This weekend we celebrated my cousin’s Sweet 16. She came over to my house and we made about 50 cake pops for her party – a Paris themed pink, black, and white affair. It was a great party full of yummy Paris themed food (croissants and Brie) but the cake pops stole the show.
I’m lucky because I was given one of these Babycakes machines as a wedding present. They make the whole process super simple and a lot quicker than if you were making them by hand with cake crumbs and frosting.
The first time I tried making cake pops it was a disaster. After I made my cake balls in the machine I plopped it on a stick and it immediately slid down to the bottom – Fail.
I have learning a few things since that first attempt and I am proud to say that not a single cake pop fell off the stick. (Even after I dropped one – now that’s a feat!)
Cake Pops – Tips and Tricks
Follow the recipe
I used the Babycakes cake pop machine and the Vanilla Cake Pop and Chocolate Cake Pop recipes that are provided in the Babycakes instruction booklet. This is important – If you are using this machine I highly suggest using their recipes. Especially if this is your first time making cake pops. Boxed cake mix will not work well. It is too light and your chances of it falling down the stick increase significantly if you use it.
The masters at Babycakes know what they are doing. They tested these recipes hundreds of times and they know that they work well in their machines. Plus the recipes are super simple to make and really take about the same about of time to mix up as a boxed cake-mix would.
Keep it cool
Cake pops love the cold so keep them in the refrigerator. One of the biggest mistakes with cake pops is not allowing enough time for them to cool down. Once you remove them from the cake pop machine put them straight into the refrigerator and wait at least 30 minutes before you stick them with the stick.
After you put the stick in, return them to the fridge for another 30 minutes so that the stick can firmly hold in place.
Keep your candy coating cool as well. If it is too hot it won’t it won’t stay on the cake pop. You need to find the perfect balance between super melted runny hot, and starting to get hard and thick cool. What I do is melt the chocolate in the microwave, stir to make it nice and smooth, then wait 3-5 minutes.
And remember to keep your kitchen cool when decorating too. If it is too warm it will take longer for the chocolate to solidify and may run off the pop – so not cute.
Use the right coating
Use either real chocolate, Almond Bark, or candy melts for the coating. My #1 pick is the Almond Bark (found next to the chocolate chips in the baking section). Not only is it super cheap but it is super easy to work with. Almond Bark tastes like chocolate, but doesn’t actually contain any cocoa butter . Unlike chocolate which can be difficult to melt correctly and seizes, Almond Bark quickly melts into a smooth consistency perfect for dipping.
Don’t use premade frosting. Don’t melt it and pour it over the cake pops. Just don’t. It doesn’t work and will leave you with nothing but a giant mess.
Dip the stick
Before you insert the stick into the cake ball, make sure to dip it into some Almond Bark (or coating of your choice) first. This step is mandatory – Do not forget it or you may have disastrous results. Not only does this insure the cake pop stays on the stick, but it puts some yummy chocolate in the middle of the cake pop. That my friends is called a win-win.
Set yourself up for success
Before you begin decorating, set up your work area. Put your sprinkles out in little bowls. Have a stand ready to place the pops on. Make sure the area is clean and free of other random crap that tends to pile up in the kitchen. Once you dip the cake pop into the candy coating you have minutes to get it perfectly smooth and add sprinkles before the coating hardens. You need to act quickly and have everything within arm’s reach.
Use the right tools
This goes along with setting yourself up for success. Use narrow bowls to melt the chocolate (I found my small drinking glasses to be perfect).
Have a place to put the cake pops. You may not want to use your presentation cake pop stand when decorating. It can get pretty messy. I used an empty egg cartoon and some Styrofoam. They worked perfectly.
Getting it Smooth
The biggest challenge that you will face making cake pops is getting the candy coating nice and smooth on the pop. You can’t be too rough with the pop. Gently swirl it into the melted chocolate and lightly tap it on the side of the glass to get any excess off. I repeat – Be Gentle!
I hope these tips and tricks will help you next time you make cake pops. If you have any other questions or concerns leave a comment below.