Heard of cake pops? Well nor had we until Bake me I’m Yours: Cake Pops by Caroline White turned up and really intrigued us. So I made some for Halloween to find out why cake pops are the new cupcakes. Fab for Halloween parties.
What is a cake pop?
It’s crumbled cake (great for leftovers) bound together with butter cream frosting so it can be formed into a shape (mostly balls) that are then coated and decorated into pretty much anything (see Bake me I’m Yours: Cake Pops reviewed).
Halloween cake pops: pumpkins and ghosts
This is what a cake pop looks like. This is my finished version, and even while Florrie and Martha were guzzling them, they were coming up with loads of ideas for other halloween cake pops: spiders, devils, witches… all you need with pop cakes, after knowing the basics, is an imagination. There are no end of fun things a cake pop can be.
What you need to make 12 cake pops
- 240g of cake – fresh made or left over (I used all-in-one chocolate cake)
- 120g butter cream (2 parts icing sugar to 1 part softened butter or margarine)
- Orange chocolate coating for the pumpkins (Sainsbury’s sell Silver Spoon orange flavour chocolate buttons). Alternatively you can use orange colouring with white chocolate
- Dark chocolate coating for the ghosts
- Fondant icing (I really think it’s cheaper to buy ready made from the supermarket)
- Food colouring – green and black
- Lolly or pop sticks (supplier below)
- A block of polystyrene to hold the drying and finished cake pops
Step one – making the basic cake pop base
Crumble your cake into a fine crumb. You can use your food processor if you like.
Then you mix in your butter cream until its evenly distributed through the mix. It will still be crumbly.
Step two – forming the pops
You can weigh out each portion – 30g or if you have a measuring spoon set, spoon out 2 level tablespoons of the mixture.
Using your hands, you now form a ball until it’s reasonably firm and smooth all over. Using one of your pop sticks, indent to create the hole for the stick – about half the depth of the ball. Put onto a parchment-lined tray and put into the fridge for up to an hour or the freezer for 15 minutes.
Step three – making the decorations
Fondant icing. You need to colour small amounts of the fondant icing to create the pumpkin stalk (green) and the face (black). You do this by kneading the icing and working in the small amounts of food colouring.
Now pinch small amounts of the green icing to form 6 small cones. Put them on a plate or parchment to dry slightly. Fondant icing stays soft but firm and it does need to dry slightly.
With the black icing, roll very thin and cut 12 small triangles for the eyes. The mouth is formed just by shaping a small squiggle by rolling the icing so it’s like a short piece of string or thread.
For the ghost cake pops, roll out some white fondant icing very thin and using a large cutter (10-12cm) produce 6 circles. If you have small round and daisy cutters, you can use these to create the ‘face’ in the icing. Or you can do what I did which was to use a toothpick to form the eyes and mouth.
Step four – coating the cake pops
Melt the chocolate coatings – orange for the pumpkins and dark chocolate for the ghosts. Put a little into a piping bag. Now keeping your cake pop bases cold, pipe a little of the chocolate into the indentation you’ve made and insert the stick. The cold of the cake with quickly set the stick into place, securing it well.
Put the melted chocolate into fairly narrow containers so you maximise the depth of the liquid coating.
Now take your secured cake pop by the stick and carefully dip into the chocolate coating, letting the excess drip back into the container, holding it on its side, turning slowly, making sure the coating is even.
For the pumpkins: while the orange coating is still slightly liquid (it will set quickly because the cake bases are cold from the fridge) push in a green icing cone into the top to form the stalk, stick on the two triangles (use a toothpick for lifting and positioning) and the squiggly mouth.
Stick upright in the polystyrene block to set completely (and for display).
For the ghosts: just coat in the dark chocolate as above and set in the polystyrene to set. Once dry, ‘drape’ over the ghost icing to form the ghostly shape as in the picture – and that’s it!
Want to know everything about cake pops?
I have to say, I just loved this Bake Me I’m Yours: Cake Pops by Carolyn White. It’s published by David & Charles and is filled with inspiring photographs taken by Sian Irvine. It seems you can make Cake pops for every occasion and I was especially taken with the 2-tier wedding cake versions and the gorgeous birthday parcels and extremely delicious looking ice-cream set. There are ideas for Christmas pop cakes, faux truffles, love hearts, glitter balls and even a farm!
This book has full and very detailed instructions about every aspect of cake pop making and if you’re into making and decorating cakes and are looking for something a little different, I really recommend adding it to your recipe book collection.
» Go to the MIAMI shop to find all our cake decorating products – the range grows every day so keep checking back, but you can find tools as well as essential supplies.
Right now we haven’t got lolly or pop sticks, but these are easy to get hold of on Amazon in lots of sizes. » These are 190mm for £3.49
Cake Pop update – bake from scratch
This is a great development – an electric cake pop maker from Lakeland that will produce your cake balls (unadulterated with sweet butter cream) in 4 minutes flat… check it out now on the Lakeland site.