Cake Pops!

5 Aug

Who doesn’t love cake pops? When made correctly they are mysterious balls of moist cake encased in a candy coating similar to chocolate. The first time I had one I knew that I had to learn how to make them. They were like magic! How do you get cake on a stick like that? I asked my self in total awe of this delicious treat and how do they taste so good?

Don’t be fooled into buying one of those cake pop pans. If you do you will end up with a dry  lump of cake on a stick and that’s nothing more than a cheap imitation of the real thing. Without further ado:

Cake Pops!

What you will need:

  • Cake your favorite from scratch or box mix.
  • Cake pop sticks (from a craft store)
  • 2 bags of candy wafers (from a craft store)
  • Wilton Chocolate Pro (optional)
  • Decorations (ribbon, doilies, candy etc.)
  • A space in your fridge for cooling.
  • Something to stick your cake pops in for drying or a piece of wax paper to rest them on.

Bake your favorite flavor of cake in a regular cake pan.

When the cake is cooled take a fork and turn that cake into crumbs making sure to not leave the crumbs too big. You can crumble the cake when it is still slightly warm I think it actually helps cool the cake faster. Don’t add the icing to a warm cake however as you don’t want it to melt.

When the cake is cooled very gradually add your favorite butter cream. I prefer traditional butter-cream because it is a little sweeter and a little firmer than Swiss meringue butter-cream. If you add too much icing the mix will get too soft and you will have to start over so  only add one tablespoon at a time! I have found that two huge tablespoons is the perfect amount for me.

Once your mix is together roll the mix into balls. The consistency should be prefect for making balls: not sticky or crumbly. As soon as you have all your cake balls made cover them with plastic wrap and cool them in the fridge for about 10 minutes or until they are firm. It is important to note here that foods with high fat content, like the butter in your cake balls, are notorious for absorbing flavor. If your fridge has any strong-smelling foods in it double cover your cake balls with plastic wrap. I love curry and onions and egg salad but those flavors don’t belong in cake pops. So be aware of that.

While you are waiting for the cake balls to harden get to work on melting your candy wafers. I strongly recommend using a chocolate melter. This will make the job much more fun and contribute to less waste of your candy coating. You can mix different colors of candy coating to get the color you desire. You can also add gel or oil based colors and flavors to your candy coating. Do not use water based flavors or colors. The candy coating is extremely sensitive to water and will just turn to liquid if water is introduced. You will see this when the time comes to clean up. I was dreading cleaning the hardened candy. I poured water over it to get started and it all just melted away in a few minutes.

Once your candy is melted take your cake balls out of the fridge and unwrap them. Dip a stick into the melted candy and then push it about 2/3 of the way into a cake ball. Do this until each cake ball has a stick in it and then wrap them back up and put them back in the fridge. The candy will harden in approximately 10 minutes or so and they will be ready for dipping.

While you’re waiting for the sticks to harden into place make sure to set up a place to put your finished cake pops to allow them to harden without getting bumped into each other or falling over. In a pinch a coffee mug works pretty good. If you have a friend with a drill press a block of wood with holes works the best.

Once the cake pop is securely hardened to its stick dip it into your melted candy and swirl it around making sure to evenly coat it. Don’t be too much of a perfectionist here. My heart was broken when I couldn’t create perfectly smooth round cake pops until I looked closer at the ones in the books and in the stores. No one can get it perfect. So don’t worry about it too much.

The cake pop will take about 15 minutes to dry completely; maybe longer. After they are hardened they can lay on their side or even be stacked on each other for transport. I have found that if you refrigerate them the coating becomes slightly sticky so if you are planning for them to be served at room temperature it really is best not to put them in the fridge at all. They do taste great cold so if you are serving them at home where you can serve them cold that works too.

After you have this basic down they sky is the limit for the many different ways of decorating them. Simply place candies of your choice into the wet coating and wait for them to harden into place. If you don’t get the candies into place soon enough the melted candy works as a terrific glue. Likewise if some of your candies get broken and need repair. Have fun and express yourself with your cake pops!!

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