The Cake Pops Experiment

Yesterday, I came across this website with simple step-by-step instructions on making cake pops.  I’d never considered making, eating or otherwise engaging with cake pops until then. They looked so cute and delicious and I made a mental note to keep them up my sleeve for a special occasion or Baking Day or something.

When I got home I saw the giant pile of failed cupcakes my sister made on the weekend that was about to go in the bin. (By failed I mean she put in four times the correct amount of sugar and had to quadruple the rest of the ingredients. As we all know, sometimes when you double – ahem, quadruple – a recipe it doesn’t always turn out. So whilst her cupcakes tasted delicious, they were, how do I say this politely… Well, um, UGLY.)

So I decided I’d kill two birds with one stone and save the cupcakes whilst trying my hand at making cake pops.

The recipe on the blog I found called for frosting. The purpose of frosting is to bind the cake together to form the balls. I didn’t have frosting, icing or even Nutella so we got creative and used some leftover butterscotch sauce from a sticky date pudding my mum made.

And let me tell you. It worked AMAZINGLY.

I crumbed the cupcakes (they were vanilla, by the way) and poured in probably a couple of tablespoons of butterscotch sauce which I’d warmed in the microwave to thin it out.  You really need to play this bit by touch – the mixture has to bind together and be able to be rolled into balls. If it’s not working, you need more glue. I.e. butterscotch sauce.

If you’re afraid of getting your hands dirty, you’d better just leave the kitchen. Now.

I popped them on some greaseproof paper and shoved them in the freezer while I ate dinner and watched some Masterchef.

The idea behind putting them in the freezer is to make them set so that when you dip them in melted chocolate, they don’t fall apart.

I didn’t have lollypop sticks (this was a last minute idea remember?) but I did find some of those bamboo fork things. They worked great.

I melted some milk and dark chocolate (in the microwave – these are quick, midweek, experimental cake pops people,  I don’t have time for Bain Maries and washing up!) then dipped the cake pops one by one into the chocolate. I got a bit fed up and started using a mini spatula to spread the mixture around the balls evenly.  The result was a less smooth, more rustic cake pop but it still looked great.

I dipped the tops in chocolate sprinkles to finish them off and then left them in the fridge for the chocolate to harden.

Note: I added the chocolate sprinkles so they looked a bit pretty – nothing at all compared to cake pops like these or these – but  it ended up adding a textural element which I really enjoyed.

Another note: You’re supposed to place the sticks into polystyrene or something similar so that they are standing up to set. This means they’ll stay perfectly round. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of that either – or an appropriate substitute – so I had to lay my pops down and deal with them being slightly misshapen.

Overall, the cake pops were freaking DELICIOUS (says everyone who ate them – not just me). I couldn’t help but think it was like a child’s version of a rum ball and let me tell you, I’m okay with that.

So! Not the prettiest cake pops – but for a quick-midweek experiment they were certainly delicious! And they prove that you can get creative with cake pops and use ingredients other than frosting to bind your cake together. PLUS – we’ve discovered a great way to use up leftover and/or failed cake!

Would I make again? Definitely, but only when I have more time to create an attractive cake pop with much more finesse and attention to detail! (And when I have lollypop sticks and polystyrene to do it properly.)