Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cake Pops

Welcome to my first Cake Pop adventure! It was a rough and tumble at times, but overall, I'm pleased that I finally delved into the newest baking craze. On Valentines' Day, I made these delightful treats for my friends and co-workers, and they were also very appreciative for my first-time attempt! I hope that you try this classic Red Velvet yummy-ness, but if you want to try another flavor, I hope this blog will help you out with tips and techniques for making a great one-bite wonder!


Cake Pop -- Say What?
Below you will find traditional red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting recipes. If cake pops aren't your cup of tea (or "bite of cake" har-har), you can always use these recipe for a lovely Red Velvet Cake. If so, you will likely want to double the frosting recipe.

Here are the basic steps to making a Cake Pop:
1. Cook a cake.













2. Crumble the cake.













3. Mix the frosting into the crumbled-cake mixture.
4. Form cake balls (rolling into balls with your hands).














5. Chill cake balls in the freezer.
6. Insert popsicle.














7. Dip in coating.
8. Decorate.














9. Let dry. Either by standing up (stick in foam board, or some other makeshift method -- I put kosher salt in cups) or by placing down in a small cupcake wrapper. Both are very cute presentations.

Trial & Error
The night I made these, my friend Courteney made some off-hand comment about how I never mess up food. All I could say was, "You should have seen me with these cake pops. I was a sh*t-show." My kitchen could have been condemned as a disaster area. I had many cake pop casualties, resulting in an overall pretty pathetic yield.

That's not to say you should be discouraged, however, I think some people can get intimidated starting to cook when they mess things up. That is totally normal. A lot of cooking is by trial and error, and often the first time you make a new recipe or try some different technique, you will learn what NOT to do. That's one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog, so that I could post tips that will help people through the food fog. It's okay if your first few cake pops look like a hot mess (mine certainly did, see picture below). Just keep trying, and you will get the hang of it.

In the end, you'll at least have a few that look good enough to share...

** RED VELVET CAKE POPS **

Ingredients
Red Velvet Cake
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2 eggs, room temp
* 2 cups flour
* 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 teaspoon red food coloring
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting
* 4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
* 2 oz. butter, room temp
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Assembly
* 1 24-ounce package white bark coating (you can also use candy melts, but I chose the bark because you can find it at the grocery store)
* Lollipop sticks (you can find them at Hobby Lobby or amazon.com)

Directions
Red Velvet Cake
* Preheat oven to 350F.
* Grease cake pan -- either one 9" X 18" or two 8" or 9" round pans.
* In a cake stand mixer, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat sugar and oil.
* Beat in each egg at low speed.
* In a medium sized bowl, sift or whisk the dry ingredients together (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt).
* Gradually combine the dry ingredients into the sugar/oil mixture.
* In a small bowl or mixing cup, combine the rest of the wet ingredients (buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and red food coloring).
* Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
* Let cool on a wire rack. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
* Cream the butter and cream cheese together until light & fluffy (again using a cake stand mixer or electric hand mixer).
* Stir in the vanilla.
* Gradually mix in the sifted confectioners sugar (sift to ensure a smooth frosting).

Assembly
* Once cooled, crumble the cake. I used two forks, and it was very easy.
* In a large bowl, combine the crumbled cake and frosting until well incorporated.
* Form the cake into balls, and chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
* Once cooled, put popsicle about 3/4 way through the center of the cake ball, and then dip in your melted white chocolate bark (I just melted mine in the microwave on low, stirring periodically).
* Set your cake pop in a place to cool, as noted above (step 9). 
* Immediately decorate.

Notes on Dipping Technique
* This was by far the hardest, and most frustrating part for me. But really, once you get the hang of it, it's pretty fun. I had trouble with the cake balls staying on the first few I tried, as you can see.


* Once thing that worked well is I dipped the end of the popsicle stick in the coating first, and then put the stick immediately through my cake ball, and then dipped the entire cake ball into the coating. With this last step, try doing it in one fail swoop. Just dip down, and then back. Or, a smooth circular motion on the side. The longer, or multiple dips, the more trouble.

** Does anyone else have any suggestions?? I would love to hear them!

Recipe adapted from here.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Leah!
    I love the variety of recipes you have on your blog! You are very talented in the kitchen :) I'm not much into cooking but I love baking. I made red velvet cake balls for valentine's day as well and yours came out way cuter! I didn't use the lollipop sticks and it was really hard to get them off the fork after I dipped them. One thing I've read for using the sticks is to dip the end in the bark/chocolate, put it in the cake ball, and then stick in the freezer. This will set the chocolate and keep them from falling off when you dip the whole thing. I'll be making some cake pops for Allyson (Steele) Meinkowsky's baby shower in April so I'll let you know if this method works any better. Hope you're doing well! :)

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    1. That's a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!! Keep me updated about how your cake pops turn out :)

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