Monday, November 26, 2012

(Cup)cake Pops!

Last November, I decided to try my hand at creating some pretty awesome birthday treats for my mom. Behold cake pops:

As you can see, they didn't really turn out super spectacular. It was my first try, though, and I was tickled at the result. This November, I tried a variation of the little cuties: cupcake pops! I didn't take too many process pictures because it's sort of messy. Plus, I took some decent ones last time.

To get the birthday party poppin', you'll need:

  • A regular cake mix (any brand; flavor of your choosing)
  • 1 can of frosting (any brand; flavor of your choosing)
  • Candy chocolate for dipping (milk & white)
  • Sprinkles (or other small decorations)
  • Sucker sticks (found at Michael's or JoAnn's)
  • Small flower-shaped cookie cutter

    This is an old picture. This time, instead of Candy Dips, I
    used Kroger brand baker's chocolate (milk and white for dying).

    Here's how it works:
    First, you bake a cake. I went with chocolate since it's Mom's favorite.

    Let the cake cool completely. I baked the cake a day ahead of time, but covered it so it would stay moist.

    Next, crumble the cake into tiny pieces. One website suggested you put the pieces into a food processor, but I just used my hands.

    For the next step, I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer, but a hand mixer would work, you need not use a mixer at all. Last year, I used one, but it wasn't really necessary. In fact, it was just annoying. I used my God-given tools this time around and it was way more fun.

    Add about 1/2 - 3/4 of a can of store bought frosting to the crumbled cake pieces. It's important not to use too much frosting, or your pops might fall off the stick! For this project, I used chocolate frosting. You can use any combination of cake and frosting.

    Mix well until you get the consistency of Play-Doh. Unfortunately, I don't know where I originally found that tip, but it's the best tip I could pass along. We all know what Play-Doh feels like, right? I woud have added the entire can of frosting if I didn't know any better.

    Next, cover the cake dough with plastic wrap and chill. I left it in the refrigerator for about an hour fifteen minutes.

    Prepare a cookie sheet by placing a sheet of wax paper on top. Once your dough is sufficiently chilled, bring it out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Next, mold the cake pops.
    For cupcake pops, use a small (about the size of a half dollar) cookie cutter in the shape of a simple flower to mimic the shape of the bottom of a cupcake. Because I'm a turd, I don't have any pictures of this. You want to grab quite a bit (that's a precise measurement, you know) of dough and press it through the bottom of the cookie cutter. I used the bottom of my hand or the counter to level it off on the bottom. Then, just mold the top until you have what you think looks like a sufficient muffin cupcake top. Once you complete a couple, you'll surely get the hang of it.
    Next, melt a good amount (again, you must be very precise) of milk chocolate. Holding the pop from the mounded top, dip only the bottom in the milk chocolate. Stick one sucker stick into the bottom of each dipped pop. As you complete this step, place each pop top side down onto the prepared cookie sheet. As it dries, the chocolate will act as glue and should hold the pop firmly in place.
    Once each stick is popped, melt a good amount of white chocolate. Using food coloring, die the white chocolate any color. I chose pink because it just seemed right. Prepare a plate with a sprinkling of sprinkles. Picking the pop up by the stick, dip each of the cupcake tops in the colored chocolate. Immediately after dipping, roll the top of the pop in the sprinkles. (Check it out: Last time, I chilled the pops before dipping them into chocolate. I'm pretty sure it was another tip I found online that turned out to be not-so-awesome. I thought chilling the pops would prevent them from falling off the stick when dipping, but it caused the chocolate to harden so quickly that I couldn't decorate them with sprinkles. Having done it both ways, I'll never chill them before dipping again.)
    Finally, you'll need a way to display the precious little bites. I picked up a rectangular piece of floral foam from Michaels, wrapped it, and stuck the pops in. Next time, I think a tiered display is in order.
    Voila! Cupcake pops! Cute, right?!

    This recipe yields about 30 cupcake pops. I only made 20, so I saved the
    extra dough. I'll let you know how it holds up after being defrosted!
    Most other cupcake pops I've seen have been finished off by an M&M. I have to say, it's super cute. I just didn't want to spend the extra 75 cents. Or I was too lazy. Probably the latter.

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    1. What is it about sprinkles? They have so little flavor, but they make everything look so yummy! I bet your mom loved these.

    2. They were delicious! Tasted as good as they looked.


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