Here’s another fun food project that can be done with your kids. Soon there will be lots of breaks from school and holiday vacations with lots of time to fill. Get your kids in the kitchen and get creative.
By taking a cake mix and some candy melts you and your kids can create some amazing treats. They’re called Cake Pops.
Cake Pops are all the rage and with good reason. They are pretty, fun and delicious.
Making cake pops takes some time but with simple ingredients your kids can make some pretty impressive looking desserts. For older children this is the perfect rainy day or snowy day activity. Need a quick and impressive dessert to take to a holiday party or would you like to supply the dessert for a birthday party, or shower? Cake pops could be just what you’re looking for.
I made mine for Halloween but they can be made for any occasion or holiday. Not only can they be made with cake but also with cheesecake, brownies and even chocolate chip cookie dough.
To make cake pops this is what you’ll need:
1 cake mix, any flavor
1 can frosting or 1 can of sweetened
sprinkles, gel icing, confetti or other decorations
wax or parchment paper
I chose to use the sweetened condensed milk after reading many times that if you use frosting it make the cake pops overly sweet. I also saw online that along with the frosting or condensed milk, you can add other flavors like peanut butter or nutella to add more flavor to the cake itself.
Here are the step by step instructions on making the basic cake pop.
1. Bake the cake in a 13x9 pan according to the directions. I used a cake mix with pudding in it but any cake mix, any flavor will do. Be sure to use a regular sized cake mix (not a Jiffy) if you want to a lot of cake pops. The cake mix will make about 40-50 pops depending on the size of the pops themselves.
2. Let the cake cool completely.
3. Break the cake up into a bowl.
4. Add the can of frosting OR ½ cup of condensed milk and combine completely.
5. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the cake and place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or parchment. With dry hands, roll the cake between your two hands until it forms a ball.
6. Place the balls on the covered cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
7. While they’re chilling in the freezer, melt the candy melts in the microwave for 30 second intervals stirring in between.
8. Remove the cake pops from the freezer. Take a lollipop stick and dip it into the melted chocolate (candy melt) then insert in into the ball about half way.
This is the time to shape the pop into whatever shape you would like. At the end of the post I have lined out the directions for each the mummy, the jack o lantern and the ghosts.
11. Now is the time to dip them into the melted candy. If you are going to decorate them with sprinkles or other decorations, be sure to have them ready.
Once the pops are dipped into the chocolate it will dry quickly and then the decorations won’t stick. Be sure to have an adequate amount of chocolate to dip the pops in, sort of like dipping a caramel apple. A spoon or fork can be used to make sure they are completely covered.
Let the access drip off the end. Don’t worry if the coating isn’t completely smooth. You’ll get better with practice. Having the chocolate warm enough that it’s fluid will help keep the coating smooth. The chocolate can be reheated to make sure that it’s loose to dip.
Once the pops are dipped stick them into a styrofoam block to dry.
Let your imagination run wild with the decorations. I think that they look best, simply done. Maybe a drizzle of different colored chocolate and maybe some sprinkles. The pops don’t have to be round either. I’ve even seen them in squares.
To make the mummies:
Mold the cake into an oval shape. Dip it into white melted candy melts. Put them into the Styrofoam block to dry. Once they are dry take either a fork or a squeeze bottle and draw lines randomly around the cake pop to simulate the bandages on the mummy. Add either gel icing for the eyes or use melted chocolate chips.
To make the jack o lanterns:
Form the cake into rounds. Dip them into orange melted candy melts. Place into the Styrofoam block to dry. After they’re dry, draw the jack o lantern faces with either black gel icing or melted chocolate chips. A green tic tac can be used as the stem.
To make the ghosts:
Shape the cake into ghost shapes, making a head at the top. Dip them into white melted candy melts. Let them dry in the Styrofoam block. Decorate using either black gel icing or melted chocolate chips.
Here are some tips that might will make making cake pops more fun.
--To melt the chocolate (candy melts) use the microwave or over a double boiler. If you use a double boiler be sure not to get any water in the chocolate. Water is DEATH to chocolate. It will seize and you'll have to throw it away.
--Experiment with different flavors of cake and with different shapes. The key to cake pops is all in the decorating. But they don't to be fancy.
--If your cake pops feel sticky when you're trying to shape them, pop them back in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. They won't freeze solid and won't stick to your hands.
--The cake pops will form condensation if they sit out too long at room temperature. So they will be best if they are made 48 hours before you need them. They can be wrapped in cellophane and kept in the refrigerator.
--Candy melts, lollipop sticks, styrofoam and icing gel can be bought at A.C. Moore, Michaels and even at Walmart.
I hope this gives you some inspiration and the confidence to give this a try.