Have you ever tried to make cake pops for kids parties? I've always wanted to make cake pops, but had heard that though they looked simple, more ornate cake pops were really difficult and time consuming to make. The Bakerella Cake Pops Set includes some fun tools that will make your first try at cake pops a success, especially if your children are cooking with you in the kitchen.
1 Cake Mix Crumbler
1 Mixing Bowl
1 Cake Pops Tray
1 Candy Dipping Bowl
1 Cake Pops Stand
2 Cake Pops Presses with various molds that include square, circle, cone (triangle), signature Bakerella cupcake
24 Cake Pops sticks
1 Instructional Placemat
Cake, Frosting, Candy decorations are all sold separately
I had always wanted to make cake pops, but after hearing some horror stories from friends who had already tried, and having a young child in my kitchen with me, baking can be a real challenge. I'm frequently distracted attending to his needs, which makes baking difficult for us, because the measurements need to be exact. Thankfully, when reviewing the the Ultimate Cake Pop Set by Bakerella, in addition, I was provided with the Bakerella Cake Pop recipe cookbook (compare prices) to help gain more insight and understanding into the process.
I wouldn't personally recommend making cake pops on too much of a whim. It was helpful to read about the process in the cookbook, as well as to familiarize myself with the instructional placemat included in the baking set. Written directions are included on the placemat, as well as diagrams and pictures. The placemat is kitchen-friendly and easily wiped clean. In addition to the process of making the cake pops, I spent a little time perusing pictures and recipes. I decided that for my first try, I'd make a box cake and use store bought frosting. It did take a little pre-planning and I needed to make a special trip to the arts and crafts store to purchase colored candy coating and fun candy decorations that weren't able to be found in my local supermarket for the style I chose. I also made a second trip back to the craft store to purchase additional styrofoam blocks that I could use to display the pops, given that we were making more than what the cake pop stand could hold.
I cooked a yellow box cake, following the directions on the packaging, in a 9x13 pan. It was suggested to let the cake cool overnight, which I did. However, I left it on the counter without covering it and the edges got a little crusty. I simply cut those off, then separated the cake into 3rds, per the instructions. I decided to make 1 batch of cake pops first to learn about the process, and make the remaining triangular shaped Christmas tree cake pops the following day for a holiday party we were attending.
The moment I placed the cake on top of the included grater over the mixing bowl, my husband and son immediately wanted a piece of the process. They safely and quickly grated the cake into the bowl using the plastic attachment. We measured out about 1/3 cup of store bought vanilla frosting and mixed it into the cake with a spoon. The directions then suggest making small balls of the cake pop mixture, placing them on the cake pop tray, and putting them in the freezer for 15 minutes. After that, the cake balls were placed in the molds. The final cake pop shapes were placed back on the tray and into the freezer for another 15 minutes. I had some difficulty with a few of them becoming stuck in the molds probably because I used too much frosting making them sticky, but for the most part they were easily removed. In the meantime, I heated one bag of green, vanilla flavored candy in the microwave, mixing it every 30 seconds per the instructions. Then, to make the cake pops, we dipped the stick into the candy coating, then 1/2 way into the cake pop. The directions suggest dipping the cake pop in 1 fluid motion, but given that we were making triangular shaped pops, the bowl, even though full, wasn't really deep enough for that. Before I dipped the pop, I tilted the bowl and it was a little easier. Included in the directions of the cookbook was the most priceless tip. After dipping the pop, let the pop rest for about 30 seconds with the stick on the side of the bowl, then gently tap the wrist of the hand holding the pop with your other hand. This helps to remove the excess candy coating. After the pop is covered, immediately decorate it. I sprinkled on small candy dots as the ornaments, and a placed larger candy star on the top of the tree.
Unless you are making simple cake pops dipped, then sprinkled randomly with decorations, cake pop making can be tedious, require a lot of preparation, patience and creativity, especially if you are looking to make some of the more ornate and intricate designs featured in the cookbooks.
The Bakerella Ultimate Cake Pop Set was actually a really helpful tool in learning this process. Many times when baking and cooking I choose the wrong sized bowl, and end up having a sink full of dirty dishes. Aside from that, without the small included cake pop tray, the amount of space needed in your freezer and refrigerator would be a lot more, because you would have to make room for larger plates and cookie sheets. The bowls and molds were easy to wash. Though it took a bit of preparation before starting the cake pop process, the directions were helpful and easy to follow. I thought decorating the cake pops was the hardest part, especially to place the decorations in the exact locations. I wish there was a type of plastic covering included in the box to put over the cake pop stand when storing the left over pops. Otherwise, in the end, the cake pops were moist and delicious. The kids at the holiday party we attended loved eating them, while the adults commented on how adorable they looked.
I would highly recommended researching the process, start with a box cake mix and store bought frosting, with a simple mold, to gain a sense of how the process is. As you learn about your style and the nuances of the process, progressively find more designs that are challenging if you enjoy activities like this with a lot of attention to detail in regards to decorating. Using this type of kit is a great way to expose young children to the process and partake in a fun, family activity because of the way the set helps to organize this multi-step process. This is also a great gift idea for girls, as well as a fun toy for tweens, who enjoy arts and crafts activities that encourage them to accessorize and decorate.
For more information, here's a video on how to make cake pops.