Saturday night I didn't have big plans so I headed to my local SuperTarget and Michaels to purchase all my ingredients - one box of cake, one can of vanilla frosting, one jar of peppermint extract, one box of candy canes and one package of white candy melts (I already had the lollipop sticks at home) - and got started.
Here is how they turned out:
I am content with how they turned out, however I need to practice my dipping skills a little more. When I molded the cake mixture into little balls, they were nice and round, but when I dipped them, the chocolate made them look a little crazy (I loved the tip Jenn gave about adding the crushed candy canes on top to take away from the imperfections of a not-so-perfect cake ball).
What else did I learn from this whole cake pop experience?
1. It's a very long process - do not start at 9 p.m. because if you're a slow worker (like me), you will be up until all hours of the night trying to finish (3 a.m. to be exact!).
2. If you are adding peppermint to your cake batter (prior to baking it) for extra flavor... do not measure it out over the bowl - that peppermint extract comes out fast! (Thankfully, the cake pops still tasted good... I think some of the peppermint flavoring baked out.. whew!)
3. Mix, mix, mix your frosting and your crumbled cake like crazy! I didn't get enough frosting for the cake on the bottom of my bowl and it was hard to form the balls. If you have too much frosting (which happened toward the top of my bowl), the cake balls become very sticky to form and don't hold their shape as well.
4. Make sure you have enough room in you freezer to fit the cake pops in after you have inserted the lollipop sticks - sticking them in the fridge for 15 minutes isn't long enough and the stick will start to slide out when you're tapping excess melted candy off (if you don't have enough room, be prepared to wait a long while so they can firm up to be able to dunk in melted candy).
Be sure to head over the the Hostess blog post if you haven't read her story about her experience making these awesome candy cane cake balls - I must say, hers turned out much better looking than mine!
I can't wait to make these again for an event... but like I mentioned, next time, I won't start the baking process at 9 at night... it will be an all day affair! :)
I'd love to hear what tips you have for making cake pops? Do you have a cake pop horror story??