Cherry Cake Pops | Cookbook Review | Cookbook Giveaway

Cherry Cake Pops with Coconut

Cakepops…

it’s a love/hate relationship for me.

I love to look at cakepops other people like Bakerella make. She is so talented and it makes me think I can make pretty cakepops too.

Then I realize I can’t.

But you totally can…and I’m here to help you.

How you ask?

By filling you on all the things not to do. Plus I have 3 copies of 175 Best Baycakes Recipes Cookbooks up for grabs to help you in your quest for cakepop domination. I believe in you. You can totally rock the pops with a little knowledge, a little prep and a whole lot of advice on what not to do by yours truly.

My cakepop odyssey begin last summer. I requested to review some cookbooks. When the this book arrived I was ready to do battle with cakepops. Then I realized I was unarmed since I did not have a cakepop maker. You would think this would have dawned on me earlier. I wrote the editor, basically saying “I’m a doofus and did not realize I needed a contraption to make them”. She was so sweet about it and gave me the option to donate the book if I did not want to review it. I am nothing if not determined so I picked up a cakepop maker in the states. Colour me surprised and wickedly grossed out when I got the cakepop maker home and it had been used and returned. Barf! So I contacted both Meijer’s, where I bought it, and Babycakes as well. I’m a tad disappointed to say neither of them replied to my email. I stuck the cakepop maker in my car since I knew we’d be travelling to the states on vacation. Then the vacation of doom happened, followed by a small breakdown. Cakepops were the last thing on my mind. I never got to return the cakepop maker and I swear I think it’s still in the back of my SUV somewhere. I refuse to use it. It’s just not in me, being the germophobe that I am.

Halloween rolled around and I decided to make cakepops by hand. They turned out awful so I was not keen on using them for my review but I did post about them. Honestly you would think I was 3 years old with how inept I am at making cakepops. For some reason I just cannot shape a round ball to save my life. This exercise in futility convinced me to invest in another cakepop maker so I bought cakepop maker # 2. I made some cakepops in the fall and while they were wicked good they were hideous. I used store-bought dough and dipped them in butter and garlic, which is an insanely good recipe you can find in the cookbook on page 133. I chose not to post them since my blog room was being painted and my lights were in storage. I have to say they were delicious though.

I knew I still wanted to review the cookbook,  and I also wanted to tackle my fear of cakepops. It’s been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. I just do not have the knack for them. I think they might be something you either immediately know how to do or you will be like me struggling with them until you figure it out. I overfilled the first batch, burned the second batch but the third batch was pure magic. Although not completely round magic. I ate about 10 of them while waiting for different batches to cool. The taste is bang on. The cookbook folks knew to add almond extract to heighten the taste of the cherry which impressed me. Being a cherry lover myself I am always blown away by people who know that little tidbit of information. Make a note folks, if making something with cherry use almond extract. It will rock your world.

Once the cakepops cooled it came time to dip the little suckers. Here’s where another challenge arose. Dipping them is a monumental task. You have to dunk the stick in candy coating first and hope that it bonds otherwise your cakepops fall off the sticks. Plus you are trying to keep the semi round shape and roughing up the cakepops is not going to help them stay round. Trust me, I tried. Once they stick is secure you get to dunk the little suckers in candy melts. So let me just state from my experience thus far that the recommendation to add shortening (I used oil) to make it less thick should be a rule and not a recommendation. Any I tried to dunk in straight up candy melts did not work out well. Once I mixed some oil in the melts they coated like a dream. I find the candy melts way too thick to work with. This may be something you become accustomed to the more you make cakepops. For me it just worked better to loosen up the candy melts quite a bit by cutting them with oil.

I also tried to get all creative and use fondant. It was an ugly scene. I made some people. Somehow they look like aliens. It was worth a shot though. I’m all about trying new things so it was a fun adventure.

The end result after months of a love/hate relationship with cakepops was quite good. This last batch turned out well. I think I’d put the score at:

cakepops= 10

Lunie= 1

Not bad for a cakepop newbie. I think I did pretty well.

