Step 1. Bake a Cake! …from scratch or with a store bought mix like Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker.
Tip: You can even buy a pre-made cake from the grocery store–pound cakes work nicely.
Step 2. Next, crumble the cooled-to-room-temperature cake into small pieces, large crumbs. I use a stand mixer.
Tip: I find that the cooler the cake the better (refrigerator cooled is great!). If the cake is warm when you add the icing it may wet the cake and make it too soggy. Don’t rush.
Step 3. Gradually add icing (room temperature or refrigerator chilled–fresh or store bought) one very large spoonful at a time to your crumbed cake. You are looking for the consistency of a firm dough…not mush! Just add enough icing to make firm balls of cake.
Step 4. Using a small scoop (1 oz. max. otherwise you may have a difficult time dipping a large cake pop into chocolate) start making cake balls by rolling the dough in your hands. Place each cake ball on a flat plate, dish, jellyroll pan, etc.
Tip: One box of Duncan Hines cake mix and a half of a tub of icing will make approx. 20-24 cake balls.
Step 5. Melt a small amount of chocolate for your cookie sticks. Cookie sticks are readily available at crafts stores like Michael’s….check their baking aisle. We also sell them on Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110886007947
Step 6. Dip each stick about a 1/2 to 3/4 inches into the melted chocolate and then carefully insert, slightly twisting as you go, into the cake ball…almost all the way through.
Tip: When inserting the cookie sticks, make sure you have enough chocolate to make a nice “button”. You want the stick sealed tight with the cake. This will help avoid “yellow stick”, which is when the butter/oil saturates the paper cookie stick. It’s often tough to avoid “yellow stick” but sealing the cake pop as much as you can will help.
Step 7. Chill the “sticked” cake pops in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes while you work on melting your chocolate.
Melting chocolate properly is a post of its own. While I am not going to talk about that in this post, if you need any advice, just ask!
Step 8. Once your chocolate is ready (85 degrees is ideal for the chocolate we use), take one or two pops from the refrigerator and begin dipping.
Tip: If the cake pops are too cold and your chocolate is too hot, when you dip them they will often crack. Cold Pops + Hot Chocolate = CRACKS.
Carefully dip each pop (A coffee cup works great!) into the melted chocolate (85 degrees is my ideal temp–use a candy thermometer!). Gently lift straight up out of the chocolate and gently tap the stick (keeping pop upside down or angled) so that any extra chocolate can drip off.
Step 9: If you are decorating with sprinkles, nonpareils, sanding sugar, etc. do this before the chocolate dries, then place the cake pop into styrofoam or cake pop stand (check out KC Bakes!) to cool/harden. If you are going to drizzle melted chocolate on top you can do this after the chocolate dries).
Now keep going until all of your pops are done!
Step 10. Watch them disappear :)!!
If you have any trouble with these instructions let me know. I’m happy to offer advice and tips. What works for me may not work for you.
I’ve run into many obstacles….yellow sticks, spotty/streaked chocolate (too cold), cracks (too hot), cake pops falling off the stick into the chocolate (too much icing), etc. I’ve managed to finally figure out most of those obstacles…so again, just ask!