For cake pops you need a little bit of patience, they’re not tricky but they do have a fair few steps to them. For me that means they need to be made for a special occasion! Halloween in our house comes a close to Christmas in the fun stakes – costumes, face painting, scary house decorating and generally having fun it what it’s all about for me (nevermind the boys!) If you’re having a party or want to do something different for your trick or treaters then these are just the thing.
Cake pops are a whole lot easier with these buttons that you can now get in the supermarket – no more hunting down Wilton Candy Melts or having to colour your own chocolate – perfect pumpkin colour!
You will need:
Cake 300g (ish) for this you can use up excess fairy cakes, the domes trimmed from larger cakes or you can bake up a cake specially. The flavour of the cake is entirely up to you, I’m going with chocolate which will work well with the orange flavour of the buttons.
Choc Cake Recipe follow the method here with the following quantities
80g caster sugar
1 egg, large
20g self-raising flour
60g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
70ml milk mixed with 1 tsp malt vinegar
(Bake at 160c (fan)/180c/GM4 in an 8″ square tin for 40-45 minutes)
100g butter softened, beaten with 200g icing sugar and 50g melted dark chocolate
Lollipop sticks – Available on Amazon or in Hobbycraft
2 x pkts Chocolate Orange buttons – Silver Spoon
Crumble the cake into teeny tiny crumbs using your fingertips.
Add the buttercream and mix it to a fairly dry paste like mixture.
Now comes the messy (ish) bit. Take a small quantity of the mixture and roll it into a ball between your hands – they should be around 1 1/2” in diameter.
I have shaped my pumpkins into two shapes – balls and more upright tall pumpkins.
Line them all up on a baking tray. If you get bored of shaping or decide you have enough you can freeze the rest of the cake pop mixture until the next time you want to make some. These quantities make approx. 24 cake pops – did I really need 24? Probably not as it’s the start of October and I’m not catering for a Halloween party yet but the boys didn’t seem to have the same issue with the quantity – nor did the chaps where my husband works!
So where were we, yes they’re all on the baking tray. Place them in the fridge for half and hour or so to firm up.
Once chilled take one of the lollipop sticks and indent four grooves around each pumpkin cake ball. You can’t do this before chilling as it just smooshes the shape so press gently on the chilled ball as you don’t want to crack them.
Now melt up the chocolate – perfect pumpkin orange buttons courtesy of Silverspoon.
I’ve mentioned my chocolate melter before but it does make cake pops much easier – in they go, turn it on, 10 minutes lovely melted chocolate! If you’re melting in the microwave a small deep bowl will work the best, short 30 second bursts – you don’t want it to burn.
Take a stick and dip the end into the melted chocolate, push this into the base of the cake ball. The stick should go about ¾’s of the way into the ball.
Set it back onto the tray and repeat until all the balls are on the sticks.
Now you need to set yourself up with a cake pop stand – try an empty egg box tray it worked a treat for me. Set it onto a chopping board and then you’ll be able to move it easily. Punch holes through the tall spiky bits to post the cake pop sticks into. Punching the holes initially with a skewer is much easier than trying to do it with a lolly stick. If you buy your eggs from a farm shop or the like they will usually let you have a tray or two! Alternatively you could use a piece of polystyrene to hold them upright.
Okay cake pop stand done now take each pop in turn and dip it into the melted chocolate. Twirl the cake pop around as you take it out allowing the excess chocolate to drip away. This does take a bit of patience which is not something I have by the bucket load but it is worth taking your time.
Once the excess has dripped away place the cake pop into your stand and move onto the next.
Once all the pumpkins are a lovely glossy orange allow the chocolate to set and dry. I didn’t want to put them in the fridge as sometimes I find they lose their shine so mine dried at room temp overnight.
Once they’re set and firm mix up a batch of royal icing – follow the directions on the box but go sparingly with the water, you need the royal icing thick enough to pipe and stay in shape.
Split the icing into three, one portion remains white and can be added to a piping bag right away. The other portions need to be coloured green and black. Gel colour pastes are far and away the easiest way to colour anything a really vibrant colour without changing the icings consistency. Here are a couple of links to Amazon but Hobbycraft and cake decorating shops sell them too. Sugarflair green gel paste Sugarflair black extra gel paste colour.
Add the coloured icings each to a piping bag. I have fitted piping tips to the bags but it can be done just as easily by snipping off a tiny piece of the end of the bag if you don’t have a multitude of piping tips.
Take the white icing and pipe two small balls to the pumpkins face for eye balls. If the icing has little pointy peaks take a slightly damp paintbrush and pat them back down.
Using the black royal icing pipe on pumpkin mouths – I’ve done a variety of different styles (because I get bored easily).
I should also mention at this point how much my hands shake…. You’re never aware of it until you need to pipe. If I can do it with my tremor like hands then you definitely can!
Add pupils to the eyes, again patting down any peaks with the damp paintbrush.
Now for the pumpkin tops – my fave bit because its free form and random – shaky hands no problem! Squiggly on the green royal icing to make the leafy pumpkin top.
Allow the royal icing to set and then your pumpkin cake pops are ready to serve! Cake pops will keep for three days at room temp or upto a week in the fridge. Make sure they are in an airtight container before going in the fridge otherwise they will sweat when you take them out.