Cherry Cake Pops by Cravings of a Lunatic

Cherry Cake Pops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cute cherry cakepops dipped in candy melts then coated with coconut. Sure to be a hit with kids and adults!
Serves: 34 to 36 cakepops
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (I used a maraschino cherry syrup I found in the states)
  • ⅔ cup of sugar
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped maraschino cherries, drained and dabbed to remove moisture
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 to 6 drops of red food colouring (I find gel colours give a better colour to baked goods)
Instructions
  1. Spray your cakepop maker generously with non stick spray.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk it well and set aside.
  3. In a different small bowl combine the milk and cherry juice/syrup. Set that aside as well.
  4. In a stand mixer (or use a medium sized bowl and a hand mixer) beat the sugar and shortening on medium speed until fluffy. Takes 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat them well after each addition.
  6. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, doing it in three additions of each. Beat on low until smooth.
  7. Add the cherries, almond extract and food colouring. Beat slowly so you do not splash red food colouring all over you kitchen. Trust me, it can happen.
  8. You can adjust the colouring now if you like by adding more.
  9. Fill each well with about one tablespoon of the cake batter. Do not overfill. Trust me, overfilling is bad.
  10. Bake for about 4 to 6 minutes by turning on the machine and clicking it shut. If you have overfilled the wells it will make a heck of a mess. They are cooked when a toothpick inserting into the middle of a pop comes clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Repeat with remaining batter until done.
  12. Pop the cakepops in the freezer for about 15 to 30 minutes.
  13. Attach the sticks by dunking them in candy melts that you've melted in the microwave. Make sure you check and stir every 15 seconds to keep it smooth. Pop them back in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes to let it bond.
  14. Melt your candy melts by popping them in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure to stir them every 15 to 30 seconds. I added 2 tablespoons of veggie oil but the book suggests shortening to loosen up the melts.
  15. Dunk your cakepops in the melts. Swirl gently till covered. If not coating with coconut place them on the stand.
  16. If adding coconut do it while the coating is still wet. Just put the coconut in a glass and roll the cakepop around in it. Pop on the cakepop stand to set.
  17. Serve with a big old "omg I made cakepops and they look cute" smile!
Notes
I included extra time in the prep but most of it is inactive. Actual working prep is probably about 15 to 20 minutes. The rest is waiting around for things to set.

Recipe is courtesy of Robert Rose and 175 Best Babycakes cake pop recipes

Coconut Cherry Cake Pops

The cookbook itself is fabulous. I’ve tried 6 recipes thus far and every one of them has been a hit. My earlier cakepops may have had poor execution in the looks department but the taste has always been perfect. The book has step by step instructions on how to fill the wells, how to attach the sticks, how to coat the pops, how to decorate them with sprinkles/swirls/ spirals, how to triple dip/ marbelize/ add decorations/ make rosebuds and how to make simple faces with hair. There are lots of colour photos of finished pops for inspiration. The recipes are divided into lots of categories and there is a recipe for every occasion. They even show you how to make doggie treats which I think is wicked cool. There is a problem solver section in the back for folks like me who are cakepop doofuses. It’s a wealth of information in one book. Everything you need to know about how to make the perfect cakepop is in this book. Now the talent involved is a whole different matter. I think cakepops are a bit like cake decorating. It’s just something you get better at over time. This book will help you achieve that goal of perfect cakepops. I’m not going to lie, there may be some messy ones along your path to knowledge but it’s a journey paved with cake so who is going to complain. You get to eat all the ones that don’t turn out so it’s totally worth the sacrifice if you ask me.

I’d like to thank Robert Rose for the review copy. I was provided the cookbook to review but nothing more. You all know me, if I hated it I would straight up tell you. It’s how I roll. I mean I did out Babycakes and Meijer’s for not responding to my complaint emails about the cakepop maker, so honesty is a given when you visit my site. I just do not know how to hold back. I would like to extend a personal thank you to Martine for being so kind to me during my minor health crisis. Sometimes life throws your curve balls, this lady handled mine with grace and I appreciate it so much.

Now on to the giveaway portion you readers have been waiting for. I have 3 copies of 175 Best Babycakes cake pops recipes up for grabs today. Here’s the deets:

For the mandatory entry please leave me a comment telling me what kind of cakepop you would like to make!

