Tag Archives: Cake Pops

NCSU Cake Pops

19 Dec

My brother graduated from NC State this past weekend! We’re very proud of him, so my older sister and I made celebratory cake pops. (For a full recipe, see my original Halloween Cake Pops post.)

We used red velvet cake (from a cake mix) and cream cheese icing (homemade). I thought if I made the icing from scratch, I could reduce the amount of sugar and it wouldn’t be a diabetic shock on a stick. But then we got to talking, and I got distracted, and I just made the icing as usual. No big d — I like them super-sweet, and I’m the baker.

What was kind of a problem though — I was still talking, and did not think about the fact that a batch of homemade icing is much larger than what comes in the can, and I just dumped the entire thing in with the cake. It was a little much. We rolled the balls successfully and set them to chill for 15 or 20 minutes. But when we went to dip them in the candy coating, they kept falling off the stick — too much icing. We had to freeze them first in order to coat them without them completely falling apart. It worked well enough, and it saved the batch, but still not ideal. When I bit into one, the other half fell of the stick, so it was a little messy.

They looked and tasted amazing though! We took the red velvet/cream cheese cake pops and coated some in white chocolate, some in red candy coating, and some in dark chocolate. Once they were set, I painted black NCSU symbols on the red pops, and my sister painted red NCSU symbols on the white pops.


I had to hit the road before they were done, but she kindly finished up all the pops and arranged them in a great presentation! She chopped up a styrofoam block and arranged the chunks in a large, clear bowl. She poked the cake pops in there so it appeared like a large ball coming out of the bowl. To cover up the green styrofoam, she arranged red tissue paper in the bowl. It looked amazing!

NC State Cake Pops

How Sue Sees It:
– Everyone loved the cake pops, and the bowl arrangement looked like a fantastically tasty centerpiece on a red, white, and black Wolfpack table.
– Red velvet and cream cheese are always a great combo! Add the icing a little at a time until you achieve the proper consistency. You can always add more later if you need to.
– As much as I’m a Tar Heel born and bred, it was fun to try to figure out how to make a Wolfpack-themed cake pop. We actually tried to make a couple of wolves — Bakerella has a werewolf on her Trick or Treats post — but they looked awful. We gave up on those when my nephew asked me, “What’s that monster!?” If anyone manages to make a convincing wolf on a cake pop, please let me know how it’s done.

Halloween Cake Pops

28 Oct

Last weekend we had two major baking projects going on at the same time, both of which were pretty messy. The kitchen was even more of a disaster than usual, and that’s saying something. While Betsy took the lead on Mini Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze, I led the charge on these Halloween Cake Pops.

A word about the cake pops. This was our attempt to replicate Bakerella’s famous cake balls on a stick, and as the BF had a pumpkin carving party coming up at his work,  I decided to make pumpkins for him. The project took forever – upwards of 4 hours – but they were a HUGE hit. They disappeared so fast, people arriving late at the party were fresh out of luck. So if you have a whole day looking for something to do, try this. But if you need something for your kid’s class party tomorrow morning, just bake some cookies. As always, the recipe below is how we made them, which is not necessarily what the original recipe recommends.

Supplies:

  • baking stuff
  • 5″ lollipop sticks
  • orange (vanilla-flavored) candy melts
  • styrofoam
  • black gel food coloring
  • tiny paintbrush

The Process

First, we baked a cake. We used a prepared mix of extra moist devil’s food cake and baked according to package directions. (Trust us, this process is complicated enough, you will thank yourself for using a mix. There’s no need for scratch-made here.) Then we crumbled up the cake into a big mixing bowl (though a cookie sheet may have been better) and stuffed it in the fridge to help it cool faster. Once it was completely cooled, we mixed in about 3/4 of a can of buttercream icing. I may or may not have eaten the rest of the can after Betsy left.

Baking a Chocolate CakeAfter we got our hands in there and got the cake/icing mixture to a nice smooth consistency, we rolled the mixture into balls and placed them on wax-covered cookie sheets. Then I melted just a few orange candy melts (we bought them at A.C. Moore) and dipped the tip of the lollipop sticks (also A.C. Moore) in the orange candy, then speared the cake balls about 3/4 of the way through the ball. Bakerella recommends this little process of candy coating before spearing so that the stick stays put in the cake ball. The speared cake balls went in the fridge to firm up.

Spearing the balls with lollipop sticks

A few hours later, after driving to my sister’s for family dinner, I returned to finish the cake pops. I melted the rest of the orange candy melts and rolled each cake ball until they were completely coated. I thought it was easier to use the back of a spoon to make sure everything was covered instead of trying to actually roll them. If I got a little too much, a few soft taps on the side of the bowl got all the drips off. Then I added a chocolate sprinkle on top for a stem and stuck the pops into styrofoam to let them firm up. The orange candy hardens quickly enough that when the last pop was rolled, I could start painting the first pop.

Coating the cake pops with melted orange candy

I took the jar of Wilton’s black gel food coloring and put a bit into a small bowl. It turns out that black food coloring turns your fingers purple for a couple days and stains jeans, so I would suggest being careful here. I added a tiny splash of vodka until I achieved a good consistency. Then I dipped my paintbrush in and got to work. Vodka?! What?! Yep — this was Betsy’s idea, and it worked out fantastically. You need liquid to make the ink smooth enough to paint with, but water makes it runny. The vodka achieves the right consistency, and as it dries, the alcohol completely evaporates away, leaving the thick paint-like ink behind. Cool, huh?

Making jack-o-lanterns!

Ta-da! They’re done!

Spooky!Pumpkin Patch

How Sue Sees It:

  • Estimating for supplies was difficult. Of course batches will vary, but here’s some numbers that might help if you try to make some cake pops: The cake/icing mixture made 53 balls. One bag of orange candy melts covered 39 balls. I had to use chocolate – which I always keep on hand – to cover the rest. And I greatly underestimated the need for styrofoam. I used a 12″ by 9″ piece of greenHalloween Cake Balls styrofoam to make my pumpkin patch, and rested it on top of a cookie sheet. Spaced about 2″ apart, I only fit 24 pops. Because I was rushing to have them the next day, I didn’t go out for more supplies. Instead, I took the leftover orange and chocolate pops, let them harden, and then served them on a tray in paper mini muffin cups.Colanders come in handy!
  • And without styrofoam, I didn’t have anywhere to let them dry, so I turned a colander upside down and stuck the sticks through the biggest holes.
  • They are soooo delicious and soooo rich! Because the cake is rolled down into balls, it’s very dense. Pace yourself — it’s very easy to eat a few quickly and then regret it. One cake pop is like a whole slice of cake.