Christmas Truffles

Three-ingredient Christmas Truffles are the perfect no-bake solution for your pressing Holiday entertaining needs. Last minute potluck party? No problem! Soft and creamy bites of sweetened cream cheese melt in your mouth. The sanding sugar adds a beautiful holiday flare and can be customized to match any occasion.

Completed Christmas Truffles in a bowl, top down view.


 

These gorgeous truffles will take about 15 to 20 minutes to heat treat the cake mix, at least thirty minutes to set up in the fridge and only about ten minutes to mix. If you have an hour to spare, you can make a batch to take along or dress up your charcuterie tray.

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Ingredients for Christmas Truffles

Ingredients: cream cheese, cake mix, sanding sugar.

See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all ingredients and quantities.

  • Cream Cheese - Use a full-fat cream cheese and make sure the cream cheese is up to room temperature.
  • White Cake Mix - The brand doesn't matter. Cake mix gives the truffles structure and changes the texture to make it more pleasant. Of course, it will also add flavor. You'll need to heat-treat the cake mix.
  • Festive Sanding Sugar - This is colorful and extra fine sugar you can find at your local craft store in the cake decorating aisle.

How to Heat Treat Cake Mix

Since we aren't baking out cake mix, heat treating it is important to kill off any potential bacteria in the raw flour.

Microwave Method

To heat treat the dry cake mix in the microwave, first, add it to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments and stir after each increment. It should take about 1 minute, but it can vary depending on your microwave wattage. Repeat until the cake mix reaches 160 degrees F using an instant-read thermometer.

You'll notice the dry cake mix will start to stick to the sides of the bowl so be sure to scrape the sides down after each time in the microwave and after it's done being heat treated.

Oven Method

To heat treat your dry cake mix using the oven, first, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the cake mix out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place it in the oven and bake for about 5 to 7 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

Allow the cake mix to cool to room temperature before making the Christmas Truffles.

brownie mix cookies
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How to Make Christmas Truffles Step-By-Step

cream cheese in a metal mixing bowl on a marble countertop.

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth.

A Christmas truffle recipe, with butter melting in a mixing bowl on a beautiful marble countertop.

Step 2: Gradually add the cake mix to the cream cheese. Continue to mix until the box of cake mix is fully incorporated and a dough has formed.

A bowl of Christmas truffle dough in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to chill for at least 1 hour.

A bowl of whipped cream with a whisk in it, perfect for topping Christmas desserts like truffles.

Step 4: Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough, and roll until a smooth ball forms.

A plate with a red egg on it, resembling a festive ornament.

Step 5: Roll the cream cheese truffles in the festive sanding sugar until thoroughly coated.

A glass bowl filled with red, green, and white Christmas truffles.

Step 6: Place in the fridge to firm up before serving.

TIP: Coat your hands in vegetable oil or canola oil to roll the truffles into a smooth ball. This will keep your hands from sticking to the mixture.

Variations and Additions

Add flavors! Adding your favorite extracts can change these completely up to match your mood or event. Try one of these:

  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
  • One teaspoon of lemon extract
  • One teaspoon of almond extract
  • One teaspoon of orange extract

Mix-ins! Try adding something crunchy as an extra twist. Try one of these:

  • toasted nuts of any kind
  • crushed peppermint
  • toffee,
  • crushed lemonheads candy
  • crushed cookies such as Oreos or vanilla wafers
  • crushed candy bars such as Butterfinger

Change it up! Try a different type of cake mix like Funfetti cake mix, chocolate cake mix, lemon cake mix, orange cake mix, or strawberry cake mix.

Decorate differently! Try sprinkles, non-pariels, or semi-sweet cocoa powder in place of sanding sugar for a different effect.

Close up of Christmas Truffles, cutaway view of one.

Tips for Best Results

In a hurry? Speed run the chilling process by putting these into the freezer for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Cream cheese truffles look and work best when they are thoroughly coated in the sanding sugar. Don't rush past that step and leave bare spots.

If your Christmas Truffles are too soft, try adding a small amount of powdered sugar.

How to Store/Freeze

Store your cream cheese cake mix truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To freeze these Christmas truffles, place them in a freezer-safe container or a zippered freezer bag in a single layer. The truffles will last up to 2 months in the freezer.

Place the truffles in the fridge to thaw overnight.

Christmas truffles on a white plate with a red and white striped linen

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Christmas Truffles sit out during a party?

Yes. Cream cheese based foods can sit out for a party for several hours, but may soften over time. Refrigerate the truffles as soon as the party ends.

Can I make these Christmas Truffles gluten-free?

Yes. Just decrease the amount of cream cheese and substitute with a gluten-free cake mix. The reason you have to decrease the cream cheese is because the gluten-free cake mixes are smaller. Try two ounces less cream cheese and adjust as needed. If the truffles are too soft, add powdered sugar.

More Great Truffle Recipes

If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a rating below and also share it on Instagram, and tag me! You can also find me on Facebook and stay up to date on recipe releases by joining the Newsletter!

A glass bowl filled with red, green, and white Christmas truffles.

Christmas Truffles

These Christmas Truffles have soft and creamy bites of sweetened cream cheese melt in your mouth. The sanding sugar adds a beautiful holiday flare and can be customized to match any occasion.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 truffles
Calories 67 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 15.25 ounce box white cake mix heat-treated to 160 degrees F
  • festive sanding sugar

Instructions

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper/wax paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Gradually add in the cake mix to the cream cheese while continuing to beat with the hand mixer until the box of cake mix is incorporated and a dough has formed.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough and roll until a smooth ball forms. If you find the dough is sticking to your hands as you roll it, lightly grease your hands with vegetable oil.
  • Place the sanding sugar in small shallow bowls.
  • Roll the truffles in the sanding sugar until thoroughly coated with no bare spots.
  • Place on the parchment paper/wax paper and continue to make the remaining truffles.
  • Place the truffles in the fridge while still on the cookie sheet until they firm up, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.

Notes

CAKE MIX: You can use any brand white cake mix for this recipe. 
HEAT TREATING: Be sure to heat treat the cake mix by either baking it at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes or in the microwave in 30-second intervals for 1 minute to kill any potential bacterial from the raw flour.
STORAGE: Store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 
FREEZING: You can freeze these truffles in a freezer-safe container or zippered freezer bag for up to 2 months. Defrost the truffles by placing them in the fridge overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 103mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 85IUCalcium: 32mgIron: 0.2mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

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2 Comments

  1. Sorry, Miranda, but I'm quite disappointed. Based on paragraph 2 of your narrative, "...If you have forty-five minutes, you can make a batch to take along..."
    I thought "Perfect! A quick, last minute treat."
    And then I continued reading.

    The aforementioned 45 minutes did not take into account heat treating, then cooling the cake mix. Or the fact that the recipe requires TWO chilling periods.

    Perhaps you could also add (heat treated, see notes), beside the listed cake mix, on the recipe card. This would ensure people were aware this needs to be done.

    Thanks for listening! I think I'll make citrus flavored ones, with matching sugar colors.

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