Cake Pops: My Tips

When I was in college I had the opportunity to study abroad [twice] in London. During my second semester I was randomly paired with a room mate who grew to become one of my closest friends. During our time in the UK we met two other lovely ladies and the four of us have remained very close. Seven years after our return [yikes!] we still meet up two times a year for girls weekends. I cherish these outings as none of us live in the same state and really only have those few days to catch up every six months.

Well as life would have it two of these women are getting/ have gotten married this year [just a month apart] which means we get to see each other three times in 2013! I was so honored when Nancy asked me to make the favors for her special day. She requested cake pops and her and her finance selected the flavors: chocolate peanut butter, tres leche and tiramisu.

Now this was just my second time making cake pops and after churning out over 200 I have a few tips I thought might be helpful to others trying out this popular treat.
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I know you can use store box mixes and frosting but that just isn’t my preference, especially for my dear friend. I opted to make my own cakes and frosting, this did add some time to the process but I think it also added to the quality too!

The recipes I used can be found here:
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Vanilla Cake with Tres Leche [To adapt this recipe I kept the milk mixture to the side to use as my ‘frosting’]
Tiramisu Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

My Process:
First I baked the cake in a 9×13 pan and let them cool to room temperature. Meanwhile I made the frosting [or tres leche milk mixture].

Then I crumbled the cake into a large bowl. Note: Most recipes I found called for one cup of frosting but sometimes this made for cake balls that were too wet and other times they were too dry. I started with a half cup and added more as needed. You want the cake to hold its shape.

I then portioned and rolled the cake mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and placed them on a parchment lined sheet pan and placed in the fridge.

Meanwhile I melted the chocolate bark using the double boiler method [you can do this in a microwave but we do not have one]. Once melted I removed the cake balls from the fridge. I dipped the sticks in the chocolate [about a half inch] and then inserted them into each cake ball. Note: to prevent splitting only insert the stick a quarter of the way into the cake ball. Then place the cake pops back on the parchment lined baking sheet and place it into the freezer for approximately 20 minutes.

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I then worked in batches of a dozen [keeping the rest in the freezer] dipping the cake pops into the melted chocolate and spinning them slightly to remove the excess. I stood them up in Styrofoam and topped with sprinkles and let dry. Note: As they are partially frozen the chocolate will dry fast so I topped with sprinkles immediately after coating each in chocolate. For those that were drizzled with colored candy melts I waited until the base coat was completely dry before decorating.

Once they were all dry, approximately 20 minutes later, I individually wrapped them in cello bags and boxed them up for shipping. [When shipping I start and end with a layer of shredded paper and place cake pops or cookies in a single layer top with shredded paper and keep going until the box is full. Make sure the paper shreds are packed to support the treats.]

The process was time consuming and I lost several cake balls along the way but once I found a method that worked it was smooth sailing. I hope my experience can help you if you decide to try your hand at this tasty and fun treat.

Can’t wait to celebrate at the wedding this weekend!