I’ve made cake pops before. I discovered cake pops when I began following Bakerella‘s fabulous blog. I just sort of stumbled over it. She makes beautiful cake pops and I was intrigued by her use of very simple decorations, but they made the whole thing wow! Last year, as a teacher gift, I made apple pops.
These were a huge success and everybody loved them. I used a box cake (spice) and canned frosting (cream cheese) with colored candy melts and pretzels for stems and diamond shaped large sprinkles for the leaf. (I also made homemade marshmallows, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)
We are at the end of another year and I decided I really wanted to try the cake pops again, but focus more on the flavors. This time I was making cake from scratch, as well as the icing. I wasn’t sure if this would make a difference in the final construction of the cake pop, as the amounts would always equal out the same. I settled on Maple Cake with Maple Butter Frosting, Lemon Drop Cake, and Black & Tan Cake with Guinness Frosting (this one is not for the teachers!)
Maple went well, smelled incredible, formed pops easily. My only issue with them was the chocolate cracking. I’ve determined that it is because they were in the freezer, uncoated, for 2 days before I finally had time to coat them in chocolate. Being that they were solidly frozen and also very, very cold, as soon as the coating went on them it began to harden to the point that I had trouble shaking excess off. I think the just hardened too quickly. Add to that condensation forming on the exterior of the pops and it’s a recipe for disaster. They still taste good!
Lemon is what I worked on today. More lessons were learned today. By the time this is over I will be a pro! The lemon cake was a more dense cake (recipe was intended for cupcakes.) The frosting that went with it was extra yummy and it mixed up really well. I formed them and inserted the sticks, but was not able to stand them up and ended up freezing them on their heads. Then I burnt the white chocolate (I tried using one of those tiny dipper crockpots). Mom to the rescue, she had about a pound of Wilton’s wafers, so I melted those down. These were very thick for some reason, even after several teaspoons of oil, they remained to thick to dip with. I went ahead and tried a few with disastrous results. I put the couple I did in the fridge and ran to the store (plus I needed dinner for the boys since my kitchen was a catastrophe) and found white chocolate wafers (in the 2nd store), bought 2 bags for good measure. Fed kids and cleaned up enough so I could continue after boys were in bed.
Back at it, now the cake pops have had a few hours in the freezer. The new wafers (Shurfine btw) were the best! The melted quickly, into the right consistency, stayed smooth – I know where I’m getting my coating chocolate wafers in the future! Second try at dipping went much more smoothly.
As I said I was more focused on flavor then eye appeal this time, but we still needed to make them look pretty. With a color scheme in mind, I determined drizzling would be the simplest and most attractive method. This came with it’s own lessons. Having all the cake decorating supplies, naturally I pulled out my gadgets. Bad idea! In the end, after much mess and even more wasted blue chocolate I learned that a ziplock baggie that’s had a toothpick pushed through the bottom corner to create a “piping tip” was the most effective (mostly because it could be easily reheated). The chocolate kept hardening inside my metal tips and then I was literally stuck!
The final touch were crushed lemon drop candies. I would have just used yellow sugar, but the recipe called for the cupcakes edges to be rolled in crushed candies. I liked the idea and figured I would incorporate it. Candies are hard to crush. In the original thick plastic bag, in a ziplock freezer bag, in another ziplock freezer bag – the candy still poked holes and left a fine
sticky dust all over my counter. This was with a metal meat tenderizer on the flat side. After all that, I still didn’t even have very fine results. Then it went into my mini food processor which is now broken. Finally it was decided that the best idea would be to remove the large pieces from the finer ones since I didn’t need that much. My kitchen was covered in lemon drop dust, white and blue chocolate and cake crumbs! In the end I have 40 finished, nice looking lemon cake pops that I am happy with. Now I need a bigger fridge!