I said I’d tell you about my weekend, last week. Ya well, once again my days got away from me. But also, I’ve been trying to write this post, really I have. But each time I do I turn into a puddle of tears. My oldest, curly haired, opinionated daughter turned 3. How and when did this happen? Parents all thinks their kids are THE BEST! As they should, if a parent isn’t their kids biggest cheerleader and fan, who is?!?! That being said, this girl, she’s pretty remarkable. Not just her blonde spiral bouncy curls, but her personality, her brains, her thoughtfulness, her manners. She is constantly impressing me with who she is, at the core of her. Not just her ability to learn her ABC’s or play well with other kids. But HER, her character, her heart. She’s just, well, see, there go those tears…
And then there’s the ‘physical’ side of her. Let the laughter ensue.
She can’t throw a ball to save her life, she is convinced the most important part about playing baseball is that you must tap the bat on the ground before winding up to swing, and she insists that when you run, you must awkwardly pump one arm. We tell her she should pump both arms, but that just takes a bit too much coordination. I mean look at this kid trying to roller skate:
She saved her own hard earned money (stealing mom and dads lose change is hard work!) and bought them herself. She talked about these skates for months. We’d look at them in the store. She knew that if she wanted them, she had to keep saving. So she did, and she was quite pleased with herself.
For her birthday, she had a few requests: a bouncer house and chocolate cake, specifically with NO SPRINKLES. But M&M’s were ok with her. Refer to above, how I mentioned she’s opinionated. Ya, she KNOWS what she wants! Her birthday party was supposed to be an M&M theme, since that’s her favorite candy. But then life happens, I get torn in this direction and that direction. All these grandiose ideas I see on pinterest turn into a few bright colored streamers, some balloons, and a few arbitrarily placed M&M’s on the cake pops.
In the end, the kids were having fun in a bouncer house and the adults were chowin’ down on cake pops (because EVERYONE likes cake pops). So all was right in the world. Look at her, completely exhausted from all the fun of her birthday party, chocolate cake pops still on her face and all.
Basic Chocolate Cake Pops
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee (hot water works too)
- 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp milk
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish (or 2 round cake pan.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the Chocolate Frosting:
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Process until the frosting is smooth.
To assemble the cake pops:
Crumble the cooled cake in the baking dish. Dump the frosting on top, and mix it all together. Scoop mixture with a cookie scoop (about 1-2 tbsp quantity) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill the scooped cake. One it’s completely chilled, roll them into your hands to form a smooth ball. Place them back onto the cookie sheet and chill or freeze until ready to dip.
*Ditch the box mix and make cake pops from scratch. You can make both the cake and the frosting weeks in advance and freeze them separately. Thaw the cake and frosting in the fridge a day before assembling. OR, you can assemble the cake pops (without the chocolate coating) and freeze them for months. Just dip them in the chocolate (still frozen) 1-3 days before serving.
Warm the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a double boiler over low heat.
Dip the completely chilled cake pops into the chocolate. Place on a piece of parchment or wax paper. They will harden fairly quickly, but to speed along the process, refrigerate the coated cake pops.
*If you’re adding any decoration, add that before the coating gets firm.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
*Cake pops can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.
Chocolate Cake recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Chocolate Frosting adapted from my Ultimate S’More Anniversary Cake