I remember first hearing about cake pops a couple years ago when someone told me about Bakerella’s blog. The idea sounded fun, but I never had an occasion to try them out, and I was a little iffy about the 1:1 cake-to-frosting ratio in cake pops. So when a friend passed along a cake pop recipe that didn’t use canned frosting or cake mix earlier this summer, I was suddenly in the mood to try cake pops out. The only catch is that I DIDN’T have cream cheese and from-scratch cake supplies on hand and DID have canned frosting and cake mix on hand. So against my better judgment, I tried the basic Bakerella recipe instead of the slightly less sweet-sounding recipe my friend had given me.
Additionally, I’m in the middle of wedding planning and thought this recipe sounded like a relatively easy supplement to a dessert buffet (as we’ve been thinking about going that route as opposed to the traditional wedding cake route). After all, if Bakerella does it all the time, it must be easy, right? I’ve been trying to think of easy, make-ahead desserts that won’t add pre-wedding stress: this is not one of those desserts. Or at least, not in this form. I tried to make both cake pops and cake balls (without the popsicle stick), and here’s what I found:
- Cake pops are easier to coat with chocolate than cake balls because you have a built-in handle to make it go more smoothly.
- Cake pops are difficult to freeze in large quantities, store, or transport because the popsicle sticks take up so much space and prevent your being able to stack cookie sheets in the freezer.
- Using store-bought cake mix and icing definitely makes the process easier, but also makes the cake pops WAY too sweet. Also, do not use a sweet chocolate like white chocolate for coating, as this just makes matters worse.
- Cake pops and cake balls do actually keep very well in the freezer once you figure out how to package and store them.
So my lesson from this is that cake pops are a fun idea but easier said than done.
Recipe Used: this recipe from Bakerella, using a red velvet cake mix, cream cheese frosting, and substituting white chocolate for white candy melting chips.
Recipe I Wish I Had Used: this from-scratch recipe from The Kitchn
Step 1: Bake the cake. Easy.
Step 2: Crumble the cake and mix it with most of a can of store-bought frosting. Easy.
Step 3: Roll the cake mixture into little balls. Easy.
Step 4: Dip lollipop sticks (I actually used the blunt end of bamboo skewers since I couldn’t find lollipop sticks) in melted chocolate and stick about halfway into cake balls. Easy.
Freeze until firm. Not so easy, because the sticks make it difficult to fit them in the freezer. And make sure you don’t pull them out too early or the sticks will fall out when you’re dipping the pops in chocolate.
Step 5: Dip the pops in melted chocolate. Easy for cake pops, but not so easy for cake balls. The chocolate might need to be reheated partway through, but be careful not to burn it.
Step 6: Enjoy. Easy, but very sweet. Also, you can see here a little bit of the aftermath of the mess from dipping the cake balls.