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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to Make Perfect Cake Pops or if you like Cake Pops 101

A lot of you email me with questions about cake pops and problems that you encounter making them.
So instead of answering the same questions over and over and over again, I thought it would be easier if I just went over many of the problems "I" have encountered as well as some cake pop solutions "I" have discovered to make the whole cake pop thing something that is easy.

And really it is......if you follow some of these tips and tricks for making cake pops easier!


Because let's face it, if you go by some of the instructions floating out there, you end up with big mushy blobs of cake that sometimes stay on the stick, but mostly fall off.

They resemble nothing of the "pretty" round pops you see and most often are just gloppy blobs on a stick. That is  "IF" you are lucky enough to have yours stay on the stick. And let's not forget the trouble many of us have dipping them when the chocolate just won't get un lumpy.

Then there's the problem of cake pops that ooooozzzzzzzeeee oil from them and the worst offender... the problem of them cracking. Yes , cracking! After all the hard work you put into those little guys, they crack....

Sigh.......

With all the roadblocks, some people throw in the towel, before they even reach the finish line.

But since I have made literally thousands of these in the past year, I learned many do's and dont's along the way; helpful hints and solutions that just may make the task of making these seriously delicious treats easy as pie.


Now as a disclaimer I am not an expert, I don't have any sort of "cake pop" master's degree. All I have is my experience and what has and has not worked for me. So if you find what I write in some way cake pop blasphemy...well firstly get over it  and then accept my apologies ahead of time.

There are many ways to make cake pops....this is just "MY" way. Other people may have 100% success with their way of doing it, I just haven't and if your reading this then you probably haven't either. So have a read and a look and then try it out for yourself..and do let me know what you think.

I use a good old box mix when I make cake pops, it works for me. They always taste awesome and not one person has every thrown one at me in disgust, screaming obscenities. But I do doctor the mix a bit in order to have it taste great and have the consistency work later on.

First off I cut out 75% of the oil the box recipe calls for, and I add in apple sauce to make up the difference. I also add in a box (approx 3.5 oz) of instant pudding to the mix, do not make the pudding, just add the powder. which boosts up the flavor ten fold and gives the cake more body and the right type of moisture.

I have found that it also also cuts down the baking time. (Bonus!!) Typically in an 13x9 pan it takes 22-24 minutes to fully bake

Because so many of you always email me about this apple sauce to oil ratio, here is a pic...


It really comes down to 1/4 cup of apple sauce with 2 tbsp. oil. It's not and exact science, just a guesstamation on my part so if it's not 100% DON'T WORRY!!!

What these two things do is.........

-Prevents the need to refrigerate the cake pops.
-Stops the cake pops from oozing oil after they have been dipped
-Completely and totally eradicates any type of cracking.

Secondly I DON'T add in ridiculous amounts of frosting. Some videos and "how to's" on making cake pops use a lot of frosting. Please the excess frosting madness needs to stop, it only creates mushy balls of frosting.  The key is mixing this amount throughout the crumbled cake, you want it mist and pliable not super moist and mushy. Think play- doh.For a box mix (13x9 size cake) I may use a little over 2 Tbsp - 3 Tbsp If even that much frosting.

That. Is. All....Really...Trust me on this.

What this does is....



-Stops the cake pop from falling off the stick.
-Allows you to roll out a cake pop into any shape, as well as perfect little balls.
-Provides you the right balance of cake and frosting and not a ball of mush.

When I mix the cake and frosting I mix it by hand and NOT with a hand mixer or my Kitchen Aid mixer. I have found that by using my Kitchen Aid, I can roll out ridiculous amounts of cake pops in record setting time, because it mixes it so well that the mixture does not stick to my hands. You also need a lot less frosting, as the mixer is so powerful it changes the mixture,

BUT they don't taste as good, still good but not the same.

The scientific reason why, I'm not 100% sure, but I think the cake and frosting mix too much and become something else altogether. They look pretty, still taste good, but taste much better when done by hand. (My opinion.)

When I do roll out the balls, I use a tablespoon measuring spoon (heaping)  A metal one works better than plastic as it won't break. Just scoop all the dough out then roll them afterwards.


When you add the stick, dip it in chocolate first...


What this does is...

-Adheres the pop to the stick.
-Finishes the pop in a clean way when you dip it.

You can actually dip the stick put it in the pop ans dip the pop for a seamless edge if you like. There is no need to wait..at all. If they fall off the stick well, then you added too much frosting and they are too heavy.

And lastly melt the chocolate so you can dip correctly. I use candy melts, so for a bag of candy melts I add in about a teaspoon of oil to help thin out the chocolate. If I'm using chocolate candy melts, I skip the oil and add in chunks of dark chocolate 80% of higher, which thins the melts AND gives it a fantastic flavor. But as long as you melt everything slowly, you don't have to add anything unless you want it thinner then by all means ad away!

The chocolate should run off the spoon...easliy and with no clumping. Clumpy chocolate often means you are closer to overheated candy melts. This happens with white and colored candy melts, melt them slow!


Dip away!


I hope these tips help you along the way I know they have helped me!



 If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or just leave a comment below!

Enjoy!

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