Cake pops have without a doubt become one of the most popular sweet treat trends in years.
While cake pops are certainly a fun treat to share and eat, they can be a challenge to create. I will start this tutorial with the recipes and method I used to make these Bride and Groom Cake Pops then I will expand the tutorial with a troubleshooting section that applies to all kinds of cake pops.
Makes 20 pops
What you will need:
600g dark chocolate mudcake made from scratch or 600g of mudcake made from a box cake mix
115g cream cheese
160g sifted icing sugar
0.5 tbsp milk
620g white candy melts
350g black candy melts
Lollipop sticks ( 7″ if possible )
1. Make the frosting by mixing together the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and milk.
2. Crumble the cake into a large bowl or process in the food processor to fine crumbs then place in a large bowl and stir in half of the frosting. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined and thick like a truffle center. Mix in additional frosting if necessary. You just want enough to get the crumbs to stick together when you roll them into balls. Do not add so much that the mixture becomes soft and mushy!
3. Roll mixture into balls weighing 30g and place on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 15 minutes then allow them to almost return to room temperature.
4. Meanwhile melt chocolate in the microwave at 70% for 1 minute then stir well. Return to microwave for 30 seconds and stir well. If the chocolate has still not melted then repeat in 30 second bursts until fully melted and smooth ( always stir well before returning the chocolate to the microwave to avoid overheating). Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the the top of the cake ball. Insert a little more than halfway.
5. Place in freezer again for 15 minutes then allow them to almost return to room temperature before dipping them. Pops will crack if the temperature difference between the cake and the coating is too great. Carefully dip the cake pop into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and submerging in the chocolate till fully covered. Once covered, remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off too.
You want the chocolate to come over the platform you created when inserting the chocolate-dipped stick, but you don’t have to cover it all the way to the stick.
Once half the cake pops are on sticks that have been dipped in chocolate, I then put them in my freezer for 15 minutes and by the time they are ready to come out the freezer the remaining cake pops will be ready to go in. Chilling them helps set the chocolate and make the stick, chocolate and cake all come together firmly.
6. Melt the black chocolate as before and dip half of the cake pops to make the ‘Grooms’. Dip at an angle and rotate a little to create the jacket. Fit a no. 2 tip to a piping bag and fill with a little of the black chocolate. Pipe on the bow tie and buttons. If the chocolate hardens in the bag or tip just ‘neuk’ the piping bag in the microwave at 70% for 5 – 10 seconds.
7. Fill a similar bag with a little white chocolate and pipe the ‘Brides’ as per the picture.
Troubleshooting Cake Pops
Cake Pops Cracking
The challenge I find with chilling the cake pops is that there seems to be a fine line as to how long to chill them – as having them too cold often results in the chocolate cracking after dipping. I try and make sure my chocolate isn’t too hot, and that my cake pop isn’t too cold – letting it warm up a bit after taking it out of the freezer, even just a few minutes.
Another way I deal with this issue is that I do a “first dip” into chocolate. I then redip them in a second layer of chocolate, and decorate. Kind of like a crumb coat in frosting a cake. This sort of seals the crack into the first layer, leaving the second and outer layer looking nice and pretty, and yay – more chocolate! This is also an option if you make your cake pop and the chocolate hardens before you get the sprinkles on it. Just dip it again!
Here are some other sites that you can check out for more tips and advice on the chocolate on the cake pop cracking issue…
Prevent Cracks In Cake Pop Shells from Honeycomb Events & Design
Why Do Cake Pops Crack from Beki Cook’s Cake Blog
Cake Pops, Balls & Truffles: Troubleshooting & FAQ from Veronica’s Cornucopia
Tricks Of The Trade from The Cake Pop Connection
Chocolate Coating Cracking from Chocolate Candy Mall
Cake Pops Falling Off The Stick
Dipping my cake pop sticks into the chocolate, then putting them into the cake pops and letting the chocolate set should avoid these problems. I do have a few other things that help with this issue.
1. Don’t make the cake pop too big. Keep cake pops on the smaller side between 27g – 32g as too much weight on that tiny stick has the potential to create problems.
2. When dipping the cake pop into the chocolate, dip it in and get it out – don’t twirl it around. Twirling it in the chocolate increases the chances of the cake pop falling off the stick or chunks of the cake pop falling off.
3. Never tap the stick on the side of the bowl too hard when trying to get the excess chocolate off. Too hard of a tap and bam, cake pop in bowl. Do a very gentle tap or two on the side of my bowl, and then twirl cake pop, slowly and constantly, over the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off.
4. Holding on to the cake pop until the chocolate is close to set. Once the chocolate sets, usually the cake pop and stick are pretty good friends then you can confidently set it down.
Here are some other sites you can check out with information about preventing your cake pops from falling off of the sticks…
Common Cake Pop Issues & Tutorials from Miss Candiquik
Cake Pop Tutorials and Q & A from Not Rachel Ray
How To Get The Sticks To Stay In The Cake Pops from Babycakes
Cake Pops Tutorial from Mandy Walls Photography
Getting the Chocolate Smooth and the Sprinkles To Stick
Keep the cake pops moving, slowly twirling the cake pop until the chocolate sets. It’s a bit of a balancing act to find when to add the sprinkles and when to put the cake pop down. If you put the sprinkles on too soon, they can slide off and take the chocolate with them. Wait too long and they won’t stick. There is definitely a sweet spot time wise to adding the crystals, and I think a lot of it just takes some practice and patience to find what works.
Stick to lighter sprinkles, the ones that weigh the least, such as sanding sugar, sugar crystals, jimmies and the like. The sanding sugar and sugar crystals are the easiest.
Do not submerge my cake pops in sprinkles. Hold the cake pop over a bowl, and sprinkle over it, catching the excess sprinkles.