How many of you are cake pop or cake ball fans? I have to admit, they are truly delicious, but from my own personal experience, they are a huge pain to make. My little guy has gotten hooked on cake pops. Every time we go to Starbucks, he's asking for one. Instead of paying $1.00 or more for one little cake pop, it seemed to make more sense to just make a batch of them at home.
If you've ever made cake pops before, maybe you're a pro. I'm certainly not. I've made these twice in my life, and after I made them the first time, I swore I would never make them again, because they were a pain to make. However, little blue eyes begged to help me make some, so I found myself buying the ingredients.
You will need:
1 Cake Mix
1 Container of Frosting
1 Bag of Melting Chocolate
Optional- Sprinkles or decorator icing.
The first step in making cake balls or pops, is to make the cake. So, just pick out whatever flavor of cake you'd like and make a sheet cake. Let the cake cool completely before attempting to go to the next step. I let mine cool overnight.
Step 2 is the fun part- mashing up the cake. You literaly want to tear the cake apart, into crumbs. I let B do this job, and it was messy, but lots of fun for him.
Tearing up the cake...
So much fun!
I gave B small sections of cake at a time, to avoid a cake-tastrophy!
When you're all done, you should wind up with a bowl of cake crumbs, like the photo below shows. They should be fine, but not super fine.
Bowl of cake crumbs...
Next, you'll need that cake frosting. We used cream cheese cake frosting, because it's everyone's favorite, and goes well with just about any cake flavor you can imagine!
Cream Cheese Frosting...
Start adding the frosting to the cake crumb mixture a little bit at a time. I used a little more than half of the container of frosting in this mixture.
Gently incorporate the frosting into the cake crumbs...
Your mixture should start looking like this...
You'll wind up with a thick, dough-like consistancy...
One you have made the mixture for the cake balls, you need to refrigerate it for at least 3 hours. I covered the mixture with plastic wrap and left it in the fridge.
Cover and Refrigerate....
After the mixture has been refrigerated, it's time to form the balls. Take the mixture, and scoop a bit out, and roll into a ball. It takes a lot of practice to get the balls perfectly round, which helps prevent cracking. Once you have formed the balls, you may want to put them into the freezer for another 2-3 hours. The mixture will be warm from the heat of your hands, and you want it cold when you begin the chocolate coating process.
Bite sized balls formed...
...back into the container, lined with wax paper and back into the freezer.
The next step is the hard part, if you ask me. Take your melting chocolate and melt it in your double boiler. I would not suggest using a microwave melting method for this, because you will need to keep the chocolate at a nice, melted consistency through out the coating process.
Begin melting the chocolate...
Insert lollipop sticks into your cake balls...
I couldn't take photos while I dipped the cake pops into the chocolate, and it's definitely something that you need to practice a few times. I had trouble getting the entire ball covered. I dipped, turned, and twirled, and even resorted to spoon drizzling, which was messy. In the end, I determined that I just didn't have enough chocolate in the pot to submerge the entire cake ball.
When dipping/coating the balls, you need to work fast, because the hot chocolate will soften the cake balls, causing them to crack, or even fall apart on you. You do not want to wind up with cake crumbs in your pot of melted chocolate!
Place cake pops on wax paper to cool...
Ideally, you would stand these up on a cake pop stand to cool, and then refrigerate them. I don't have a cake pop stand, but it's on my Christmas list. I'm not looking to be a pro at making these, but I do want to make them well, if I'm going to make them.
Once the chocolate has hardened, you can decorate the cake balls with decorator icing, by piping designs, you can use sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet, add sea salt and caramel drizzle, etc. I have seen some truly beautiful cake pops by some seriously talented people (not me!).
B, enjoying a cake pop.
Regardless of they way our cake pops looked, they still tasted delicious! You sort of can't screw them up. I won't use a cake pop baker, because I think they get too dried out that way. I don't mind the extra steps involved in making them the right way, knowing they'll taste better!
I can't wait to make some holiday cake balls for appreciation gifts this holiday season, and I know I'll have a willing helper, ready to make a big mess 'o cake!
Have you ever tried to make cake balls or pops?
What was your experience like?