Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cake Pops!

This was my first attempt at cake pops.  I got the recipe at Cake Pop Recipes.  They were easy to make but let me tell you the two most important things I came across before you decide you want to make some too.

1.  You really should start this project the day before.  I don't care how early you get up the day of your party, this was an all day thing for me and you may run into snags.  I started baking cakes (I baked 3 cakes) at 9:30 am and I was finished about 3:30.  I had a lot of other cooking and prepping to do so I was glad I started this one a day ahead.
2.  Don't buy cheap dipping chocolate.  I bought a store brand and it was a big mistake.  The first batch were my blue ones.  (Those are gluten free by the way, my nephew is autistic and on a gluten free/ dairy free diet.  And boy were they yummy!)  I used the good dipping white chocolate, tinted it blue and the whole process went smoothly.  Then came the pink ones.  I used Walmart's generic brand and I don't know what the problem was but I ended up with a lumpy, gloop that made the pops fall off the sticks.  It was not a good experience.  You can see the difference between the blue and pink pops.

Below the pictures I'll give you the step-by-step so you'll know what really goes on when you are making these.

My pretty blue gluten free cake pops!

The strawberry pink glob pops :(

Step One:  Bake your cakes
I was able to get about 3 dozen pops from one cake.  But because of food allergies and special diets, I made 3 cakes to please a large crowd.  This is a big reason it took me all day.  After the cake is baked, let the cake cool.

Step Two:  Mix in the frosting
You need to crumble up the cake into a large bowl.  I saw on one recipe, this woman said she likes to use her food processor to make fine crumbles.   I don't have one of those and it worked just fine for me to crumble it in my hands.  Then you add about half a tub of the icing of your choice.  This is what helps jazz up the flavor, especially if you are using a plain white cake.  I even added some food coloring to the strawberry ones and I used a rainbow sprinkle frosting for the blue ones.  It's best if you mix it with your hands.  I know, I know, it's really gooey and messy but you will be cursing your cake if you use a utensil.

Step Three:  Roll into balls
I was able to get 3 dozen by rolling them into about 1 1/2 inch balls.  Place them onto wax paper lined cookie sheets and let them cool in the fridge.  Some recipes say over night but I just let them cool for an hour and had no problem.  I read a recipe that advised you not to put them in the freezer.  I did not attempt to but if you are curious as to why, go on ahead and let me know what happened. ;)

Step Four:  Dip the balls
I used wooden skewers that I cut in half because its what I had and I didn't want to search and pay for lollypop sticks.  The recipe I used said to dip the stick in your melted chocolate before inserting it into the cake balls.  I don't know if this actually makes a difference, but for the sake of avoiding any problems, I did.  Be careful not to jab the stick too far into the ball.  About half way in is good.  I had a couple slip down the stick while setting.  With the cake pop now on the stick, dip and twirl until it is completely covered and give it a few light taps to get the excess off.  Lightly.  You don't want to have to fish out your balls from the hot melted chocolate.  And once it has fallen off the stick, it's like they don't really want to stay on the stick again after that.  To let them set to harden, I used some scrap wood that I had painted and drilled holes into before hand.  I've seen people use those styrofoam floral blocks wrapped in plastic wrap, too.  If you want to use sprinkles, I recommend sprinkling immediately after dipping before they harden.

Step Five:  Let harden
The pops will harden at room temperature, but you will have a better finished product if you put them in your fridge until show time.

Yay!  Now you made Cake Pops!!  You may find that having cake pops at a child's party is much better than having them sit with cake and ice cream.  The only thing I found difficult was figuring out how do the candles.  If you are big into tradition and simply have to have candles, maybe you might have a creative idea to share.  I just skipped the candles, we sang happy birthday anyway and the kids were just as excited to grab a pop.

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