This was my first try at cake pops, and they were surprisingly easy yet time consuming. I think they turned out pretty good and were very tasty...just ask my kids who have been running off sugar rushes for the last hour! I forgot to take pictures while I was making them, but I did manage to get a picture before they were all eaten. I made them with a (gasp!) cake mix because I needed them to be gluten free and I have yet to find a cake recipe that tastes like the real deal. You can make them with whatever cake recipe or mix you want.
A baked cake
Candy Melts/Melting Chocolate
Sprinkles, crushed up chocolate bars etc.
Lollipop sticks if you want them
Bake your cake as directed by your recipe/box. Let it cool. Do the unthinkable....Break it up into a million little pieces in a mixing bowl. Add some icing. This part is by feel. Add some icing and then mix it up. You should get a 'dough' forming. Add small amounts of icing at a time because you can always add more but you can't take any out! A formable dough is what you are going for. Roll into balls, place on wax paper/parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for AT LEAST 30 minutes. More is better.
Towards the end of the freezing time melt the chocolate/candy and dip the ends of your sticks into it (about 1/2 an inch). Let these set in the fridge/freezer for a couple of minutes. It helps to hold the cake balls on. Make sure your candy/chocolate it melted properly. Take everything out of the freezer. Stick the chocolate/candy ends of the sticks into the cake balls. Dip them into the melted chocolate/candy, roll in whatever topping you desire and put back on the wax paper, ball side down (obviously!) (Unless you happen to own a cake pop stand or have styrofoam kicking around this is the easiest option. It does make the tops a little flat, but really...who cares?!)
Let set in the fridge. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. The icing mixed with the cake makes them very soft and the longer they are at room temperature the messier they are to eat. Much better directly from the fridge!
I dipped mine in Wilton Candy Melts and then rolled them in sprinkles or cut up Crispy Crunch bars or smashed up M&M's.....soooo tasty!
A couple of things I learned on this first time around:
1. If you are going to dip in chocolate, melting chocolate is the best option. I tried with chocolate chips and it was too thick and really ended in disaster!
2. Keeping the cake pops cold and working in small batches works best
3. They use up a lot of sprinkles! Have a lot on hand!
4. Don't attempt if you have to have dessert ready to serve in 3 hours...this results in frantic rushing around the kitchen and lots of ignoring everything else that needs to be done lol!
The best thing about these is you choose the type of cake you want to make them with. This way, it can be vegan, egg free or anything 'free' that you need!