Monday, October 17, 2011

Cake Pops {Tutorial}

Have you ever made cake pops?  If not, I’m sure you’ve at least seen them around.  I’ve wanted to make them now for a couple of years but never had until K’s birthday party over the weekend.  She really wanted them as her ‘cake’ so I decided it was time I give it a go.

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Let me just tell you… they’re a LOT of work!!  I looked up several different tips online to ensure that they turned out well, and they did, for the most part.  We had our occasional casualty here and there but I think the next time I make them I’ll give myself a whole day’s head start!  Doing it the day of was a little stressful and we didn’t have quite enough time to chill the pops before coating them in chocolate – which was the cause of said casualties. 

Are they worth the effort?  Absolutely, but they’re not the easiest things in the world.  Before making them I thought, I’ll make these for Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, and every other major holiday!  Now I’m thinking not so much. 

They’re fun and way cute. If you haven’t made them before, you should try it. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is make a cake.  Grab any flavor of cake mix you desire and make it according to package directions.  K wanted strawberry cake pops so we went with a strawberry cake mix. 

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Let the cake cool completely before doing anything else.  This could take a few hours.  Once it’s cooled, place it in a large bowl in chunks.  I know it’s hard to see that beautiful cake dumped into such an ugly heap.

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Now crumble it up with your hands.  Crumble, crumble, crumble.

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Add about half of a container of frosting (choose one that complements your cake flavor- we used strawberry frosting) and mix it up with your cake crumbles.  You’ll probably have to get messy and use your hands.  I would have taken a pic to prove that I did so myself but do you know how hard it is to take a picture while covered in cake and frosting?  My camera would NOT have thanked me!

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Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray and shape the cake mixture into several small balls.  Roll them tight!  Depending on the size, you should get anywhere from 30-50 pops. 

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Now you’ll need some sucker sticks (bigger ones) from the baking section of your craft store (or Wal-Mart).  I sent Anthony to the store for me and he came home with the BIGGEST ones.  I think I would use some that are slightly smaller next time. 

Melt some Candy Melts in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir.  If it’s not quite ready, microwave another 30 seconds and then in 10-15 second intervals after that, stirring each time until it’s melted.

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Dip the sticks in the melted chocolate then push the sticks into the cake balls. 

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Place either in a block of craft foam or a cake pop holder (that’s what I have but I recommend either having another one or using a couple of blocks of foam – the holes were too close together in the cake pop holder).  Another option is to just lay them on a cookie sheet or large plate and place in the fridge for SEVERAL hours!  You could do the freezer if you’re in a pinch for time. 

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Once they’re chilled, melt a package of Candy Melts in a double boiler or your own makeshift double boiler {pan with shallow simmering water and heatproof bowl on top).  Candy Melts come in LOTS of different colors at craft stores.  If you can only find white (or are using regular white chocolate chips) you can color them with food coloring but Do NOT use the water-based food coloring.  Use gel.  Water will ruin your chocolate… even just a drop!!

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The melted chocolate may be a little too thick for coating your pops so to thin it out a bit, you can use a tablespoon or two of shortening.  I used coconut oil because I don’t usually have shortening on hand. 

Coat your pops in the melted chocolate.  Some tips I read suggested spooning the chocolate on for a smoother finish but I found that to be harder and it made them look messier.  If the spoon method works for you, great!  I just kind of rolled my pops in the chocolate until it was evenly coated.  This is where we had a few mishaps.  Ours didn’t have enough time in the fridge.  But most of them turned out just fine. 

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K had the privilege of decorating them.  She sat with her 6 dipping bowls full of different sugars and sprinkles, ready for each chocolate covered pop I handed her.  She loved doing that. 

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And there you have it!  We refrigerated them again after finishing just to be sure that the chocolate hardened and no more would fall off. 

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Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Yours turned out so cute! I was thinking about making these for my daughter's birthday this week, but maybe not! I didn't even realize there was such a thing as a cake pop holder.

Cari said...

I admit I have been too intimidated to try them! But what a fun party idea to get to decorate your own!

RoryBore said...

I have been wanting to try these! I was thinking Halloween or Christmas. My mom bought me a fantastic book and a whole bunch of supplies to make all these halloween and Xmas themed cake pops.
From the sounds of the time commitment though, better put the kids in daddy day care until it's time to decorate!

Brooke said...

Ha! We didn't know either. As I mentioned in the post, I sent Anthony to the store and asked him to grab foam. He came home all excited because he had found the cake pop holder. The holes are just so darn close together. Otherwise, it was great!

Brooke said...

We had ours decorated before the party but that would be a fun activity!

Brooke said...

Definitely! You'll need dad's help for sure. My husband was on keep-boys-out-of-the-kitchen duty. I'll have to look for this book you're talking about. Sounds fun!

nicole said...

yum!!! i'm having a huge ($100) giveaway over at my blog and would love for you to stop by and check it out!!

gaylene said...

Thanks for the tutorial..been wondering how to make cake pops!

maria said...

yummy! That looks so cool! I started a link party at my blog and I'd love for you to link this up. If you're interested it's Have a lovely day, Maria

katrina said...

So I have always wanted to try to make these cake pops, but... the clean up just looks like such a bear! Now that winter is approaching, I will get cabin fever and start up all these kind of project soon..
Thanks for stopping by my blog, stop by often ;)
The butter is amazing, & your right! so EASY (I blogged about it and linked you)