Have you heard of cake pops? If you’re a Pintresting DIY baker girl, you probably have. Or if you’ve seen them at Starbucks. I’d never tried them before, but as soon as I first saw them in the glass case in line at Starbucks, I was fascinated and I felt like I needed to try making these things.
But they seemed too intense to make them just for kicks, so when Journey & Nate’s wedding shower started coming up, I decided this was the perfect excuse to experiment. I found a few recipes and how-tos on-line, and so I got the supplies and got to work.
Sometimes I think I get a big head because people tell me I’m good at DIY stuff. Then I attempt something that is difficult and keeps failing and it brings me right back to earth. This was one of those projects. There were times were I almost chucked cake pops across the room. Don’t try this unless you’ve got a lot of time (like, a couple days maybe) and a lot of patience.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A cake mix (and eggs, oil, etc to make it)
A container of frosting
50 or so lollipop sticks
50 or so mini cupcake papers
3-ish bags of candy melts
So, the first step is to make the cake. It doesn’t matter the pan you use or how pretty the cake is. In sticking with the colour scheme, I decided to go with yellow cake with white & blue candy melts to cover it.
Once the cake is cooled, you mash the heck out of it with a fork. And once it’s all mashed, you mash in the icing. I decided to dye my icing yellow as well, to get a much more vibrant cake colour. So, I discovered you don’t need the entire container of icing. Mash it in bit by bit until the cake has turned into a sticky dough type substance that you can handle. (Mine ended up looking like scrambled eggs.)
Now, stick them in the freezer. Let them harden up good. Once they’re frozen, melt a small amount of the candy melts. Take out one cake ball at a time, dip one end of a lollipop stick into the melted candy, and push it into the frozen cake ball. Freezing the cake balls helps them stay together while you work. (When I first started I took them all out of the freezer, so by the time I got to the last 10 on the cookie sheet, they were thawing and falling apart. So I had to throw them back into the freezer for a while.) And the candy melts on the lollipop stick help keep the stick cemented into the cake ball. Now you have naked cake pops! After taking your artsy hipster DIY photos, return the cake pops to the freezer.
Now, here’s what NOT to do: Don’t buy a couple bags of white chocolate chips, melt them in the microwave, and dye them blue with food colouring because it’s cheaper than buying the candy melts. White chocolate doesn’t typically react well to microwave melting (or any kind of melting) and adding the food colouring causes it to harden up into a huge gross doughy mass that you’ll have to end up throwing out. Before I had to throw it out I did manage to coat maybe 8 of the cake pops in this thick concoction. You can see how thick and candy coating is, and how non-smoothly and messily it sits on the cake pop:
To cover up the messiness I tried dipping them in sprinkles. Don’t try to fix something by layering more crap on it. That was when I went out and bought the candy melts. Once I did that things started going a little easier. Since I didn’t have styrofoam to push the ends of the sticks into while the candy coating dried, I stabbed holes into the cardboard cake mix box and had the cake pops teeter on that as they dried…
The only problem with this ingenious idea was that, if I wasn’t careful and paying attention and I took all the cake pops off of one side of the box, the weight of the others would knock the whole thing over. This was even worse when the box was sitting near the edge of the table and carefully sculpted, coated, and decorated cake pops crashed into the pile of dog hair on the floor. That’s what happened to these:
Oh, also, I decided to decorate them with cute little flowers. But I didn’t have an icing bag… But no problem, I’d seen people make icing bags out of wax paper before, that should work! And it did… while exploding all over the back of my hand and dripping gobs of melted candy down my wrist and onto the table.
Then, for some reason, something about the white funfetti candy melt coated felt like randomly falling apart. I ended up with about 5 cake pops that simply broke apart. Luckily people in the house were happy to help me get rid of those.
But, when everything was done and I dealt with the thick candy & sprinkles on some, threw out the ones covered in dog hair, fed the broken ones to my housemates, and ignored the fact that the rest were kind of sweaty looking, I ended up over 40 kinda cute little cake pops.