How to make homemade cake pops: a simple step-by-step guide
This year has given us nostalgia for the most basic things: hugs, groups of people, travel. So why not take advantage of this time to prepare our favorite dessert from over ten years ago?
Cake pops appeared around the same time as Instagram’s debut, so it’s no surprise that colorful confection quickly caught on. They’re easy to prepare, instantly customizable, and make the perfect little treat. If we fall for cupcakes, we will surely love their little extra-frosted cousin on a stick.
And while they were never quite gone, they were bound for a 2020 comeback. They’re the perfect bite to eat when you’re on your own (again); they are exceptionally suited to socially distant gatherings where each item must be an individual serving; and they are this fall’s answer to the therapy that leaven and banana bread gave us this spring.
Angie Dudley, the blogger behind Bakerella who is credited with popularizing cake pop, isn’t surprised to see an increase in the number of new people trying the treat.
âThey are very therapeutic,â she told TODAY Food. âYou just have to focus on them while you’re doing them. They are not quick to do. It’s a process of baking, crumbling, rolling, and decorating it, so you set aside time for it. Everything else sort of disappears.
And they have another unique advantage over hobbies like baking bread and knitting: “Even if you’re not really good at it, you can’t mess them up!” . “
Even though they’re pretty foolproof, there are definitely some tips and tricks that can make your life easier. The most important lesson is to give yourself time. If you want to eat something sweet quickly, put a pan of brownies or cookies in the oven – cake pops are made when you need an activity for yourself, the kids, or as a gift.
And if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of pops coming from a single cake, consider taking baby steps. Dudley recommends dividing “the cake into thirds, then freezing the rest of the cake.” Later, if you want to do more, you don’t have to worry about having to bake the cake. He is there and ready to collapse.
Whatever your reasoning for jumping on the cake pop band, it’s impossible not to feel a great sense of satisfaction when you’re done making them. Lose yourself in decorating – your new way to find solace in 2020.
1. Prepare the cake mix
Combine the cream cheese, butter and sugar completely (you can do this in a stand mixer, with an electric mixer, or by hand if you need to). Crumble the cake into pieces (make sure it has cooled completely if you are baking it that day) in the bowl with the cream cheese mixture.
2. Roll individual balls
They should measure about a tablespoon and a consistent scoop will work best. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Melt the chocolate
Take a handful of chocolate chips and melt them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and if you need a few more seconds, microwave them a little more.
4. Make and cool the pops
Dip the ends of the lollipop sticks in the chocolate (which here acts like glue) then put the stick in the cake ball, being careful not to stick out halfway. Place all the cake balls in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm them up.
You want to make sure your cake pops are cold before you start decorating. If they’re not firm and fresh, you’ll end up with a crumbly mess.
5. Prepare your toppings
While you wait for the cake pops to cool, prepare your toppings.
Melt the rest of your chocolate. if you are making different flavors, be sure to melt them in separate bowls. Be careful when melting them as you don’t want them to get too hot, so melt them for 30 seconds at a time and stir in between. You should also add a drizzle of vegetable oil to help loosen the chocolate if it is too thick.
Prepare other toppings in different bowls so you can easily dip your cake pops in them. The toppings should be small enough not to overwhelm and overturn the cake pops.
When it comes to toppings, the sky is the limit. Sprinkles, sugars, and spices can all go easily, and chopped items like nuts, candies, cookies, cereals, fruit, and marshmallows also make great additions. You can add color by writing frosting or you can add white chocolate food coloring to customize the shade.
6. Start soaking
When your cake pops have cooled, take them out of the freezer and start soaking them. You want to dip them once in the chocolate coating and give them a moment to drip off before standing them up. If the chocolate is too thick, add a little more vegetable oil to loosen it up a bit. This part will take some time, so don’t worry if it seems to be going slowly.
Plan ahead so you have something to hold the cake balls upright while they dry. A styrofoam block is best, but anything that has holes that will hold the pops together can work. I used the plastic part of a salad spinner and it was great.
If you don’t have anything to hold it in, you can also just let them dry on parchment paper, as long as you don’t mind that one side is a bit flatter. Everything will taste the same! Likewise, you don’t even have to use the lollipop sticks and just make them like cake balls instead of pops. There really is no wrong way to decorate a cake pop.
7. Add your toppings
Immediately add all the toppings. It’s easier to just roll the cake pop in the filling. Stick the cake pops into the styrofoam (or whatever craft you use) to allow them to dry.
8. Let them dry
Let them dry for at least an hour. You can either eat them that day at room temperature or store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.