Cake pops are the new ‘cupcakes’. You can get them I’m all shapes and sizes to suit the occasion and it is just so simple. I scoured youtube to see what others have done with their cake pops and what I saw was almost criminal!!! I saw a mixture of cake mix from a packet and readymade liquid chocolate and I thought to myself, not only is this NOT ok when making cakes, it is certainly should NOT be used when making cake pops.
As you can see from my blog, I like to make everything from scratch and if this means that it will take more time, then it will have to take up some more of my time. It is well worth it as the flavor of my cakes and cupcakes are second to none!
Cake pops begin by making a vat of cake. This cake can be any flavor, it is up to you, but for the sake of this article, I will be using a vanilla sponge with white chocolate and vanilla outer casing. You start your cake mix with the basic ingredients for a vanilla sponge, which can be found in my previous articles, but for those who are lazy and cannot be bothered to go and look at one of my previous articles (I do not blame you, I do the same) then here are the ingredients and the method:
Ingredients for Cake batter for our Cake pops:
210g Stork margarine (room temperature)
4 Free Range organic eggs
4 tbsp of Corn Flour
220g Caster Sugar
2 tsp baking powder,
250g self raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 to 9 tbsp milk
Set the oven to 160 Degrees Celicius and line a cake baking tray with non stick parchment paper or give the tin a spritz with veg oil, to stop the sponge from sticking to the sides of the tin. It doesn’t really matter too much if you do not have vegetable oil as we are not looking for a perfectly shaped cake, just the cake itself ( I will explain fully a little later on in the process).
Mix the stork for 4 to 5 minutes, until the stork has turned from a yellow colour to a pale cream or white colour. If the colour has not changed, then you have not mixed it enough. This is an essential ostage of the cooking process so this must be done properly. Once the stork has changed colour, the next step is to add in the caster sugar (sifted to ensure no crunchy bits). Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring that they have been well mixed in before adding the next one in. Once the eggs have been added, sift the flour, corn flour and baking powder together and leave to one side, then add the milk and vanilla extract into a small separate glass and let the vanilla infuse with the milk. Whilst the milk is infusing, add the flour in 1/3 at a time and make sure you fold it into the mixture using a big wooden spoon. If you use an electric mixer, then this can cause the mixture to lose the essential air bubbles which are required if you are going to have a light and fluffy cake. Once you have poured in all the flour mix, you might find that the batter is extremely thick, this is why we add the vanilla infused milk in order to make the mixture into more of a runny batter than a thick, lumpy batter. Once all the ingredients have been added the batter is ready to be poured into the cake tin. Once you have poured it in, carefully place the cake tin into the oven and leave for 30 to 40 minutes. Once the cake is ready, the top will turn a nice golden colour and you will be able to insert a skewer straight into the centre and be able to retrieve it with minimal soiling. Another way to check if the sponge is ready, is to gently push down on the suface of the cake and if it springs back, then the sponge is ready. Remove the cake tin from the oven and set to one side for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes remove the cake and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Do not discard the cake tin and put it in the sink, leave it to one side as we will need it once the cake is cool.
The next step is pretty simple. Once the cake is cooled thoroughly, place the sponge back in the cake tin, get a spoon and begin to stab at the cake, the key is to let out all of your frustrations by damaging the cake as much as possible. You want to break the cake up until it becomes pure cake crumbs. Set the cake crumbs to one side.
Now it is time to make the butter cream. YES, you are about to add the butter cream to the cake crumbs- I know it sounds awful and messy, but you will see why a little later on.
For the butter cream you will require;
500g Icing sugar
250g unsalted butter
2 to 3 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the butter until it changes colour from yellow to pale cream or white. Then add the icing sugar extrememly slowly until all of the icing sugar has been mixed in. This will conclude with the mixture becoming very thick and bubbly. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly again. Your butter cream is now ready. Depending on what colour you would like the inside of the cake pops, this is the time where you can add some gel food colouring. The food colouring must be gel as if you are adding liquid, this can change the structure of the butter cream and render it useless. We are making plain vanilla cake pops with white cake inside so no food colouring needs to be added. Once you have made the butter cream, add it to the cake crumbs and mix well and roll into balls.
Now the time has come to get some lolly sticks out as we are now going to roll the cake crumbs into small balls.
In preparation for our cake balls, you will need the following;
Cake pop sticks,
Baking tray with a shpritz of oil on it, to prevent the cake balls from sticking.
Melting candy, I will be using white candy melts and chocolate candy melts.
Polystyrene, which will be used to insert your cake pop sticks whilst they are drying.
A small piping bag with small writing nozzle.
Gold candy melts.
Right, the first step is to roll your cake crumbs into small balls, around the size of the top of a teaspoon, make them all roughly the same size. Once you have rolled all of the cake balls, leave them to rest on the baking tray and set to one side. Get a pan full of boiling water a carefully place a pyrex dish on the top of the pan. Place each colour of candy melts into their own spate pyrex dish and melt them separately and leave to one side. Dip the top of the cake pop stick into the chocolate candy melt mix and place it into the centre of the cake balls. The reason for dipping the stick in chocolate first is so that the chocolate can act like glue, ensuring that the stick remains in the cake pop until it has been consumed. Once each of the cake balls have been ‘sticked’ place the tray with cake balls and their sticks into the the freezer for 20 minutes, if there is not enough room in your freezer, then place the baking tray into the fridge for 30 to 40 minutes. This cooling time will not only harden the cake balls themselves, they will also harden the chocolate part of the stick, making sure that the cake ball will not fall off the stick.
Once the cake balls have been cooled the fun part may now begin. The dipping process is up to you, what ever color you would like you cake pops to be, you dip them! Once you have dipped them, place the cake pop sticks into the polystyrene and leave them to dry. Place the excess golden melted candy into the small piping bag and using the writing nozzle design away. This is how you make extremely elegant CAKE POPS!!!