Okay, I won’t deny it, I love cake pops. The perfect combination of cake, frosting, and chocolate coating makes them an addictive little treat and irresistable dessert at parties.
So when I had the opportunity to attend a cake pops baking class on Mother’s Day, I signed up immediately. I was determined to finally learn the secrets behind making this delicious treat. Prior to the class, I had many cake pops woes. The little cake balls rarely stayed on the stick and my chocolate coating got goopy and thick, no matter how many times I reheated it in the microwave. But, after learning the following tricks, my cake pops have been quite successful. They are now a special treat that I like to include at any event.
Tip #1: It’s Okay to Double Dip
Set the stick in the cake pop before covering the pop with chocolate. Dip the end of the lollipop stick into chocolate and place it into the cake pop. Let the chocolate harden in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This extra dab of chocolate helps the stick stay in place during the chocolate dipping stage. What color to use? Either select a color that matches the dipping color or choose white. I found white was the easiest color to cover during the dipping process and didn’t look out of place if specks peeked through.
Tip #2: Think Ping Pong Ball
One of the reasons that cake pops fall off the sticks is because the ball is too large. Many tutorials suggest making the cake pop the size of a golf ball. Have you ever tried sticking a golf ball on a stick? It’s way too BIG and will slide off the minute you dip it in chocolate.
Instead, make your cake pops more the size of a ping pong ball. Better yet, use a cookie dough scoop. This will help make all of your cake pops the same size without eyeballing it.
Tip #3: Add Vegetable Oil
Have you ever taken melted chocolate out of the freezer and noticed how thick it was? The thickness is okay for molding chocolates and dipping Oreos, but it is too heavy for the cake pops. If your chocolate is too thick, it could be weighing down your cake pops and making them fall off of the stick. To thin your chocolate, add a few drops of vegetable oil. This will make your chocolate coat the cake pop better. Test the thickness of your chocolate by scooping some up in a spoon. The chocolate should drizzle back into the bowl. Chocolate too thin? Melt some more chocolate pieces to get it to the right consistency.
Tip #4: Freezer Burn
Although it’s been said that you can place the cake pops into the refrigerator OR freezer to harden, there is a big difference between these too cooling areas. I have found that the freezer is the best place to harden chocolate. It is faster and the chocolate does not soften as easily at room temperature (especially when you are trying to make these in the heat of summer!)
So, clean out a shelve in your freezer to make room for the cookie sheet and give your cake pops the coolest spot in the kitchen.
Tip #5: Less is More
The original recipe for cake pops calls for a box of cake mix and one tub of frosting. If you find that this ratio of ingredients is making your cake pops too sticky, try adding less frosting. I’ve found that 3/4 of the frosting container is plenty of sugary goodness to go around. By adding less frosting, my cake pops are firmer and easier to roll into a ball.
One of the most important things to remember when making cake pops is to have confidence. Making cake pops is a skill like anything else – you aren’t going to master all of the secrets right away. Be patient with yourself and, with some practice, you will be a cake pop master before you know it!