For additional entries you can do any or all of the following:

Stalk Cravings of a Lunatic by email. Look to the right for the little subscribe via email bar and fill it in. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Stalk Cravings of a Lunatic on Facebook. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Stalk Robert Rose on Facebook. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Stalk Cravings of a Lunatic on Twitter. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Stalk Robert Rose on Twitter. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Stalk Cravings of a Lunatic on Pinterest. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Stalk Cravings of a Lunatic on G+. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Stalk Cravings of a Lunatic on StumbleUpon. Leave a separate comment saying you did so.

Bonus daily entry- you can pop back once per day and leave me a random factoid about yourself for extra entries. I love these bonus entries so much as I learn so much about my readers this way. You can tell me anything, as long as it’s PG rated. Tell me what size shoes you wear, what you had for lunch, which celebrity chef annoys the crap out of you, which Kardashian has the nicest hair (remember I love the show so A. don’t judge me and B. don’t be dissing them too badly) or what your cat did that made you laugh today. One bonus per day per person.

Remember only the first comment is mandatory, the rest of the entries are a bonus. You have to leave a separate comment for each otherwise they will only count as one entry.

Giveaway will close on Saturday January 26 at midnight. Draw will be done by random.org and 3 winners will be drawn. You can only win 1 book per person. Winners will be notified and have 72 hours to respond or a new name will be drawn.

Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents!

Enjoy and enter as much or as little as your little heart desires.

Thanks again to Martine and Robert Rose for the review copy and for the giveaway. You folks rock.

Stop by tomorrow. There will be two posts tomorrow, one fills you in on some changes in my life. One is a giveaway for something fun. Sunday has two posts as well. One is a giveaway for MY BIRTHDAY, yes I’m giving stuff away for MY BIRTHDAY. Cuz I’m cool like that. There’s also going to be a super de douper Sunday Supper post with some retro jello coming at you. And who does not love jello. Monday is yet another giveaway since I’m in Birthday mode right now. Yup, lots of stuff to be had. You won’t want to miss a thing. Which is why you all should subscribe via email. It’s a surefire way to never miss a post. Or a giveaway. Just look to the right and fill in that little box for an email subscription. You get post notifications only, no spam. I hate spam. And Spam. Both. Equally.

Toodles and smoochies! xx

 

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Comments

  1. Joan says

    My first introduction to cake pops was through a friend. She baked, crumbled and shaped. Then she dipped … but she dipped into a glaze and didn’t add the stick. Then she laid each out on a cooling rack to drip while she dipped the next. She didn’t feel the need to put on a thick icing or to draw little faces or add little decorative bits and pieces. Just almost naked cake pops. They were delicious. She had gotten the basic recipe from Bakerella and decided that we were all big girls and didn’t need the stick. She shaped the balls by rolling them in her hands till she had an approximate round shape. Since we weren’t giving an award for perfection, it worked well.

  2. Eva Reeves says

    hmm..maybe I’m supposed to be commenting about the stalking here?? hmm…anyhow..I’ve been to pinterest, fb and google. I’m following you all over!
    Random fact about me…I love popcorn and M & M’s together!

  3. Lauren says

    I love to make German Chocolate Cake Pops… Red Velvet is also a favorite, but those usually don’t last very long or even get to the point of having a chocolate coating.

      • Lauren says

        Thank you so much!! I never get lucky at winning contests!

        I sent out an email. Hope you received it.

        Thanks again! You made my day! :)

        • Kim Bee says

          You are a-okay. I have your email saved to reply to tomorrow. Thanks so much for entering and I’ll send you an email once I forward all the addresses to the rep tomorrow morning. Congrats on winning, you will love this book! I’d love to see photos when you make some. Kim

      • Lauren says

        Hopefully I didn’t wait to long to reply. I had been out of town since the 25th for a destination wedding and hadn’t had time to check my email.

  4. Rita Reedy says

    I’ve been wanting to make cake pops or donut holes in one of those makers for along time. I think your bravery in tackling it might just be the push I need. Thanks Luni 😉

  5. Tammy says

    To try first would be a triple chocolate with ganache topping.
    My email does not work most of the time, please contact me through FB, if possible. Thank you so much.

    • Kim Bee says

      Hi Tammy, what is your full handle on FB in case you do happen to win. FB has rules about announcing giveaways so that is why most bloggers use email. What I usually do is respond to a comment so it notifies you. Then I ask the winner to contact me. Makes it easier. But always good to have FB as a backup plan. Thanks for entering.

