Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Cake Pops

For those of you who are not familiar with Bakerella, let me offer this link to introduce you.  She is the goddess of cake balls and cake pops, and other sweet delectables.   And rumor has it my sister got me her new book for Christmas.  Awesome.

So, anyway...for the past couple of years I have been playing around with cake balls.  And this past April, I made 600 of them for Chelsea's wedding to serve as the Groom's cake.  A delightful story...I was 8 weeks pregnant, had two toddlers hanging on me, and working in a kitchen under construction...but that's a story for another day.  (But I guess if you're really looking for a dose of crazy, you can read it here on my forgotten blog.)

Clinton's Halloween party was this morning and I had decided to make really cute Jack-O-Latern cake pops for the class.  As a perfectionist, I was a wee bit disappointed with how these turned out...but they got rave reviews this I decided to go ahead and post...  (Now, you can follow along with my post, or go over to Bakerella and learn from the pro herself!)

What you'll need:
Cake mix (any flavor, I used chocolate)
Frosting (any flavor, I used chocolate)
Candy Melts (I used orange and green)
Lollipop Sticks (you can find at your local craft store)

Prepare the cake mix as directed...

Let the cake cool.  COMPLETELY.

Take a fork and shred the cake into crumbs.  If there are any crispy edges that won't break down, just toss them out.

 Your shredded cake should look like this.

Add a dollop of icing.  This is exactly how much I used.  Not sure if "dollop" is a real measurement, but Daisy sure makes it sound like it.  Use your fork to work this into the crumbs.  I take at least 2-3 minutes of constant incorporating to make sure it's blended all the way through.  It should be just moist enough that when you squish it in your hand it smashes together and stays with very little to no crumbling.  Be careful though, it's easy to get too much icing in it...then you'll find yourself back in the kitchen baking another cake.  Boo.

I use a cookie dough scoop to make sure all of mine are the same size.  I put it next to this tablespoon so you can see the relative size of it.  Typically, I use one scoop per cake ball.  However, since we just wanted to pass out one treat to each kid, I did these with two scoops.

I have found these don't roll like dough.  Instead it's a little more mashing and molding to get the right shape.

These were my helpers.  Whew....will I be glad when I can have a glass wine again!  :-)

Normally, I use almond or chocolate bark and thin it with Gulf Wax.  But since I wanted these to be pumpkin colors I used Candy Melts.  I found out after the fact, these bad boys work better when thinned with shortening.  I did not know mine were a little thick and clumpy and not as perfect as I like...but those three year olds this morning didn't seem to notice as they inhaled them.

Now there are different ways to melt down chocolate and candy melts.  You can use a double boiler (or a makeshift one).  You can buy a Wilton candy melter at your craft store (apparently this is the way to go!).  Or you can buy an Electrolux cook top like I have that has a chocolate melting eye on it.  See that little tiny flame in the middle??  It's amazing and I'm in love with it....and if our house ever sells, it may be the thing I miss most about it.  And try not to judge the stained mess all over my STAINLESS steel.  I'm a messy cook.

 So, the first thing I did with my melting and dipping was dip my Lollipop Sticks.  I just wanted to dip the ends green so I could have a "stem" on my pumpkin.

So, I dipped them into this... so...

...and they were taking forever to harden, so I cut the ends off of styrofoam cups, turned them upside down, and poked the sticks through them.  I then sat them in the freezer to harden.  I'm sure at this point I went and took a nap or something...ha!!

Once they hardened, I stuck them into the tops of my molded "pumpkins" and put them in the freezer overnight.

The next day I got out the orange candy melts and melted them down.  I used two bags for this.  AGAIN, use shortening to thin this down.  If only I had known....

I was unable to take pictures of the actual dipping phases, because I was using one arm to carefully swirl the pumpkins out of the orange thickness....and the other arm to fend off a three year old who just wanted, "One meat ball.  PLEASE!"  The child won't eat real meat balls, but he insists on calling my cake balls meat balls.  Whatever.
So, that's it.  Mine were supposed to have faces drawn on with edible markers.  But I either got a faulty package that was all dried up, or they're not worth the $8.99 that Joann thinks they are.

I think you could use miniature chocolate chips to make a face on them before the orange candy sets.  But without a face, they're great for the whole month of November.  These would also be very "fallish" if done with a spice cake and cream cheese icing.  Mmmm....

Feel free to share your fall sweets creations on our FB wall.  We're always looking for cute ideas!

Bake happy,

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Super cute!!! I'm your newest follower. Please try to stop by and link up this recipe and other's at


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I enjoyed your post so much, I actually laughed out loud about the little one calling your cake balls "meatballs". You sound like my daughter. She is always trying to do something with her 3 kids 5,4, and 2 hanging around, trying to "help". I don't have any little ones at home anymore, but I think I will try making some for my grandkids, thanks for the idea.