Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Good...The Bad...The Cake Pops

So there have been a few times in my blog career that I've had some major MAJOR baking failures that I've chosen not to share with the world, because well they stunk. Like the time I tried to recreate that mini caramel apple pin everyone fell in love with before realizing it was a patched together pin and it doesn't really work! This is what mine looked like:
Fail with a capital F! But they still tasted good! So instead of sharing them with you, I shared them with friends :) And today I am going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at one of my recent epic fails. My Cake Pops:
I seriously had the ingredients for these for weeks and couldn't muster up the "courage" to make them until now. I tried them several times way before I started this blog and never once had success. They always fell apart in the assembly process.

This time I had an adorable idea to make bunny pops where there'd be a big ball on bottom and a little ball on top of that and little chocolate ears on top of that. I even made a ton of chocolate ears, again thinking this was easy peasy.
Get it, big ball on bottom, small ball on top, adorable chocolate ears on top of that. Are you picturing it?! Sounds adorable right?! Well, this is what I got:
HA! Hahaha! I have to laugh at them. They're just no where near what I was imagining but life is too short and I have to laugh at myself. When I tried to push the skewer all the way through the big ball to add the small cake ball, it just fell apart every.single.time. So instead of cursing aloud and tossing everything in the trash while throwing my hands up in the air, I decided to start small and work on mastering an actual cake pop before trying a harder version.
They don't look that terrible. And they taste amazing, which is really what all cooks are striving for, right? Good tasting food that makes people happy! At least, that's my goal :)
Here's a few tips I've picked up over my past few attempts that I want to share with you:

1. Don't feel bad using a box cake mix. These already take forever and the people enjoying them could care less if it's a box mix or homemade.
2. Don't over-frost. This has been my downfall in the past. I added too much frosting and this made the cake pops too heavy. They wouldn't stay on the sticks and got stuck in the chocolate over and over again.
3. Use your hands to mix this up. This goes with #2. If you use your hands you'll be able to tell quickly when you have enough frosting. Once the batter starts to stick together with an easy squeeze, you know you have enough.
4. Make sure you use a narrow, deep container to melt your chocolate and dip your cake balls in. I used a small Ball jar and it worked perfectly!
5. Don't feel like you have to freeze these over and over again. I froze them once and that was plenty. 
6. Go spend the $1.07 on a Styrofoam block. This is something I haven't had before this time around. It made such a difference. After I dipped and twirled and tapped the heck out of the cake balls, it was so much easier sticking them in styrofoam to help the chocolate harden and keep its form. we go!


  • 1 13x9 cake, cooked and cooled (I used a box of funfetti cake, but feel free to use your favorite cake recipe)
  • Favorite frosting (amount depends on the cake; see details above. I used about a 1/2 cup)
  • Cake pop sticks
  • 1 package White chocolate chips
  • 1 package Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles

Put your cooked cake into a large bowl and crumble with your hands until it becomes fine crumbs.

Add in the frosting, a small amount at a time, and use your hands to work the frosting into the cake mix. Keep adding until the cake mix will hold a ball shape but is still slightly crumbly.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of cake dough and use your hands to squish them into balls. Set each ball on a plate.

Melt a handful of each kind of chocolate chip into a small bowl. Dip a cake pop stick into the melted chocolate, then push the stick into the cake ball until it's about halfway through. Alternate between chocolates. 

Set them on a plate and place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

While they are freezing, pour your remaining chocolate chips into deep narrow cups, or mason jars like I did. Microwave until the chocolate is smooth.

Remove the cake balls and dip each one into the melted chocolate, making sure to fully submerge the ball. 

Pull the cake ball out of the chocolate and start spinning the cake ball on its side, allowing the excess to drip back into the jar. Continue spinning until all the excess is off. You might have to give the stick a few taps to get it all off.

Push the cake pop into the styrofoam brick, cake pop side up, and allow to dry there. If you are adding sprinkles be sure to add right away. They won't stick to a dried cake pop. 

If you need to, put the pops back in the freezer to dry quickly. Mine dried just fine out in the open, though. Enjoy!!

So please tell me I'm not alone when it comes to totally failing at these yummy treats! I'm sure there's a magical formula somewhere...I just haven't found it yet. :) But for now, I'm pretty happy with how this batch turned out.

Thanks for stopping by!

