Saturday, December 24, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas ~ Day 12: Cake Pops Christmas Tree


The last and final day of my 12 Days of Christmas and I had to end on a high note, so for my Twelfth Day I present my Cake Pops Christmas Tree!

I had always planned to do cake pops but just wasn't sure how best to present them and so I have to thank Buttercream Blondie for the inspiration after seeing her fantastic Cupcake Tree! Although it looks like a lot of work it really isn't too bad and to be honest I had so much fun making this. I made this for a party we were at and it was the perfect dessert to take as not only are they delicious bites of cake, but it makes a beautiful centerpiece for the table. It certainly got everyone talking – that is when their mouths weren't full of cake!!


After the success of my First Ever Cake Pops, I couldn't wait to get back to making some more so as with the original ones, these were made using my Cake Pop Maker meaning rather than traditional cake pops these are just little bites of pure, moist vanilla cake (so Cake Bites!). After icing the cake pops I decorated them with a combination of edible glitter, silver shimmer spray and coconut to create a beautiful frosted and sparkly winter tree.



For the Cake Pops: (makes enough for roughly 48 cake pops)
215g/ 1½ cups plain or all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
100g/ ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
185g/ 1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
125ml milk

To Ice & Decorate the Cake Pops:
1 bag of Wilton (or other) White Candy Melts
1/3 bag Wilton (or other) Blue Candy Melts
Canola or Grapeseed Oil
Edible glitter – I used shimmery silver white and blue
Unsweetened Coconut
Edible Silver Shimmer Spray (I used Dr. Oetker)

To assemble:
Approximately 72 decorated cake pops (1 ½ quantity of above recipe)
73 Cocktail sticks (toothpicks)
1 Styrofoam Cone
Tin foil (Aluminum foil)
Styrofoam block covered with foil (optional – but a good stand for letting the cake pops dry)
Shimmering star (optional) (mine was made from fondant that I sprayed with the Shimmer Spray then finished with a good sprinkling of glitter)
Silver snowflake wire or other decorations (optional)

To make the cake pops (or cake bites!) put the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix.

In the bowl of a KitchenAid (or similar) free-standing mixer add the butter and sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Once everything is well mixed add 1/3 of the flour mixture then ½ of the milk. Mix together then add another 1/3 of flour followed by the remaining milk. Finish with the last of the flour then mix until everything is properly combined – do not over mix though.

Spray or wipe a little oil on the cake pop maker then heat it up (according to manufacturers instructions) until it is ready. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture into the holes then allow to cook for 4-6 minutes (5 seems to work for me). Carefully remove the cake pops from the machine (the whole thing gets very hot) and allow to cool on a wire rack. Repeat the process until all of the cake batter is used up.

Once the cake pops have all cooled melt the candy melts according to the instructions on the packet. Once completely melted and smooth add enough oil to make the coating thin enough to evenly coat the cake pops (I find the best consistency is when it drizzles evenly and easily from a spoon).

Dip the end of a cocktail stick (toothpick) into the melted candy coating then carefully put into the cake pop – just about ½ way through. Repeat this then pop the cake pops in the freezer for 10 minutes. This allows the sticks to properly harden and makes it easier to dip the cake pops.

One at a time dip the cake pops into the icing until evenly coated. Tap them on the side of the bowl to shake off any excess icing then carefully stick them in the cake pop holder or if easier I used a block of styrofoam that I covered with tin foil. While still wet decorate the cake pops with coconut or glitter if using. If you have shimmer spray use that once the icing has dried.

Once you have iced and decorated all of the cake pops and they are dry start assembling the tree. Cover the styrofoam cone with tin foil and if you prefer secure with a little tape. Starting at the bottom stick a spare cocktail stick into the cone to make a hole – this makes it much easier to put the actual cake pops into the cone. Carefully stick the first cake pop into the tree then repeat the process working your way around the tree until you get to the top. Finish with the last cake pops at the top. If using add the snowflake wire or other Christmas decorations then top with the star. It may take a bit of time but I had a lot of fun doing it and it really is worth all the effort! Merry Christmas!


Tips:

  • After I decorated the cake pops I put them in our garage for about 20 minutes to harden and chill but if you have room stick them in your fridge or other cold place.
  • I have quite hot hands so when assembling the tree I wore a pair of rubber gloves to avoid melting the coating and smudging them.
  • If it's easier make the cake pops the day before then assemble them on the day – that way it breaks down the time needed! (Or alternatively you can make them and then freeze them until needed.)

14 comments:

  1. This is gorgeous! Love the colors - I bet it was fun to make *and* eat!

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  2. I'm so happy you made a cake tree! It looks so pretty!! I love the colors you used & all the sparkles ;) Hope you had a lovely day yesterday!

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  3. This is so neat! I just love the coloring you chose, very festive. I think you are so creative.

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  4. WOW, that's gorgeous. I;ve seen several pop trees, but your colors and the bit of silver for accent just kills it :)

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  5. What a beautiful display! Love it! That would also be great for a New Year's party.

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  6. Thank you all so much - it really was so much fun to make!

    Buttercream Blondie - thank you for the inspiration!

    Amber - It would be beautiful for New Year as well - it is so special I think it would be great for any celebration and have a feeling it's just the first of many that I will be making!!

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  7. What a gorgeous idea! I only just stumbled across this (backlog on my RSS feed!) but will definitely give this a try for Crimbo 2012! I loved buttercreamblondie's idea as well but am not such a fan of icing so think yours is more 'me'! :)

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  8. It's brilliant. Thanks for the idea. This is for you :/allholidaytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/rosa2.gif

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  9. This is so beautiful! What size styrofoam cone did you use for 72 pops?

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    1. Thanks Kam! It's certainly a lot of fun to make - I can't wait to do another 1 (or 2!) this Christmas :)
      As for the styrofoam cone - to be honest I just bought what they had at the store but I'm going to guess it was 12 inches.... I did have to cut the top off but you could easily just make more cake pops - whatever works best for you! Have fun and let me know how yours turns out :)

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    2. Hi Lyndsey! I finally finished..Whew!! This took some time and I think I had almost 80 pops when it was all said and done. I'd love your opinion! I posted it on my facebook. Kam's Cake Pops
      Thank you so much for such a wonderful idea and inspiration!

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