Say I Love You with a Pop!

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Cake pops have never been on my list of “to-do’s” because I never felt like the mess.  But, let’s face it, they are adorable and kids love them, so I knew that I would eventually break out the popsicle sticks and make them happen.

Instead of selling them though, I’ve decided to share my process so you can make them at home and impress your little lollipop lovers!

When I bake custom cakes, I always chop (it’s more of a delicate sawing) the rounded top of each cake off to create a level and clean tier.  I’m always left with a significant amount of cake that I religiously place in a Ziploc bag with the intention to create an adorable cake offspring.  Said Ziploc bag inevitably ends up in the trash and I’m disappointed with my lack of commitment to the lost crumbs.

Until today!  Or really, last night.  With the tops of 3 cakes on my counter and a tiny bit of frosting left in the mixing bowl, I went for it.  I crumbled the cake into the mixing bowl and squished it all together with my hands.  I wasn’t sure if I had enough frosting, but it turned out perfectly.  You don’t want to have much at all since the cake is already relatively moist.  I don’t have a picture of what my bowl looked like but think about the last time you scraped frosting out of the bowl and whatever the scraper didn’t get is about what you need.

I used vanilla cake from this recipe and my own vanilla buttercream recipe.  You can find a great buttercream recipe here.

Next, you need to mold your batter mush into nice little round balls.  They don’t have to be perfect and you can us a mini ice cream scoop if you choose.  I just used my hands.

Not perfect!  That's ok!

 

After you finish molding or scooping, you need to put your balls in the freezer.  Yup, I said it. I put mine in a shallow plastic container and left them in for about an hour.

For the chocolate outer coating, I used dark chocolate Wilton Candy Melts.  They come in tons of different flavors and colors and make things very easy.

This next tip is important.  Melt your chocolate in a tall container.  This container should allow you to dip your cake pop all the way in without having to twist, turn or spoon chocolate over it.  I used a pint glass.  We have about a billion of them and they are made of glass, so perfect for the microwave.  Heat your candy melts for 30 seconds at a time stirring in between.  I used a fondue fork to stir and it worked perfectly!

Make sure you dip your stick into the chocolate before shoving it into your cake ball.  I’ve really just given up on making this cute 🙂  You can also see my pint glass full of chocolate in this photo.  It will later be full of beer.

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Next, take your cake balls out of the freezer one at a time so the remainder stay cold.

Place your stick into the cake ball carefully so as not to break the cake up.

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One more not about the picture above.  That circular piece of material under the pop is re-usable parchment paper.  It’s one of my most favorite baking finds.  They last a really long time and clean up so easily and can be used for everything, but are especially helpful in keeping cake from sticking to your pan!  They can be found on Amazon.  Moving on…

After your stick in in the cake pop it will only take a second for that chocolate to set so you are ready to dip!

Dip your cake pop straight into the chocolate and do not twirl, twist or wiggle.  A pint glass should be big enough for you to completely submerge the cake into the chocolate and pull it out.  If your chocolate gets lumpy, it needs to be heated up again.

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If you are planning on decorating with sprinkles, do it now before you chocolate sets.  Don’t roll your cake pops in the sprinkles though.  The chocolate may stick on your sprinkles and you’ll have a mess.  If you are going to pipe decor onto the cake pop, you will need to wait until the chocolate sets completely.  Sprinkles are definitely the easiest route.

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Occasionally, you may find that you have too much chocolate on your cake pop and it will blob off.  Just pick up the pop and place it back on the parchment paper in a new spot.  The blob will stay behind and you can re-sprinkle any bare spots if necessary.  You can see a couple of my blobs in the photo below.

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Once your cake pops are completely set, you can wrap them individually and decorate with ribbon or place in a block of foam for display.  Check out Pinterest for cake pop display ideas.

Another great thing about cake pops is that they can be made gluten free!  You just need to purchase gluten free cake mix and make a scratch frosting to mix in.  Gluten free dark chocolate can be used to cover the pops too.  My next test is a lower sugar version of these pops as well, but need to work on one thing at at time.

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

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