Monday, May 9, 2011

Simple Cake Pops - Red Velvet!

♥ Intermediate
Who doesn't love cake?  Who doesn't like suckers?  Well, now we can have both!!!

My sister actually gave me a recipe book for my birthday that were ALL Cake Pops.  I thought they were cool, and wanted to give them a try, and then forgot about them!  Until a few weekends ago when I was out with a very good friend, who insisted that I try one while we were out.  It was great, so I just had to make them.  Thank goodness my sister had given me that recipe book!

There are a MILLION ways to decorate these little guys, many of which are too cute for words, but for now I just tried something simple. And they were FABULOUS!!! I actually tried them off the stick (Cake Balls) first, and then put them on the stick on my second batch.  I preferred them off of the stick for myself, but on the stick they make great gifts.  I handed them out to a few of my favorite mothers at church on Mothers Day, and they were a big hit.

What you'll need: 

  • Red Velvet Cake Mix 
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 C. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/3 C. Water
  • One container of Cream Cheese frosting
  • One bag of Wilton Candy Melts (Any color will work, I like the milk chocolate brown - NOTE: YOU CAN NOT MIX WITH FOOD COLORING TO CHANGE THE COLOR!!) 
  • One bag of lollipop sticks - they come in packs of 50 at your local Walmart or craft stores. Only needed if you make the suckers. 
  • Tall slender plastic bowl (Made for easier dipping)
  • 2 Cookie Sheets
  • Wax Paper 
  • Styrofoam Block (Only needed if you make the suckers) 

How it's done: 

1. Preheat your oven to 350*F (or whatever your box mix calls for). In large mixing bowl, combine your cake mix with your eggs, water, and oil.  (NOTE: Follow all measurements on your cake mix, my measurements are specific to Duncan Hines.)

2.  Grease a 9x13 inch pan, and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. (To speed up the process, I cut my cake into several pieces so that it will cool more quickly - I'm a cheater.)

3. Once your cake is completely cool, be sure to set aside a good amount of time for crumbling, rolling, and dipping.  This took me (on my first try) about two hours.  The cake balls are a little quicker than the cake pops, but it just depends on how quick you work.  Take each piece of your entire cake and crumble into a large mixing bowl.  Get the cake crumbles as fine as possible, no large chunks should be present.  I ended up carving off a tiny bit of the edge that was burnt on mine because it was too hard to crumble.

4. Once the cake is entirely crumbled, add 3/4 of the container of frosting to the cake crumbs and mix by hand.  (Literally, use your hands if necessary! ...they're going to get dirty anyway so don't be shy.)  Once the frosting is completely mixed in, your cake should be a pretty moist but firm dough.  It will be firm enough to hold it's shape, but not moist enough to be gooey.  Be careful not to add too much frosting, too much will make it impossible to roll and coat.

5.  Roll 1 1/2 inch balls by hand (or use a cookie dough scoop), and place onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. It can make roughly 48 cake balls.

6. Once all of the cake balls are rolled, place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Don't freeze too long, if you do they will crack their candy coating once they defrost, you just want them cold enough to be firm while coating.

7. When your balls have about 5 minutes left in the freezer, start melting your candy melts.  If you're using Wilton brand, you'll microwave 1 minute, stir, 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir... and it should be done.  :)  Anything else, and you'll have to read the directions.  Make sure you use a tall thin bowl, so you can use as much as the coating as possible and make it easier to dip.

8. Remove your cake balls from the freezer.  Take each sucker stick and dip them into the candy coating about 1/2 inch.  Stick the covered end of stick into the cake balls.  By the time you stick them all, the first ones will be dry.  Take the first sucker you made, and dip it into the candy coating. Roll them gently over the edge until excess candy falls off, do not tap on edge!

9. Stick the sucker into the Styrofoam to dry!  (About 3 minutes, and your suckers are ready to eat!)  You can decorate even more if you have the time and energy too! Repeat until every sucker has been dipped completely.

*If you notice your suckers getting to soft to dip in the chocolate, you can re-freeze them for a few more minutes.

ENJOY!!  I wrapped them in suckers wrappers, tied with a bow, and added a name tag to describe the cake inside.  They made great treats for friends!