We have made some really incredible friends being over here in New Zealand. One person we have become very close with is our friend Tiffany, or just Tiff. Right before we all took off to go to our respective homes for Christmas, I was talking to her about her upcoming birthday. We were looking at Google images of different sweets, and then it just came to her. She said, "This is what I want for my birthday. One request. Anything in the shape of an acorn!" Haha. She likes acorns, and the idea was sort of inspired from the movie "My Neighbour Totoro", but her one requirement with them was that they didn't have faces, because she wouldn't be able to eat something with a personality.
When she told me that she wanted something acorn shaped, I contemplated making cookies, but then my mom gave me the idea to make cake pops, and I slapped myself wondering why I am never the one coming up with the ingenious ideas. Once the idea was in my head, I became super excited to see how they would turn out. I have to mention that I have made plenty of cake balls in the past year, but I have rarely ventured beyond writing something on them, or just making them plain, and very few times have I made them into pops. They are a lot of fun, and really easy to do, but unless you have plenty of time and space (particularly fridge space), they can be difficult and time consuming to make. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about making these. Nonetheless, I couldn't contain my excitement of how cute these could turn out.
I finally had a great idea (see I have one per year) to take pictures in the process of making the pops. Thanks to having a camera creative husband, I was able to get a lot of really great evolution shots.
To make these cake pops, I started out with a vanilla cake. Here is the recipe I used, but really any vanilla cake will do. I also used vanilla frosting, and I got the recipe from the book Cake Pops from Bakerella, but again, any frosting will do. There are hundreds of combinations you can do with the cake, but I have found the simpler the better. Don't mix chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate melts. They are just too rich. Mix it up a bit, and you will be golden. Nothing too fancy.
To make the pops, bake the cake, let it cool and then crumble it into a large bowl. I know, it seems like cake murder to crumble it up after its been baked so perfectly, but trust me, the end result will be worth it. Once the cake is crumbled, take the frosting and mix it in to the crumbles completely, until the mixture is pretty moist. But be careful, you don't want it too moist, because the cake wont hold together. But don't worry too much, its hard to mess up.
When the mixture is ready to go, take a small handful of cake, and roll it in the palm of your hand to form a ball. It should be about 1" to 1 1/2" round. Once all formed, cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, or you can also put them in the freezer for a shorter time. This is what they should look like.
Bakerella's Pop Stars page. Wish me luck in getting it on there! Maybe you can help with leaving lots of comments on how cute they are!
If you are looking to make these great little pops, here are the things you will need:
-Vanilla cake recipe (boxed cake works great too)
-Vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker kind is good if you cant make your own)
-Peanut butter candy melts (I used Wilton)
-Vegetable oil to thin out the melts
-Chocolate melts (I used Nestle)
-Pretzel sticks, cut into thirds, or just small enough to fit on top
-Styrofoam block (see post above if questioning this method)
-Large refrigerator (this is on my wish list, but I am afraid New Zealand may not manufacture them...)
-Cake pop size cellophane baggies with ties, or you can decorate with whatever kind of tie you like.
If you would like a full tutorial on how to make a basic cake pop, go here.
The birthday girl was very happy with what she was given, and I have to say, that I got the most compliments on these sweet little treats than I have ever gotten with my baking. So I would say that these were a huge success. Here is the birthday girl when she first saw the pops in person. She was one happy girl I think. Happy Birthday Tiff!