Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA#FinalFourPack
If you’d like to use these printables you can print them out, cut out around the designs and attach them to paper straws with some tape. I attached mine so they looked like the net was at the top of the straw, but had to move them so people could drink out of them. So be sure to attach them about an inch from the top of your straws.
I even experimented with making basketball shaped ice cubes. Up close, you can actually see that they look like basketballs. In the picture they just look like bright orange ice cubes, which I think looks pretty cool too.
To make my bright orange basketball ice cubes, I boiled some filtered water twice, to make sure I’d get nice clear cubes. Once the water cooled, I added some orange food coloring, then poured the colored water into my basketball candy molds. I only had lollipop molds, but they worked fine. I simply broke off the orange sticks before adding them to the glasses filled with Coke.
First, I tried the version where you just mix one can of Coke with a cake mix, and even though the flavor was good, the cakes didn’t have good structure. They crumbled way too easily and I couldn’t get them out of the half sphere silicone molds in one piece.
Next, I simply swapped out Coke for the water called for on the box of cake mix and boosted the cherry flavor by adding a bit of almond extract and boosted the chocolate flavor by adding some mini chocolate chips. The cakes were nice and moist and had much more structure. They popped out of the molds easily and held their shape perfectly when covered in the Cherry Coke ganache and fondant.
An over the door basketball hoop, a few whistles, a basketball net, some basketball napkins and a few toy basketballs were all I really needed to dress up my table.
I placed a long piece of chalkboard on the back side of my table so that all the colors in the Coke cans and the decorations really popped.
My basketball cakes looked great on a tiered display alongside the drinks and the other sweet treats and everyone enjoyed their unique Cherry Coke flavor.
Mini Cherry Coke Basketball Cakes
Ingredients: (makes 18 cakes)
Cherry Coke Chocolate Cakes-
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix*
eggs and oil according to package instructions
Cherry Coke in place of the water called for on the package instructions
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
*I used a 16.25 ounce box of cake mix which filled 18 half sphere molds. If you use a smaller mix, you will make fewer cakes.
Chocolate Cherry Coke Ganache-
1 – 12 ounce can Cherry Coke
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
16 ounces orange fondant or modeling chocolate
4 ounces black fondant
fondant rolling pin
3 (6 cavity) half sphere silicone molds
5 mm strip cutter (number 2 cutter) or a pizza wheel
2 7/8 inch or 3 inch round cookie cutter
Set the silicone molds on baking sheets for stability.
Fill them so that the cake batter comes up about 1/4 inch from the edge of each cavity.
Allow the ganache to set while you are getting the fondant ready. It will be easier to cover your cakes if the ganache isn’t wet and slippery.
Roll orange fondant out to about 1/16th inch thickness. Cut pieces that are about 6 inches by 6 inches. Set one piece of fondant over each cake. Smooth out then cut around it using either a cookie cutter or pizza wheel.
I better get prepared for the NCAA® Final Four. I have a few more recipe ideas I’d like to make to serve to the raving fans in my family.
Even if your team didn’t make it very far in the tournament, you have a chance to be a winner in the National Coke Zero Final Four Selfie Contest. You can upload a selfie with a Coca-Cola product and be entered to win 2016 NCAA Final Four tickets. Once you’ve uploaded the selfie on the site below, you can hop on over to check it out along with all the other entries. Good luck!
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Items used to make this project that are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)