Friday, December 14, 2012

My First Attempt at Cake Pops! Vanilla Cake Pops & Babycakes Cake Pop Maker

 

Cake pops! They're all the rage, and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. As a shower gift, I received this fun Babycakes Cake Pop Maker, and I finally got around to using it recently! I made some vanilla cake pops for a coworker's birthday last week, and they were a great hit with everyone!


This cake pop maker works very similarly to a waffle maker. Although, the "original" way to make cake pops is to bake a cake, crumble it up, and mix the cake with frosting. Then you roll that mixture into balls and dip them in melted chocolate/candy coating/glaze. If you want some amazing cake pop inspiration, you have to check out Bakerella. I seriously do not understand how she does what she does with her cake pops!!

The beauty of this cake pop maker is that it saves you a couple steps! You simply need to make the cake batter, "bake" it in the cake pop maker, and coat the balls with melted chocolate. It saves you from baking an actual cake and making frosting. 


Cake recipes were included in the instructions booklet that came with the cake pops maker. I wasn't sure if a normal cake recipe that I have would work with the maker, so I decided that for my first attempt with cake pops, it was probably best to follow a recipe from the booklet. So, that's what I did! I've included it here below. I'm guessing this would also bake like a regular cake, but honestly, I'm not sure. I still need to figure out if it's strictly a recipe for the cake pops maker, and I also need to figure out if it's possible to use some of my own favorite traditional cake recipes with this appliance. Does anyone out there know?!?

Ingredients:

-1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
-glaze or coating of your choice

Instructions:

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Alternately blend in flour mixture and milk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fill each cooking reservoir of your cake pop maker with about 1 tablespoon of batter. Bake 4 to 5 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into a cake ball comes out clean. Allow to cool and glaze or coat, as desired.

A few pointers for the novice cake pop maker (like me!)...

It's much easier to coat the cake balls if you freeze them for 15 or 20 minutes first (after they're already completely cooled).

If you don't have handy dandy holders like those that came with my cake pop maker, buy craft foam at a craft store to stick your cake pops in while your candy coating hardens. You can also buy the cake pop sticks at craft stores.

Dip the end of the stick slightly in the candy coating before putting the cake ball on the stick. This will help the ball stay on.

Have fun with it! Try not to get frustrated (like I did, as I explain below).

:)


To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first about whether this cute looking appliance would work, but it did! It worked great actually. Each batch made 12 cake balls, and each batch only took about 4 minutes! Easy peasy. And the vanilla cake recipe was delicious too!


(As you can see in the top left of the photo above, I overfilled the reservoir; not to worry though, it was easy to cut the excess off of the cake ball).

I think this would be super fun to use with kids! And depending on their age, adult supervision may be necessary, of course. ;)


One batch of the batter made about 4 dozen pops for me!

So. Many. Cake. Pops.

Now, the less fun part of this whole cake pop process, for me anyway, was the coating step. I had a rather challenging time with the coating!


For the cake pops I coated in white, I used these vanilla candy wafers. We use these for Willy Wonka day each year, and they work great. However, I had a difficult time melting them to the right consistency for dipping. I melted them in the microwave instead of using a double boiler; maybe that was the problem?! Not sure. Either way, the melted candy was a bit too thick to dip the cake balls easily. I tried adding a touch of vegetable oil to thin it out, but that didn't really help. I managed eventually, but it was a bit more of a process than I anticipated!


And the cake balls dipped in chocolate were a different story... I didn't use the dark chocolate candy wafers pictured above, but instead, I attempted to melt milk chocolate chips. Well, I actually didn't have enough milk chocolate chips, so I mixed some semi-sweet chips in with them. I think this was a big error. My guess is maybe these two chocolates have different melting points or something? I am not really sure, but the two types of chocolates did not come together very well to melt smoothly. Again, the coating was too thick, and this mixture was also a bit lumpy. But, I also managed to dip some of the cake balls in the chocolate coating, and in the end they looked okay. I ended up needing to use the assistance of a spoon to smooth the edges of the pops. They didn't look great, but they were okay. The sprinkles really help to hide any errors. ;)


Dipping the balls was definitely the most time consuming part of the cake pops process. Mike can verify that I was getting a tad frustrated when making these! But in the end, I have to say that it was worth the time and effort. Everyone really loved them!


Sprinkles make all the difference in how fun and festive these are, don't they?!


I hope I'm not discouraging you from trying to make cake pops by sharing my less than ideal experiences. If you have a little extra time to spend in the kitchen, they're definitely worth it! Kids and adults alike will both love them.
I promise!


Whether you use a cake pops maker like I did, or whether you make them the "authentic" way, you'll be glad you gave them a try!


As you can see, I also mixed some sprinkles right into the cake batter! :)


I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the cake pop pictures, all from Bakerella.
Sooo impressive and adorable!!!






Are you kidding me? How does one do this?!? I'm amazed.

TGIF and happy weekend to you all! :)

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