Adventures in Cake Pop Making

Sorry Mom! Blue food!

First of all, let me apologize for my lag in posting recently.  Between travel, puppy obedience class, work, getting ready for the holidays…things have been a little hectic lately.  I’m hoping to be able to pick up the pace soon!  Please be patient, loyal readers 🙂

Cake pops seem to be all the rage in the baking world these days. And why shouldn’t they be?

First of all, they are delicious morsels of cake in one to two bite servings.  I rarely find myself wanting more cake than that at a time.

Second, there are about a million creative and clever things you can do with them, for any occasion.  I haven’t exactly learned how to do these things yet, but this was my first endeavor into the world of cake pops.  My main goal with this was to learn the general process, then expand upon that knowledge once I had the fundamentals down.

My friend Tara, Cake Pop Master, came over one evening and relayed her extensive baking knowledge on to her eager apprentice.  I honestly could not believe how basic the general process was.  No recipes needed!

First you start with basic, store-bought cake mix.  I believe you could probably use home made cake, but I think I’ve read that the cake mixes help the pop stay together a little better.   Plus, why make it more complicated than it has to be?

I used good old fashioned, Duncan Hines.

Please ignore the chipping black nail polish -it was right after Halloween...

Make the cake according to box instructions and allow to cool.  Crumble up the entire cake into crumbs in a medium to large bowl.

Using 3/4 of a can to 1 full can of store-bought frosting, combine frosting with cake until mixture is sticky and will combine.

Roll cake mixture into golf-ball sized rounds and place on cookie sheet.  Be sure to use a cookie sheet small enough that will fit in your freezer.

Meanwhile, using a double boiler, melt candy shell coating down until completely melted.  You want the consistency to be so that it will run off the spoon fairly easily, so you may need to add some vegetable oil to thin out the consistency.  I used Wilton’s Candy Melts because they are easy to find at Michaels, but there are certainly other brands you can use.

Take a lollipop stick (also available at Michaels) and dip the end of the stick into the melted candy.  This will serve as glue to secure the lollipop stick to the cake ball.  Stick the dipped end into the cake ball, into about the middle of the ball.

Put the cookie sheet with the cake balls into the freezer for about 10 minutes to just firm up the cake balls.

Here’s where you may want to pre-think any designs or “accessories” you want to use to decorate before moving on.  The candy shell firms up very quickly once dipped.  Anything like sprinkles you will want to put on very quick, so you may want to work in waves of dipping a few, decorating a few, and then repeating.   Toothpicks can be a very handy tool for decorating and re-positioning any minor flaws you may have.  You can also use the candy shell as glue, so if you’ve already let the exterior coating dry and you want to add some sort of external piece of candy, etc. you can dab a bit of the candy shell on the pop to attach.

I went into this primarily with the intent to learn the process, not so much decorate.  I went with lots of easy sprinkles and decorating gels 🙂  The Michigan Block M was an easy choice.   I’d like to try out some more advanced techniques the next time around.

Once you’ve figured out your decorating strategy, you can move on to dipping the cake pops.  Make sure you are dipping into a bowl that is deep enough that you can get the entire pop submerged.

It made me feel a little better that Tara's nail polish was chipping too! 🙂

GENTLY tap the cake pop on the side of the bowl to get the excess off.  Otherwise, it will start dripping down the lollipop stick.  If you tap too hard, the cake pop can dislodge and fall off also.

Lessons learned the hard way….

And really, that’s pretty much it.  You want to get a styrofoam block to stick the pops in so that they can dry upright.  The candy shell does not take long to dry at all.

Decorate and have fun!  Switch up cake flavors and frostings.  The possibilities are endless.

If you need decorating ideas, I highly recommend checking out the website Bakerella.  She is like the Godfather, er…Godmother, of Cake Pops.  I honestly don’t know how she creates some of the things she does.  I mean, look at THIS.

Good Luck!

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Categories: Cake Pops, Recipes, Sweets

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