I was recently asked if I would make cake pops. I am not a professional or even a hobbyist cake decorator but, I can bake! So I thought, why not?! Sounds like fun!
People love cake pops! They’re cute, they’re easy to make, they’re fun to decorate, and most of all they’re delicious and fun to eat. We’ve all seen numerous recipes, blogs, ideas, etc.; just take a look at Pinterest and you’ll see hundreds of ideas and recipes for making them at home. Now they’re even sold at Starbucks and other retailers.
As a chef, I quickly set about pursuing ways to modernize cake pops…give them a cool twist…up the ante, so to speak.
So, how do you make your cake pops stand out from the bunch? Two things: unique flavors and alcohol, of course!
My “assignment” was to create cake pops for holidays throughout the year. The next holiday is Valentine’s Day, and what is more iconic for Valentine’s Day than strawberries and champagne? Thus began my thought process for creating alcohol-filled cake pops for each holiday.
- Strawberry Champagne cake for Valentine’s Day
- Raspberry Lemon-cello cake for Easter
- Bourbon Apple Pie cake for July 4th
- Dark Chocolate Rum cake for Halloween
- Pumpkin Brandy cake for Thanksgiving
- Peppermint Schnapps cake for Christmas
And, so it goes.
Side note: I understand that cake pop makers are all the rage these days but, I felt that I didn’t need a gadget. Usually single-use gadgets are great for one purpose and may work well, but that’s it. You spent money on a piece of equipment that you don’t need, which uses space in your kitchen for a recipe that you may make only one or two times per year. Typically you can adapt a recipe to work without purchasing another piece of equipment.
That being said, I designed my recipes so that you can make them without any special equipment. I think that is something we can all appreciate!
Back to the business at hand:
I began my cake pop experiment with the Strawberry Champagne cake pops. Once I had the method and recipe down for one flavor, it would just be a matter of changing the ingredients to create the flavors I chose for the rest of the holidays…with different decorations of course.
I love strawberry cake. It’s been one of my favorite cake flavors since I was a child. Maybe that had something to do with Strawberry Shortcake and her friends that were all the rage during my childhood in the 1980s…I can’t say for sure! Perhaps that’s why I chose strawberry as the flavor for my wedding cake. I developed and tested a strawberry champagne cake recipe; I wanted a strong strawberry flavor and to actually taste the champagne. Once that was accomplished, I baked the cake and set out to make it into cake pops.
The method I used was to simply bake the cake in a 9×9-inch pan. Once the cake was cooled, I crumbled it into a medium-sized mixing bowl and added a strawberry champagne buttercream frosting, stirring with my hands until it was thick and would hold shape. I rolled the cake mix into balls, just as you would when making meatballs . . . paying attention that they were rolled tightly without cracks and crevices. I laid the balls on a sheet tray, skewered them with cake pop sticks, and put them in the freezer while I melted the dipping chocolate. Freezing them allows them to be firm enough so they don’t “melt” when dipping them in the warm chocolate.
As I said earlier, I am not an experienced cake decorator. But, I wasn’t being asked to make an elaborate wedding cake…I was asked to make cake pops. How hard could that be? After all, I have a fairly extensive food background! I could probably do this no problem!
And, the cake tasted great! I just needed to decorate them. Here are pictures of me decorating my cake pops:
As you can see, I was not too successful. I just don’t have the patience to decorate! Luckily, we have someone on staff who is an experienced decorator and enjoys decorating and has lots of patience. So, if you are anything like me…have fun with creating flavors and baking but, enlist a friend who likes to decorate to help you complete the project!