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Cake Pops 101

Contents

1. What are cake pops?

2. What do they taste like?

3. What do I need to make cake pops?

4. How much icing/frosting do I need to add to the cake crumbs?

5. How to melt chocolate?

6. How do I colour chocolate?

7. What do I use to thin out the chocolate for dipping?

8. I ran out of vegetable shortening/paramount crystals - help!

9. How to store cake pops?

 

1. What are cake pops?

Cake pops are crumbled cake mixed with icing & rolled into bite size balls, then dipped in chocolate & fixed onto a stick. They can also be made using cookie crumbs as the base (eg. Oreo cookies + cream cheese = delicious!).

Specialised cake pop pans can be purchased, where you pour your cake batter in & bake them, skipping the crumbling of cake & mixing with icing altogether.

Cake pop = cake crumbs + icing & coated in chocolate

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2. What do they taste like?

We'd say, they generally taste & have the consistency of a truffle (well, at least with these rose cake pops that you all will be baking do!). 

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3. What do I need to make cake pops?

Ingredients you'll need: 

Cake pop base:
 

This can be cake, left over cake scraps, leftover frosted cake or cookies.

Glue:
Any type of icing/frosting (ie. buttercream, swiss, etc) or a chocolate ganache. You can basically use anything that can combine the cake crumbs to form a dough like consistency.
Coating: 
Cooking chocolate wafers
Coating thinner (optional): 
Vegetable shortening &/or paramount crystals to thin out the chocolate. Click here for more information.
Food colouring:
 Food colouring suitable for colouring chocolate. Click here to find out what they are.

 

Other items you'll need:

Sticks: 
 You can use paper or plastic lollipop sticks, or even those paper drinking straws. (In our May 2017 bakeitbox, we include paper lollipop sticks that you can paint green. Make sure to use a food grade colour dye!)
Cake pop stand: 

You can buy actual cake pop stands, or DIY your own:

  • Purchase floral foam/ floral styrofoam
  • Make one out of a cardboard box, click here to see our tutorial.
Cake pop wrapper & ties (Optional):

  

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4. How much icing/frosting do I need to add to the cake crumbs?

It's one of those things where you just need to eyeball it. Add a little at a time until the mixture starts to come together & it resembles a pliable dough. Test it out by rolling your mixture into a ball. If it doesn't make smooth edges like dough, add more icing.

Just a word of caution, don't be tempted to add more icing than necessary, because 1) too much can make your dough balls too soft & it may not hold its shape & 2) excess oil as a result of the icing may cause your coated cake pops to leak cake/oil out. 

[PS. For the bakeitbox family who are getting ready to make their rose cake pops, feel free to add less icing as you see fit.] 

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5. How to melt chocolate?

Two ways - you can microwave it or melt it in a baine marie/ double boiler. 

Microwaving your chocolate is quick & convenient. Make sure to stir your chocolate in between each bursts, as the heat is unevenly distributed in a microwave.

TIP: If you're new to melting chocolate & not sure how hot your microwave is, use a lower setting than recommended. 

White chocolate is also easier to burn compared to milk & dark chocolate. So if you're worried about burning it, we recommend you use the double boiler method - place your chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water rather than using the microwave.

TIP: Make sure to wipe the bowl clean of water after you're done because water will also cause chocolate to seize.

Thick melted chocolate due to overheating can be salvaged via adding some vegetable shortening/ paramount crystals/ vegetable oil - click here for more information. 

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6. How do I colour chocolate?

Four options:

  • Use an oil based food colouring
  • Use powdered food colouring
  • Purchase melting chocolate that is already pre-coloured
  • Use food gel + Americolor Flo-coat oil

All of the items mentioned above can be purchased from specialised cake decorating stores.

A big no no is adding the food colouring that you can buy from your local supermarkets  & food gels. They are water based & will cause your chocolate to seize. 

Having said that, if you're wanting to colour your chocolate a pale shade, you can get get away with adding a tiny amount of food gel without needing Americolor Flo-coat. But again, too much will thicken up your chocolate & may cause it to seize.

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7. What do I use to thin out the chocolate for dipping?

Vegetable shortening & paramount crystals will thin out melted chocolate to a runny consistency so that 1) you'll find it easier to dip & 2) you'll get a nice thin layer of chocolate. Also, vegetable shortening tends to give the chocolate a nice sheen.

In Australia, you can find vegetable shortening (Copha) in the cold section of the supermarket. In the States, they have Crisco. Paramount crystals can be found at cake decorating stores.

If you're wondering whether you really need to use these items, the answer is yes & no. As long as you've used the right food colouring, you can get away with not needing to add shortening. But you'll find that your melted chocolate does becomes a tad thicker, after adding in the food colouring & hence risk having a thicker chocolate coating on your cake pops. Too much chocolate can overpower the cake ball & just not taste that great.

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8. I ran out of vegetable shortening/paramount crystals - help!

You can use vegetable oil, which is essentially vegetable shortening but in liquid form, so it will thin out your chocolate. However, if you do add a lot, you will find that your chocolate will set, but not harden. Ie. it will remain soft & when you bite into your cake pops, you don't get that nice chocolate crack. 

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9. How to store cake pops?

Broadly speaking, you just need to store them in an airtight container in a cool & dry place, for up to a week.

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If you have any other queries or think we've missed something that we should include in our Cake Pops 101 blog let us know in the comment section!

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