A Different Kind of Cake Ball

by Sarah on June 4, 2011 · 17 comments

I almost made you wait until Monday for this. That’s when I had originally planned to post the recipe for the delicious snack I teased you with yesterday. But I’m not one to resist pleas of “give us those yummy balls!”* so I am here to appease your cat-like curiosity. What are these tasty treats?
*Seriously, what kind of world are we blogging in?Well, they’re cakeballs, of course! But not your typical cakeball.No no, my little chickadees….they’re Rice “Cake” Balls. :)
My roommate left me this package of rice cakes to use up when she left for Canada, as well as the rest of this jar^ of peanut butter.
^Is it still a jar if it’s plastic?Automatically, I was transported back to childhood visits with my grandparents in Florida, where I was introduced to the rice cake + peanut butter = yummy equation. So, naturally (in the vein of my Graham-azing Peanut Butter) I got to thinking, “How can I make this combination a little more exciting?”

Well, the obvious answer was: mush it all together! [Duh.]
And then make balls out of them.*
*Because the thrill that the play on words that Rice CakeBall allowed was just too tempting to ignore.To make these Peanut Butter RiceCakeBalls, you’ll need to crush up six unsalted brown rice cakes. You can use a food processor if you have one…

Although I also made some by just crushing the cakes with my hands, and it worked just fine.
Then, add 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1 medium-sized banana (mine was a thawed, previously frozen banana…it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s ripe and mush-able).
I added in a little cinnamon (and you’d want to add a pinch of salt, but the peanut butter I used already had some) and then started to stir…
…adding in 1/4 cup of raisins (because there is just something about peanut butter, cinnamon, and raisins…) in the process. [You could totally add chocolate chips, which I thought about later, but I was going for a vegan, gluten-free treat—why, I don’t know—and didn’t have vegan or gluten-free chocolate.]

Very quickly I realized that this whole mushing and mixing process just needs to be done with your hands.

Getting messy makes everything so much more fun, doesn’t it?

Eventually you’ll get everything to stick together and incorporate pretty nicely and evenly.
All that’s left to do is press the rice cake ‘dough’ into spherical shapes (also known as “balls”).
You can’t really “roll” them; it’s more of a squishing and molding process. If you eat them immediately, they’ll still have a slight crunch factor, but if you let them chill in the fridge (and I recommend you do), they soften up and become the tree-hugging hippie cousin to the conventional cakeball.

Alterna-balls if you will.
[Makes 10-12]

6 brown rice cakes
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 medium banana
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt*
*if the rice cakes and nut butter are unsalted

1. Crush the rice cakes in a food processor, or with your hands, and put into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl.
3. Mush and mash and stir together. [You can use a spoon, but it works best with your hands.]
4. Once everything is incorporated, use your hands to press the mixture into 2″ round balls.
5. Eat immediately, or chill in the refrigerator. [The longer the “cake”balls sit, the softer they get.]

As I was making these, I realized they would be a perfect, healthy, inexpensive snack to submit as part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s Hunger Awareness Project, helping to increase awareness of the Capital Area Food Bank and the SNAP benefits. [You can see my previous kid-friendly snacks and read more about the project by clicking here.]

After all, in addition to being vegan, gluten-free, healthy, and fun to eat……you get to use your hands to make them. And what kid doesn’t love to play with food?

[For that matter, what adult doesn’t love to play with food?]
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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous June 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

I love this – I love using rice cakes or puffed rice cereal in creative ways like this. I made something similar the other day using Kashi Go Lean (cause I am addicted to it!) but I used a little coconut butter and peanut flour with a little almond milk to make peanut butter since I had none. I think I added cocoa powder and vanilla stevia. They weren't pretty but they were good :) Crushed rice cakes are also good to "bread" stuff with, they add a crunch to baked chicken, the different flavors are good to try, and they are a good sub for panko type crumbs if you need gluten free.
Anyway, thanks for the neat recipe!



Christina June 4, 2011 at 10:17 am

No way! These are really cool and I was excited when I saw them yesterday. Love all the ingredients!


Kristina @ spabettie June 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

tree hugging hippie cousin!! I love it. I make a similar one with puffed rice, and love eating them both crunchy and later when they're kinda soft.

I gave up trying to come up with a alternative to "ball" a while ago 😉


Maris (In Good Taste) June 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

These looks quite good!


teabagginit June 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

love this! i totally didn't expect it when i saw the teaser post! i've never had that brand of rice cakes but i do have some corn thins in my pantry … there may be cake balls in my future!


Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free June 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm


And I thought they were going to be millet puffs, didn't see those rice cakes comin!


Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm

IM MAKING THESE!! Once I buy a new bag of rice cakes, anyway. Which will be Monday..so woohoo!! Bookmarking!


Eden June 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Ok, I usually always poo looting cakes because I just think they are a lame substitute for bread. Plus, most of the time it reminds my of styrophome. But this whole post made me rethink my theory.


Meri June 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Yum! What a fun recipe! I might try this with some puffed millet I have sitting in the cupboard, then I wouldn't have to crush up anything :)


Missy June 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Thank you says the girl with a bag full of stale rice cakes. *crossing fingers that they will work in this*


iheartvegetables June 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm

This is awesome! I actually made "real" cake balls at a cooking class over the weekend and they were SO good but… phew SO not healthy! These look like a great alternative!


atastelife June 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I have some white cheddar rice cakes…what could you do with that? That's one thing AB or PB might not be delish with… =)


Linda December 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

how about soft butter to replace peanut butter, and parmesean (shaker cheese) and some garlic powder,cayenne powder, maybe 1/4teaspoon of each, maybe stop here and mix well and taste, if fine make into balls, if it needs something else, maybe some shredded cheese your choice.


Nina June 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Yummo, Sarah! My kind of cakeball! Love that you used a banana, too. These really sound great. Hope your summer is off to a good start! :)


Allison June 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

This is my kind of snack! Can't wait to try


Ruth December 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I just accidentally crushed a whole package of rice cakes with my car (don’t ask!) and was looking for a way to use them anyway. My family doesn’t eat peanut butter, but I’m thinking of trying this with almond butter instead.

I’ve never heard of “cakeballs” though- is that a Southern thing?


Sarah December 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I’m not sure that it is a Southern thing, but it was definitely a trenf for awhile, especially in Austin. Of course, it is easy to see how cake, rolled in frosting, and covered with chocolate would become a trend. :)


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