Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Cake Pops

For my birthday, approximately seven months ago, I got a Cake Pop Maker from my friend, La (Thanks, La!). While a gracious gift, it was also around the time I was moving to a new apartment, so the cake pop maker and accessories went into a box and got stored away into a closet. (Sorry, La.) But they were not forgotten! Last week, J. and I hosted a Secret Santa exchange among a few friends in town, and I thought, what better time to finally make use of my cake pop maker? Who wouldn't want little white "snowballs" festively dotted with green and red sprinkles?

For those of you have never seen a cake pop maker, imagine a waffle iron, with plates that have these little round indentations instead of the "waffle" shape.  Or look at the picture here. It comes with a cake pop stand to use for cooling the cakes and to hold the cake pops after frosting them. And La was generous to also get me the "chocolatier" for dipping in the frosting (essentially it is a miniature crock-pot).

This actually turned out to be a fun project. Although one downside of the cake pop maker is that it only makes 12 cake pops at a time, and the recipes all make about 36 cake pops, so that means you have to bake them in batches.

I used the vanilla cake recipe and the vanilla frosting dip recipe from the cake pop maker manual.  The manual also has some handy tips in there.  For example, I learned that it was easier to freeze the cake balls for five minutes before dipping them in frosting made the process easier.  And dipping the stick in the frosting before jabbing them into the cake balls helps to keep the cake from falling off the stick.  I've never tried making cake pops without a cake pop maker, so I couldn't tell you if it was any easier.  I do like that it only took about four minutes to cook each batch.

I decorated the pops with red and green Christmas Sprinkles and crushed candy canes.  A note on the cake pops with candy canes - the red dye on the candy canes will start to run if you make the cake pops too far in advance.  They still taste good, but I recommend serving them the day of so they stay crisp and pretty when you serve them to guests, and don't look like mangled eyeballs.  (Though something to keep in mind if we ever serve them at a Halloween party!)

I'm looking forward to testing out the other recipes in the manual (I read somewhere it is better to use the recipes in the manual when using the cake pop maker since they are especially formulated for it).  Next I hope to make the apple cider doughnut holes or the red velvet cake pops.

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