July 8, 2011

Fourth of July Cakepops

Happy Fourth of July! This year I decided to bring a new treat to our annual cookout festivities with friends and family. After looking at several baking blogs, I discovered the perfect treat that has become wildly popular among the baking community, cakepops! Whoever thought cupcakes were the newest trend better take a look these cake on a stick treats. Smaller than cupcakes, cakepops are perfect to pickup and pop in your mouth without feeling like you have over-indulged. Unless of course you leave these treats sitting out and every time you walk by, can't help picking up another one. Who can resist?

 Put on a lollipop stick, young kids loved carrying these around. They were the perfect size for the kids and the adults couldn't keep their hands off either!

I was encouraged to make what seemed like a fail proof dessert after reading through many online blogs. However I am embarrassed to say that my first attempt at making these was an absolute disaster! Luckily the second go-through was much better!

After mastering my technique, making these cakepops was relatively simple. However, I will say the process is a little time consuming. So, here's how it goes...

1 box cake mix (any flavor - avoid "butter" recipes)
Ingredients called for to make cake
1 can of frosting (any flavor)
1 or 2 14 oz. bags of Candy Melts (I used Wilton)

Bake the cake in a 9x13 pan as indicated on the box. Let the cake completely cool. Crumble the completed cake into a large mixing bowl. The crumbs should be very fine without and large clumps. Add 1/4 to 1/2 can of frosting. It is better to add less frosting than you think you will need. (This is where I went wrong the first time I made the recipe.) Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula or with your hands - do not use an electric mixer!

To shape the cakepops, I used a melon baller and then used my hands to make sure the balls were compacted. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until chilled.

Melt the Candy Melts in the microwave. Start with 30 seconds, stir, then in increments of 15 seconds until the  chocolate is completely melted. No not burn the candy melt, or it will be ruined.

Dip the end of a lollipop stick in Candy Melt and insert it into the chilled cakepop. Dip the entire cakepop in the Candy Melt. It is best to dip the cakepop at an angle to prevent it from falling off the stick. Tap the cakepop on the edge of the melting dish to remove excess candy melt. Sprinkle the cakepops with any type of sprinkles. I enjoy using non-perils and sugar sprinkles.

I let my cakepops harden and served them on a styrofoam base. I created the base using a piece of styrofoam that was about 3 inches thick. I put holes in the styrofoam that were about 2 inches apart using the end of a lollipop stick. Alternate the spacing of holes to prevent the cakepops from touching while drying. Cover the styrofoam with plastic wrap so that it can be cleaned and re-used.

I used vanilla cake  and vanilla frosting. However, you can use any flavors you want. Chocolate cakepops are like very moist, dense brownies. Wilton makes Candy Melts in a variety of fun colors. You can use coloring to dye your own white candy melts, however it must be oil based. Regular food coloring or Wilton icing paste will ruin the chocolate. I found the Candy Melts, sprinkles, and lollipop sticks in the baking aisle at Michael's Crafts store.

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