Heart-Shaped Cake Pops
With all of the cake pop making of late, I couldn’t help but make some more to bring into the office for Valentine’s Day. Well, that and I really wanted to try out the mini-cookie cutters I got for my birthday as part of my cake pop kit. I think these were more aesthetically pleasing to my OCD-driven eye due to the fact that a cookie cutter is much more exact than my haphazardly rolled cake balls – let’s be honest, my cake balls look like they very well might have a tumor. Thankfully, that does not impact anything in the taste department. I bought some treat bags and ribbon for a ‘professional’ presentation and started baking away.
The heart-shaped cake pops were a big hit and also served as my good deed for the week – I have to limit the good deeds to one a week….I have to keep expectations under control after all. I still find it amusing that my co-workers actually think I am domestic – little do they know…
It is mentioned at the bottom of my post, but I want to point out again that you don’t need to make all 48 cake pops at once – quite frankly, making that many pops takes the fun out of it for me, mostly because they are so time consuming. If you are just making them for fun and snacking at home, I would make a dozen at a time – to do this, divide your cake in quarters and only use one section (also reduce the amount of frosting accordingly). One, 12 oz. bag of Wilton’s candy coating is pretty perfect for 12 cake pops – you’ll have extra candy coating, but I move sort of slow so it is hardening up after 12 anyway. If you like the candy as much as I do, you can either pour the extra coating into a candy mold (the much fancier option) OR be shameless and just pour the candy mold onto wax paper to harden. The latter is my method of choice….I am shameless in my love of sweets after all.
- Bake the cake as directed on the box, using a 9-by-13 inch cake pan. Let the cake cool completely.
- Crumble the cooled cake into a large mixing bowl. The easiest way to do this is with your hands; simply cut the cake into four even sections then remove one section, break it in half and rub the two pieces together over the mixing bowl. Be sure to crumble any large pieces that break off. You can use a fork or even a whisk to break up the larger pieces, just be sure that the cake crumbles are a fine in texture when complete. Lumps are bad for cake pops.
- Add 3/4 of the container of frosting to the crumbled cake – try to not add more or less, as more makes them too moist and less makes it hard to keep the balls intact. Keep mixing until the frosting is fully adsorbed into the cake and is no longer visible.
- Your cake mix should now be moist enough to roll into balls and still hold the shape. Roll balls large enough to then place your cookie cutter on top; press down and remove the extra cake from the sides. After creating each heart, place them on a wax paper-covered baking sheet.
- Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator, OR place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. The balls should be firm, but not frozen. If using the freezer method (which I like because it is faster), move the baking sheets over to the refrigerator after the allotted time in the freezer – obviously keeping them at room temperature for very long will negate what you just did with the freezer.
- Place the candy coating (aka candy melts) in a deep, microwave-safe plastic bowl. These bowls make it easier for dipping and they are cooler to the touch after having been microwaved. I typically only melt one bag (12 oz.) at a time – it understandably begins to harden after a period of time so you don’t want to make too much.
- Melt the candy coating according to the instructions on the package – i.e. microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring well in between. Keep doing this until you have a lump-free liquid coating – don’t overheat the coating, as it will begin to thicken and become unusable.
- Tip: Sometimes your candy coating will be too thick, making it harder to dip your cake balls – darker-colored coating sometimes have this problem. An easy way to thin the coating is to add a teaspoon of shortening or vegetable oil to the candy coating; keep stirring until fully melted. Add more as needed until the coating is fluid enough to work with easily. Note – I have not actually had to do this yet, so I’m not sure how often thinning is required (I’m guessing not very).
- Now we’re ready to coat some cake pops! Take only a few cake balls out of the fridge at a time to work with. One at a time, dip about ½ inch of the lollipop stick tip into the candy coating, and then insert the stick right through the middle of the cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through.
- Dip the entire cake ball by the stick into the candy coating until completely covered, and remove in one motion. Do not double dip – this makes the cake ball too heavy and it will more than likely fall off the stick.
- When you remove the cake pop from the candy coating, gently rotate the cake pop, lightly tap the stick, and let all of the extra coating drip off. The rotating is important so one side does not end up heavier than another. This process takes awhile, so be patient.
- Once drip-free, stick the cake pop into the Styrofoam block to let the candy coating harden.
- If adding sprinkles or other general decorations, add to the top of the cake pop before the coating sets.
- Repeat with the remaining cake pops and let dry completely.
- Cake Pops can be stored in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for several days. You can also cover them in small treat bags, tied with a ribbon.
- Tip: If you don’t need or want to make 48 cake pops, just divide the sheet cake in quarters and use the appropriately reduced amount of frosting and candy coating. Each quarter of the cake makes about 12 cake pops. You can freeze the remaining cake for later use.
Printer Friendly PDF: Heart-Shaped Cake Pops
I’ve only made cake balls and cake pops a couple of times now, but I owe every iota of knowledge I have to Bakerella.com, or more specifically her book, “Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats”. She has a ton of amazing ideas and I definitely recommend checking it out if this recipe caught your eye.