Christmas cake pops

How To Make Cake Pops, by Molly Bakes

Cake Pops are made by combining crumbled cake sponge and frosting, then rolling into balls or other shapes and coating in candy or chocolate.

Once you have mastered the various steps for making cake pops it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for sweet treats on a stick. All you need is a little patience and careful planning.

One of the many beauties of cake pops is that they can be made in advance and the individual steps don’t even need to be done on the same day. To make a perfect cake pop it’s worth setting aside some time and preparing what you can ahead of time. Things such as rolling the cake pop mixture can be done up to 3 days before you decide to decorate. Just refrigerate and use when you ready to begin making your cake pops.

Feel free to mix the sponge and frosting recipes as you wish, but I find out that you get the best flavours when you match the cake and frosting.

Here is my tried and tested vanilla sponge and frosting recipe for you to try: This light and fluffy vanilla cake makes a delicious base for a simple cake pop. Combine with classic vanilla cream cheese frosting for a wonderful buttery flavour.


Ingredients
120g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
180g self-raising flour, sifted
4 tbsp milk, at room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease and flour a 25cm round cake tin or a 20cm square cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar until it turns pale and fluffy. Mix the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add half the 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 35-45 minutes, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Once baked, leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting
Ingredients
80g unsalted butter, softened
40g cream cheese, softened
200g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Gradually add the sugar, the continue to cream until light and fluffy. Finally, mix in the vanilla extract. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

Combine the cake sponge with the frosting

Crumble your cake thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. I normally do this by hand as it gives a finer crumb. Begin to add your frosting to the cake crumbs, one tablespoon at a time and combine. You may not require all the frosting, depending on how moist your cake is, so just add a little at a time.

Keep mixing until you have a fudge like texture. Wrap the mixture in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour.

Roll the cake balls
Break off a small piece of the mixture, about the size of a ping-pong ball and roll into a ball with your palms. Place each ball on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm.

Prepare the candy melts
Ingredients
400g (1 bag) candy melts
Vegetable oil

Method
Place the candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on medium power for 1 minute. Stir thoroughly, they will have just begun to melt. Return to the microwave for a further 30 seconds. Stir again, making sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Heat for a further 30 seconds then give a final stir. Add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, to create a silky consistency.

Insert lollipop sticks
Take a lollipop stick and dip one end, 2cm deep into the melted candy. Immediately dip the stick into the centre of the ball, about halfway through. Place on a tray lined with baking paper to set.

Dip the cake pops
Before you start, pierce holes into the polystyrene block which will hold the cake pops. This will prevent any accidents. You can use a lollipop stick to pierce holes about 5cm apart.

Holding the stick, dip the cake pop fully into the candy. Be sure to cover right to the top of the stick to secure the pop in place.

Gently tap on the side of the bowl to remove any excess candy. Place securely in the polystyrene block and allow to dry.

Decorate the cake pops

You can decorate with sprinkles or sugar decorations while the candy is still wet, the candy will only take around 1-2 minutes to set.
Once you have mastered the simple cake pop ball, it’s easy to create any shape you like, whether a square, rectangle, cone or oval.

Recipe extracted from CAKE POPS by Molly Bakes, published by Square Peg. Mollybakes.co.uk. Photography © Zoe Flammang

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