Tag Archives: cake pops

How to Make Fool Proof Cake Pops

8 TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CAKE POP

As many of you know I get asked to make cake pops for various events. After having some major pop catastrophes and trying to make the best of the rolled cake pop method, I knew there just had to be a better way.

I had originally thought if hand-rolled pops were good enough for Starbucks then they must be easy enough to make. Wrong. Though I did find ways to make it slightly more successful, my cake pop grave yard was growing with sad little cake babies that had bitten the dust and slid off sticks into the candy, while drying, after being decorated… you name a point in the process and I had pops sliding off sticks. Plus, some people didn’t care for the extreme sweetness that came from the additional frosting. The rolled method really has the texture of cake batter rather than actual cake. The softness was part of the problem. I knew I needed something more firm to hold up on the stick. So when I was asked to do the cake pops for my sweet friend Kelly’s baby shower, I knew I needed to find a solution.

Enter the Cake Pop Pan… I had seen these before but I wasn’t sure about them. I kinda thought it was a gimmick. It was not a gimmick… it was a GODSEND! These cake pop pans have saved my life. Seriously. No more rolling, scooping, measuring, freezing, shaping, rolling more, and ruining cake pops! Each pop comes out perfectly round. I picked these bad boys up from Target for $16 each. You can also buy them online.

Here’s how to make fool proof cake pops!

TIP 1: GREASE AND FLOUR THE PAN.

Definitely grease and flour the cake pop pan before you pour the batter. This will help the cake balls pop out easily. You want perfect little cake balls, not ones that are all mangled from you trying to pry them out with a knife. Do not skip this step, trust me!

TIP 2: CONSIDER YOUR BATTER

Use a batter color that contrasts with your candy coating. This gives a really nice effect when your guests bite into the pops. I used red velvet batter to match the hot pink candy coating. Also, the recipe I used called for 1/3 cup oil and 2 eggs. I adjusted it by only adding 1/4 cup oil and 3 eggs. This made a more firm cake ball that held up better on the sticks. One cake mix made 60 pops exactly.

TIP 3: FULL CUPS MAKE FULL POPS

Fill the bottom cups completely full. I know with cupcakes and such you might be used to filling the pan only 2/3 of the way full but that is not the case with these pops. You want the pops to rise and fill the top half completely so you end up with a nice round ball. If you fill them too shallow you will end up with lop-sided pops. Bake the pops for about 15-18 minutes.

TIP 4: LET THEM COOL

After you have baked the pops, let the cool COMPLETELY before attempting to remove them from the pan. Don’t even take the top pan off. Just leave them as they are and let them cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This will save you from having them split in half when you try to open the pan.

Once the pops have cooled, gently remove them from the pan and place them all in a bowl or on a plate. You will notice that they have a slight edge to them.

TIP 5: SHAPE THE POPS

You’ll want to gently cut off the edges using a serrated knife so the balls are perfectly round. Don’t cut too deep, just slide your knife gently around the circumference of each ball, shaving off the excess cake.

Now that the cake balls are prepared, its time to decorate!

TIP 6: USE SHORTENING

Add PLENTY of shortening to your melted candy. I added about 6-7 teaspoons for one package of candy. If you add more candy, add more shortening. You want a nice thin candy coating. If the coating is too thick it will be heavy and the pops are more likely to slide off the sticks. Also ensure that your candy stays hot and melted. If it begins to thicken it will cause problems. If you are using a double boiler like I am (two pyrex measuring cups) be sure to keep freshly boiled water on hand and refresh the water about every five minutes. Another option is to invest in a candy melter available at Bed Bath & Beyond or Michael’s.

TIP 7: PREPARE THE STICKS

Poke holes in the pops using the stick, then drop a little candy into the hole. Dip the stick into the candy and then back into the hole you created. This will give you double glue. It really helps! Let the candy and sticks cool and harden before moving on. I like to use a styrofoam piece to hold them.

TIP 8: GET IN AND GET OUT

And now for the moment of truth. Dipping the pops. If you have done all the previous steps correctly you should be able to dip the pops successfully without having them slide into the candy. I was so nervous trying it this way, but it really worked! Out of 60 pops I only had 2 fall into the candy, and that was because I had allowed the candy to cool and thicken.

