This weekend I decided to make cake pops. I’ve been wanting to try making these gorgeous little treats for a while now, and I had some cake left over from the Handbag Cake that I had frozen. So off I went to buy some pink candy melts and lollypop sticks and I was all set to start!
Basic cake pops are actually fairly easy to make, once you know what to do. You mix some cake crumbs with some form of icing, roll into balls, stick lollypop sticks in, and coat with melted chocolate/candy melts. Here’s how I went.
I used white chocolate ganache to mix with my white chocolate mud cake bread crumbs. I didn’t have to add much ganache at all to make the mixture sticky enough to roll into balls. My suggestion, if you’re not sure how much to add, would be to just add it a little at a time until it’s sticky enough. Here is my mixture:
Then I rolled the cake into little balls, and stuck the lollypop sticks in (about halfway through, just far enough for the cake balls to stay on the sticks). I think next time I will roll the balls a little smaller though (I’ll explain why later). I lined up the cake pops upside down on some baking paper.
It was time for the cake pops to go into the fridge to set, and for me to prepare (i.e. melt) the candy melts. Here’s where I ran into a little bit of trouble. I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing, I’d read Bakerella’s instructions on how to make cake pops, as well as a few other cake websites, just for good measure. Besides, how hard can it be to melt some chocolate, right? (Famous last words…)
I popped the candy melts into the microwave, in a microwave safe bowl, and heated up for about 30 seconds on a low power setting. The candy melts started to melt and I mixed them with a spoon a bit. So far so good, so I put them in for another 30 seconds. This time they had completely melted, so I mixed them until they had a very smooth consistency. The only problem was that the mixture was way too thick to easily dip the cake pops in – it was not runny at all, I could have probably spread it onto a cake like icing but that was about it. I had no idea what I did wrong, but I thought that adding some butter might fix the problem. After all, I’ve often melted cooking chocolate and butter together and ended up with quite a runny mixture. So I added about a tablespoon of butter and put the bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, so I could see what was going on easier.
Wow. You’ll never guess what happened next (unless it’s already happened to you). The mixture turned completely solid. And no matter what I did, it wouldn’t melt down again. If someone could explain to me why this happened I would be very grateful, because it completely baffled me! All I knew was that I had wasted a whole pack of candy melts (and those things are expensive!) and I didn’t have anything to coat my cake pops with. At this point I had a mild breakdown, but I calmed down and decided to buy more candy melts and try again. I also searched trusty Google for some answers, and I found that quite a few people had the same issue with the Wilton brand of candy melts, where they wouldn’t melt down to a runny enough mixture. I also found that people had been adding a bit of Copha (vegetable shortening) to make the mixture runny enough.
So that is what I tried next, and it worked beautifully! I melted 40 grams of Copha with a packet of Wilton candy melts and ended up with a mixture that was neither too thick or too runny and perfect for dipping my cake pops into. Yay!
Now it was time to finally dip the cake pops in to coat them. The fun bit! I didn’t have a bowl quite deep and narrow enough, so I had to improvise by using my cup measure.
So you dip it in the whole way…
And out comes a pink cake pop!
Hover the pink cake pop above the bowl (or measuring cup!) for a few moments so the excess coating can drip off, and put back down on the baking paper to set. You can also have the cake pops set the right way up, if you want to avoid them having a flat top (depends how you’re going to present them to serve them). To do this you will need to stick them into something fairly sturdy, like styrofoam. I didn’t have any styrofoam, but I thought I could poke holes into some empty tissue boxes and stand up the cake pops like that (you may have noticed the tissue boxes in the background of a few of the pictures – well that’s what they were about!). Unfortunately the cake pop balls were too heavy and I couldn’t stand them up without them toppling over. This is why I said before that I would make them a bit smaller next time 🙂
As you can see, I also added white sprinkles to some of the cake pops for a slightly different look. That was probably the most messy part, I ended up with sprinkles everywhere!
But all in all, definitely a cake pops success!