Today’s post is by Emma who works as a key member of the PartyAnimalOnline team and is team leader in dispatch, Emma also happens to be our very own Cake Pop Queen… They don’t just look amazing but they taste even better! I’ll pass you over to our Cake Pop Queen.
What you will need:
Hi I’m Emma and I’m going to show you how I make my cake pops! Below I’ve wrote my step by step guide, it’s pretty detailed but it includes everything I’ve learnt since making my first cake pops, so grab your favourite hot drink and lets get started..!
If you’re currently wondering what a cake pop is, it is basically a crumbed down cake mixed with some icing that is stuck on a stick and dipped in melted chocolate! They are great for any occasion and are a little different from the traditional cup cake!
I’ve broken this guide into 3 main steps, baking the cake, making the balls and dipping. The best advice I can give is don’t try to do all these steps in one day! I try and spread it out over 2 or even 3 days. I would say you at least need a day between rolling the cake balls and dipping them as they need a good few hours to chill in the fridge.
Step 1: Bake a cake!
To start, you are going to need a cake! Whether you make your own from scratch, use a cake mix or buy store bought it doesn’t matter. I have usually baked my own cake and found a 6 egg cake mix will make around 20-25 cake pops. For these cake pops I’ve made a chocolate sponge cake!
Step 2: Make the balls
Once your cake has fully cooled you can now break it down into a bowl, I normally use my hands for this as it’s the best way to crumb it down. Make sure that there are no large chunks, you want it as fine as possible.
Now add some buttercream to the cake crumbs until it forms a dough. I use a folk to add the buttercream a little bit at a time. When it starts forming together I take a little bit between my hands and roll into a ball. If it still falls apart then I add a little more. This can be quite time consuming but if you add too much and the cake dough gets sticky, it’s harder to work with later on.
When it comes to forming the balls I personally like to use a meat baller tool. You can of course, use your hands but I find that you get the same consistency with the tool and you don’t have to worry about your cake pops being different sizes!
I press the cake dough down into the bowl to make it compact and then use the meat baller tool to scoop some of the dough up. I then press the tool together until all the excess cake comes out.
I then remove the cake ball from the tool and give it a roll in my hands, just to smooth it out a bit, then place it on a tray ready to go in the fridge.
And there you have it, one complete cake ball!
Now keep going and making more balls until you run out of cake dough..!
Once you’ve made all the balls you can place them in the fridge to chill. I usually leave them overnight but if you’re eager to dip then I think the minimum is about 3-4 hours or at least till they are firm.
Step 3: Dip!
Ah the fun part! If you’re anything like me this is the reason you are making cake pops in the first place..!
For these cake pops I’ve decided they’re going to be yellow with some rainbow sprinkles, something nice and summery..!
When it comes to melting the candy melts I used to use this Tupperware container:
It was perfect for dipping as you want something that the cake pop can be fully dipped in without having to swirl it around. If you use a shallow, wider bowl you will have to use more chocolate to fill it which will mainly go to waste. I used this when I started making cake pops and apart from having to reheat the chocolate in between dipping it was perfect!
If you decide to melt your chocolate in the microwave remember to heat it a few seconds at a time and stir in between to avoid burning the chocolate.
I now use a chocolate melting pot which keeps the chocolate at the right temperature all the time. The advantage to this is you don’t have to work as quickly to dip the cake balls although it does take ages to melt the candy!
Once you chocolate is melted it should be a consistency where it can easily drizzle off a spoon. If your chocolate is too thick (like mine usually is!) you can add some vegetable oil to thin it out a bit. I usually add about 1/2 tablespoon at a time till I get the consistency I need.
Right, back to the business of dipping! The trick to this is not taking all your cake balls out the fridge all at once instead just take a few out at a time (I take 3). The reason behind this is you want the cake balls to be the right temperature before you dip, if they are too cold the chocolate will crack once the cake expands and if they are too warm they won’t stay on the stick when you dip them!
I have a system where I take 3 out of the fridge, I take a stick, dip the end into the chocolate and then stick it half way into the ball. I repeat with the other 2 balls and while they are setting I take out 3 more balls from the fridge which I put to one side.
By now the first 3 should be ready to fully dip. The best way to do this is to fully submerge the ball and bring it straight back up. Don’t swirl it around, just pull it out and let the excess chocolate fall off. To help it along and ensure an even coverage I twirl the stick with my fingers and tap my wrist with my free hand. I try not to tap the stick as this could loosen the cake ball!
Once all the excess has come off you can add any sprinkles etc you want.
Once done stand it somewhere to dry, my first batch where left in a drinking glass!
And there you have it, cake pops all round!
Recipe by Emma Cosgrove