With one part baking and one part candy making, creating delicious, attractive and structurally intact cake pops can prove quite challenging. The mixture can crumble into pieces, leak oil, fall right off the stick and prove unwieldy in a number of surprising ways, and that’s before you even get to the oil-based coating. Although there are many ways cake pops can go wrong, you can stay on the right track with a clear understanding of those pitfalls – And the best ways to avoid them. So, read on to learn all you need to know to make yummy, picture-perfect cake pops time and time again.
Common Ways Cake Pops Can Go Wrong
An experience baker can mitigate the potential for disaster with the understanding of what exactly needs to happen. Here are a few ways that your cake pops can take a wrong turn.
Poor Stick Adherence
To remain firmly on top of the sticks until they are devoured, your cake pops need to be firm, yet creamy in consistency – And just the right size. To achieve this ideal consistency, mix the crumbs of one cake with 1/2 can of frosting. In addition, make it up to one inch in diameter and only dip in the coating once using a smooth motion to keep your intact.
Lumpy Center Texture
The smoother the texture of your cake pop filling, the better the outside will look when coated. You can keep the center texture from taking a lumpy turn by avoiding over-baking the cake. Trim away the browned edges as well before you incorporate the cake crumbs into the icing by hand. Roll the balls of filling between your hands until the surface is perfectly spherical and smooth.
A large difference in temperature between your cake pop filling and coating will cause the surface to crack apart. This aspect of creating cake pops is particularly challenging since you have to refrigerate the filling balls to keep them on the stick during the coating process. To help prevent surface cracks, simply take your cake balls out of the refrigerator about three minutes before dipping. Allow your candy color coating to cool during that time as well to decrease the difference in temperature.
Bubbles in the Coating
If you over-mix the oil-based coating, tiny bubbles can appear as it cools, ruining the appearance of your cake pops. When adding your Chefmaster Candy Colors to brighten your coating, mix gently, using a folding motion to incorporate the oil-based food coloring. To further decrease the chance of bubbles appearing, run the back of your spoon along the surface to smooth out the candy color coating before you dip the filling.
To create the best looking and tasting cake pops, you must only use the smoothest coating for dipping your filling. If the coating looks too thick after melting, you may have scorched the oil-based mixture, which affects both its taste and appearance. When melting your coating, heat for only 10 to 15 seconds at a time and pull one half of the coating is melted. Add Chefmaster Candy Colors and gently mix the coating until the coating is fully melted, smooth and the correct color. The oil-based food coloring will blend perfectly into the candy coating, which also uses oil as a base ingredient.
Fast Dry Times
When you color your cake pops with oil-based food coloring, the coating will dry ultra-fast. Since there is no way to avoid this, you must learn how to work fast while dipping your cake pops. If you are trying to achieve deep hues with extra oil-based food coloring, you can use Crisco to thin the candy color coating a bit and slow the drying time.
Cake Pop Recipe
By following the recipe below, you can have cake pops on hand within two hours.
You will need to first gather your ingredients:
- One unfrosted 9"x13” cake
- 1/2 cup frosting
- 32 ounces coating chocolate
- 40 six-inch lollipop sticks
- Chefmaster Candy Colors oil-based food coloring
- Sprinkles and other decorative elements
To create your cake pops:
- Trim away the edges, top, and bottom of the cake. Place the remainder in a bowl and break up into small crumbles.
- Mix cake crumbles with 1/2 cup frosting, kneading with your hands to create a smooth consistency.
- Place in refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Scoop and roll into one-inch balls, placing each one on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator for a half hour to chill the filling
- Push a lollipop stick into the center of each ball of cake.
- Melt the candy coating for 10 seconds at a time until half of the mixture is melted. Add your desired amount of oil-based food coloring to reach the correct hues. Gently stir to allow the residual heat to melt the rest of the coating.
- In one smooth motion, dip cake pops into the coating and tap on the side of the bowl to remove the excess.
- Place the pops in a foam block and add sprinkles or other decorative elements before the coating dries.
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