**I linked up to frugal crafty homemuch ado about mondaysunday soireeamaze me monday, weekend bloggy readingcreativity unleashedweekend potluckfriday link partykitchen fun and crafty fridaytidy momthursday stylefriday flash blogthe scooptitus 2 tuesdaytasty tuesdayflusters creative musterwicked awesome wednesdaywhats cookin wednesdayfull plate thursdaypin in thursdaybloom designsthe homeacre hop


  1. This makes me feel better, knowing I'm not the only person that has failed at the cake pop. Haha.

  2. I love this! Cake pops are great and believe me I've had plenty of Epic Fails! I'd love to have you come by Family Fun Friday and link with us. Have a great weekend

  3. New follower here, found you on the Blog Hop. OMG that is hilarious!! I am a huge fan of all of the pinterest ideas and they NEVER come out right!!! My bunnies would have ended up square instead of round, and the ears would have cracked in half. Your regular ones look de-lish though, so good job there!!! :)

    I look forward to following along!!

    Follow along:

  4. I've made cake pops once in my life...they tasted nice, but not good enough to share online either :) Tricky little buggers. I have an idea though, next time you try the two balls, add a toothpick to the first one to add the smaller ball. Just warn the eaters. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday

  5. I love it! That's what my cake pops always look like when I try to make them. As long as they taste good, who cares what they look like, right?

  6. Our Easter dessert was a fail in looks but tasted fantastic! I am glad you had the guts to share this at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party!

  7. Hahahaha! I'm laughing with you because I too have always failed at cake pops! It does help when the cake and frosting ratio are perfect. My fail has always been the dipping. I don't know if the chocolate gets too hard too fast because the cake balls are cold, or just what it is, but they look fine until I start dipping. I'm keeping your tips close at hand as I try to make some cake balls myself. I'd love for you to check on my blog in a week (or two) and see how my strawberry/banana cake balls turn out! I'm so glad I found your post through the Treasure Box Tuesday link party.

  8. Stopping by from Turn it Up Tuesday! OH my gosh. I had the WORST cake pop fail the first time I made them. They were just...not good. They tasted terrible haha. I learned some cakes are just not meant to be put in cake pop form.

  9. never made cake pops yet but plan to try soon
    come see us at

  10. This is why I have never tried to make cake pops - it's just so counter intuitive, cake is not supposed to be up in the air like that! I can make cupcake and regular cakes, their bottoms touch the plate, all is well. I know my limitations! Thanks for sharing, I love a good fail! (although yours ended up looking pretty good in the end)

  11. I have been too nervous to try making cake pops since I have heard horror stories like this from so many people! Maybe with your tips I could give it a go... Thanks for linking up with Hump Day Happenings!

  12. The bunny cake pops look a little...unfortunate...but we've all had cooking fails with a capital F! Once I decided to make cabbage rolls in the crock pot. What cabbage rolls? Who knows! I think I saw The Barefoot Contessa make cabbage rolls, and I thought I would give it a try. EPIC FAIL. Absolutely disgusting. I'm not a picky eater, but I couldn't force myself to choke them down. But hey, that's how we learn : )

    Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings!

  13. Love that you posted a fail. I do that too. I figure it makes people not feel alone, especially if you have readers who don't do a whole lot of cooking/baking. We've ALL been there! That said, I did break down and make macarons a while back, but I'm so over the cake pops. I like the idea of a "bite," and some of them are amazingly cute, but I'm just tired of seeing them everywhere. I'm sure I'll try them too once they start to fade out, but I'm sure mine will be a disaster too lol. As for dipping, if you're not comfortable sitting by the stove so you can keep your chocolate "thin" over a double boiler as you work, you might pick up one of those desktop coffee warmer burners and plug that in by you work space to keep your chocolate from stiffening up before you're done. I've done that a few times when making a bazillion peanut butters balls, and it works great. I also do that when working with a lot of phyllo dough to keep my clarified butter from firming up. :) [#PinItThurs]

  14. Your Cake Pops look delicious! Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. Oh they look so good! Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday...

  16. Whenever I have too much dessert (say after a holiday when I get sent home with leftovers), or a cake gets dry before we can eat it, or a cake is just a little dry after I first bake it, I pop the leftovers into the freezer and then use them whenever I want to make cake pops. Saves money and reduces my food waste!