Who would have thought cake pops would be so difficult to make? Mix cake and frosting, dip in chocolate coating and done, right? Well, maybe if you are lucky. I attempted to make cake pops once before. Apparently, I added too much frosting because the ball would not stay on the stick and fell through. I decided to give it another try.
This time, I added less frosting, but I still had difficulty. Some of the pops turned out okay, but a few fell off the stick as they did my first trial. The chocolate coating was problematic as well. I could not dip the pop into the chocolate without the cake falling off the stick. I had to spoon the chocolate over the cake pop. I even thinned the chocolate coating with vegetable oil. The thinner coating was then slightly see-through, so my polar bears were not fully white.
All-in-all, cake pops are a tricky dessert that I have yet to master. I will keep trying. Below are the instructions on how I made the polar bear cake pops. Hopefully you have better luck than I. The final results taste much better than they look.
- White cake mix
- 1 c water
- 1/2 c vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- M&Ms – regular and pretzel
- 1.5 packages White chocolate candy melts
- 5-6 T prepared frosting
- Black icing
- Cake pop or lollipop sticks
- Vegetable oil (for thinning chocolate melts)
- Blue food coloring (optional)
Prepare cake as directed on the box. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13″x9″ cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into the greased cake pan.
Bake for 28-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool cake completely.
Crumble cake into small pieces and place the pieces into a food processor. Pulse until the cake is chopped into small pieces. You may need to half the cake at a time. Add frosting one tablespoon at a time and pulse. Add enough frosting for the cake and frosting to make soft dough. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired.
I had to make my cake dough in two batches. To each batch I added 2.5 T frosting.
I wanted the inside of the polar bears to be a bright blue, so I added 6 drops of blue food coloring.
Form the cake balls by rolling the dough with your hands. Use about 1 T of dough per cake ball. I used a cookie scoop to portion out the balls.
Place the rolled balls in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until ready to assemble. It is very important that the cake pops are solid. I had a VERY hard time getting the cake pop to not fall off once the dough warmed up.
Prepare white chocolate melts.
There are multiple ways to melt the chocolate: microwave, double boiler, fondue pot, melting pot, etc. Since I do not have any of the above, I purchased a Wilton melting pot. The melting pot worked very well; the chocolate swayed smooth and did not get burned or over heated during the entire (multiple hour) process. My only complaint would be that the switch is difficult to move once your hands get gooey.
First, place a stick into each ball by dipping the stick into the chocolate and then into the ball. Insert the stick 3/4 of the way onto the ball. Allow the chocolate to harden and place in the refrigerator.
Second, create the bear head using M&M chocolates. I used regular M&Ms for the ears and pretzel M&M for the nose. Dip the M&M into the melted chocolate and then place it in the cake ball. Allow the ball to cool in the refrigerator again.
Next, dip the entire cake pop into the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl and place the cake pop in a holder to harden. This proved to be much more difficult than expected. The chocolate melts were too thick, and the cake fell off the stick from the weight of the chocolate. I thinned the chocolate with vegetable oil adding 1/2 teaspoon increments until the chocolate was thinner, but it was still too thick to dip the cake ball. Instead, spoon the chocolate over the ball.
Finally, make eyes and a nose on each cake pop to create a face. I used prepared black cookie icing and a toothpick for an applicator.
Arrange the cake pops for display. I was disappointed that the Wilton cake pop holder that I purchased does not fit the Wilton popsicle sticks. So instead of arranging the cake pops nicely in a tier holder, I placed them in a bowl.