I need cake! A familiar battle-cry in our household admittedly but today’s was more urgent as said cake was needed by Mr B to take to a team meeting…you know the ones, where bribery with sweet goods is generally the only way not to get yelled at!
So I set about making some cake-balls – a cake pop without the stick. Fun to make and more economical without the cost of the lollipop bit, hurrah! The initial process is exactly the same as making cake pops with the mashing and the rolling up into ball shapes, then you freeze them for 10mins or so to make them nice and firm.
Naked cake balls
Then melt some chocolate, dip the balls in (with the use of some spoons otherwise mess. Everywhere.), place on some baking paper and sprinkle with edible decorations quickly before it sets. Ta da!
Dressed cake balls!
Yuk. I know they’re very good for you…rich in potassium and the fruit of choice for a lot of athletes, but bananas and I have never really got on. They’re just a bit…banana-y. Something about their texture and ugh, those stringy bits down the side. Still, somehow I’ve ended up with 5 extremely ripe, incredibly brown ones in my fridge and not being one to throw food away if I can help it, I decided to bake them! I found a banana bread recipe in a book that I’m sure was first issued in the 60’s (pineapple upside down cake anyone..?) so decided to give it a go in cupcake form.
I braved the stringy bits, and cut out the worst of the brown bits (at what point does a banana go from extremely ripe, to off I wonder?), mashed it all and hid it amongst the mixture then abandoned it in the oven for 20mins. And do you know, when I opened the oven…it smelt amazing!
Topped with some lemon butter icing and a few chocolate curls, they tasted lightly of banana (enough for me!) and were delicious still slightly warm. They even look a little 60’s too!
Sunday brought with it a dreary mix of rain wind; perfect day to stay indoors and do something lazy like watch back-to-back Modern Family on TV from the comfort of my sofa. Unfortunately for me, Mr B had the same idea and was already settling in to watch a re-run of his football team beating someone else (see how I pay attention?) for the 3rd time before I could bagsy the remote.
So slinking back out to the kitchen to find something to do, I settled for an afternoon of reorganising my baking cupboard (yawn). As I opened the door all thoughts of cleaning and reorganising were abandoned upon finding 11 naked cupcakes looking back at me. Perfect for my first attempt at making Cake Pops!
These gorgeous bite-sized treats have been on my radar for a little while having spotted them at our local farm shop café but I’d not had enough spare cake to give them a go, until now. Because that’s really all you need, just spare cake! Well, and a little bit of frosting, some chocolate or candy melts, some candy sticks…oh and a bit of time and patience! Having researched them on the internet and other cake blogs, I’d read how fiddly and difficult the little pops could be but really I found them completely worth the time and effort and not too difficult to make!
My 11 leftover cupcakes (7 red velvet and 4 vanilla) yielded 21 Cake Pops but you could get more or less depending on how big you make your balls. ;-D
You will need:
Leftover sponge cake
Butter icing or cream cheese frosting
Chocolate for melting or candy melts
An assortment of edible decorations
Baking tray and baking paper
Styrofoam block covered in cling film
Firstly crumble the cake into a large bowl or gently whizz in an electric mixer until it looks like breadcrumbs then add small amounts of frosting until the mixture becomes a sticky dough. I used cream cheese frosting with the red velvet cake crumbs and added cream cheese frosting with a tablespoon of damson jam to the vanilla mixture.
Next roll the mixture into small balls using your hands – I used food preparation gloves as it avoids getting in a sticky cake mess but you can put something like White Flora or a little butter on your hands instead. The balls then go into the fridge to set – I used a baking tray with some baking paper to put them on.
To glue the cakes to the candy sticks, melt some of the chocolate or candy melts and dip the ends of the sticks into the goo then push into the cake balls. Careful not to push too hard or you will poke the sticks all the way through. Make sure you haven’t lost the ball shape by handling them, then push the sticks into the block and place in the freezer for 30mins so the chocolate sets hard.
Melt the remaining chocolate or candy melts and dip the cake ball into the topping up to the stick and twist it around so the whole ball is covered. As you bring the ball upright, keep moving and twisting the stick around and tap the stick on the side of the bowl to get rid of any excess topping. Admittedly this was a bit fiddly; I got in a right mess and probably ended up with more topping on them than I’d like but this will come with practice (I hope!). I used a palette knife to smooth the underside where it meets the stick to keep it neat but because the cakes are so cold already, the topping sets pretty fast. Then while the topping is still warm, add the edible decorations and then leave them to completely set in the block.
Et voila….beautiful, edible works of art!
How cute are they?!
I tried mine out in my office and they went down a storm. The texture is very soft, much ‘mushier’ than I imaged they would be and they are quite sweet but very, very tasty with it!
I wasn’t too keen on the Candy Melts topping as it didn’t become as liquid as the chocolate which made it impossible to get the same smooth finish as the chocolate. Mr B also felt he would like a crunch to the topping as a contrast to the cake mush inside so I’ll try using white chocolate flavour cake covering as it sets harder.
I’ll also dip the sticks in the topping twice to see if that makes the connection between the cake and stick stronger as we did have a couple drop off mid bite! So dip the sticks once then allow it to dry, then dip again before putting straight into the cake ball to set.
I’ll be making these again nearer Christmas and decorating them to look like snowballs, baubels and snowmen…I’ll let you know how I get on!