Decorating a cake can be difficult. It takes time and patience to go through all the necessary steps needed to make your cake beautiful. It’s also a lot of small detail work, which I personally love. So, when Chef Mandy was in the kitchen trying to decorate her tasty little cake pops, it was difficult to not immediately offer up assistance. As her frustration mounted, it was time to suggest a cake pop collaboration. She already had the Valentine’s Day flavors down pat, because what’s not to love about strawberries and champagne? Now it was up to me to do her cake pops some justice and make them shine on the outside, too!
I’ll be honest. Up until that point, I had never actually decorated a cake pop. All of my decorating experience has been with buttercream frosting and fondant. I’ve made Oreo truffles before, so I was hoping that the process would be much the same. What I found through a lot of trial and error were some handy tips and tricks that helped me successfully create a cake pop.
First step is making the actual cake pop. As Chef Mandy suggests, when rolling the crumbled cake and icing, be sure to roll the balls tightly so that when pressed slightly they don’t crack. A firmly rolled cake ball will help prevent the cake pop from falling apart when dipped in the chocolate (I should know…one of my first cake balls came apart in the chocolate because it wasn’t rolled firmly).
Next is to put the cake balls in the fridge to help set them. If you have room in the fridge, you can put your sticks in the cake pops before refrigerating. But if your fridge situation is anything like mine, then it’s okay to put your rolled cake balls in the fridge to set up first and add the sticks later.
While the cake pops are in the fridge, melt your chocolate using a double boiler. Don’t have one? Neither do I! Though double boilers are available for purchase, if you don’t have one, don’t panic. You just need a medium-sized pot and a glass or metal bowl that is large enough to set into the pot with at least 2 inches of clearance between the bottom of the bowl and the inside bottom of the pot. (Check out the picture below for reference!)
Something to keep in mind if you are using white chocolate like I did for the Valentine’s Day Cake Pop is that it is very temperamental. This is why I use a double boiler instead of the microwave for melting chocolate. You have better control while your chocolate is melting and are less likely to burn it.
When you are ready to dip your cake balls in chocolate, only pull a few from the fridge at a time to keep them firm until ready for dipping. If you haven’t already put the stick in, now is the time. Gently push the stick into the cake ball about half way through. Gently dip the cake ball on the stick into the melted chocolate, only covering the cake ball about ¾ of the way. Put the cake ball in a stand (a piece of Styrofoam works as a stand if you don’t have one) and the chocolate will drip down slightly to cover the remaining part of the cake pop.
Once the cake pop is in the stand, you can immediately sprinkle with your choice of sprinkles or nonpareil. You can also let the chocolate set for a few minutes and then drizzle with a different colored chocolate; the choice is up to you and the options are limitless!! Here’s a tip if you want to use different colors: be sure that you buy the colored candy melts. Adding food coloring/dye to white chocolate causes the chocolate to “seize” and you won’t be able to drizzle it. Colored candy melts are available at major mass retailers and many online retailers.
I hope that these tips are helpful the next time you are ready to decorate cake pops. Be sure to watch for updates on this post, as the Valentine’s Day Cake Pops were the first of many cake pops I will create this year! They are great options for almost any holiday and I’m sure to come up with new, fun and easier ways to make your cake pop decorating a success!!