You can do this! Don’t swirl around. Just get in a get out. Make sure that you have enough candy to completely submerge the pops without hitting the bottom. You may need to add more candy after dipping several pops. I promise it will work if you follow these tips. Look at this picture. That is a real cake pop dipped all the way into the candy! Gently tap the pop on the edge of the bowl until no more big blops of candy come off. Spin and tap. Don’t do this for too long, or too hard. If you knock off too much candy you will have spots where the cake shows through. Just a few taps should work.

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Cake Pops Are Not Easy!

Who ever said making caking pops was easy? (Ahem… bakerella). It most certainly is not. It is a ton of work and takes a lot of practice and finesse. There, I said it. I’m so tired of these DIYers out there making it look like everything they do is just the easiest thing they’ve ever done.

            Its time someone spoke out, and I’m willing to be the someone.

This is the true story of how I tried and failed, and tried again, until finally I made the (almost) perfect Cake Pop! This post is dedicated to all of you who, like me, had a dream of being a baking goddess… only to be faced with the ugly truth, “I am NOT Martha Stewart.”

I picked up a Bakerella book at William’s Sonoma the other day and read through the whole thing right there in the store. Don’t judge me, but I snapped a couple pictures of the recipes. Armed with the ease of the illustrations and the gorgeous ideas, I was ready to go! I popped into Michael’s with my 40% off coupons in hand, and stocked up on lollipop sticks, Wilton candy coating, candy food colors, and styrofoam blocks. I picked up some box cakes and vanilla frosting as well.

Cake Decorating Supplies

First of all, the Bakerella recipe is WRONG. I’m not trying to disparage her because I think she’s an innovator, but whoever the test chef was who wrote this recipe obviously did not test it out first. There’s just no way.

The recipe calls for one boxed cake to one 16 oz cannister of frosting. This made for extremely mushy dough. A whole canister of frosting is WAY too much. Even after freezing the balls they were much too soft to hold up on the stick. It was even worse once I tried to coat them with the candy.

Several fell off the sticks into the candy and crumbs got all in my velvety candy coating.

The ones that made it through the coating process fell off while cooling on the sticks.

<– These are the ones that bit the dust. 😦

Ugh, the whole thing was very frustrating. But alas I am a champ.

I did not give up! I gave it another try. This time I am very happy to say I was successful! Yay!
Craftsy: Free Cake Decorating Classes

Here’s how I did it…

I started with a chocolate cake this time, the kind with the pudding mixed in.

After it cooled completely I cut the crust off the edge, so I didn’t have any crunchy pieces in my dough. Adam gobbled the crusts up in seconds!

I crumbled up the cake into evenly broken up crumbs. If you roll the cake between your palms it will really help for a nice smooth crumb. It was lots of fun getting my hands in there! This would be a great part to let the kids help with.

This time I only added about 1/3 of the frosting. About 5/8 of a cup if you’re making your own frosting.

The result was a nice firm dough. —>

Using a 1 oz scoop made perfectly portioned balls.

Though the portion was perfect, the shape wasn’t- so I rolled them between my palms to make nice smooth round balls. Then I popped them into the freezer to firm up.

Become an Expert Cake Decorator at HomeNow comes the fun part! I made a handy little double boiler to melt the Wilton candy using two pyrex measuring cups. I just kept my electric kettle near by with freshly boiled water to change it out so the candy stayed smooth. I also added a few teaspoons of shortening to thin out the candy a bit so it wasn’t too thick of a coating on the cake balls. It only takes a few minutes to melt and it gets really smooth.

Start by dipping the sticks into the candy and then gently push them only half way into the balls.

Then stick them into a styrofoam block and chill in the fridge for a few minutes.

On my first attempt I tried dipping them into the candy but this made the balls fall off the sticks. So I like holding them over the dish and spooning the melted candy over them.

Then gently twist & tap the cake pops on on the edge of the dish until no more “blops” of candy drip off.

Now all that I had to do was set them in the block, and let them cool. Then they were ready for embellishments!

I melted some white candy and poured it into a squeeze bottle.

I kept a glass with boiling water nearby in case the bottle started to cool. Then I just drizzled it over the pops.

And here is the final product!

They were a hit at my mom’s dinner party!

And finally… always be sure to buckle up for safety when transporting your little pops.