Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Acorn Cake Pops for Tiffany

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.

I formed mine into a little bit of an oval shape, but not over-exaggerated for the acorn look. Once cooled, take a lollipop stick and dip it into the candy coating/melts. I used peanut butter melts, to go along with the peanuts on top, but more on that later.

 So dip the lollipop stick into the candy melts, then stick into the bottom of the cooled cake ball. Then dip the entire cake ball (now on a stick) into the candy melts. Don't stir it around, because the cake may fall off the stick.

Once covered, stick into a Styrofoam block and let dry. I didn't have a Styrofoam block, so I poked holes in a box. Let me tell you, get a Styrofoam block. It will make your life so much easier and you wont have to run around your house screaming and crying and wishing you had just one Styrofoam block. Eventually, I pulled extreme measures and put an entire bag of sugar in a rectangle container, to hold them better, but even that could only hold 12 pops. Listen to me and don't cry like I did. Ok, I didn't cry, but I did have soldiers down because of it. Also if you can, you should really put them back in the fridge to harden faster, but my fridge is really the size of a peanut (and it doesn't taste as good), so that plan didn't work out for me.

Here is where the fun part begins.

 To make acorns, I took the set pop and dipped the top into chocolate melts,

 then directly into a bowl of chopped nuts,

 and finally adorned the tip with a small pretzel to finish the acorn cake pop.

 Now isn't that just the cutest?!? I do have to say, I am proud to say I made that. Down below is my wonderful husband, always happy to help me out with the taste testing.

And the profile of the sad little partly eaten pop. Now hurry up and put it out of its misery. Just eat the thing!

 Yum, that was good!

 Don't they just look so cute embellished with a balloon bag over it?

 And this picture above is the one I am most proud of my husband for taking, and the one I am hoping will be shown on 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)
-Chopped peanuts
-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!

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  1. These turned out so cute! Love that you thought of using the peanut butter candy melts for the acorn color, then the chocolate topping with peanuts and lastly the pretzel sticks. You are so creative! I love this! GENIOUS!

  2. carla these looking AH-MAZING, oh my gosh what a baker you are. love it =)

  3. These r so adorable. I thought about making these..but I thought about instead of doing the cake pop (I'm not a big fan of cake)..but I was wondering if just peanut butter balls would do just as good for the people who don't care to much 4 cake.

    1. I have never done it with peanut butter but you could certainly try! You could also use processed Oreos. Those make great pops too! Good luck!! :)

  4. These look soo adorable Carla!
    Was wondering if you make them on order?

    1. Thank you so much :) I don't typically make them for people to order. It's always hard to say how they will do shipping... But I assure you they are quite easy to make! I hope you do try them!


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