We know I’m not a huge cake pop fan. Ohhh, they’re cute, and fun, and festive. And they taste delicious, all flavors, any combination, delicious! I’m just over the amount of effort they take for 1 bite of cake, oooooover it. That is all.
During all of my cake popping the last month (2 baby showers and some random parties in between), I’ve come up with 10 tips that help me to make cute little cake pops. Not fancy schmancy, but still real dang cute! The chocolate ones were for a little baby boy shower. Combined with blue dipped marshmallow pops and blue sprinkled sugar cookie pops (picture on the bottom of the post) all displayed in the same box. I have a picture somewhere, but I can’t find it, it was super cute though.
I also made the same recipe but coated it in white chocolate for a little girls green and pink baby shower.
Cake pops are on the far left. I also made sugar cookies, red velvet cupcakes, mini vanilla cupcakes with strawberry swiss meringue, chocolate covered marshmallows, and chocolate covered Oreos. And dishpan cookies in a clear bag with a pink ribbon for the favors.
These are just things I’ve learned, encountered, had issues with. Maybe I’m the only one, but in case I’m not, hopefully you’ll find my experiences helpful. Or not
10 Tips for Cake ‘Popping‘
1. Scoop the ‘batter’ or ‘dough’ or whatever you want to call it, using a small cookie scoop. This helps keep all of the balls the same size. Roll the scooped dough in your hands. Keep in mind, they won’t have the best form at this point. The warmth of your hand, and the room temperature cake/frosting don’t form the smoothest, most round balls.
2. Chill the cake balls THEN re-roll them, and that’s when they become more smooth, more round cake balls.
3. Thin out the chocolate coating with vegetable oil (or canola oil). This helps the coating look smooth. Don’t make it TOO thin though, or else the coating will drip right off the cake ball. For every 10 ounces of chocolate coating, I use about 1/4 cup vegetable oil.
4. The thing about the chocolate coating, is not all chocolate is created equal. For instance, chocolate chips are not meant to melt. They are meant to keep their shape. So using those for a coating will give you a different consistency, and require different amounts of oil to make it thin enough to coat the cake balls. Melting chips and almond bark are the 2 kinds of chocolate I have found to work the best for coating the cake balls/pops.
5. DO NOT allow any moisture to get into your chocolate mixture. This will cause the chocolate to ‘seize’ and get lumpy and yucky. No water on the spoon, in the bowl, NO WHERE!!!!
6. Make the balls ahead of time. Complete steps 1 and 2, then put the tray of cake balls in the freezer until they’re frozen, about 2 hours. Place them in a ziplock bag and store them until you’re ready to coat them and use them. You can add the chocolate coating to the frozen cake balls, no need to let them thaw.
7. Make a large batch of the pre-coated balls and just freeze them until you have an excuse to make them. Then all you have to do is let them thaw for a few minutes, stick them, dip them, serve them.
8. Drizzling a different color then adding sprinkles can hide blemishes. Which may or may not be why these have both drizzle and sprinkles.
9. Allow the cake pops to chill and harder while upright. Once they have been refrigerated for at least 30 minutes you can take them out of the box/cube/stand and lay them flat on a cookie sheet until you are ready to display them. My refrigerator doesn’t have enough room for me to put cake pops in their display, which is why I store them flat, then display them when it’s time.
10. Dip the tip of the stick in the melted chocolate before sticking it on the cake ball. This will help the cake stay on the stick.
Bonus tip: if your chocolate starts to get thick in the double boiler, lower the heat, stir it, and let it simmer over the lower heat for a few minutes. Keep the heat on VERY low and the chocolate should stay thin (well, it just won’t get clumpy and undippable) the entire time you need it for your dipping process.
Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Cake Balls
makes 36 Pops
3 sleeves (about 30 crackers) graham crackers
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature, or even slightly melted
10 oz almond bark (good melting chocolate)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Add the graham crackers to a food processor and process they are fine crumbs.
Once you have crumbs in the consistency you want, mix in the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar in the food processor. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out balls (ba ha, you’re so funny for laughing when I say balls) and roll in your hands until the ball is formed evenly. Place on a cookie sheet.
After you’ve scooped, rolled, and placed all the balls onto the cookie sheet, refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Or, if you have room in your freezer, put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
*You want the cake balls to be cold so the chocolate hardens on them quickly.
Melt the chocolate and oil in a double boiler, or in the microwave until it is completely melted and smooth. Add more oil to get the chocolate thin enough to coat the cake balls.
*Thick chocolate doesn’t look as pretty, but, if you’re not going for looks, just taste, then by all means, omit the oil. Extra thick chocolate always tastes good.
Dip the tip of a stick into the melted chocolate, then stick it in the cake ball. Now, you have a cake pop.
*If you froze the balls for a long time, they may need to thaw for a couple minutes before adding the stick.
Dip the formed cake balls into the chocolate. Stick into a box or a styrofoam cube. I made so many, I had to use both.
After the chocolate hardens, I took them out of the box or cube and laid them flat on a cookie sheet and put them in the fridge to ENSURE the chocolate coating would stay firm. And it did. It was a cake pop success. I’ve had numerous e-mail, texts, facebook messages of people asking me for this recipe. So folks, here ya go. Have at it!
And here are the sugar cookie pops. I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, stuck a stick int he dough ball, and baked them., You can bake the sticks, just in case you’re scared the house will catch on fire. It won’t. No joke, I had the fire extinguisher near by, in case it did.
I was so impressed that the cookies held up perfectly on the sticks. They didn’t crumble, or crack, or fall off. It’s the perfect cookie recipe for cookie pops.