cake pops

Freedom! That’s right, I finished work last Saturday and I’ve spent the past week making a nuisance of myself by staying with friends and catching up. It’s now just less than two weeks until I move into my new house and make the big move back down south for uni. It’s incredibly exciting. Seeing all the new freshers asking questions about halls and uni life on Facebook is bringing it all back!

A few of my university friends are August-born and have just celebrated their 19th’s. I felt the need (as always) to bake something for the occasion, but sending big birthday cakes in the post just wasn’t looking that feasible ๐Ÿ˜› Instead, I made cake pops last week. I talked a bit about them inย this post; it’s been nearly a year since I’ve made them. They do travel fairly well – I ended up putting them in little plastic bags and tying them up with ribbon, then putting them in a tin for the journey – but they got fairly squished in my handbag as we wandered round London. I’m aiming to do a second (less-squished) batch to take to the birthday girls who I didn’t get to see last week.

I realise that the majority of people aren’t going to have the machine that I used, but I just thought I’d share how I did it if you’re wondering! They are time-consuming, it’s gotta be said: I made the cakes one evening and did the decorating the next. But I do think they’ve got that wow-factor, and hopefully they tasted good!

Tom, Alice, Lizzie – I hope you had great birthdays and I can’t wait to see you very soon! ๐Ÿ˜€

Ingredients:

Cake mix: makes ~24

  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles {optional: I just felt the need to see if they’d show up in the cooked cake}

For decoration:

  • Lollipop sticks
  • Approx. 25g chocolate (preferably white, but it doesn’t matter too much)
  • Candy melts (I used approx. half a bag of white, and half a bag of purple)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sprinkles, 100s & 1000s, or anything else you fancy!

Method:

Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy; beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a jug and add to the mixture.ย 
Sift the flour and fold it into the batter, add sprinkles or food colouring if you want to. Now’s the time to turn on the cake pop machine and let it heat up. I’ve found that the easiest way to do the next bit is to spoon the mixture into a piping bag or a big plastic sandwich bag and cut off one of the corners. As the machine is heating up, quickly grease the holes with a bit of kitchen towel soaked in vegetable oil. You don’t need much.

Once that green light’s gone on, pipe the cake mix into each of the holes – stopping at where it becomes level with the plate. It definitely took me a few tries to get it right! When they’re all full, close the lid and wait for around 5 minutes for them to cook.
Use a plastic spatula to carefully remove the pops from the machine – they should be golden brown and fairly easy to get out. I tend to turn the machine off at this point, and put them on a bit of greaseproof paper on top of a wire rack {otherwise you’ll get square imprints on them}.
Repeat this process until you’ve used up all of the cake mixture, then leave them to cool.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and get your lolly sticks ready. Dip the end of a stick in the chocolate (around 2cm), and then push it into the base of one of the balls of cake. This forms a sort of seal when it sets; repeat with the other cake pops and stand them all up to dry.ย 
When they’re done, transfer onto a plate into the fridge to set up.ย 
Melt a handful of candy melts in a a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
{You can buy them from shops like Lakeland or Hobbycraft. They look like chocolate buttons and set hard around the cake to form a sugary shell, a bit like a smartie.}
I tend to start off with white, coat two or three pops, then slowly add more white and purple to get a gradient of colour from light to dark. It’s fairly intuitive, so just go with your instincts!

If the mixture gets too thick, add a little vegetable oil to thin it out. Take one of the pops, dip it in, then swirl it around until it’s all coated. You’ll need to stand it up to dry, in a mug or a stand like the one I’ve got in the photo. I like to save some of the molten candy melt mix in a little plastic bag and drizzle it over the finished pops, as well as using sprinkles to decorate. If you want some serious inspiration, check outย Bakerella!
The cat got a bit cheeky as I was decorating…

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