Let them eat cake (pops)

What’s not to love about cake on a stick? You can dress them up for all kinds of occasions and they’re moist beyond belief. But no one tells you that your first time making it can be HELL. Let’s just say they were the hardest things I ever made in the kitchen and I never gave my old colleague, Kellyn Bailey, enough credit every time she made a huge batch for the office. Kellyn, I commend you. You are AMAZING. THANK YOU!

I’m here to supply you with tips so you don’t experience the same agony. First off, here’s what you need:

Ingredients

Red velvet cake (baked and ready to go in a 9×13 glass dish)
12 ounces cream cheese frosting
1-2 bags of Hershey’s milk chocolate nuggets (NOT chocolate chips)
cake pop sticks
sprinkles

Instructions

1) Bake the cake as instructed on box. After it cools off for 15-20 minutes, add it to a large bowl.

2) Crumble the cake with your hands and add in frosting a little bit at a time until cake is moist (when it can hold a ball shape). But don’t make it too mushy! Roll the mixture into a tight ball and place on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat until all the cake mixture is rolled into balls (1 box of cake mix makes about 37-38 cake pops).

3) Using a store-bought or home-made double boiler, melt a handful of chocolates. How do you make your own boiler? Place a glass bowl inside of a saucepan and make sure the glass fits snug (the saucepan holds enough water to heat the chocolate pieces but is NOT touching the glass bowl). Dip the tip of the cake pop sticks into the melted chocolate and insert the sticks into the cake balls about half-way.

Now, this is where things started getting ugly for me. I originally bought 4 bags of white chocolate chips only to find out that chocolate chips are designed NOT to melt when baked (doh!) and white chocolate is made of different components than normal chocolate so it’s highly difficult to melt and keep melted at a uniformed rate. I spent FOUR HOURS that night scrambling around the kitchen, trying every which way to liquify those suckers and eventually went back to Target at 11:30 PM to buy more ingredients because I’d burnt most of the white chocolate :( If you’re making these for the first time and want to retain some sanity, just go with milk chocolate (if you’re dead set on white, buy candy melts and make sure you have a damn good boiler). They should be broken up into small pieces BEFORE you start melting them. IMPORTANT: Add pieces of butter with the chocolate to speed up melting process. It makes mixing A LOT smoother, literally.

4) Stick cake balls in styrofoam blocks and freeze for about 20 minutes. White waiting, melt the remaining chocolate in a large cup or tall-enough boiler (this makes it easier so you can totally submerge each cake ball in one go). Remove cake balls from freezer. Dip cake balls carefully into the chocolate until each one is fully covered. Add the sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet because they will harden quickly. I learned that this part takes a loooong time since you’re making sure the chocolate is melting correctly and stirring it while dipping simultaneously, so if the undipped cake pops start to get soft, stick them back in the freezer. Some of mine started breaking on me when I dipped them in chocolate.

5) Stick the decorated cake pops back into the styrofoam blocks and put them back into the freezer. You can wrap each one in plastic and tie them off with ribbons or eat them right away!

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