Last week I shared with you a little bit about my cake pop making adventures. This week I undertook my biggest project yet. 500 cake pops for a wedding. It went great, thanks to a lot of helping hands. Although I will probably not be making any more for a few weeks. People at the wedding loved them and they looked great. I kept hearing one question……”How do you make these?” After explaining it at least 10 times I decided it was time to put it in writing.
The steps I use to make my cake pops are below. I know there are other ways to do it, but after much trial and error this is the process that I have had the most success with. At the bottom of the page are some tips that have really helped me.
1. Prepare a cake mix according to the directions on the box or use your own favorite recipe. I usually use a box type just to make that part easier. Some of my favorite combinations are Lemon cake with cream cheese frosting, strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting, cherry chip cake with cream cheese frosting. Clearly I like cream cheese frosting. I have also done chocolate cake with german chocolate frosting. yummy.
2. Let the cake cool completely. Once cool, crumble it up into a bowl. You want it in pretty fine pieces, the fewer the chunks the better. Your hands work best for this.
3. Start by using about half a can of frosting. Best if not refrigerated. You can always add more as needed so start with that amount first. Mix the frosting and cake together until you get a ” Play Doh” like consistency. You want to be able to form it and have it maintain its shape, but you don’t want it to be overly soft and squishy. Okay you may not like this but mixing it with your hands seems to be the best way. So dive in and get dirty. Use it as a form of therapy.
4. If you are just making round ones keep in mind that the bigger the balls the more chance of them being too heavy and falling off the sticks. I would stick to 1-1 1/2 inches across. The silicone molds work well for cake pops too, just once again keep them from being too large.
5. Once the balls are formed put them in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. Melt a small amount of the color of melting chocolate you plan to use to cover the cake pops. Dip the sucker sticks into the chocolate and then poke into the cake balls that have been in the freezer. Once they are all done place them in the freezer.
6. Leave them in the freezer for at least an hour. They could be in as much as over night and would work great.
7. Melting the candy melt is probably the most important step of the whole process. If it is done wrong the pops will be much more difficult and not very likely to turn out. I usually melt a whole bag at a time. I melt it in a glass bowl for 30 seconds take it out and mix it and then back in for another 30 seconds. Any additional times of melting after that I set for 10-15 seconds each, stirring in between. When the candy melt runs off the spoon it is ready for dipping.
8. Dip the very cold pops into the warm melt for best results. Cover it completely and then gently tap off the excess candy melt so it is not dripping off. Spin the pop around so you can get it off both sides. If you are covering with sprinkles you want the candy melt to be still wet but not have a ton of excess running off of it.
9. Let the pops cool by sticking a stick into a piece of styrofoam. It won’t take long for them to cool and dry. Once they are they can be wrapped in plastic if you want. Keep in a cool place. They do not have to be in the refrigerator but will last longer in there. They should not be left out in a warm room, they will begin to melt and fall off the sticks.
* Keeping the pops cold really helps the covering process.
* Never add water to the candy melt or overheat it. Both things will ruin it.
* Don’t try and do the whole process in one day. Bake the cake ahead of time so when you are ready to make them and decorate you can do it at the same time.
* Before you start dipping, make sure you have all of your sprinkles or decorations ready to go.
* I use Wilton’s candy melts. They have been the best in my experience.
* Use a deeper narrower bowl for dipping. It works so much better than a shallower wider bowl.
* You can leave the candy melt over night and reheat it the next day if you need to. Just cover it with plastic and leave it on the counter. It will harden and can be remelted.
* When putting sprinkles on, hold the pop over a paper plate and use your other hand to spread the sprinkles. You can then reuse all of the ones that fell onto the paper plate. Sprinkles are expensive you know.
* Most of all have fun and experiment. Some of my favorites have been those that I discovered after playing around.