200g (7oz) unsalted butter – softened
150g (5oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium eggs – room temperature
180g (6oz) self-raising flour
4 tablespoons milk – room temperature
80g (3oz) unsalted butter
40g (1oz) cream cheese – softened
200g (7oz) icing sugar – sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g white chocolate
250g Renshaw Jet Black Ready to Roll Icing
Red piping icing
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Lightly grease and flour a 25cm round cake tin or a 20cm square cake tin.
To make the vanilla cake, cream the unsalted butter and the caster sugar for approximately 5 minutes until it turns pale and fluffy. Mix 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add half the self-raising flour and then half the milk and mix until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a light golden brown.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the cream cheese frosting, cream the unsalted butter and cream cheese together.
Gradually add the icing sugar, continuing to cream until light and fluffy. Finally, mix in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Refrigerate the cream cheese frosting for 30 minutes.
To make the cake pops, crumble the vanilla cake finely in a large mixing bowl. (It's best to do this by hand as it gives a finer crumb, but you can also use your food processor). Remove the crust of the cake with a sharp kitchen knife first to avoid any lumps.
Once you have crumbled the cake, add in one heaped tablespoon of cream cheese frosting at a time, and mix with the crumbs. (You may not require all of the frosting, depending on how moist your cake is, so use a little at a time). Keep mixing until you have a fudge-like texture. To see if it’s ready, squeeze a little of the mixture in your palm – it should be pliable and not crumble. (If you add too much frosting the mixture will be soggy, sticky and heavy and the cake pops will fall off the cake pop lollipop stick when you try to dip them in the white chocolate).
Wrap the cake pop mixture in cling film and chill for at least one hour. The mixture should be firm but not too hard when it’s ready to work with.
Break off a small piece of the mixture and roll into a ping pong sized ball with your palms. Place the cake balls on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are firm.
Melt some white chocolate over a bowl of boiling water.
Take each long cake pop lollipop stick and dip one end 2cm deep into the melted white chocolate. Immediately insert the stick into the centre of each cake ball, stopping the lollipop stick half way through. Place on a tray lined with baking paper for 1 to 2 minutes to set.
Take each cake pop on a stick and dip fully into the white chocolate. When dipping, be sure to cover right to the top of the stick to secure the cake pop in place. Gently tap the cake pop over the bowl to remove any excess white chocolate.
Allow the dipped cake pops to fully set in the fridge before adding a small black ball of Renshaw Jet Black Ready to Roll Icing for a pupil and use red piping icing to add veins.