Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cake Pops 101

If you are reading this post, you must be interested in becoming a cake pop yoda. If you are already a yoda, then you then are in the company of fellow jedi masters and want to see creative twists on the already delicious classic. But for now... we start with the basics.

What is a cake ball?  It all starts with a box. A box of cake.  It is then transformed from a box, leave the cardboard, and shaped into various forms.  Finally resulting in a ball of cake. How may you ask, can all this be accomplished? Baking. 

Let us start at the very beginning... a very good place to start.  

Although all of the shape transformations that can occur might be complicated, the beginning is very simple.  Bake a cake. Let it cool.  Not only is this simple.  But an average cake box runs about $1.50.  Clearly, we are off to a good start. 

The next step is to let the cake cool and then progress to Aubree's crumbling secrets. 

Cut the cake into four section.  Remove two sections of the cake from the pan and have a large bowl ready.

Rub the sections against one another until the appear like cake crumbles.  The crumbs will be fine and fluffy. Sometimes you might find chunks of egg or cake, just remove them.

The end result should look like the photo. (The book in the corner is by Bakerella.  It's another fantastic resource for cake pops.)

Frosting is next on the list. Take the frosting and add large tablespoons at a time.  Mix in with the crumbs.

Be careful! Don't add too much.  You don't want too much frosting because it will make the later steps too hard.

The finer the crumbs, the less frosting is required.
The moister the cake, the lesser the frosting required.

Usually we use 1/4 - 1/2 of a store bought tub.

Even if you want to make some crazy shape, because believe us you might want to one day, the first step is to roll the dough into balls.

There's two options: freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate for a few hours.

The goal is to make the ball firm so they can be dipped into melted chocolate and not fall apart.

Freezing for too long is a bad thing as well, so stay near the 15 min. mark.


We microwave the chocolate, there's always the option to use a double broiler.

Take 1-2 pkg and microwave for 30 second increments.  Take your time with this!

We have overcooked chocolate so many times and it makes your life a living nightmare.  Trust us!

Thin melted chocolate is key for easy dipping.
Here's the trick: Start with 30 seconds. It will look like the chocolate has not melted.... but it has. Stir and wait for a bit. Heck, put the chocolate up against the walls of the bowl if it's warm.

There are a few tells of overheated chocolate. It's warm to the touch (when melted correctly it doesn't give off its own heat). The chocolate will appear shiny. If it starts to get ripples then its overheated.  Another indicator is that the chocolate is thick.  Continuing to heat the chocolate will not make it better.

Prevent overheating at all costs!!!!!!

If you do overheat it, let just say it happened... then you do have some options.  

1. Start all over. Just kidding
2. Add small amounts of oil and stir. (It helps make it thinner.)
3. Buy a mix specifically for overheated chocolate
4. Have a timeturner.  

So the chocolate is ready, the cake balls are firm, it's time to dip.

For cake balls, just dump the ball into the chocolate and have fun.

For cake pops, place 1/2 inch of the stick into the chocolate and then straight into the pop.

Then place the entire cake ball into the chocolate.

Some of the chocolate will drip off... use Ashley's move: slowly tap the stick on the side of the bowl and twist the stick around.

At this point your done! Yey!  You survived.

Storage info:  Let the cake pops dry at room temperature.  If you want to be a trickster then add candies, frosting and sprinkles in order to get the desired look.

Cake pops should be stored in the refrigerator or in a air-tight container.

Total amount 1 box makes: approx. 36

Total cost: under $8

Be on the look-out for our tutorials on the cake pops featured in this post.

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