Birthday cakes are an elaborate affair in my house–the last few years they have involved dark chocolate, marscapone, pistachios, and ganache. YUM. but have done it to many times. So this year….I went with cake pops. I was inspired by a cake pop truck we visited in Austin. It also seemed to fit the retro (70s) feel of the rest of the menu.
These are somewhat elaborate too…but totally worth it. And you can do it over a few days–just keep freezing them. You can store in the freezer for up to a week. my fave: salted caramel. my husband’s: peanut butter. Could you do this with cake mix and bought frosting? sure…but this is so much better.
Part 1: Chocolate cake.
I modified this Martha recipe. The good news-you are breaking up the cake, so you can bake it in thin layers, which means the bake time is like 10 mins (ok 20 for two oven fulls), rather than an hour. This made enough for 40 cakepops.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup greek yogurt and 1/2 c skim milk instead. it’s what I had)
- preheat oven to 350
- In a mixer, cream butter and sugar.
- Add eggs and yolks.
- Mix together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder & baking soda.
- Add part of the flour mixture slowly to the mixing bowl. alternate with the buttermilk mixture.
- Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment. Spray with cooking spray.
- Spread batter thin on cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10 mins. Prick with knife.
While that’s baking, start on part II, the frosting. You only need a little bit…
- 1 stick butter–softened
- 1/2 cup cocoa (I was temped to use melted chocolate)
- 1 1/4 c powdered sugar
- 2 T milk
- Vanilla extract
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer. add cocoa, then milk and vanilla extract. beat until fluffy.
Parte III: Make little balls of heaven
- Destroy your cake. Yes, this feels really wrong. but it’s necessary. Crumble it into a bowl.
- Mix with 1 T at a time of your frosting. You want it just moistened.
- Use a mellonballer or mini icecream scoop to form balls.
- Lay your cakeballs down on the same parchment lined pans you used for baking (repurposing)
- Stick in the freezer for 1 hour (I left them overnight and then proceeded to step 4 the next day)
Parte IV: Inner Coverings…Enrobings, shall we say
- heath bar crunches
- 1 C peanut butter
- 1 bar semi sweet or bitter sweet (60 percent) chocolate
salted caramel covering
- I bought caramel–you can make your own. I didn’t have time.
- Dip each ball into caramel until lightly coated. shake off.
- Place back on a parchment lined pan
- put in freezer for 20-30 mins (or overnight)
peanut butter chocolate covering
- melt your chocolate (I use the double boiler method)
- mix in peanut butter into melted chocolate
- dip the balls into the mixture until lightly covered. When chocolate gets too thick, rewarm.
- freeze the cakeballs again
Parte V: The final chocolate coat–going through enrober on “I Love Lucy”
(ok there’s no enrober, but that’s what I imagined)
- 2 bars of chocolate, melted over a double boiler
- 1 C heath bar bits (For salted caramel ones) set aside in a bowl
- 1/4-1/2 peanuts, ground. set aside in a bowl
- Dip each ball into melted chocolate. Shake and quickly dip into the appropriate topping.
- caramel balls get a dip in heath bar bits
- peanut butter balls get a dip in peanuts. you could mix sugar into the peanuts. i didn’t.
- Freeze again. I froze for 3 days
- defrost in the freezer (prevents condensation)
- stick lollipop sticks in them. Note, this sometimes cracks the choc coating so I switched to think toothpicks.
170 cals, 9 g fat per pop. (indulgence)