Have I ever told you about the only ever time I tried to make a dessert in “pop” form? Well in total Ari fashion, I just thought about what a cake pop tasted like. I didn’t look up what it was made out of or how to do it, just blindly went for it. I was going for brownie pops, and I had the brilliant idea that I should under bake the brownies because cake pops always tasted so *the M word*.
Obviously it was a disaster. They were way too soft, and they just kept sliding down the stick. Then I tried to dip them in caramel sauce because I didn’t know you had to use melted chocolate or candy melts that actually set up instead of staying all gooey. I never tried again since until this past weekend.
I had the brilliant idea that I would make basketball cake pops for our March Madness episode of Drink & Dish.
The cake pop part actually went really well–so easy, and although it is time consuming, it would be fun to do again with friends/family. The decorating? Well, I think I gave myself high blood pressure trying to get it right!
Perfectionist + not good at visual arts = bad combination. In the end, the basketballs weren’t necessarily difficult to make, but they were difficult to make look smooth/pretty. At the end of the day, they actually came out okay, but I’m ready to quit my day job and start a cake decorating business, that’s for sure. 😉
But let’s talk about cake pops because they are actually so easy if you give yourself a break. This is the time to cut yourself some slack, and I honestly recommend using *gasp* boxed cake mix. You can always modify the recipe (ex: sub applesauce for oil), but it’s just an easier start. You can also easily buy a vegan or gluten-free variety to suit your dietary needs. I used this gluten-free cake mix from Bob’s Red Mill. You simply bake up your cake, let it cool, mix it with frosting (again–use whatever kind you want to suit your diet), and then roll it into little balls. Freeze those puppies, then stick them on lollipop sticks. Then comes the time consuming part–dipping and lots of tapping which you can see on the video how to make sure you get all the excess coating off and make them look as smooth as possible.
For the coating you can use candy melts, dark chocolate, white chocolate, whatever you like! I recommend adding in a little coconut oil if you use chocolate to help smooth things out, but other than that, they all work about the same. Then if you choose to decorate, the options are endless! The best part? When you bring cake pops to a party, everyone is impressed and they disappear in seconds! Also? There is no comparison as far as deliciousness goes.
Extra soft, sweet and delicious cake pops will impress all of your friends, and are much easier than you think! Add fun themed decorations, or keep them simple. Easily made vegan and/or gluten-free.
- 1 prepared 9 x 13" sheet cake or 2 8-9" rounds (equivalent of 1 boxed cake mix)
- 3/4-1 cup frosting
- 2 cups candy melts, or dark/white/milk chocolate + 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- Crumble cake into a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup frosting (you can eyeball it) and mix together with your hands. It's the easiest way--just have fun with it! Once mixed the cake should stick together and easily roll into balls. If it is too dry, add more frosting 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Roll dough into 1" balls and place on a large cookie sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes to set.
- Stick lollipop sticks into the center of each cake pop. One at a time, dip cake pops into melted candy or dark chocolate. I suggest using a large measuring cup for this step so it is easy to fully submerge the pop. Lightly tap the stick on the end of your glass while slowly twirling your pop to remove excess coating. This takes about a minute (see the video tutorial to see this process).
- To set, you may either buy a cake pop box or use a styrofoam block. Stick the pop into the styrofoam/box and allow to set. Repeat with remaining cake pops. Decorate as desired.