Cake Pops. Oh, how the pinterest traffic around these little babies was booming a few months ago. The hype seems to have died down a little bit, either because everyone is “over them” already (How is that possible? They’re so cute and delicious!), or because no one ended up making them because they looked too complicated.
And I’ll be honest, I’m not sure who the people in the blogosphere are who are making Ninja-turtle shaped cake pops, Disney princess-shaped cake pops, or cookie-monster cake pops. Props to them for creativity, but I would have NO idea where to begin on shaping a cake pop into a character. Spheres are hard enough, thanks.
I adapted a recipe that I first found over at Cut Out and Keep. I changed a few things around and also included which brands I used, which will hopefully allow you (and me, for my future reference!) to re-create these delicious little cakes.
The picture on the right is from my lovely friend KK’s bridal shower held a few weeks ago. My friend KA and I made them for the shower favors (KA recently married and her initials are now also KK, but that’s way too confusing, even for me in my real life let alone blog pseudonyms so we’ll stick with her maiden name). Got that? KA and I made these beauties for KK’s shower. There will be a quiz later.
Isn’t it adorable, though? The hot pink sparkly sprinkles with the scrapbook paper tag, the personalized ribbon, and the nifty cellophane gift bag wrapper (available online at the Container Store)? Adorable. And totally worth making them yourself, you’ll save a ton of money. We made 60 pops and it came to just over $70 for everything – ingredients, wrapping, decoration, etc. That’s just over $1 per pop!
Note: This recipe works best with a partner. If you absolutely have to do it yourself, have plenty of paper towels ready for cleaning your hands, and make sure you lay everything out in easy reach before you start.
1 box of Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (and the ingredients to bake it)
30-35 4″ lollipop sticks (found at Michael’s or Wal-Mart)
1/2 container of Betty Crocker milk chocolate icing
1.5 bags of White/Vanilla Wilton Candy Melts
1 tbsp vegetable shortening
Optional: 1 container of crystal sprinkles (your color choice!)
Ice cream scoop
Cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper
1. Cook the cake according to package directions in a sheet pan. Let cool. This can be done ahead of time.
2. Once the cake is cooled to room temperature (should take about 45 minutes), crumble the cake into a large bowl using your hands.
3. Add about half of the container of icing to the mixing bowl with the cake. Mix with your hands until the mixture is well incorporated and a little bit sticky. If you make a ball of it with your hands, it should be wet enough to stay together. If it’s not, add a little more icing.
4. This is where the partner comes in handy. Since their hands are clean so far, have them melt a few candy melts into a small bowl and get your lollipop sticks, cookie sheet, and ice cream scoop ready!
5. Use the ice cream scoop to make a ping-pong or golf-ball sized ball of dough. Remove it from the ice cream scoop and roll it gently between your hands (no point in washing your hands after step 3 because they just get dirty again). Pass the ball to your partner, who should dip a lollipop stick into the melted candy melts and then press it gently into the ball of dough. They should start resembling cake pops now!
6. Do this with the remaining dough and lollipop sticks, placing them on the cookie sheet. They will look like this:
7. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to let the cake pops harden. This can also be done ahead of time and the cake pops can be left in the freezer for up to 2 days.
8. When ready to dip the pops, melt about half of the bag of Wilton’s candy melts in a small bowl. Do this in intervals in the microwave, starting with 1 minute and reducing to 20 seconds. When beginning the intervals, add a little shortening and mix well. The melted candy should have a consistency somewhere between melted chocolate and maple syrup – you want it to stick to the cake pops and coat them, but not be too heavy. The shortening is critical for this! We thought we didn’t need it and the candy melts on their own were way too heavy and gloppy.
9. Take the pops out of the freezer. Carefully dip each pop into the melted candy, using a spoon as an aide so that you get candy covering all sides of the cake pop evenly. If using sprinkles, add them immediately after dipping before the candy hardens. Here is KA adding sprinkles to the cake pops:
10. Set the completed cake pop back onto the cookie sheet, repeat with the rest. As you need more candy melts, melt them in the microwave in intervals and don’t forget to add a little shortening to each batch.
11. Admire your gorgeous work. I like to set mine back in the fridge to harden up a bit but you don’t have to.
Makes approximately 30 cake pops.