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:
Not bad for a cakepop newbie. I think I did pretty well.
Cherry Cake Pops
- 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
- Spray your cakepop maker generously with non stick spray.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk it well and set aside.
- In a different small bowl combine the milk and cherry juice/syrup. Set that aside as well.
- 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.
- Add the eggs one at a time. Beat them well after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, doing it in three additions of each. Beat on low until smooth.
- 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.
- You can adjust the colouring now if you like by adding more.
- Fill each well with about one tablespoon of the cake batter. Do not overfill. Trust me, overfilling is bad.
- 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.
- Repeat with remaining batter until done.
- Pop the cakepops in the freezer for about 15 to 30 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dunk your cakepops in the melts. Swirl gently till covered. If not coating with coconut place them on the stand.
- 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.
- Serve with a big old "omg I made cakepops and they look cute" smile!
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.
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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