Most cake pop recipes use boxed cake recipes and canned frosting, but I wanted to do it from scratch (would you expect anything less? haha). I used my new favourite yellow cake recipe by Nick Malgieri. I often find yellow cake recipes to be dry and dense. Not this one. It's moist, buttery, and perfect. For frosting I used vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. I did two different coatings, one was melted Guittard vanilla white chocolate chips and the other was Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips. I wasn't terribly pleased with the decorations, the white cake pops got a milk chocolate drizzle, and the dark ones got white fondant polka dots.
In all honesty I loved these a lot less than I thought I would. I read somewhere that cake pops were going to be the new cupcake. Well cupcakes, I'm pretty sure you have nothing to worry about. They are a little too sweet for me and I'm not entirely sure I like the texture, maybe I used too much frosting? That said, the kids LOVED them. I made them for a playgroup's Valentine's Day party and they were a huge hit. Especially with my kid who keeps asking "where's the lillypops??" :)
Basic Yellow Cake
from Nick Malgieri
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temp
3/4 cup milk
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and line the bottom of two 9x2-inch round cake pans.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Whisk eggs and milk together, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula.
On low speed add 1/4 of the flour mixture until it is absorbed. Increase speed to medium low and beat in 1/3 of milk mixture. Repeat this, including change of speed 2 more times. Scrape bowl and beat in remaining 1/4 of flour mixture. Scrape again, increase speed to medium and continuously beat the batter for 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and smooth top. Bake cake(s) about 20 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper and let cool completely.
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 4 large egg whites (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
Place egg whites, sugar and salt in medium-sized heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk gently and constantly until egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees) and sugar is dissolved, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whip by machine until thick and cooled, about 5 minutes. Beat in butter and continue beating until buttercream is smooth and spreadable. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature and beat smooth by machine. Beat in vanilla, a little at a time, and continue beating until buttercream is smooth, about 2 minutes longer (always flavor buttercream immediately before using it).
Putting together the Cake Pops
Lollipop sticks (you can find these at Michael's)
Decorations (I used a fondant writer for the polka dots, sprinkles, nonpariels, and edible glitter would also be fun ideas)
- When the cake has cooled completely, crumble it into pieces with your hands, the crumbs should be pea-sized or smaller. Mix the frosting and cake together in a large bowl until the cake is moist. Start with about 1 cup of frosting and try rolling it into a ball about the size of a quarter. If the ball falls apart add 1/4 cup more frosting and try again.
- Form the cake and frosting mixture into balls with the hands and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Melt a small amount of chocolate in a double boiler and dip each stick about 1/2-inch into the melted chocolate, then stick about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the cake ball. If it starts to crumble just reshape.
- Place the finished balls onto a sheet of parchment paper and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes or longer.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or VERY carefully in the microwave.
- Remove the cake pops one at a time from the refrigerator and dip them into the melted candy. Rotate them as the candy drips off to thoroughly coat.
- If you're using decorations that stick on do this before the chocolate dries, so pretty much right away.
- Place the finished pops on parchment paper until thoroughly cool.
Linked to Sweet Tooth Friday
and Sweets for a Saturday