Crazy for Cake Pops (Book Review)…what a treat!

Judging from cake pops after cake pops served in all the parties I attended during the holiday season, there really is a surge of interest in making these cake pops…it’s no doubt a “Crazy for Cake Pops”  victory in the category of mini desserts.

So let’s talk cake pops then!  Some like it (it’s cute indeed!), other hate it (it’s messy!).  I was sent a copy of Molly Bakes “Crazy for Cake Pops”, thanks Beth Cook and Ulysses Press…with this special introductory…

“…hitting shelves is “Crazy for Cake Pops” – a crafty cookbook that teaches you how to make the cutest one-bite snacks on a stick. Game Night Poker Chips and Dice, Birthday Party Clowns, Baby Shower Rattles…this book covers any and every occasion that calls for cake pops!”

I love making tall layered-cakes — bake the cake in large baking pans, frost it, and it’s done.   Mini cakes, on the other hand, require more of any baker’s attention — it’s making more cakes than one, seriously.  Would I really want to do these cute little things now?   Well, I found myself flipping through the pages of the book and I was enjoying the delightful creations.  From cake to cake balls to cake pops in 50 ways…wow, I could possibly add 50 more!

I promised Beth I’d start with the basics…I know much about cakes, but not cake pops.      Molly Bakes (I’m starting to be envious of author’s last name!) assures that once you get the hang of making cake pops, they are simple to make.   Molly enumerates these 10 basic steps:

1)   Bake a cake and allow to cool
2)   Make the frosting
3)   Thoroughly crumble the cake
4)   Combine the cake and frosting and refrigerate
5)   Roll mixture into balls and refrigerate
6)   Insert sticks into the balls
7)   Dip cake pops in candy
8)   Decorate
9)   Package and give as a gift or
10) Eat

There are five important chapters in the book :  Equipment (candy melts and lollipop sticks: gotta have them),  Flavors (tried and tested recipes, including Red Velvet Cake), Method (the most essential part of the book; it even tells you why it is better to crumble the cake by hand), Designs (from simple cake pops and balls to tricolor pops to fat bird pops to sushi creations) and Techniques (using fondant decorations  and also packaging and presentation.   I was tempted to do something elaborate like bauble pops (it was just a thought!).   For now, I just needed to acquaint myself with how cake balls are formed and then dipped in melted candy melts.   Now it’s time to have fun with cake balls!

Bake The Cake and then Crumble It
I baked my cake in a 13 x 9 Pam-sprayed and parchment lined baking pan using Duncan Hines’ Red Velvet Cake Mix.  Followed the baking instructions at the back of the box.  Cooled the cake and trimmed the crusts (to avoid any lumps, Molly says).   Crumbled cake pieces in a large mixing bowl, yes, by hand.

Incorporate the Frosting
Cream cheese frosting pairs well with red velvet cake…again I just used store-bought cream cheese frosting this time (shortcuts allowed I hope for my cake pops beginners’ course).  This was the messy part, so I got that taken cared of…I used plastic gloves (buy a box from Sam’s Club).   I used only 1 cup of the frosting…not the whole container (I’ve seen recipes using the entire jar of frosting).   Wrapped the bowl with plastic wrap and transferred to fridge to chill for 1 hour.

Roll the Balls
I used medium scooper (levelled) for the cake balls, rolled and shaped the mixture into rounded balls with fingers and palms.  Placed balls on a tray lined with parchment paper.  This time, I placed the cake balls in the freezer (stayed there overnight, I was too tired to continue).

Dip balls in melted candy or chocolate
I placed candy melts in a 2-cups liquid measuring cup, half filled.  Zapped in microwave for 1 minute.  Add 1  to 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil (yes, Molly uses only vegetable oil to make candy melts easier to work with, meaning thin enough to coat around cake balls).  Vigorously stirred the heated candy melts for a smooth dip.  I used 2 forks to coat the cake balls with candy melts.  Here the pace changed from being slow and careful as not to damage the cake balls while coating…to really quickly transfer coated cake balls to parchment line tray and shake some sprinkles using a teaspoon.

Here’s the press release of Molly’s wonderful book…the overall look of the book is well laid out and the  lovely photos inside and out are all stunning.  So I’d say, or rather recommend…”Gotta have it!”



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