Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cake Pop Disasters

Cake pops. Cake balls. If you haven't heard about cake pops or cake balls in the past couple of years, you must be living under a rock.  It's one of the biggest trends in the foodie world that began by Bakerella. It's basically cake mixed with frosting, shaped into balls and coated with candy melts or chocolate.
The popularity of her cake pops skyrocketed...cake pops are on the cover page of cooking magazines, Starbucks started selling them, and I even saw Chef Duff cakepops at Sam's Club! 
I thought to myself, "Self, I want to attempt to make these cute dainty little cake pops and balls." Boy was I wrong. Here's one of my initial attempts making cake balls. See all the cracked pieces with the cake showing. This is a prime example of what NOT to do.

No one posts about their epic fails making cake balls/pops. All you see are those beautiful smooth finished products.
They resemble balls, but have an inconsistent surface.  I figured out that if you squish a bunch together in paper  liners, they look slightly more presentable. 
I then upgraded and bought this Wilton Chocolate Pro melter to keep my candy coating warm while dipping the cake pops.  I'm just putting this out to all of you (two people) reading this blog.  The candy melts are too thick in this picture. If you stick a cake pop in candy melts with the consistency seen above, your cake pop will probably stick straight up in that mass.  You want the candy melts to be thin and have a low viscosity. If found this out the hard way. TIP-If it's too viscous, add some sort of fat (Crisco, butter, vegetable oil) to thin it out.

 TIP-I also dipped each lollipop stick in the candy melt first and then stuck it in the refrigerated cake balls. After this step, I place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden the pops to make them more manageable.
Again, I tried to dip the cake pops and made ugly pops.  I was running late, so I left them out to harden.  When I got home, I noticed that I bunch of the cake pops were top heavy and fell through the stick. Note to self-make smaller balls of cake.
TIP-You need something to cool the cake pops on. I imagine styrofoam would work wonders as a base board for the pops. I bought this cake stand to hold my cake pops. Instead of using it as a decorative piece, I just reuse it every time I attempt to make cakepops.
Again, another TIP cute packaging like plastic bags and pink bows can mask the rough surface.
For my third attempt I added some vegetable oil to the candy melts and made smaller cake balls.  Mike laughed when I told him my plan of action. He remembered my shock when I returned home to see the top heavy pops. 
Whoo-hoo success! Look at that smooth surface! Watch out world! I may soon start making character pops or venture off adding decorations to these pops. 

Finished Product.  This is my most successful attempt to date!

12 comments:

K and S said...

wow they look hard to make...but I kinda want to try...

suraya said...

i made cake balls a couple years ago and they were so insanely sweet & delicious. putting them on a stick was far beyond my aspirations. if you need my address to mail some pops, just let me know ;)

Razzie said...

All 2 of your readers! I just looked at your RSS feed stats and 71 people are subscribed to your blog...

Weren't you the one who came over and helped me make all those cake pops for the party I catered a few years ago? If you place the sticks in the ball, then spoon over the coating around the base of the stick near the cake ball, and up a little on the stick, then freeze them for like 20 minutes on a tray, then dip with a "dip and twirl" method, seemed to work really well. You basically did that, I just spooned a lot more coating around the base/stick, it seemed to cement them onto the stick, so you didn't have the falling thing going on.

Miss seeing you and everyone on campus, I'm almost glad I am only there two days a week, I barely know anyone there anymore!

genkitummy said...

Kat-I'm sure you will have an easier time than me making pops. Your food posts are s much prettier than mine.
Suraya-Haha. I'll keep that in mind. I'm actually flying through Chicago next week for work travel.
Aaron-Yes, I was the one who helped you make the cake pops. Now that you mention it, it was much easier working at your house. Maybe it's because you prepped everything and all I had to do was dip and sprinkle candy on the tops of the cake pops! I wasn't paying attention to all the prep work you did! I miss you too! When are you graduating?

Anonymous said...

FYI - the ones that don't turn out aren't failures they are the chefs (or her assistant) samples!

Alan

genkitummy said...

Alan-So true, so true. Mike would have to agree with that. He loves looking for the misshapen and deformed treats, because that means there is more for him!

Chou said...

Cuteness always obfuscates a long list of failures. Glad you shared.

genkitummy said...

Chou-Ha! I think that's the story of all my kitchen experiments. No wonder it feels like I've been spending more time in craft stores than in the kitchen.

robin said...

I wish I had come across your blog last night!! I too made top heavy balls! Fail!! This was my first attempt and I had thought "never again" but maybe I will try making these cute little pops again!

genkitummy said...

Robin-Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. I laughed when I read your comment. All these websites make it look so easy. I'm glad to know that someone else experienced the same thing!

Bobby Green said...

Having a first try tonight - cheating with a machine which will hopefully uniform the ball size!

genkitummy said...

Bobby-good luck! I hope that your cake pops turn out well! :)