Shortcut Cake Pops

 

If you have kids or visit Starbucks on a regular basis, you know about cake pops.  They’re like Tootsie Pops, but made of mashed-up cake instead of candy (so therefore better for you?), dipped in a glossy coating and dressed up with sprinkles or other accoutrements.

(For some awe-inspiring creations, check out Bakerella.com or search “cake pops” in Pinterest.).

If you’ve ever tried making cake pops, you know that they can be TIME CONSUMING. First you have to bake a cake (albeit from a boxed mix) and let it cool. Then you crumble it up and mix it with a can of frosting.  This dough-like mixture becomes the base for the cake pops. After that you shape, chill, dip and decorate.

Doesn’t it seem crazy to bake a nice cake only to smush it all up? Some smart person though of using Munchins for the centers.  That’s definitely a shortcut (and a lot less messy), but if you’re looking for that gooey-cakey texture or want to shape the cake pops into something other than spheres, the donut holes just won’t do.

Well, hold onto your lollypop sticks, folks. I’ve come up with a trick that may forever change the way you make cake pops:  [cue drumroll]

 

The Entemann’s frosted cake! It’s a cake and frosting all in one, and it comes in different flavors (vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, etc.). No baking or cans of frosting required.

Leah will demonstrate how easy it is to make the cake pop centers this way. (This weekend we made “melting ice cream cone” cake pops for a friend’s Labor Day party.)

 

1. Open box of cake (we made a triple batch, so 3 boxes of cake) and dump into bowl.

2. Smash up cake with a fork and mix until the frosting is incorporated.

3. Shape into balls or desired shape and arrange on a baking sheet for chilling. Voilà!

While the cake balls chill in the refrigerator or freezer to firm up a little, prepare the mini cones:

Cut about an inch off the tops of the sugar cones with a serrated knife.  Scoring all around first and then carefully sawing through made for a cleaner break. (We put the “cone cuttings” in a bag for future snacking and ice cream topping.)

Then prepare the coating:

Melt the candy melts in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each zap until smooth. I had wanted to make the coating light pink, but only had a bag of red and a bag of white candy melts on hand (probably left over from a Valentine’s Day project I never got around to).  The result was more “watermelon” than pink, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.

Time for assembly:

Whether using a lollypop stick for traditional cake pops or cones in this case, it’s helpful to use some of the melted coating as “glue” to keep the cake balls in place. Sophie helped dip the tops of the cones into the coating and then place a chilled cake ball on top. Repeat with all cones and then refrigerate/freeze again for a few minutes more. (I lined the baking sheets with parchment paper but this isn’t really necessary.)

For the final phase, dip the chilled cones into the melted candy melts, swirl to coat evenly, and place back on the baking sheet. Feel free to add sprinkles if you want.  For a triple batch (36 cones) we used 2 packages of candy melts and still had some left over.  Chill the cake cones until the coating hardens.

Arrange on a platter for serving. (For best results, keep refrigerated until ready to serve.)

“Delicious, if I say so myself!”

 

For 12 ice cream cone cake pops you will need:

  • 1 box Entemann’s (or similar) frosted cake (we used vanilla bean)
  • 1 box sugar cones (12-count)
  • 1 package (14 oz.) candy melts, any color

For a double or triple batch, use 2 packages of candy melts. You will most likely have some left in the bowl, but I’ve learned the hard way that having an ample amount of candy melts is the trick to getting an even coating.

[Note: if you end up with more cake balls than cones, you could whip out some lollypop sticks and make the rest into traditional cake pops, or you could freeze the balls for a future cake pop project.]

 

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