We’ve been slowly settling back into life in America. Yes, America! We left Jerusalem and we’re now living in Arlington, VA, where we’ll be for the next several months as I prepare for Malabo. While not at work, I’ve been amusing myself by ordering my Starbucks coffee in English, and making desserts. But only easy desserts.
Like cake pops.
The nice thing about cake pops is that they require minimal preparation, minimal equipment, and can be done 100% out of store bought materials (like a boxed cake mix). Ease and simplicity for the win. The secret to everything turning out right is to refrigerate between very single step. Which is also helpful if you have munchkins running around who need lots of attention as mine do.
Step One: Bake a Cake
Bake a cake. Your goal is to maximize cake interior and minimize crusty bits. I’ve found that cooking it low and slow in a 9×13” glass pan is the easiest way to do this, but your oven may vary.
Step Two: Crumble the Cake
Once the cake is finished baking, crumble it up.
Be sure to set aside any crusty bits for snacking, as illustrated here by my daughter, who couldn’t even wait 30 seconds for me to snap a photo before snatching a piece off the plate.
Step 3: Make Cake Balls
Mix with some cream cheese (yep, use your hands). I know that most Internet recipes call for icing. If you like your cake sickeningly sweet, then do that. I, however, like my cake pops less sweet. You’ll know the texture’s right when you can easily roll the dough into a ball without it cracking apart.
Refrigerate if your mixture is really sticky. Otherwise, go straight to rolling.
Roll the cake dough into balls.
Lots of them.
Step Four: Turn Cake Balls into Cake Pops
(You can skip this step entirely if you intend to make cake truffles instead of cake pops.)
Melt some chocolate with a bit of Crisco. Olive oil and butter also work very well, if you don’t keep Crisco around.
Dip a lollipop stick in chocolate, then let the excess drop off into the cup.
Stick it into your cake ball.
Do this for all of the cake balls.
Yes, now it’s time for more refrigeration.
Step Five: Dip the Cake Pops in Chocolate
Prepare your “speciality cake pop holder.” Turn an egg carton upside and cover in foil. Poke a hole in each mini-mountain so that you can stick the lollipop sticks in later. The one below holds 18 eggs, and will hold about 10 cake-pops.
Pull the prepared cake pops out of the refrigerator and one-by-one, dip them in melted chocolate.
Now, you guessed it, refrigerate again!
Step Six: Decorate the Cake Pops
Once the candy layer is solid, you can pull them out again to decorate. I decorate them because it hides all of the flaws and mistakes I’ve made in previous steps. I’m sure that there are professionals whose cake pops come out perfect every time. I am not a professional.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, then pouring it into a ziplock bag. Cut a hole in one corner of the ziplock bag, then drizzle over the cake pops. Add gel food coloring (not water based!) for color.
RIGHT?!!?! That’s how easy cake pops are. OMG you thought they were complicated.
THEY ARE NOT.
Recipe for Easy Cake Pops
Makes about 20
- 1 box cake mix (bake cake according to instructions on the box)
- 1/2 c cream cheese
- 150g dark melting chocolate wafers (OR CHOCOLATE CHIPS OR A CANDY BAR)
- 75g white melting chocolate wafers
- 1t olive oil, crisco, or any other oil
- Bake a cake according to the instructions on the box.
- After the cake cools, remove the crusty bits, then crumble the cake.
- Add 1/2c cream cheese and work it into the dough with your hands.
- Form the dough into about two dozen small balls (volume will vary by cake mix), then refrigerate again.
- Melt your chocolate together with 1t oil, then one by one, dip your lollipop sticks into the melted chocolate, and stick them into the cake balls. Once each ball has a stick inserted, refrigerate again.
- One by one, dip your cake pops into the melted chocolate. Refrigerate.
- Decorate the cake pops by melting the white chocolate in the microwave, then pouring it into a ziplock bag. Cut a hole in one corner of the ziplock bag, then drizzle over the cake pops. Refrigerate one last time.
- Bon appetit.