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Basic Cake Pops

Cake pops are easy to master with some practice, but there are tips and tricks you need to know before attempting any cake pop recipes. These little cake treats are sitting on a stick and need to hold together well so they don’t fall apart. Step-by-step instructions and photographs here will help you so you can see and understand the process.

Okay, let’s get started! This is a simple cake pop with sprinkles that will give you the gist of the process.

 basic cake pops with sprinkles

 

 

What you need:

1 cake (about 8 inches)

16 oz frosting

Mixing bowl

Tray or dish

32 oz White chocolate candy coating

A double boiler, candy melter or microwave safe bowl

Spoons

Paramount crystals or vegetable shortening

Lollypop sticks (long ones are better)

Sprinkles (optional)

Block of styrofoam

 

For your first try, start with any boxed cake mix or pre-baked, unfrosted cake. For this demonstration, I’ll be using a plain yellow cake mix.

Break your cake up and dump it, unceremoniously, into a bowl.

vanilla cake

vanilla cake

 

 

Get your hands into the cake and break it up into small crumbs. You want it to be good and crumbled.

 

crumbled cake

crumbled cake

 

Pop open a can of frosting, or make your favorite recipe. Add about 8 oz. (that’s about half a regular container of frosting).

 

add frosting

add frosting

 

You don’t want to add too much—remember, you can always add more in increments, but once it’s in there you can’t get it out.

Mix it up— using your hands is the best way. Keep mixing until the crumbs are well coated. If you squeeze a handful, the mixture should hold together like clay.

 

mix till sticky

mix till sticky

 

If you squeeze it and it’s cracking and crumbling, add a bit more frosting and blend some more until it’s just the right consistency.

Then, roll it up like a meatball between your palms.

 

make a ball

make a ball

 

Don’t make them too big—the cake with the frosting will make it heavy and if it’s too big and heavy, it will slide down the stick or break and fall off. About an inch diameter is perfect. Keep rolling cake balls and line them up in a dish or tray.

 

line up the cake balls

line up the cake balls

 

Cover the cake balls and put them in the freezer and set a timer. Do not leave them in there more than 15 minutes! You don’t want them to freeze, you just want them to chill quickly so they don’t start to flatten as gravity takes its toll.

Put them in the fridge and chill them for at least 2 hours.

Before taking them out of the fridge, get your coating ready.

Here, we’ll start with the white. White can be a little harder to melt to the right consistency.

There are different ways to approach melting your chocolate. You can use a chocolate melter or small crock pot, a glass bowl in the microwave, or a double boiler.

Let’s address each in turn:

Electric melter or crock pot— these are made for the job of melting, so usually there is little to do but pour in the chips and wait. Just follow your machine’s instructions, stir occasionally and don’t let the chocolate heat too much or it will begin to seize up.

Double-boiler—place the chocolate in the top part, and put about an inch or two of water in the bottom of the pot. Put the heat on medium and bring the water to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer, add the chips and stir constantly until melted.

 

Warning: you do not want the water to boil furiously! The moisture from escaping steam can ruin your chocolate!

 

Microwavable bowl– I like to use a measuring cup. Pour in the chocolate bits and put it into the microwave for 1 minutes. Stir, and return it to the microwave in 15 second intervals until melted.

I’m going to use the microwave for this job. After a minute and three intervals at 15 seconds, my white chocolate looks like this:

melted white chocolate

melted white chocolate

 

Notice it’s very, very thick! This won’t do for cake pops!

Add a bit of paramount crystal or vegetable shortening to loosen it and smooth it out. Stir well to blend.

 

Add shortening to thin and make chocolate creamy

Add shortening to thin and make chocolate creamy

 

Pull out your chilled cake pop balls. Don’t rush too much, but you want to work a bit quickly at this point because you do not want your chocolate to start getting thick, or to seize up, and you don’t want your cake balls to get too soft and mushy or they’ll fall off the stick.

Look at your cake pops and re-roll any that are misshapen.

Take a stick and dip the tip into the chocolate.

 

Coat the stick

Coat the stick

 

Insert the stick into the center of a cake pop.

 

insert into cake pop

insert into cake pop

 

Insert a dipped stick in each of the cake pops and give them a minute or two to harden. Since the cake balls were chilled, it should solidify quite quickly.

Pick up a cake pop and dip it into the chocolate

 

dip cake pop

dip cake pop

 

VERY IMPORTANT!- don’t twist the stick! Don’t let the cake pop touch the sides or the bottom of the container! These actions may loosen the cake ball from the stick, and it will break up in the chocolate.

If your chocolate still seems a little bit thick, you can use a spoon to help heap some over the cake ball to cover it. I had to do this with this batch.

Remove the cake ball carefully and tap it gently on the side of the container to let excess chocolate drip away. You’ll end up with a nice coating. The smoother your chocolate, the smoother the coating will be.

 

Chocolate dipped cake pop

Chocolate dipped cake pop

 

Dip your cake pops while they’re still wet into sprinkles to give them a festive look.

 

dip in sprinkles

dip in sprinkles

 

Then insert the stick into a piece of Styrofoam to hold it up as it dries—and you’re done!

Put them in the fridge to let them chill. If you like, you can do some dark chocolate ones as well for your display.

 

Vanilla and Chocolate Sprinkled Cake Pops

Vanilla and Chocolate Sprinkled Cake Pops

 

That’s all there is to it! Practice this technique and you’ll be ready to get even more creative.

 

 

 

 

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