Every year a friend of mine from Washington spends her Spring Break with us in Arizona. Whenever we are together we try to do some kind of project, and it usually involves sweets of some kind. A couple of years ago, in preparation for her visit, I ran across Bakerella’s website and discovered cake pops. I knew this was going to be the project for us that year. We had so much fun making them, and laughed a lot at the results. As you can see below, they came out edible, but a little messy.
I have been enamored ever since with these little bites of heaven. I’ve made them so many times since then, in all different flavors and designs. They are not very difficult. They just take time. When I was first trying to learn how to make them, I scoured the internet for advice. I have learned a lot, and thought I would share as many tips as I can in case you would like to try making some for Valentine’s Day or another special occasion. Most recipes for cake pops on the internet call for a box cake mix, and candy melts. They taste great, but contain hydrogenated oil (shortening) which I have tried to stay away from as it is supposed to be very unhealthy. So I have worked on being able to make them with all natural ingredients. If that is important to you, this recipe works wonderfully. If that is not a concern or you want to try the quicker route, a box mix is great.
Many people don’t know that cake pops are made by baking a cake, mixing the cake with frosting so that it makes an edible play dough, rolling it into balls, then dipping the balls in chocolate. The nice thing about cake pops is that 1 recipe makes about 48 of them. You could do several bouquets, or just give them out individually, placed in a little plastic bag and tied with a ribbon. You can use any color of sprinkles or nuts or little hearts.
They are very versatile and customizable for whoever you are giving them to. You could also cover a block of styrofoam with wrapping paper, place the cake pops in the styrofoam, and use it for your Valentine’s Day centerpiece as well as dessert. Whatever you do, I hope you have as much fun making them as my friend I did.
CHOCOLATE CAKE POPS
2 c sugar
- 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 c whole milk
- 1/2 c vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. real vanilla extract
- 1 c boiling water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick canola cooking spray.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
- Pour batter into greased pan.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Cool cake completely. I usually leave it overnight, covering it after cooled.
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
- 1 tsp. real vanilla
- 1/4 c milk
- Place softened butter in mixing bowl.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla to butter, and mix until combined.
- Pour about half of the milk into the powdered sugar mixture and mix until all the lumps are gone. Add the rest of the milk and mix until smooth.
- Take all of the frosting out of the mixing bowl and place in another container.
To make the cake pop balls:
- Cut the cake into large chunks, and place in mixing bowl you used to make frosting in.
- Measure out a 1/2 c of frosting, and pour over cake chunks. On low-speed, mix cake and frosting until well combined.
- Using a small cookie scoop or your hands (a cookie scoop helps you have uniform size balls), place a small amount of cake/frosting mixture (about the size of a walnut) in your hands and form into a ball. Then roll it on a clean, smooth surface such as a plastic cutting board, cupping your hand lightly over it as you push it around making it as round as possible.
- Place on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, and repeat until cake/frosting mixture is gone. It will make about 48 balls, depending on how much dough you place in each ball.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least a couple of hours or overnight so the balls can firm up a little before you place the sticks in them.
To Assemble the Cake Pops:
- Cake pop sticks ( I have found them at cake supply stores, Wal-Mart in cake supply section, Hobby Lobby)
- 2 to 3 pkgs. semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli and Trader Joes Brands have no hydrogenated oil in them)
- Sprinkles or crushed nuts
- Piece of styrofoam (approximately 12×12 inches)
- Pour about 1/2 c chocolate chips in a small microwavable bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, then stir.
- Heat 10 more seconds and stir. Continue heating at 10 second intervals until melted and smooth. It is important not to heat too quickly as the chocolate will seize up into a big clump. Also be sure you don’t get any water in the chocolate as it will also cause it to seize up.
- When chocolate is melted, take cake pops out of the refrigerator. Take 1 stick, dip it in the chocolate about 1/2 inch down, and place into cake ball (the bottom of the cake pop is usually a little flatter, and this is where I place the stick) until you reach the middle of the ball. Place back on the cookie sheet.
- Repeat until all cake pops have sticks in them. Cover carefully yet completely with plastic wrap, and place back in the refrigerator for at least an hour so chocolate is set. This helps keep the cake pops from falling off of the stick when you are dipping them.
- When chocolate is set, melt an entire bag of chocolate chips, in the same manner as above, making sure not to melt too quickly.
- Place chocolate in a tall coffee mug or other container for easier dipping.
- Take out 5 cake pops at a time from refrigerator so the cake pops don’t get soft and fall off the stick. Dip cake pop in melted chocolate, making sure chocolate gets all the way to the other chocolate already on the stick. Afterwards, tap stick on side of bowl to let extra chocolate drip off, for approximately 30 seconds until all extra chocolate drips off. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. (I usually use 2 bowls, and pour sprinkles all around cake pops from one bowl to the other. Work quickly before chocolate sets. Stick cake pop into styrofoam to dry.
- Repeat with all the cake pops. When finished, place styrofoam block in refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Wrap entire styrofoam block in plastic wrap until ready to package. Will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.
- To make a bouquet, find a pretty container, cut styrofoam to desired size, cover with basket filler, and place cake pops into styrofoam. Cover with cellophane, and refrigerate for up to a week.
Bakerella is the creator of cake pops. Check out her blog. It’s amazing!