Bob got me Bakerella’s cookbook “Cake Pops” for Christmas and I’ve been waiting for a chance to try it out and so I decided that since I’m always making things for other people that for Valentine’s Day I would make Cake Pops for my family. They came out pretty good although I did have a few problems along the way so I’ll share those with you to hopefully help you avoid them. Also this isn’t a quick process, it took me good 2 hours to make them and that didn’t include baking the cake which I did the day before so set aside a block of time to make them.
1 (18.25 oz) cake mix plus ingredients to make cake (I used Devil’s food)
1 (16 oz) container ready made frosting (I had homemade vanilla buttercream frosting left over from when Melonie and I made the fondant cakes so I used that instead)
48 oz (3 pounds) candy coating (like Wilton candy melts)
48 or so lollipop sticks
1 Bake cake as directed on box, using a 9 x 13″ cake pan. Let cool completely. (I baked the cake the day before I made the pops and covered it with plastic wrap but I should have just let it sit out uncovered because it got really moist which was a bit of a problem when it came time to crumble it all up.)
2 Crumble the cooled cake into a large mixing bowl. You should not see any large pieces of cake.
3 Add 3/4 of the container of frosting (I figured about 12 oz of frosting). (You will not need the remaining frosting.) Mix it into the crumbled cake, using the back of a large metal spoon, until thoroughly combined. If you use the entire container, the cake balls will be too moist.
4 The mixture should be moist enough to roll into 1 1/2″ balls and still hold a round shape. (I used my Pampered Chef mini scoop to get the right amount of cake to then roll into balls.) After rolling the cake balls by hand, place them on wax paper covered baking sheets.
5 Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator or place in freezer for about 15 minutes. You want the balls to be firm but not frozen.
6 Place the candy coating in a deep microwave safe bowl. (I usually work with about 16 oz of coating at a time.)
7 Melt the candy coating, following the instructions on the package. You can also use a double boiler. Do not overheat the coating.
8 Now you’re ready to dip. Take a few cake balls at a time out of the fridge or freezer to work with. If they’re in the freezer, transfer them to the fridge now.
9 One at a time, dip about 1/2″ of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating and then insert lollipop stick straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through.
10 Holding the lollipop stick with cake ball attached, dip the entire cake ball into the melted candy coating until it is completely covered and remove in one motion. Make sure the coating meets at the base of the stick.
11 Hold the dipped cake ball over the bowl and gently shake to remove excess coating. Rotate slowly to allow excess to fall off evenly.
12 Stick the cake pop into either a styrofoam block or piece of wood with holes drilled into it. (Bob took a large piece of wood and drilled a bunch of holes into it for me, worked great!) Let dry completely.
13 Store cake pops in an airtight container or wrap them in individual treat bags secured with a bow.
Here are a couple of problems I encountered:
Several of my cake pops developed cracks in their candy shell after sitting out to dry. Bakerella says that I rolled them to tightly or that they were in the freezer too long (this is probably what happened) and when they started to thaw and expand after being dunked, it cracked the candy coating.
Also I tried to get cute and make some heart shaped pops with a small heart shaped cookie cutter that I bought but there were several problems with this, first of all, they weren’t packed together tightly enough like the balls were and so when they were dipped they dropped a bunch of crumbs into my candy coating which then of course transferred to all cake pops dipped after them and also they didn’t retain their shapes too well after having a stick poked it them so I guess if you want to make heart shaped ones, you really have to form them by hand.