAY NEW LESSON

  2. Oh my, terrifying! And you, poor dear, have had much too much of it. I’ve been lucky but believe me, my oldest rides off every day and some nights on his scooter (in traffic!) and my baby boy is off on his own in New Orleans and it scares the begeebees out of me if I let myself think about it, so I know about distancing. And these cake balls would be perfect for the MOM! Your D is gorgeous and lucky to have you for a mom! xo


  3. Hmmm, there’ve been several broken bones at my son’s school due to this ‘benching’ business… it seems one child gets on all fours behind someone, and then another pushes him backwards. Boys, eh? Ooh those cake balls look yum – perfect little summer dessert x


  4. Hope your gorgeous boy is on the mend. You’re so right, and in many ways I feel that I’m teetering on the edge of all this – the 8yo has always been way too adventurous but also very lucky – not one broken bone (yet). That would explain the state my nails are in though!

    Cake balls? Yum! xx


  5. Oh I am SO with you on this one! I had a ‘bit of a worry week’ last week and am sure I have gone greyer as a result! As to the delayed shock thing, oh yes *nods head vigorously* you are so right. Bad thing about that is that it can get you and you have no idea why, exhausting! Hope he mends very quickly, I’m sure he will with those magnificent balls! 😉


  6. I have a real ostrich mentality. I can’t even bear to think about this stuff, because I’ll fall apart if I do. My boys were both in hospital with chest infections as babies, and I didn’t dare think about what might happen. I just went into autopilot and got on with it. Glad D is on the mend x


  7. Boys will be boys eh, still what’s a bit of assault and battery between friends? I really know what you mean about the out of body/delayed shock thing and how a reaction can creep up on you at an unexpected moment weeks later.

    Please explain the cryptic comment from “Dad” – you know I am his number 1 fan but I’m stumped this time!


  8. Heather, I showed Alex the photo of D in a sling and he was very interested, partly for the badge of honour it obviously is to get a sling, and also because he had an opinion of the game, it seems they even play it in Cyprus! EEK! Hope he continues to bounce back! Looking forward to seeing you soon x


  9. I have also figured out that you do not stop some of the “terror” just because your children are 31 and 26, either. Although when they get married, a little does subside. Then those feeling start all over again when you have grandchildren. I know from experience. I also have to turn my worry over to God or I would go nuts. Well, nuttier than what I am! The cake balls look fun and delicious! Can’t wait to get home and try them. Excellent post!


  10. Absolutely love the cake balls! My brother broke his collar bone. It was on the first day of an overseas school skiing trip which meant he didn’t have the best time. He was absolutely fine after it had healed and has played rugby ever since, so hang in there. You post has made me realise how worrying motherhood is as they get older and become more independent. My daughter is only six so I have all of that to come!


  11. In retrospect, I realize that I definitely put my parents through much more hell on the accident front that my son ever did to me. But that certainly didn’t stop me from worrying constantly when he was younger. As to teen drivers, thank goodness for modern seat belts, air bags, and cell phones — the greatest inventions of all time for parents. Love the cake balls.


  12. Sorry about your son, my daughter broke her collar bone a few years ago. Hope he mends quickly….that fear is awful isn’t it. As I have got older I worry so much more and my imagination goes wild.
    Love the cake balls.


  13. I nodded the whole way through reading your post! You have summed up the endless worry of parenthood so perfectly. Everytime the phone rings and I see the school number flash up I go into a state of panic! I’ve been told you never stop worrying about your children, every day just brings new concerns! The cake balls look so good! I must give them a go.


  14. The worry that comes with being a parent is immense, not sure I was quite prepared for it! I realise it’ll always be there and makes me feel for and appreciate my own parents all the more. Thanks for the cake balls recipe, can’t wait to try it!


  15. I’ve just had my first daughter and already see that pregnancy is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the vulnerability we feel for the wellbeing of our children – ahhh the rollercoaster to come!


  16. Those look yummy! When I was at secondary school, they used to sell a similar sweet in the cafeteria, but I shan’t tell you what we called those! LOL

    Hope your son is on the mend. I so know what you mean about the stresses of worry. It never really goes away for me although I do push it aside. You have to otherwise you’d be wholly consumed with the what-ifs. “Let it all go” is one of my mottos.


  17. I hope you won’t think I’m trivialising your experience by telling you that it reminded me of the time when my oldest was 5, and had started school. I got a phone call from the school, which started “Your son’s had an accident…”. My heart stopped.My head stopped. The world stopped. The school administrator carried on”… so could you come to the school with a clean pair of pants and trousers.”

    It’s a huge challenge, living with the anxiety of parenthood, but letting your children explore life without the burden of that anxiety on their growing shoulders, isn’t it?

    I wanted to email you, but can’t find an address, so I’ll just have to leave a comment, and if everyone reads it and cringes, well, so be it. I just wanted to say, I really hope we can say hello at Cyber Mummy. I love your blog and would love to put a face to the writer behind it. I’m over from the US, and I’m very aware that CyberMummy is my one opportunity to meet so many people I want to, so I’m going to be seeking people out, shamelessly. I’ll be looking out for you, so please stop me if you see me wandering by! I wish I could tempt you with the promise of something you might be missing from America – a decent mixer tap or some such item – but I’m afraid my bags were full enough!


  18. You are so right about that ever-present worry that comes with being a parent – my mother tells me that it NEVER stops, even when your children have children of their own (now there’s a cheery thought).
    I love the look of these cake balls – I might have to try them out as a present for teacher at the end of terms.


  19. I hope D is on the mend – how absolutely incredibly scary – the birth ambulance episode the most and the driving thing. I can’t even let myself begin to think about that or else I’ll get panicky. I like your sentence about thinking whatever will be, will be. That’s where I’m trying to get to. When my 2 year old got taken to hospital by ambulance one time (she was 1 at the time) I too had a strange out of body experience, listening to them discussing whether to put the sirens on or not. It never stops does it the terror? But it’s part of the package that comes with being a parent. Terror and joy.

    Lovely post and those balls look terrific.


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