Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cupcake cake pops


Gosh, I remember a few years ago when cake pops were all the rage (I think whoopie pies, cupcakes and macarons have taken their place). Bakerella was the pioneer that received all of the credit for these tasty treats-on-a-stick. I didn't want to be left behind in the dust, so I decided to join the cake pop bandwagon too.

I first tried making what my college friends lovingly referred to as "cake balls" (for the full effect, you'll need to add the Beavis & Butt-head laugh afterwards). I baked a regular boxed cake (gasp!) and used canned frosting (the horror!) to mix up the two into this mud-pie looking concoction.  Turns out that once you dipped them into a candy coating, all was good.

Once I got the hang of that, I decided to try to make the cupcake-shaped version. I scoured high and low for a flower-shaped cookie cutter and eventually found one in my possession from a cake decorating class I took years ago. Be warned that these pops take some time to assemble, but they are very much worth it when your friends take a bite and just smile. I just love it when a dessert renders someone speechless, don't you?

For a more detailed tutorial, please hop over to Bakerella's web page. I recommend making these over a weekend (bake cake, add frosting and shape into balls one evening; shape and dip the next morning; package and store the pops either later that night or the following day).

Ingredients/materials
  • 1 13x9 baked cake (from a box cake mix or from scratch … any flavor - I like using chocolate)
  • 1 can frosting (or about 2 cups equivalent from scratch - I am lazy and buy the pre-made frosting)
  • 1 flower shaped cookie cutter (1.25″ wide X .75″ tall)
  • 1 package chocolate bark (You can find it at Michael's or other kraft stores... some grocery stores carry them in their baking aisle as well)
  • 1 package colored candy melts or white chocolate bark
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Styrafoam blocks, for allowing the candy melts to harden
  • Sprinkles, M&Ms or something similar for top of cupcake
  • Small plastic treat bags and ribbon to package the pops
Directions

Bake a cake from a mix or from scratch and cool completely.


Crumble cake into a fine consistency into a large bowl (I use a fork). Add the frosting and mix well.  The mixture will look like one big, goopy mess.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out balls of the cake/frosting mixture and roll into balls. If you use a medium cookie scoop, you'll get about 40 cake balls.  Line a sheet pan with waxed paper and place the balls on top. Freeze.  I find that it's best to freeze these overnight.

Remove from freezer and begin to shape the balls into a cylinder shape.  You'll want to press the mixture so the cake is well-packed and won't fall apart once you are ready to dip them into the candy coating.

Press the cylinders into the flower-shaped cookie cutter. Push it into cutter until about half fills the cutter and the rest sticks out of the top in the shape of a mound. You may need to massage the cake a bit to make sure that your bottoms are flat and nicely shaped. 

Then push the shaped cupcake carefully out of the cookie cutter from the bottom. Set right side up on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Continue with remaining balls and put them back in the freezer for at least another 30 minutes.

Heat the candy coating and chocolate-colored bark (either in the microwave or over a double boiler--I prefer the latter).  The chocolate bark will serve as the cupcake "bottoms" and the colored bark or white color will act as the cupcake "tops." 

Remove the cupcake shaped mixture from the freezer and dip bottoms into the melted chocolate – just to the point where the mounded shape starts. Remove from chocolate, turn upside down and wiggle so that the excess starts to slide down slightly. Then dip a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and insert into the chocolate "bottoms." Place them on the waxed paper upside down and continue with rest of the cupcakes. 

Make sure the chocolate is dry before moving on. Dip the cupcake "tops" into your colored candy melts and make sure you shake off the excess. I like to swirl the stick around a few times.
If desired, you can add sprinkles and an M&M on top to make your pops look extra cute.  Put the lollipop sticks into styrafoam blocks to allow the cupcake pops to dry.  When everything has finally dried and hardened,  you can insert them into cellophane bags and tie with a pretty ribbon. Voila!

Source: Bakerella
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