I like making personal gifts for occasions like birthday, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s day or any other occasion. In fact, I look forward to special occasions because it gives me opportunity and more reason to bake something. Valentine’s Day is one of the occasion that I used as an excuse over and over again to give more treats to my friends.
For any occasion, it is always easier to just go out and buy something ready to give. In fact, you don’t even have to go out because you can shop in the comfort of your own home. Hello online shopping! Who doesn’t want comfort and convenience? I have done that quite a lot of time too. Although making a personalized and customized gift is a little bit more time-consuming, for me it is very rewarding. I get a different sense of accomplishment and feeling of happiness when I see the reaction of the person to whom I am giving the gift. It made them feel more especial when they found out that I personally made it for them. They are not only receiving a physical gift, but more importantly the give of time and effort that it takes to be able to make the gift. Maybe it is not as elegant and beautiful as the one that they can get from boutique or shop, but it is personally made for them. This is my way of saying they are especial and that they are appreciated.
In this post, I am giving the basic and general ingredients and steps on how to make a cake pop. You can play with the designs that you like depending on the occasion that you are making the cake pops for. I am pretty sure, that part will not be difficult for you. The design ideas are endless, you will not run out of ideas once you start making them. Since its Valentine’s Day, I made a Valentine’s Day Cake Pop.
Cake pops are basically crumbled cake that are shaped into small balls like lollipops or any other shape you like and then dipped into melted chocolate and then decorated. They are nice give away for Birthday, Valentine’s Day, Baby Shower , Anniversary or any holiday occasions. I had made this few times already, one for Valentine’s day, Birthday and just for a regular day. I had so much fun in all those instances. I hope you will enjoy making this as much as I did. Let’s get started!
I did not give exact measurements of each of the ingredients, but just an estimate. A lot of these ingredients will depend on how big or many cake pops you are making. So, I am only giving the initial measurement that you can use, then you can adjust the quantity as needed. The suggested measurements are in each step. Click on the hyperlink (red font text) to see the image of the ingredients/materials that I used and where I got them.
- Cake – You can use any plain cake and any flavour that you like. Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Cake even flourless cake like Quinoa Cake or Black Beans Cupcakes will work too. They are already moist and dense so you will need less frosting. The cake size depends on how many cake pops you want to make. The bigger your cake, the more cake pops you can make. You have 3 options :
- Make your own cake from scratch
- Use a pre-mix cake to make your cake
- Buy a cake from store/cafe – preferably the plain one with icing so that you don’t have to make or buy your own frosting. Avoid using chiffon or sponge cakes as they are very light and not as moist as regular cakes. You want a moist cake so that it easy forms a balls when added with frosting.
- Frosting – Frosting will hold your cake pops together when you shaped them to small balls, and when you stick the handle to the cake pops. Any frosting flavor is fine, but I suggest to use similar color of frosting as the candy melt that you are going to use to cover it. You have 2 options :
- Lollipop sticks – This will be use as handle for your cake pops. I got Wilton Lollipop sticks from Michaels.
- Candy Melts – This will be used to coat your cake pops. I got Wilton Candy Melts from Michaels. You can also use Ghirardelli Melting Wafers. I haven’t tried it, but they seems to be good as well. My office mate used this and I like the quality too.
- Sprinkles, nuts – This will be for decorating your cake pops.
- Shortening – This will be used to thin your melted chocolates. When it is too thick, you will not get a smooth finish. I got Crisco Vegetable Shortening from Walmart. So far this has been the most tested and recommended by other people who had made cake pops before. I haven’t tried any substitute, I am thinking the closest could be unflavored oil, but I cannot guarantee the result.
Note: I am not endorsing any brand, you can use any brand that you like. The links are just to give you an idea of what I used for the recipe.
- Prepare your cake. Whatever method, flavor or size you prefer is fine, as long as it is plain (no nuts or chocolate chips). Crumble the cake into fine texture. You can do it manually using your hands or using food processor. Do not leave bigger pieces or chunks as this will create lumps in the cake pops once you start to shape it.
2. Add frosting. The amount of frosting will depend on how big and moist your cake. I normally make 6″ cake and so far I haven’t exceeded using more than 1/4 cup. Start with 1 – 2 tbsp, then mix until fully combined. Continue adding until you reach the point that it can be form into ball without crumbling. The texture should be a little bit moist, but not too much, just like the one in the photo. Always start with small portion when adding so that you can control it.
3. Form into shape you like. For this post, I used heart-shaped cookie cutter. You can make it smaller or bigger, but not too big that the popsicle stick will not be able to hold it, and not too thin as well that it will starts to crack when you try to insert the popsicle stick
4. Leave in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to chill.
5. Now, we are ready to secure the popsicle stick to the heart-shaped cake pop.
- Melt the Candy melt. Start with 1/4 cup. You can always add more if you need to.
- Met in microwave in 30 seconds interval. Stirring after every 30 seconds, until it is fully melted. It could take 3 – 4 times. DO NOT do it straight 2 minutes. With 30 minutes interval, you get to see if you already get the correct consistency.
- Most often than not, the consistency is thick. You need to thin it out so that you can get a smooth surface when you dip the cake pop. Add 1 tsp of Crisco Shortening then stir until the shortening is fully dissolved. Add more as needed. You should get a shiny thinner consistency. If it becomes too thin, add more Candy melt. If it becomes too thick, add more shortening. You can do this at the same time when you melt the Candy melt, but I prefer to do it after so that I can estimate how much I need to put.
6. Dip the end of the popsicle stick into the Candy melt. Around 1/4 – 1/2 inch, just enough to push it to the cake pop. You do not want the popsicle stick to extend beyond the cake pop. If you are making a smaller cake pop, you only need to dip small portion of the stick.
7. Insert the stick in the cake pop. Do this for all the cake pops you have. Then let sit inside the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to allow the candy melt to harden. This will serve as a glue to hold and prevent the popsicle stick from falling. You can also do this ahead of time and leave it overnight in the fridge.
8. Dip each cake pop into the candy melt. Rotate the stick slowly and slightly tap it to allow the excess candy melt to drip. Do this slowly, you do not want the stick to fall of the cake pop.
9. Prepare your sprinkles (if you are using one). Have the sprinkles in small separate bowls.
10. Right after dipping the cake pop into the melted Candy melts, quickly add your sprinkles. You have to do this quickly as the candy melt hardens really fast. Once it starts to harden, the sprinkle will not hold to the surface.
11. Stick into a stand to allow the sprinkle and candy melt to harden. You can use a stayro foam or a cake pop stand. I just improvised and used what I have in my kitchen.
13. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve or give.
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Quote of the Day
“Show your appreciation everyday, not only on Valentines Day”