doggie trail

Cake poppin’

We’ve all seen the cake pop floating around. There was a hot craze for the cake pop not too long ago. And I never jumped on. I had enjoyed a few cake pops. I too love most foods on a stick. I just never gave them much thought. But somehow, they became my solution to a baby shower favor for my cousin’s shower. I’m not sure how. I know that a cookie pop was also in the initial running of ideas. Somehow, the cake pop stuck.

 My mom and other family members were throwing the party. I gladly volunteered my help because, let’s face it, I love this stuff. Of course, these projects test our relationship at home quite often since I tend to create a new level of household stress. But stress isn’t always a negative, guys. Stress pushed those Olympic athletes to gold. Me… to sweet satisfaction. Yeah, that was cheesy. All I can think about now is that guy from Sweet Genius. Which is sort of what happens in our kitchen. Brett running around trying to help and especially trying to keep my mess to a minimum. I have this knack for spilling. I swear I never did, but it must drive him crazy.

The cake pop project was spread out over quite a few weeks. There was research… then when we made our supply purchases, we decided to buy a cake pop pan. Somehow, we thought that would make things ‘easier’. Stupid marketing. I bought way more supplies than we would ever need in the name of “we will have to see what works best”. We did a trial run to see how long it would take to create a batch of pops, and how many we would get. And to try the cake pop pan that was a waste of money.

I decided to use a very dense and moist chocolate lava cake recipe. I filled the stupid cake pop pan as directed and found I still had almost an entire cakes worth of batter. I baked that remaining batter in a bunt pan. We let all the cakes cool then crumbled the cake from the bunt pan and mixed in a fresh strawberry cream cheese frosting I had on hand from another recipe. I pulled out my rubber gloves and made balls of cake that I set on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. We melted a small bowl of semi sweet chocolate morsels in the microwave, dipped each lollipop stick into the stirred melted chocolate and pierced the balls of cake, including the ones from the cake pop pan. Then we melted the colored candy melts we got from the store in a round Pyrex container, dipped each cake ball and decorated with sprinkles. You can Google all of these steps for cake pops. There are very few variations. What I found.

  • Big coffee mugs work best for dipping. The wider the bowl, the more candy you’ll need to coat the pop.
  • Don’t over nuke the candy/chocolate. It tends to separate.
  • Adding a little bit of Crisco to the candy/chocolate helps coating consistency, but don’t add too much Crisco or it’ll be drip central.
  • Don’t make the cake balls too big and/or heavy. They tend to “pole dance”.
  • Get your sprinkles/decorations laid out before dipping commences. I liked having small ramekins and sprinkling over a discard bowl.
  • The dollar store is your friend for Styrofoam and floral blocks. Luckily I didn’t skimp and there were plenty to use. Those bad boys take up a lot of space.
I may have gotten a little side tracked. The trial run proved that a cake pop pan did not really save any more time or clean up based on the fact that it only held a quarter of the cake batter we made. So unless I bought four, no real ease. Although, there was no noticeable taste difference between the hand rolled or the pan. I would bet that there were more calories in the hand rolled.

The trial run also helped us plan how many batches and days we’d need to make enough for the baby shower. We decided that from beginning to end, baking to wrapping. Each batch of cake pops would take about four hours. And somehow I was convinced that we would need to make two different batches because not everyone would want chocolate. Yea, I convinced you too? I didn’t hear one person complain about getting a chocolate one. And seventy cake pops was clearly more than my 30 person max quota. I probably could have gone with one batch.

I did know that one bag of candy melts would ‘frost’ about 15-18 cake pops. I loved the bright lighter blue, but was drawn to the bright green. At some point I decided that I NEEDED to make little chicks and kitties, so I bought yellow and orange. And then I bought a ton of different sprinkles. All different shapes, sizes and colors. I found that the small sanding sugars only looked good when the same color as the melts. Unless I used the multicolored from the discard bowl. 
At a certain point with the candy coating, you simply could not coat anymore, but there would always be a decent amount of melted candy left behind. Some sites recommended saving this to drizzle and decorate the already coated pops. This just sounded like too much for some reason. So we decided to take the additional melted bits and make chocolate mustaches and three tier cakes. That’s for another time though.
I also realized that depending on the size of the cake pop, with coating, and decorations, they may not always fit in the little cellophane bags we bought. When you’re that close to finished and the darn thing won’t go in the baggies… it’s a little frustrating. We bagged them all and stuck them in the freezer. I thought it might help with travel to have them frozen. I found that the cake nor the candy coating never really froze. I still standby the freezer as the best storage option.
The Monday before the shower we had all the pops made, dipped and bagged. The final step was the tie the bags shut and add a cute little charm embellishment. I had grabbed some stuff at Michael s and the dollar store. While they looked great, next time I’ll just use twist ties.
Here are a ton more pictures of the plethora of pops.
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This entry was published on August 15, 2012 at 12:14 am. It’s filed under baking, DigiShots, DIY, entertainment, food and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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