diy holiday: cake pops
Our resident DIY diva Erica, tarte’s senior graphic designer and unofficial pastry chef, is the queen of the cake pop. We long for office birthdays, baby showers and engagement parties — just to bite into one of these incredible confections. Seriously, we have yet to taste a pop that rivals hers! And considering that this high season for baking, we had her breakdown her process for the ultimate cake pop how-to!
What you need:
- You favorite cake batter recipe + ingredients
- Your favorite frosting recipe + ingredients
- Food coloring – every shade under the rainbow
- Lollipop sticks
- A variety of colored melting chocolate
- Sprinkles and edible decorations like glitter or dragées
Frist, whip up your favorite cake recipe; it can be from scratch or a store bought boxed mix. Since I wanted to make the center of these cake pops bold colors I used a white cake recipe. I split the batter after it was fully blended into three separate bowls and added different color food color to each, making sure the color was fully mixed in.
Next I poured each colored batter into 3 separate greased cake pans and baked the cakes according to the recipe. Because I split my batter into thirds, I shortened the baking time by 5 minutes — just be careful to watch that the cakes don’t burn if you do the same. After the cakes were baked, I took them out of the oven to let them cool fully.
While the cakes cool, begin making the frosting. You can use any cake frosting recipe you like or even a store bought type. My favorite go to frostings are vanilla buttercream or vanilla cream cheese. Once your frosting is complete set it aside. Now get ready to roll up your sleeves; and let the sticky-sweet fun begin!
Take the cooled cakes and place each one into a bowl. Then break the cakes up into crumbs, making sure to keep the different colored cake pieces separate. Take one of the bowls of crumbs and add in a tablespoon frosting a tablespoon at a time. Use your hands to incorporate the frosting into the cake crumbs, until the mixture is moist and can hold a ball shape, kind of like the consistency of play-dough.
Roll the cake and frosting mixture into walnut sized balls with your hands. You should get about 30 pops depending on the cake recipe and how large you make them. Set them on a cookie sheet and put them in the refrigerator for about an hour while you prepare the lollipop sticks and melting chocolate.
Follow the instructions for melting on your bag of melting chocolates. Once melted take a lollipop stick and dip it in the melted chocolate, coating about an inch of the stick. Remove the cake pops from the refrigerator and start pushing them on to the lollipop sticks. The melted chocolate acts as a glue that helps keep the cake pop on the stick.
Now it’s finally time for dipping your pops! Once you have your chocolate is melted and smooth, transfer it to a container for dipping. I like to use large glass measuring cups since they’re narrow and tall, which allow you to submerge the cake pops easily. Let the melted chocolate cool slightly and then begin dipping each cake pop, carefully tapping off any excess.
Don’t worry if your cake pops look a little lumpy on the first try — practice makes perfect, and they’ll still taste great! Plus you can always hide flaws with sprinkles.
After the chocolate begins to cool, but before it completely hardens, begin to decorate your pops with sprinkles or edible decorations. Steer clear if heavy or large decorations — they’ll likely fall off right away.
Finally, stick the decorated cake pops in the Styrofoam block to harden. I like to keep the block in my freezer while I’m decorating. I stick the pops in it one at a time, as soon as I finish decorating them. I found this helps to harden the chocolate right away and prevent drips.Once you’re done dipping and decorating and your cake pops are fully hardened, you can remove them from the Styrofoam block.
You’re cake pops are now ready to be shared and enjoyed! A great way to display them is by wrapping the Styrofoam block in fun wrapping paper and sticking the cake pops back in. Add a bow to make it look like a present — perfect for holiday parties!