Friday, September 14, 2012

Cake Pops anyone?

Yay! It's time to start up Foodie Friday again. I would have started earlier today but I had to snuggle my kids first! *On a side note, Asher had a major Asthma Attack last night that really rocked us but it was a good learning experience for us, for I feel like we've got a handle on how to help him recover because he was freaking out. We kept him home from school today to make sure everything returns to normal and that it's not a virus, so I took some extra time to snuggle my big boy I don't get much of these opportunities anymore.

Okay, so back to cake pops.

You see, we actually eat a decent amount of cake at our place. Because when you are gluten-free your options are limited for a quick and easy dessert. I get sick of paying a fortune for the already made gluten-free treats at the store. And I usually run out of time to make something out of the norm. So we usually go for gluten-free cookies, brownies, cupcakes or cakes, and the kids love to help me.

So when birthdays roll around I am usually looking for something outside of the cookies, brownies, cupcakes or cake because I don't feel like it is as special since we make those often.

That's where cake pops became all the rage to me. My friend Katie, is a cake pop extraordinare, she just started a personal blog called Sugar CEO, but you can find all of her amazing creations through her Facebook photos. She makes them for people's special occasions and she calls them KatePops. I want her to go into business. Here are some of her creations... (I wish I could share all of them, she has so many designs, but I don't want to let all of her secrets out of the bag)

Kate Pops 

We've been going on about having me come over for a cake pop tutorial, to learn from her talent and I still plan to do it. But for Asher's bday this last Spring I just had to go for it. I found it was easier than I thought. I don't get my cake pops as nice and round or decorate them as amazingly as she does. But all I had to please was a group of 5 year olds. And that was a success!

So without further a do, gluten-free cake pops everyone!

What you'll need:
box of Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix
package of Pamela's gluten-free chocolate cake mix
(the other ingredients to make these cake mixes, like eggs and oil)
lollipop sticks
vanilla frosting
chocolate frosting
2 packages of Wilton's candy melts in your desired color
2 packages of Wilton's candy melts in another desired color
sprinkles or sugar crystals
oil (to use in melting the candy melts)
a styrofoam block or something like it to stand up your cake pops

Okay, let's go:
Bake the yellow and chocolate cake according to package instructions.

Once the cake is cooled, crumble the cake into a large mixing bowl

Now add some frosting

Mix the crumbled cake and frosting together well

roll into 1 inch  balls, and place on a foil lined baking sheet

Stick the balls into the fridge, anywhere from 30-60 minutes is good, you might even be able to do less. I did this while I made the chocolate melts and cleaned up the kitchen a little bit. 

Also, another reason why cake pops are the best. You can freeze these balls until you are ready to make them for a special event. I made the vanilla ones for Asher's bday party and I froze the chocolate ones for a few weeks after going out of town and the taste was still great. 

Now you want to make your coating. Depending on how many cake pops you want you can heat up 1 package or 2. Also if you want different colors you can heat up more, this is up to you. Just remember with leftover coating to transfer the rest into a container you wan to store it in, I prefer glass. If you allow it to fully harden you won't be able to scrape it out of your bowl without heating it up again. I would store in the fridge, but I'm sure there is a tutorial out there on how to store Wilton's candy melts after they're melted.

So melt them according to the package, but I also had 1-2 tablespoons of oil to make it even smoother. Some people don't do that , but I was worried about smoothness and this seemed to work well. 

Pull your cake balls out of the fridge. Get your lollipop sticks ready and dip each lollipop stick end into the candy melts. And then insert into each cake ball, this will help hold your pop top on the stick. 

Refrigerate again for a good 10 minutes or so, to let that lollipop harden in the cake ball.

Now you're ready for dipping. Dip the cake pop into the coating and cover completely.

Tap it on the edge of the bowl to get off the excess coating. Depending on how hot and thin your candy melt is will depend on how long this will take to stop dripping. When I first began I just had a lot of excess, so I would twirl it around as it dripped trying to keep a nice round shape. I think letting your candy melt cool of a little (without hardening) will allow it to hard faster on the dipped cake ball. 

Once all the excess is off and it is starting to get set on the cake pop, you need to add your decoration. Some people roll the cake pop in a plate of sprinkles, I just would drop my sprinkles over the top of my cake pop and try to throw it sideways to cover the pop all over. If using sugar crystals it may be easier to roll your pop. 
Then stick the pop in the styrofoam to set. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve the cake pops. Again, they can be frozen for a couple weeks, and refrigerated for days. Freezing for too long will affect the flavor. And you will want to sit them out a little while before you serve them so they are not too hard. However I really like them cold, kind of refreshing. 

Serve and enjoy!

I hope to figure out how to make cake pops for my kids like my friend Katie, but the look on Asher's face for his bday was priceless and I realized that I can't start out making them so awesome I have to build up to that, especially since he thought my mediocre cake pops were so amazing!

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