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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Cake Pops

For Easter, I thought it would be a great idea to make some cake pops. I first saw these pops at Starbucks and then found them on Bakerella's website. If you have never checked out Bakerella's website, it is AMAZING! She has so many cute ideas, and I often use her website for inspiration. I did some research on these cute little treats and thought "These will be easy!" I...was...wrong... Cake pops are not that easy. For the past two days, I have SWORN I would never do these again. In the chance that I do, I have learned some good lessons of which I will share later. Using the directions provided by Instructables.com, here is how the cake pops were made:

Step 1:
Bake the cakes! I decided to go with a funfetti cake and a chocolate cake (because I love it so). For this project I just used Duncan Hines to make it a little easier. Bake the cakes and let them cool. After the cakes are completely cool, crumble the cakes and mix it with a can of icing. I also used pre-made icing for this project. For the funfetti cake, I used creamy vanilla icing and for the chocolate cake I used, of course, chocolate icing.

funfetti with icing

crumbled chocolate

Step 2:
Put the mixtures in the freezer or fridge and let them set.
Step 3:
For the cake pops. I took the mixtures out of the fridge and rolled them by hand. I had already decided that I was going to make lambs, chicks, Easter eggs and bunnies. So I formed the cake into balls and bunny shapes and placed them on a baking sheet.
bunny shapes...this will be problematic, but more on that later

bunnies
Step 4:
Back in the fridge. I let these set over night. 
Step 5:
Melt the candy and insert the sticks. I melted the candy in the microwave instead of using a double boiler. Once the candy was melted, I took the cake pops out of the fridge. I dipped one end of the pop sticks in the melted candy and then inserted it about 3/4 of the way into the cake. Then, I placed the sticks into a piece of stryofoam in order to let it set.


Step 6:
Dip the cake pops into the candy. WARNING: this is not as easy as it seems. It was really hard to roll the pops in the melted candy! If the cake pop was too big or heavy, it would easily fall off the stick. Especially with the bunnies. The bunny ears fell off every time. So I had to improvise. After some trial and error, I finally decided to melt some white chocolate chips and form some bunny ears. 

I melted the white chocolate chips and then put it in a ziplock bag. I cut a small corner to make a make-shift icing bag. I formed the ears on plastic wrap, put a little pink melted candy in the middle, and then stuck them in the freezer to set. After they set, I stuck them onto the bunnies.
After some practiced, I figured out that it was easier to roll the pops in the candy on the sides and top and then let the candy run down to the bottom of the pop. It is also helpful if the candy isn't TOO hot. If it is too hot, it runs to fast and it makes the cake too warm which makes it hard to set and decorate.
Step 7:
Decoration! To decorate the pops, it took some creative thought. I bought several types of candy and sprinkles: edible pearls, sprinkles, junior mints, jelly beans, and sixlets. The decorating phase was fun but was VERY time consuming. Even Gantt got in on the decorating (mostly because I tricked into it).

For the lambs, I found that it was easier to dip them in the melted candy and let them set. I then took a candy stick, dipped in the white melted candy and applied a thin layer of the candy to the outside to be able to sprinkle the edible pearls on. I then used a junior mint as the head.
For the Easter eggs, I used the speckled candy melts in pastel colors.
For the chicks (Gantt's specialty), we used edible pearls for the eyes, sprinkles for the feet, and more melted candy to form the mouth and wings.


For the bunnies, we just used the melted candy to make the mouth, nose, eyes, and whiskers.
Decorating took such a long time, I had to slack off on some of the details. Specifically, the lambs didn't have a face and the easter eggs didn't have them mini mm's dots I wanted. The eggs were still speckled, but I called them dinosaur eggs.
Step 8:
Wrap the cake pops! We wrapped the cake pops using some wrapping paper found at any craft store and some plastic wrap. I then tied them off with curling ribbon.
Step 9:
Package the cake pops! Keeping with the Easter them, I decided to package the pops up in an Easter basket. I made one basket for Gantt's family and one for mine. I also found a cute little bunny decoration and some Easte ribbon to finish it off. I made sure to put some stryofoam in the bottom of the basket to keep the cake pops in place.
And here are my Easter cake pops:



my family's basket



the pierce family's basket
cake pop Easter basket
So if I ever decide to make these again, here are some things I would do differently:
1. MORE TIME...I would take a couple of days to make, form, and decorate.
2. SMALLER CAKE POPS...if the cake forms are too big and heavy, it's a lot harder to dip it in the candy.
3. BIGGER PIECES OF STRYOFOAM...It's easier if they aren't too close together when the candy coating is setting.
4. MORE FRIDGE/FREEZER TIME...it's easier if the cake pops are cooled.
Even though these weren't as easy to make as I thought, they were a big hit on Easter!

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