These Russian chocolate cake balls are made with moist sponge cake, cocoa powder, and condensed milk. Perfect for your next dessert tray or potluck!

serving tray with cake ball

These Russian chocolate cake balls are so moist and rich. They’re somewhere in between a Russian cake truffle and cake pop. Whatever you want to call them, you’re bound to include the word “delicious”. Not only do they have a deep chocolate flavor, but they also have a little kick from the coffee liqueur. What’s better? They are super simple to make and only require a bit of light assembling.

In Russia, these truffles are lovingly referred to as “kartoshka”. In English, this translates to “potatoes” and refers to their cute, little spud-like shape. Although the cake balls definitely don’t have any potatoes in them, the nickname is adorable and has been around forever.

Note: You’ll need sponge cake for this recipe. Make it a day or two ahead of time to make the process that much more simple, or pick some up from your local bakery.

Ingredients for russian cake balls

How to Make Russian Chocolate Cake Balls (Kartoshka)

Making these cake balls only requires 5 ingredients and a little bit of assembling. Below, find a step by step rundown of the recipe before you dive in.

  • Crumb the Cake: In a large bowl, crumble the sponge cake into tiny pieces.
  • Make the Batter: Using a spatula, mix the softened butter, cacao, sweetened condensed milk, and coffee liqueur together. Next, add the crumbled cake pieces and mix until combined.
  • Shape the Cake Balls: Using an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop, portion out the batter and roll it into tiny balls. Next, dip each ball into a bowl of cacao powder. Repeat until you run out of cake balls.
  • Refrigerate the Cake Balls: Refrigerate the cake balls until you’re ready to serve them. Enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

Here you’ll find a couple of tips and tricks to help you make the best Russian chocolate cake balls.

  • Prep the sponge cake a couple of days ahead. Letting the sponge cake get a little stale will make for better cake crumbs. It will also cut down on your day-of prep time.
  • Use room temperature softened butter. Before you get to work, allow the butter to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will make it so much easier to incorporate into the batter.
  • Refrigerate the cake balls before you serve them. Refrigerating the cake balls for at least 30 minutes before you serve them will allow the flavors and texture to set.
Cake ball cut into half

Storing Cake Balls

Whether you plan to eat the cake balls within a couple of weeks or freeze them to have on hand for later, find all the storage tips you need here.

  • Refrigerator: If you plan to eat the cake balls within 2 weeks, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer: To freeze the cake balls for last minute parties or on-demand snacking, assemble them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop the baking sheet in the freezer uncovered until they are completely frozen. Next, transfer the cake balls into a freezer-safe bag and store them for up to 3 months. To thaw them, place them on the counter for a couple of hours.

What are kartoshka cake balls?

Kartoshka cake balls are made with sponge cake, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and coffee liqueur.

What does kartoshka translate to in English?

Kartoshka translates to “potatoes” in English. While these cake balls don’t have any potatoes in them, they have acquired this nickname for their mini potato shape.

Do I need to keep Russian chocolate cake balls refrigerated?

While you don’t have to refrigerate these cake balls, It makes them taste much fresher and is highly recommended.

How long do Russian chocolate cake balls last?

These cake balls will stay fresh for up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator. Make sure to keep them in an airtight container so they don’t absorb any lingering smells in your refrigerator.

Can I freeze cake balls?

Yes, you can freeze cake balls and store them for up to 3 months. This is perfect for last-minute parties!

Other Truffles To Try:

About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.