Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cake Plops

Marquette signing in. I first saw cake pops at my cousin's cookie shop in Hershey, PA, and I thought they were genius. All that next year I saw cake pops popping up all over and I still just loved the idea. I'm not a big cake fan, but these...I could eat them all day. So when it came time for our Halloween party, I knew that I wanted to try my hand at them. They looked pretty simple. I looked at pictures and jumped into the project.

Some Pinspirations
http://www.lovefromtheoven.com/2012/02/15/how-to-make-cake-pops-with-the-babycakes-cake-pop-maker-tips-tricks-resources/ 
http://www.cupcakecrazyincincinnati.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=11 
http://www.ontobaby.com/2011/03/handmade-bird-themed-baby-shower/ 
Don't they just look pretty! I thought so. Well, mine tasted good, but they definitely were plops rather than pops.   

The Pinstrosity
And those were the best ones...

What Went Wrong?
Coating the cake pops didn't go so well. They fell off the sticks into the melted chocolate, they crumbled, the chocolate stayed soft too long (and my house wasn't too warm, that's never an issue in the fall/winter), and I couldn't get the coating smooth on the pops. Here's a few ideas of why I think this all might have happened: 
  • I got impatient and pulled the cake pops out of the freezer before they were frozen solid. 
  • I used wooden craft sticks instead of the candy sticks.
    • The wooden sticks were way cheaper
    • There was only one package of the candy sticks left. 
  • I don't know if this made a difference or not, but I used different melting chocolate than I normally do. I usually use Almond Bark, but this time I got the little colored chips from the cake decorating aisle in wally world. 
How to fix this:
  • Let the cake pops freeze all the way. That will reduce crumbling and (I think) falling of the stick. 
  • Use candy sticks. The wood craft sticks didn't work well I think because of their shape (flat and skinny) and maybe cake just adheres to paper better. 
  • In the future, I'm going to just stick to the chocolate coating I know and love...Almond Bark. If I want different colors, I'll buy the candy coloring. 
                                                                                            

18 comments:

  1. "Real" cake pops are made by smashing a cake and mixing in the frosting. Then freeze them and dip them. The frosting holds the cake together and gives great flavor. The cake pop baker is just a cheap cheater way to make them. The frosting would also help them to stick on the stick. :)

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    Replies
    1. I've seen the cake pop bakers, but never tried them. I bought a brownie pop pan to use to make pumpkin pie pops once(I couldn't figure out any other way to do pumpkin pie pops as pumpkin pie doesn't really crumble) but I haven't used the cake pop pans or bakers. Do they work all that well? I think I just didn't let my cake pops (made with cake crumbles and frosting) freeze hard enough.

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    2. I have a cake pop baker. I wouldn't recommend it for making actual cake pops because it really does only use cake batter. So they're not really "cake balls" as you think of them with the icing mixed in, but just balls of cake. I do however, love it for making lovely bitesized cake servings and especially for testing out new cake recipes. Why bake a whole cake only to find out you hate it? By making it in a ball you also get more of the "top" part of the cake that's all smooth and sweet and that's my facorite part.

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    3. Personally, for pumpkin pie pops, I would have made the pie and then just scooped out the insides with a cookie scoop to form balls. I think I have seen it done this way for cheesecake pops.

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  2. I just used a cake pop baker last week! Worked great. I used the colored chocolate melts. I dipped the lollipop stick in the chocolate before sticking it in the cake. I also gently tapped the stick on the side of the dipping container to get the excess chocolate to drip off.

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  3. I always add a good tablespoon of veg shortening to my melts to get the goop thinner, hence more evenly covered balls!

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    Replies
    1. That's one of my favorite tricks (although it didn't work this time). It usually does wonders!

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    2. We've always used paraffin. Thinner melt, harder shell when it cools.

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  4. Ive never used a cake pop baker, I use a cake then crumble it up and smash cream cheese into the crumbled cake. I then dip them in just chocolate chips, with a little bit of vegitable oil and decorate them how ever you like... They work perfectly and taste so yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, cream cheese rather than frosting would be so yummy and not so overpoweringly sweet. I'll have to try that next time.

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  5. http://www.wilton.com/pops/decorating-pops/decorating-pops-basics.cfm

    This link has information on how to make cake pops. You don't want to freeze them till they are solid, only 15-30 minutes. Or you refrigerate them for about 2 hours. To help keep them on the stick you dip the tip of the stick in the melted candy/chocolate, put the dipped end in the pop, and let it sit until the chocolate/candy has set up. Then you dip the pop, and tap it lightly to smooth the sides.

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  6. I purchased the baby cakes pop maker (from Kohls w/ the $10 kohls cash sent in the mail. Yah me!) and it worked GREAT! It's a healthier than adding More sugar by mixing crumbled cake and frosting (less messy too).... Defenitely freeze the pops this is key!!!!! I also add a little melted chocolate at the end before inserting the stick in the cake ball.

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  7. Check out Bakerella. I *THINK* she was the one who started this, but I could be wrong, of course :) She also has a book, and some trouble shooting in the posts and comments.
    http://www.bakerella.com/

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  8. I also make these a lot, and to get the cake pop on the stick (and have it stay there), you dip the stick in the chocolate and then stick it in the cake pop, then let it completely harden. Also, if you use the "crumbled cake mixed with frosting" version of the cake pops, make sure that there is not too much frosting, because if it is too heavy it will slide down the stick. Similarly, be careful of the amount of chocolate or candy coating that goes on the pop, because if it is too heavy it will fall.

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  9. Add vegetable shortening to the chocolate before melting, makes it thinner and easier to dip! Also dip the sticks in the chocolate before inserting them into the cake pop.

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  10. There is definitely a fine line between too much frosting for cake pops. When I make mine, I use a box of cake mix to a half of a can of premade icing (Betty Crocker or Dunkin Hines...whichever is cheaper that week). It doesn't seem like enough icing at first, but keep mixing and suddenly you have playdough made of cake! Too much and they will slide no matter what kind of sticks you use.

    Also, putting chocolate on the sticks before you stick them into the cake ball is a must! I use the chocolate bakers chocolate from the craft store (no need to color the chocolate myself!) and have never had issues with it. If you leave the pops in the freezer for too long, then as they heat up with the chocolate on them, you'll have a huge mess. The condensation will go right through the chocolate and make a very sad, sweaty-looking cake pop (not that I would know from experience or anything...). Happy cake popping!

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  11. Just to add my tips, don't freeze them solid or the chocolate will crack. An easy way to do it is to find a large candy mold, coat that with chocolate, refrigerate, fill with cake pop mixture, dip the stick in chocolate and insert then top off the mold with chocolate. You could also do them the regular way but after you dip them, just set them top down on parchment paper, it won't be a round pop but it will be a lot easier.

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  12. Okay genius idea right here- Cake Pop Bars. My friend's mom did this at a party after a failed cake pops experiment. Make the cake. Let it cool. Mix in the icing... and then spread the mixture out in a pan! Pour melted chocolate over the sheet and sprinkle with nonpareils. Then, after the chocolate hardens, just cut them into bars! Cake "pops" for lazy people. THey are also easier to eat and delicious.

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