  6. says

    Hooray!!! You did it! That top photo is phenomenal…I hope you are proud of it!!! I had the same problem when I tried to make carrot cake pops by hand…just awful looking. Need a cake pop maker…and need to utilize all your tips (did the glopping coating myself!). So to answer the question, I’d attempt carrot cake pops again.

  7. says

    I have had two or three cake pop fiascos and have been fairly unwilling to try again, but then a friend gave us some on a holiday goodie plate. My kids fought over them, so I suppose I should try again. I just have very little patience for multiple steps that involve the freezer. Don’t even ask about my cake decorating skills. I think on a scale from one to ten, I am in the negatives.

  8. says

    Lord, you are talking to me right now. I made cake-pops once and they were butt ugly. I simply love the “snowy” coconut ones you made so I will try again. :)

  9. The Mom Chef says

    I almost didn’t leave a comment because I really don’t want to win. :) but, your story was so funny I had to tell you I thought so. A returned, used cake pop maker? Yuck! A cake pop maker in general sounds a bit bizarre. But then, I’ve never made nor eaten one. I’m not big on food on a stick, unless it’s been grilled. I’m still smiling over your story though.

  10. says

    See, right here lies the biggest difference between you and I, Sweetness… You have 250% stick-to-it-ism. Boo has none. zilch. My get up and go has got up and went. I would thrown the damned Babycakes maker out the front door. You rock my world… but your coconut doesn’t. I’m allergic. gag. But you, I’m not allergic to. I’m addicted to you :)

  11. says

    I loved hearing about your cake pops journey and I actually thought those monster cake pops were just right, given they were monster faces. These are much more perfect but lack your special character. LOL. Don’t get too perfect.

  12. says

    Prove me wrong, but I don’t think a book is going to make me a success at cakepops. You’re right, Bakerella makes it look so easy, but it ain’t. The candy coating isn’t very readily available here (is that a good excuse not to make them?)

    • Kim Bee says

      Hester your comment had me in stitches. I swear if I can make half way decent ones you can totally rock them. They are wicked hard to learn. Candy melts are lovely but you could just use icing. A friend of mine uses that instead and they love making them. And yes Bakerella rocks the pops. One day I might just walk up to her, hug her then kick her in the shins for making the rest of us look bad. (okay I am totally not gonna kick her. Pinch her maybe.)

  13. says

    Ok, you’ve inspired me! I haven’t ever made cake pops. Kind of scared of them and despite your fears/mishaps you clearly persevered. Secondly, I need to make THESE cake pops because I absolutely loooove cherry anything and totally know about the whole almond extract to intensify the flavor trick so I know these must be a whole lot of awesome on a stick. Oh and I really like that you rolled them in coconut too. Yum! So I would make these cherry cake pops or I think I’d like to make a chocolate cake pop maybe dipped in some sort of marshmallow frosting rolling in crushed graham crackers. Hello s’mores cake pops!

  14. says

    You make your cakepops sound much worse than they are! I think these are gorgeous, especially the color contrast of the white against the pink. The used cakepop maker thing is pretty gross…shame on both those companies for not replying.

  15. says

    I’m right with you on the love/hate cake pops relationship. I’ve tried and failed. It’s the chocolate coating that always kills me, but it sure looks like you did a good job here!

  16. Kathy Reitlo says

    bonus entry..I think I would use this book as a coffee table book, the men in my family would want the rest of the cake! Thanks for the tips!

  17. Nadine says

    subscribed via email as well :)

    I bought my daughter a cake pop maker for Christmas but we haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. My sister is getting married in a few weeks and after I fit the darn bridesmaid’s dress we are so gonna make some yummy ones!

  18. Dina says

    Well…….we just got the pop makers in our store yesterday……..now, if I only had a cookbook to go with it!! 😀

    • Kim Bee says

      Hi Jessica. You are one of the lucky winners. Can you hit my email (cravingsofalunatic@gmail.com) with your address so I can make arrangements to get the book shipped to you. Congrats, Kim

  19. Julie says

    I’ve attempted to make cake pops ONCE! They were very time consuming, but I’d say that was just because it was first time! I’d love to try carrot cake pops or marble cake pops…actually any kind of cake pop would be fun to try again!

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