Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - Cake Pops

Summer in our family really means just one thing... baseball.

My boys are finally old enough to play this year, so when we had to bring treats for the baseball team, I had no choice but to conjure up something fun.
I'm still working out the kinks on the little ballplayer heads, so I will do a complete tutorial on those guys some time soon.
For now, the baseballs...

What You Need:
Any Cake, baked and cooled
1-2 cups Cream Cheese Frosting
White Candy Melts
Red Candy Melts
Vegetable Oil
Lollipop Sticks
Mini Squeeze Bottle
Coupler Ring
Decorating Tip #1

If you've never made cake pops before, I recommend checking out my complete How to Make Cake Pops Tutorial. You may also want to read the post on just How Long It Really Takes to Make Cake Pops.

In short, start by making your cake into small crumbs. Add icing, about 1/2 cup at a time (for an entire cake's worth of crumbs). The biggest mistake I think new cake-poppers make is adding too much icing, so go slowly.

As soon as the dough forms a ball that you can get to stick together with a little pressure, STOP with the icing. Roll the dough into balls. I use a small scoop that holds about 1 1/2 tsp. of dough. I try to keep the cake balls small or they tend to fall off of the sticks.

Remember, here is where you let the cake balls sit for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator or overnight. If you're in a real rush, you can put them in the freezer for 30 minutes, then move them to the fridge, but the best way to keep them together and not cracking or falling off of the stick is to refrigerate them three hours or more.

Melt your white Candy Melts, adding about 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil for each bag of candy melts. I melt them on 30% power for 3 minutes, then stir, then 30-second intervals (on 30% power) until they're all melted. Do not allow the melts to get hot or they will seize.

Place the mug of melted candy on a heating pad set to medium. This helps keep the candy from seizing while you work.

Dip about 1/4" of the lollipop stick in the melted candy, then insert it about halfway into the cake ball. (I usually work on just 5-6 cake balls at a time, leaving the rest in the refrigerator so that they don't get too warm. In the summer, I also set the plate of cake balls on an ice pack to help keep them cool.)
*Note: I also recommend, to keep these really round, don't put the stick in as you see above, stabbing it on the plate. Hold the ball in your hand, or it the top part will tend to flatten out as you stab that lollipop stick into it. (I just can't take a picture while doing that, so this is what you see.)

Dip the cake pop into the melted chocolate, being careful not to twist or twirl it. That makes it more likely to fall off of the stick.

Tap the stick against the side of the mug, with the cake ball angled above the stick-- again, to help keep it from falling off. This removes the excess candy, and it helps to smooth the candy on the pop.

Place the stick in a piece of styrofoam to allow the candy to set.

To make the laces:
Melt red Candy Melts in a Mini Squeeze Bottle or a Disposable Decorating Bag. (The links will take you to where you can buy them.)

Using a Tip #1, Pipe the design on the pop.
Now, I'm not going to lie. This was not easy for me, and I was nervous after the basketball cake pop debacle. BUT... the nice thing about the baseballs is that you make the laces over this first line, so if it breaks, or gets gloppy or whatever, you can cover it up more easily than on the basketballs.

To make those laces... this is where I struggled... make small dashes across your original line with the candy. the hard part is not having little points and pokes all over. I found that ending each "stitch" by going back over it - while not squeezing- helped minimize the points.

One tip for dealing with the red candy... if you're using a metal decorating tip, the candy will set up really quickly inside if it's at all cool, which it was the day I made these. So, you will want to use a heating pad, wrapped around the bag or bottle.

I also would just press the tip in between two layers of the heating pad when it would start going slowly.
The problem with these squeeze bottles is that they're not really made to be used with the coupler rings, so they don't fit perfectly, and if you squeeze too hard, the whole tip can plop off right on top of your cake pop. That is very disappointing!

Allow the pops to set up in the styrofoam before wrapping or storing them.

To give these to the kids on my boys' team, I wrapped them in the mini treat bags and tied them with a red ribbon. Placed them in a basket, and let them go for it.

I paired them with the little baseball players, but I haven't gotten that technique quite perfected, so I will make a new tutorial for those when I try them again.
See, I'd planned to make baseball bats to go with the balls, but when they turned out a little too flesh-toned, I had to change my plan... and those baseball players were a last-minute addition.
(PS- I'm not an Oakland fan. In this case, the "A" stands for "Awesome." At least that's what the kids' coach claims.)

Click the Links Below to See:
More Cake Pop Ideas
More Spring/Summer Ideas
How To Make Cake Pops Tutorial
How Long Does It Really Take to Make Cake Pops?

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1 comment:

  1. I LOVE THESE! Of course, I'm biased being a huge baseball fan (go Jays!) Gonna be giving them a go for opening day. I gave them a mention on my blog: Baseball Cake Pops! :)



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