Do you remember that time I made 150 cake pops in my shoebox a.k.a. my kitchen?
Do you also remember that time that I had never made one single cake pop and decided that my first attempt should include one hundred and fifty to be given away as favors at my friends’ wedding.
It’s okay – we can all laugh now at the ridiculousness of how I didn’t think I needed a test round. This is a happy story!
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are going to make more than one dozen cake pops for a wedding where actual people will be enjoying them – then this post is for you. I am here to tell you that you can do it and it will all be fine.
It was an absolute honor to be involved in the wedding of my dear friends and to be able to give the gift of baking to everyone at the celebration.
Baking makes [married] friends!
I learned a few things along the way. The most important being organization. Make lists. Try to anticipate all the scenarios that you are going to encounter on your journey. Clean out your fridge. Buy supplies. Go back and get more chocolate after you wake up in the middle of the night thinking that four pounds of white chocolate just won’t be enough. Chart out a timeline and work backwards.
In my case the cake pops were being picked up Thursday. I did supply shopping on Monday. Food shopping (did I mention that I made everything from scratch!) on Tuesday. A bit of unanticipated wine-drinking happened on Wednesday night but I didn’t let that stand in the way of the schedule so I baked five cakes beginning at 11:43 p.m. I woke up on Thursday at 8:07 a.m. for My Big Day (cake poppin’ of course).
Supplies included 150 lollipop sticks, 200 cellophane bags, and 6 pounds of chocolate in white and orange.
The tipsy baking actually turned out pretty well. Homemade red velvet cake made in three batches and made in various bakeware: one 9×13 pan, two 9-inch rounds, and two 8×8 squares.
Before I get to far along – perhaps you are unfamiliar with cake pops? A cake pop is a fully cooked cake, mixed with frosting, rolled into balls, stuck on a stick and dipped in chocolate. I have been gazing from afar for a long time but I have a whole new level of respect for The Queen of Cake Pops. Like major.
Batch by batch I processed the fully cooled cake in the food processor which made things super quick. Three batches = three large bowls. Set ‘em up. Knock ‘em down! Mix 1 cup of cream cheese frosting into each bowl using the back of a spoon. Start shaping one bowl and let the remaining two bowls chill in your fridge.
I used a tablespoon-sized scoop to measure out the cake, rolled it into a ball, then placed it on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. You should get 50 cake balls per batch of cake. Rolled balls go in the fridge, another bowl comes out and continue until all the bowls magically turn into sheet pans of cake balls.
After all the balls are formed, they get popped onto a stick and dipped in chocolate. Melt chocolate in a medium bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. To get the light orange color, I melted together one pound of orange and one pound of white candy melts. It takes a while to melt two pounds of chocolate so use this time to get everything set up.
I purchased a foam block and poked holes in it to use as a makeshift drying rack. I also found this amazing contraption for $3.99, which literally saved my life as I found you need a station for drying (post-dip) and storing upright (post-drizzle and pre-wrap).
After the balls had chilled on the sheet pans for a few hours, I transferred them to a glass baking pan and stored it in the fridge. I’d take out a handful at a time and let them warm up on a plate before giving them a quick re-roll (to make sure they were round and smooth) and then dipping in chocolate.
Set up your dipping station: melted chocolate, sticks, and a drying rack.
First dip the stick into chocolate then then insert in to the ball. This ensures that the stick will stay where it needs to and also makes the point where the chocolate surrounds the stick extra pretty.
Once the stick is in, dip the pop straight down into the chocolate and tilt the pop back and forth so the whole ball is covered. Gently shake off the extra chocolate and allow it to drip back into the bowl. Carefully transfer to the drying rack. Repeat 149 times.
They will all look like this! Just kidding! While it is true that most of them will look like the above, cake pops are like pancakes and it takes a few tries to find your stride. But when you do you will become a cake pop machine. I found the dipping process to be soothing.
When the rack fills up – transfer to the drizzle station. In another makeshift double boiler, melt about 1/2 pound of white chocolate. Transfer melted chocolate to a plastic pastry bag, snipe a tiny bit of the end off and drizzle the top of each cake pop with white chocolate. Store the bag upright in a drinking glass so it will be ready for the next batch o’ drizzle.
Now is the time that you need a few friends to come over. Give them beer and snacks and it’ll be all good. While you are dippin’ n’ drizzlin’ and the cake pops are dryin’ you’ll need some help wrapping them up. Tiny plastic bags go over the cake, tie with a little ribbon and a cute tag.
The chocolate shell dries hard but – just in case – I kept them flat until they were ready to be boxed up.
Make sure you have several big boxes to carry them in because let me tell you, cake pops may seem tiny but when they are wrapped up you will need more space then you think.
And then all of a sudden it is time to put on a party dress and you show up and – look! – they are there, sitting pretty at each place setting! Just a tiny part of a spectacular wedding but I was so very honored to have a part in the celebration. Congratulations Dana and Eric! xoxo