Crazy for Cake Pops!

Every holiday season I like to make and give out baked goodies as presents for classmates and co-workers. Last year I made little bags of Muddy Buddies, this year I needed to try something new. Cake Pops was one of those cutesy food trends I stayed away from until now. But I have also learned that cake pops are customizable, easy to pack and transport, and presentable.

I studied various how-to videos online to get an idea of how cake pops are made…

The famous Bakerella makes it look so easy!

I watched more videos but these were the clearest and easiest to follow. I was fascinated that people just hand rolled these cake balls, I never would have guessed! I always thought you needed a mold or a special contraption to make cake pops!

This kitchen adventure of mine was not without its set-backs and “fails”. I actually made cake pops twice in a week- once for a potluck and then for my agency co-workers.

This is the few times I allowed myself to use a boxed cake mix.

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Some videos I watched suggested to leave the cake out for a few days probably to let it “dry out” a bit. I make this cake two days in advance.

Because this cake was “Super Moist” I did not need to add too much frosting, it was already very spongy and started to clump together even before the frosting.

DSCN2995This is definitely the funnest part: take apart your cake and crumble it up with your hands!

DSCN2997I added about two spoons of white frosting to hold the cake together when I roll them into balls.

DSCN3000Okay…I know this does not look the most appealing but I promise the end product is nothing like this.

DSCN3001The inaugural batch I made, I made the cake pops too big. My second batch I learned that my Tablespoon measuring spoon made the perfect-sized scooper.

DSCN3002Next you stick your cake balls in the freezer for a good 45 mins. You want them to be very firm so they did not fall off the lollipop stick later. I learned this the hard way.

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Here starts the exciting part: Decorating. I bought most of what I needed from Michael’s: lollipop sticks (the extra long kind), treat bags, Wilton Candy Melts (light blue and brown). I also got holiday-themed sprinkles from Target ($5 for a whole can of various sprinkles!). DSCN3003

Melt some chocolate and dip the stick with it, then insert the stick into the cake about1/2 way in. This helps the stick stay in the cake.

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DSCN3009Everything was great…up to this point. After placing the cake pops back in the freezer with the sticks for about 10 mins, it was time to melt the rest of the chocolate and start coating and decorating. It was a disaster. Despite me follow the instructions on the package, the chocolate was messy and uncooperative!

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The chocolate would not be melted enough, it would harden to quickly, the cake pop got stuck in the chocolate…this was at 1 AM and I was getting super frustrated.

I even tried to use a makeshift double boiler from a pot and a bowl but that was no better. I found that microwaving small batches of the chocolate in a tea cup created the best results.

By 2 AM….these were my creations.

A few days later, I made another batch.

Here are a few things I learned by trial and error:

1. Make the balls smaller (about a Tablespoon full)

2. Freeze them for the full 45 mins ~ patience!

3. Melt smaller amounts of chocolate or use a fondue pot for a constant low heat.

Once I got the hang of it, it was really fun to make these. It’s a great baking project to include other people and they can all decorate their own cake pops.

May your holidays be filled with love and deliciousness.

Happy Holidays from Sweet Therapy!

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