I’ve been meaning to write up this post for a while and, since I did this around Halloween, I’m about a month late. At least I am doing it now rather than NEVER!
Anyhoo, I like baking. Unlike cooking, baking is very exact and I like having a recipe to follow that doesn’t count ‘a pinch of this’ or ‘season to taste’ as directions. I’m forever in search of a good from-scratch cake recipe that will be moist and fluffy. Scouring the internet, I came across this recipe on Bakerella. I haven’t tried it out yet but I plan to soon. The reason I bring it up is because while I was on the site, I found her instructions for cake pops.
You see, it was a few days before my company’s Halloween Pot Luck and I signed up to bring a dessert. I didn’t want to go with something store bought so when I found the recipe for cake pops, I thought that would be a fun thing to make! My intention was to make cake pops that looked like eyeballs but, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the right color candy melts or a black, edible marker. I decided to go ahead with the treat even though they wouldn’t be Halloween themed.
For those who don’t want to read any of the links I posted, here is a break down of how it’s done.
- Box cake mix*
- Tub of frosting*
- Candy Melts
- Lollipop sticks
- Wax paper
- Blocks of styrofoam
- A large chunk of time
*You can use from scratch cake mix and frosting but from the box works too!
You bake the cake as you normally would. I used a 13″x9″ pan but I suppose if you want to wash extra dishes, you could use a couple of 9″ rounds. When it’s done baking and has cooled, crumble the cake into a large bowl. Mix in the frosting — I used an entire tub but I think that was a bit too much; 3/4ths of a tub should be just fine. Mixing it with your hands is the easiest (and messiest) way.
When the cake and frosting have been mixed together, it’s time to roll it up into balls. It’s just like rolling meatballs except cake-ier! They should be about the size of a quarter and one box of cake mix will yield about 40 cake balls. Put some wax paper on a tray and place your cake balls on it. I, inexplicably, have managed to lose my cookie sheets so I had to use plates.
Now it is time to start melting your candy melts. I used Wilton candy melts but I have read that Merckens are not quite as sweet. The instructions for melting the candy will be on the bag; you can do it on the stove but I followed the microwave directions. It’s a lot of short bursts and stirring in between. If you blast it all at once, the candy coating will become too fluid. Also, make sure you use a deep enough bowl; you’re going to be dipping your cake balls in it.
Once the candy melts are melted, dip the lollipop sticks in the candy coating and then stick them into cake balls. From there, throw them into the freezer so they can firm up. Please note! Do not leave them in there too long. If you do, they will eventually crack the candy coating once they go back to room temperature. 10 minutes in the freezer should be all you need.
Now the fun part: dipping! Dip the cake pop straight down into the candy coating. You don’t want to stir it around because the cake ball might come loose from the lollipop stick (disaster!) so if you are having trouble getting complete coverage, rotate the cake pop using the lollipop stick. You don’t want to belabor the point — once you get the cake pop coated, bring it out again. Twirl it gently to allow the excess candy coating to drip off. If you want to put sprinkles on your cake pop, now is the time to do it! Once you are done, stick it into the styrofoam block so the candy coating can harden.
And this? You repeat. A lot. For a very long time. I had no idea how long it would take to do this but, as it turns out, dipping 40 cake pops isn’t something that can be done quickly nor is it something you want to rush. From start (baking) to finish (last cake pop dipped and decorated), it took me about six hours. However, this was my first attempt and I did take the extra step of hand decorating each one; perhaps that time will lessen as I become more experienced at cake popping.
As Magnitude would say: POP POP!