Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cake Pops!!! (…and more)

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By: Kimberly

I’m not going to deny that I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about cake pops.  I had enjoyed the tiny dessert a handful of times since they’ve become popular.  I’ve had the “original” cake pops with the frosting mixed in to crumbled cake and a candy-melts coating.  I am a bit of a sweet tooth (to say the least.  I add sugar to my hot chocolate.  I know, I know.).  But I have found in my experience with the “original” cake pops, that they are a tad too sweet for me.  I like to do a lot of research, and I’ve come across die-hard cake pop fans that will not have them any other way.  I commend those dedicated individuals.  But I’ve kind of stayed away from cake pops because they are such a rich and dense treat. 

 But then my husband bought me a cake pop pan (Bake Pops by TELEBrands) for Christmas, and he has since unleashed a monster.  I love that you don’t have to go through the million steps it takes to make the cake pops with frosting, and they bake pretty quickly.  I’ve made at least 100 cake pops since I got the pan (which nicely makes 18 pops at a time).  I’m a researcher though, and so I went online to make sure that what my husband got was a good product.  So I came across this YouTube video showcasing how the pan worked out.


And to me, the pros outweighed the cons.  I took the pan out of the box, and gave it a try.  I made sure not to overfill the reservoir (as people who did, ended up with not so pretty pops), keeping it just below the rim, and sprayed my pan with a flour-based cooking spray.  The first batch was ok.  I didn’t cook it for the time it said in the instruction book, but instead for about 15 minutes, and the result was pretty nice.  I did get the little rings of Saturn on a few of my pos, but those are easily removable.  Of the 18 pops I made on the first batch, one burned slightly on the bottom and one got stuck in the pan (two causalities in my first attempt is not bad at all.). They came out pretty round as well.  Some people have mentioned that their cake pops were more egg-shaped than round (or just plain flat on the top), but mine were fine.  I think it is important to follow the recipe that comes with the pan.  

The Recipe:

Follow the recipe on the box of cake but modify as follows

For any box of cake, add an extra egg
replace the water with milk (and reduce the amount by half)
add one packet of instant pudding best matching the flavor of the cake.  

The end result is nice.  The cakes are fluffy and they rise quite nicely.  I froze the cooled pops for about 10 minutes and then applied my melted chocolate to the sticks to prime them, and then inserted them into the cake pops, and froze them again for a few minutes to let the chocolate set.  After that, it was dipping, decorating, and consuming, and I have to say, that I like this version better. 

Some tips for filling the reservoir:

I came across another video of a lady making cake pops.  She used what is known as the CUPCAKE PEN (a.k.a. the pancake pen) to fill the reservoir (You can see the bottle at the 5:23 mark). 

It looked so clean and simple that I went out and bought one myself (You can find them at Cost Plus World Market for about $10).  But if you’re trying to save a dollar, I would recommend investing in a regular squeeze bottle.  You will need a funnel to fill them, but I’ve read they do the job just as well.  I like the cupcake pen for the fact that it has a large opening on the bottom of the bottle, which makes it easier to fill (if you’re any good, without a funnel). It has a large silicone tip, that makes dispensing easy. The recipes for the bake pops pan requires a thicker batter, which may clog a regular squeeze bottle. 
The downside: the bottle will get air in it, making it hard to squeeze the batter out at times.  With thick batter, as I used, it often gets stuck along the sides.  You can get your batter down the bottle with a small spatula so you’re not wasting batter.  If you can look past these things, the cupcake pen is helpful, plus you can use it for its other use, filling cupcake liners or muffin pans. 

  I also found that the WILTON DESSERT DECORATOR PLUS was helpful in filling the reservoir cleanly and smoothly, and I liked that I didn’t waste as much batter as I did with the cupcake pen.  This works for the thick batters (like brownie or Bake Pop recipe batter). 

 The downside: the fact that the barrel on the decorator is small, so you have to fill it a few times and of course I can’t imagine using a runny batter in the decorator.  

But if you don’t want to spend any money, find a Ziploc bag.  This will help in filling the reservoir and give you the control to fill it with the necessary amount. 

The downside: this definitely doesn't work for runny batters.

Cake pops using my Bake Pops Pan. 

Now I like my Bake Pops pan, and I really have to thank my husband for finding something (on his own) I can do quickly and have fun doing (he hasn’t always been great at gift giving without a little help).  But researcher me came across a machine that blows my cake pop pan out of the oven.  In the YouTube video mentioned above, Anh had a BABYCKAES cake pop machine (actually she had two).  And I was amazed at how quickly she got her cake pops done.  As soon as she put them in, they were practically ready to come out.  So I thought to myself, imagine the possibilities.  I did a little research, and came across the blog/website  Love From The Oven (I love this blog by the way.  It’s cute, inviting and fun.), that did a review of the machine, and she sold me on it. I now own the BABYCAKES cake pop maker, and I like it because I’ve cut my time by more than half the time it takes for the pan in the oven.  The BABYCKAES machine is versatile.  You don’t have to make just desserts in them.  I’ve come across a few reviews of people who have made corn muffins, meatballs and pancakes.  So if you’re serious about changing the way you make cake pops, or maybe you just want to spend less time doing them, I think you should give this little machine a try.  And if you're still committed to the "original" way, you can always inject the little suckers with frosting (I did it for the cake pops above).

As my new favorite toy, I’ll be experimenting in the kitchen with it, and I’ll share what happens in future blogs.

As promised, in part, this blog will provide you with great ways to save.


I rarely pay full price for anything, and so I found my BABYCAKES maker at Bed Bath and Beyond for only $11.99!!!! This little amazing machine is already on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond for $14.99 (which is a pretty gosh darn good deal anyway, as these machines retail for $29.99).  But if you have one of those wonderful coupons, you can take an additional 20% off the sale price.  You save $18.  I’m not sure how long this offer goes for, so you should check your local Bed Bath and Beyond now.

The Wilton Dessert Decorator is another tool any at-home baker should have.  I purchased mine at Joann’s Fabric’s with a 50% off coupon that you can currently get through their app (on iTunes.  I’m not sure if its in the android market or not).  That made my decorator only $7.99.  And it’s a versatile tool, so you’ll definitely use it.  Don’t fret if you don’t have a Joann’s.  Michael’s honors competitors’ coupons and vice versa (a little tip few people know.  Just have a paper coupon handy.).

Questions?  Comments? Please feel free to leave them below.  J

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