It's no surprise that cake balls have taken off like crazy over the past year. These delightfully cute bite-size treats are absolutely irresistable. Even I fell prey to the gravity of their success - but when my lovely boyfriend got me the Cake Pops book for my birthday this year, I got tired just looking at them. The thought of making them exhausted me, but once I did, it was so worth it. They're just so cute and festive (and delicious). Once I realized a few things, the labor that went into making them didn't seem so daunting.
- You can spread the cake pop process out over a couple days to make it less labor-intensive.
- You can crumble just half of the cake, so that you don't have to make all 50 or so cake balls at once
- You can freeze your cake pops (or baked cake) for future use
To spread the process out, you bake the cake on day 1, crumble mix and roll the balls on day 2, cover and decorate on day 3. That way you have three days of doing just a little bit of work, instead of one, long, labor-filled day. Plus, their ability to be frozen makes them perfect for parties, potlucks, or any event because they can be made well in advance (or even in batches), then frozen until the day before. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator to avoid any “weeping” chocolate (nothing makes me sadder than when my chocolate cries), then enjoy at your leisure.I keep a stash in my freezer for when I need my chocolate fix. (You may notice the little bit of frost on these- as I did not have the patience to let them thaw before their photo shoot).
The easiest way to dry and display your cake pops is with a cheap, styrofoam block. You can get any variety of foam shapes to stick your cake pops into for display – if it’s Christmas time, try a cone that you have painted green. Halloween? Paint that same cone orange or black, or even decorate it to look like a witch’s hat! With the wide variety of both candy couvetures and sprinkles available these days, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Go ahead and make (and freeze) your Halloween cake balls this weekend – they’ll be waiting patiently in your freezer for your Halloween party (assuming they last that long, we seem to have a cake ball monster in my house, wonder who it could be...).
- 1 recipe chocolate cake (or 1 package cake mix)
- 12 oz frosting
- 12 oz bag chocolate couverture, candy coating, or chocolate chips
- Sprinkles or other decorations
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.* (see note below)
2. Mix thoroughly with frosting
3. Roll mixture into 1-ounce balls and lay on cookie sheet.
4. Chill for several hours in fridge or 15 min in freezer
5. Melt coating on half power in 30-second intervals in microwave, stirring after each interval. OR in a double boiler.
6. Stick lollipop stick into each ball, then dip and cover in coating. Tap off the excess, and roll in sprinkles.
* Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them
* I usually use gloved hands to crumble, mix, and roll my cake balls.
*Work with a few cake balls at a time and just a little coating at a time, so the cake balls are always cold, and the coating is always smooth and melty
* You can bake your cake, wrap and freeze half for later, and make a half-batch of cake pops. The frozen half-cake will keep for a few months in the freezer, you can thaw it overnight and use it to make cake balls (or half of a cake) at any time.
* CUSTOMIZE!!! Mix and match your favorite cake flavors and frostings for any type of cake pop flavor you desire! I've made red velvet with cream cheese in addition to these dark chocolate beauties you see here.
* Check your local specialty kitchen store for all kinds of candy coatings & decorations - although cake pops are so popular now, even your local Wal-Mart and Target probably carry a good variety of options as well.