I first heard of cake pops a few months ago and dismissed them as a bit of a fad. I also wondered why on earth I would want only a mouthful of cake on the end of a stick?? Cake is made to be tasty and plentiful!
Since then, the idea of cake pops has been crossing my path fairly regularly. I recently found out that the cake part of the pop included cream cheese icing. Cream. Cheese. Icing. OK cake pops, you now have my attention!
I started to think a little more seriously about cake pops after this. I began to wonder how, and if, I could be happy with just one cake pop, maybe two. Add it to red velvet cake? That would be delicious but I have a limitless appetite for red velvet cake, so no good.
Rich chocolate cake? Bingo! One little ball of rich fudge chocolate cake and cream cheese icing covered in chocolate on a stick. Now we are talking!
I used the Donna Hay Classic Chocolate Cake recipe but if truth be told, any rich chocolate cake would be good. If baking is a bit scary for you, I would even suggest you try a packet cake mix (something like Betty Crocker’s devil’s food chocolate cake). You are going to mix the cake crumbs with icing so no one will ever know!
Once you have made the Cake and it has cooled, you can turn it into crumbs! You can do this by hand if you want, but as I had a fairly thick fudge cake I used a food processor. Now you have your cake crumbs, it is time for the cream cheese frosting!
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 250g Philadelphia cream cheese
- 4 tbsps unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sifted icing sugar
- Using an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter together until it is smooth and creamy.
- While still mixing, add the vanilla until it is incorporated into the mixture.
- Add the icing sugar a bit at a time and once again, mix until smooth.
- You need to use this icing mixture straight away. If you put it in the fridge it will harden considerably and you won’t be able to mix it with the chocolate cake.
The Assembly of the Cake Pop!
Now we have the chocolate cake crumbs and the cream cheese frosting, you need to mix them together! You need to mix until you no longer see any cream cheese icing. The mix will look like a moist chocolate fudge!
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
You don’t need your lollipop sticks yet but have them handy so you can work out the best size for your cake pops. Lollipop sticks are readily available from most baking stores. I bought mine online and had them in about 24 hours.
I used a large heaped teaspoon of the chocolate mix to suit my sticks. There are no rules here! You can have them as large or small as you like ( as long as your sticks can cope with). You can have them round, oval, square and any other shape you like. Let your imagination run free!
I did a bit of research on these interesting little treats and it turns out that blogger Bakerella is the Queen of these treats. She has recently published a book on the subject so I sought her advice on the construction.
The mix would have made about 60 cake pops but I made only half and froze the other half for future consumption!
Once you have made the balls, you need to refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes or freeze them for 15 minutes to harden them up. Be careful not to freeze them too much as you need to be able to insert the lolly sticks.
Before you take them out of the fridge, you need to melt the chocolate you are going to use to coat the cake pop. It is very important that you have enough chocolate in the right bowl. You need to have enough melted chocolate so that when you dip your cake pop into the chocolate it is covered without you needing to swirl it around.
When both your cake pops and your chocolate are ready, we are ready to insert the sticks. Given the cake mix has quite a lot of cream cheese icing in it, you need to work quickly as the cake mix really does need to be fairly solid and not so “fudgy”.
Choose your first lolly stick, dip the tip into the chocolate and then insert into your cake ball. Do not insert the stick more than half way. Once inserted, dip the ball in the chocolate and ensure it is covered. Do not “stir” the ball in the chocolate as you will make the stick loose. You should be able to dip into the chocolate and with a small amount of encouragement, cover the ball with the chocolate. Bring the ball out of the chocolate and let the excess run off.
A little tip from Bakeralla here is to hold the stick in one hand and lightly tap the base of the thumb with the other hand. This lightly encourages the excess chocolate to leave the ball but keeps the lolly stick in place. It is important to remove the excess otherwise you will have chocolate dripping off the balls onto the stick and it could make them quite misshapen.
When the excess chocolate is removed, sprinkle your choice of decoration over the chocolate, spinning the stick so the entire ball is covered. I used various types of sprinkles and hundreds of thousands but you can use whatever you like! Most things will stick to wet chocolate!
I had a spare egg carton that I made little holes in and once I had finished the sprinkling, I stood the finished cake pops up to set. You can also use polystyrene if you have any.
Simply repeat this process until your cake balls are used up and attached to sticks.
Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes for the chocolate to set and you are ready for cake pop heaven!
What’s your dream cake pop combination? Let me know down below!