Now before I write anything about my achievements in making my first ever cake pops I feel that I need to add a disclaimer otherwise I will inevitably receive a backlash of comments criticising me.... yes these 'cake pops' are not authentic, original cake pops as created and made famous by Bakerella!! These are my cake pops which rather surprisingly were made using a Babycakes Cake Pop maker! I know....I'm sure a lot of you are reading this in disbelief....not only are these not real cake pops but they were made using an electrical cake pop maker!
The thing is I have wanted to make cake pops for a while now. Like all new baking trends I was suckered into the cake pop frenzy and unsurprisingly have the Bakerella book (it was too good an offer to turn down!) however I have another confession to make....quite honestly the idea of turning a cake into crumbs, mixing with frosting and forming into balls (or other shapes for that matter) just didn't appeal! I know, I know – many of you will have stopped reading now – but I just can't help it! For some reason it brings back memories of taking slices of bread and squashing them into big doughy balls (which of course I loved as a child, much to my mums horror!)...it just didn't seem quite right. That being said who am I to judge?! The reality is cake pops are big and from what I've read and seen people can't get enough of them. I'm also sure that pretty soon I will be eating my words as it is my intention to make original cake pops and I have every faith that they will be delicious. For the time being however my venture into cake pop territory began by making perfect little balls of cake all made possible by using the Babycakes Cake Pop maker.
I have to admit I surprised myself by buying the machine and I did so rather sceptically. I'd seen the ones for cupcakes before and quite honestly had laughed at them – I mean, making cakes in an electrical machine...really?! But yet here I was, standing in the shop holding this machine, reading the instructions and actually thinking about buying it. What in the end sealed the deal on the purchase was the fact that it was on sale so if it turned out to be the disappointment I was expecting it wouldn't be too much of a loss and I would hear myself saying “I knew it!”. I was really hoping however that I was going to be proved wrong and lo and behold I was!
For it's maiden voyage I decided to try the recipe given in the instruction booklet which was your basic sponge cake recipe. I did however half it as the quantities given was enough for 48 little balls of cake, which for me seemed a little too much for the first go! So I made the batter, heated the machine (which incidentally does get unbelievably hot and is therefore not a suitable gift for children) and crossed my fingers. Once all 12 holes were filled I closed it and set the timer for 4 minutes – yes 4 minutes! Was it possibly to have lovely bites of vanilla cake in just 4 minutes? Answer – almost! They looked perfect so I excitedly took them out however they were pretty soft and I'm convinced did shrink a little after cooling so I gave the second batch 5 minutes and they were much better – no shrinkage!
To decorate them I used Wilton Candy Melts – another first for me, but they did the trick after a few practices and a couple of tutorials on YouTube to help me out! Turns out I had to add some oil to my melted chocolate/candy to get it to the right consistency for dipping – another first for me, but it worked beautifully and there was no taste of oil in the finished chocolate. I finished them off with some sprinkles and voila – job done! They are by no means perfect and not maybe as round as a proper cake pop would be but I have to admit that even with a few hiccups along the way I am super excited to make more of these – especially for Christmas time. Hopefully by then I will have perfected my decorating and they will look even better!
Tips and Hints:
- Don't forget to lightly oil the Cake Pop Maker! It makes removing them and clean up much easier (I speak from experience!).
- You really do need to freeze the cakes once you have inserted the sticks, otherwise they just fall off when you dip them (trust me on that one!).
- Make sure the chocolate or covering you use is the right consistency. Too thick and it won't work, too runny and it will be too thin and you'll see the cake underneath (although its better to go too thin than too thick).
- Try to avoid eating too many as you are making them....it's a tough one as they are just so darn delicious!
- Lastly have fun!