02 May 2014

Slumber Poppin'

They make it look so easy. By they I mean Starbucks + any other place that sells those perfectly dipped cake pops with their smooth candy coating. I would almost bet you $100 bucks those bad boys are not hand dipped though, that's for damn sure. There's just no way human hands could get those results. Well maybe there are, but I'd say achieving the perfect looking cake pop on your first attempt would definitely difficult if not impossible (but never say never right?) But I guess I'm getting ahead of myself, let me back up a few steps.

I've had a cake pop mold for over a year now, + I never used once during that time. It had already been packed up without use once, + as I was just about to pack it up again when I decided I better use this bad boy before it's schlepped off again into a cardboard box. God knowing when it would see the light of day again. So that's how all this talk of cake pops began. 

It so happened that I had the perfect excuse to make these delicious treats as I had planned to have a few girlfriends over for a...wait for it...Slumber Party!! As my girlfriend's boyfriend put it "I remember when I was 12" haha! (He said it in a humorous way :)). But really! Lol! I hadn't had a slumber party since my 16th birthday party, + I thought to hell with it why not?! May as well take advantage of having the extra space + guest room while I have it, that is before I move. What had initially inspired the Slumber/PJ themed party was a good friend of mine's sister had a PJ party themed bachelorette party + it looked like it had been so much fun!! The idea of a PJ party just struck me because a lot of the time you dress up to go out to parties, + I just really liked the idea of dressing down to go to a party (although I wouldn't consider my little get together a party by any means).

Anyways- the culmination of the sleepover + my want to use the cake pop mold before moving is what sparked my search for a cake pop recipe online. After some research + tip reading I finally decided upon a recipe that I found on the blog Elaine Catherine. I liked how the recipe featured was a recipe specifically for cake pops + it called for ingredients that I - and most people for that matter already have on hand. Now I should mention there are a couple of ways of going about making cake pops. One way being the one I'm about to go into and the other method is...

If you don't have a cake pop mold on hand, don't be alarmed. It isn't a necessity to make cake pops! Although I haven't tried this method I read on various sites that you can bake a cake using boxed cake mix. Cool it, crumble it, add frosting to it, mash + combine, form into balls, dip into your candy melts, refrigerate + enjoy! Like I said this route is the way to go if you don't have a candy pop mold handy but still wanna get your candy pop fix. I did have a mold handy + an excuse to make some candy pops so...that's exactly what I did. Here's how I did it...

Whatcha Need

Yields: 60 Cake Balls

* 3 C. Flour
* 2 1/2 t. Baking Powder
* 1/2 t. Salt
* 1 3/4 C. Sugar
* 2/3 C. Butter (softened)
* 2 Eggs
* 1 1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
* 1 C. Milk
* 1/4 C. Half + Half
* 1-2 Bags of Candy Melts
(I bought mine from Michael's + they were even on sale! Score!)
* Something to hold your cake pops in for drying 
(Foam, egg carton, silverware holder from a dish rack, colander , be resourceful!)
* Food coloring (optional)


* Preheat oven to 350

* Get your cake pop mold ready! 
You'll want to either rub a little veggie oil in it or use some cooking spray. 
Place the empty mold on a cookie sheet (for support).

* Sift the flour, baking powder + salt, set aside

* In a separate bowl cream the butter + slowly add the sugar, mix well.

* Throw in eggs + vanilla extract to wet mix, combine well.

* Slowly add the flour mix, milk + half+half to the wet mix, combine well.
For this step I just combined the milk + half+half into one cup, made it much easier. 

* Although the recipe I originally looked at didn't call for this step I added a couple of drops of food coloring just for a little pzazz! Of course I didn't even think about adding the food coloring until I was already 1/2 way done baking my cake balls, but I kind of liked the mix of the colors :)

*Use a tablespoon to spoon batter into the molds. You want the cups to be completely full. 
You'll also want to make sure you level out the batter, + remove any excess batter from around the cups.

I can not emphasize enough the importance of the above tips if you want your cake pops to be perfect round balls! Learn from my mistakes which can be seen in the pictures below. 

Top Left: Cups are overflowing which resulted in the cake balls turning out uneven like the cake ball pictured on the bottom left.
Top Right: Cups are full but not overflowing which resulted in the smooth cake ball pictured on the bottom right. 

* Cover the battered filled bottom portion of the mold with the top, throw into the oven for 17 minutes or so. The original recipe I used called for the pops to bake for 22 minutes, which I found was a little too long, at least for my specific oven. 

* Using an oven mitt, softly push down on the both sides of the cups to ensure the cake pops don't stick. Remove from mold + place in freezer for about 20 mins or so (or until your next batch is finished baking). 

* Once you're done baking + all the balls of cake have cooled down in the freezer remove any excess batter from around the ridges to ensure a perfectly smooth surface.


And now...

Frosting these bad boys!
I apologize in advance that I didn't get a chance to capture any photos of this step. 
This step is rather messy + I didn't have a free hand to take any pictures! 

 I mentioned earlier on that I did indeed do a little bit of research before I even stepped in the kitchen to attempt to make these cake pops + a lot of my research was about this step. Everyone was hoopin' + hollerin' about how to frost cake pops the best way. I honestly had no idea what the big deal was about, that was until I was actually doing it + then I thought to myself "Ooohhhhh that's what they were talking about!!" Needless to say this step was definitely the hardest part of the cake pop making process.

* Your candy melts will come with instructions on how to melt them, + there are a couple of different routes you can go. I decided to go for the easiest method of melting them, by way of microwave. Throw a bit of candy melts into a mug + zap away! Once you've got your candy melted down, it's time to DIP these bad boys!

* To start out dip an end of your cake pop sticks into the melted candy + then stick this end into a cake ball, repeat. Let them completely dry before you move onto the next step.

* Once dried, warm up your candy melts once more. This time you're going to completely dip the cake pop into the candy melts to get that nice frosted coating. Now this is where all those tips I read started going through my mind. 

Tips for frosting cake pops:

- Make sure the candy melts are completely melted + are a smooth consistency before dipping. You can reheat candy melts as many times as your heart desires, but it will start to loose it's consistency. If this happens add a little splash of vegetable oil, stir + reheat to get the candy melts back to a thinner, smoother consistency.

- Dip once! Don't keep dipping your pops once you've got your first coat on! As one tip I read put it 'Get in + get out!' Otherwise there's goin' be trouble + you mind end up with a cake ball floatin' around in your cup. No bueno.

After I dipped my first couple of cake pops I knew then that I wasn't going to get the candy melt coat to be completely smooth, you know like the ones from Starbucks. But I didn't let that hinder my fun + I decided that they would be "abstract" looking cake pops, + so that's exactly what they became. Besides they tasted greeaatt, + that's what matters the most am I right?! LOL 


I'm pretty happy with how the cake part of this venture turned out, the cake itself wasn't too sweet which was a perfect balance with the frosting as it is pretty sweet. The cake was also really spongy + moist which I was really happy with, will definitely be keeping this recipe around! 

Needless to say these little treats were a hit at the Slumber party! We devoured them, pizza + some other snacks while watching scary movies, definitely a good time with great friends! Life doesn't get much better than that.

Until next time friends...Cheers!! 

<3 Noonie

P.S. I'd love to know...
Have you ever made cake pops?! 
Or maybe have a favorite Slumber party memory you'd like to share?!
Comment below :)