21 August 2015

Cake pop success!

And so the long-planned birthday celebrations neared and I baked cake-pops and was quite successful this time, very pleased indeed and discovered new things too.



Cream cheese frosting
160 g unsalted butter
80 g cream cheese
400 g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Cake pop mixture
860 g leftover cake sponge
646 g cream cheese frosting

3 x 340 g blue Wilton Candy Melts
vegetable shortening
icing lace from Lakeland's magic icing powder
paper lolly sticks
large piece of polystyrene, fixed to the work surface, to push the cake pop sticks in while they set


  1. To make the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese, then gradually add the icing sugar and finally the vanilla.
  2. Beat until light and fluffy,
    then cover and chill for 30 minutes at least.
  3. Make sure the cake crumbs are as fine as possible,
    then add the cream cheese frosting a little at a time until the mixture texture is a bit like fudge.
  4. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour.
  5. Make sure there is space in the fridge before starting the next step.
  6. Roll small balls, about the size of a walnut,
    place on a tray, cover with cling film and chill again for an hour until they are firm.
  7. Melt some of the candy melts in the microwave, 10 s at a time and stirring after each burst until completely melted.
  8. Take the cake balls out from the fridge, dip a lolly stick in the melted candy and carefully push into one of the balls, to reach the centre.
  9. With your finger, wipe the melted candy around the lolly stick and put back on the tray.
  10. Repeat with the other cake balls, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until they are quite firm.
  11. Melt a couple of tbsp of vegetable shortening in the microwave and allow to cool down a bit.
  12. Now place a whole packet of candy melts in a narrow, deep bowl and melt in the microwave, again at 10 s intervals and stirring in between.
  13. When the candy melts have melted completely, add the melted vegetable shortening and stir in well, this will make the mixture a bit thinner.
  14. Take the cake pops out of the fridge, a few at a time, then dip each in the melted candy and tap the lolly on the edge of the bowl, to remove the excess.
  15. While you tap, also rotate the cake pop. When the excess has mostly been removed, gently place a piece of icing lace and push the lolly into a piece of polystyrene that has been secured to the work surface.
  16. Proceed with the remaining cake pops, only taking a few out from the fridge at a time, so they don't go soft in room temperature and fall off the sticks when dipped.
  17. If the candy melt starts setting, whizz in the microwave for another 10 s burst and if necessary add more melted vegetable shortening.
  18. Once the cake pops have set, keep in the fridge.

The cream cheese frosting recipe comes from here, where there are step by step instructions on how to make the cake pops with very useful tips and tricks. I used Philadelphia cheese, which worked very nicely.

Some time ago, I also came across this website. It offers a wide selection on various online video courses, though it requires registration and there are several free courses as well, one of which is on cake pop basics. It's quite good for decoration ideas, though I think their "standard" cake pops were too large for my liking. The ones I made were more of what was termed "mini" cake pops. The above amounts resulted in 75 cake pops.

Now for the icing lace. There are several brands out there and YouTube has plenty of videos on the topic. I bought the ones in Lakeland, which are their own brand and consists of two silicone mats and a tub of "magic icing". The instructions for the icing mixture are on the silicone mat packaging, but I took the precaution of reading all the comments on the Lakeland website, where it seems about 50% of the buyers had failed miserably and were understandably upset, whereas the other half had had great success and some of them had also written what they'd done. Now the packet instructions didn't quite match the instructions in the comments, so I decided to follow the instructions on the packet as a first attempt. But I scaled up the amounts a bit, as I don't think my kitchen scales are sufficiently precise for the minuscule amounts suggested.

Magic icing for lace
50 g magic icing powder
45 g boiling water
silicone mould mat with suitable patterns
firm plastic dough scraper

  1. Stir well with a spoon, it'll go quite stretchy and gloopy, but keep at it until the mixture is even.
  2. Wrap tightly in double cling film and leave for a few hours before using.
  3. Place the silicone mat on the work surface, unwrap the magic icing, cut a piece off with the dough scraper, then cover up the magic icing again.
  4. Now firmly run the dough scraper with the piece of magic icing over the silicone mat, pressing down so the mixture gets into the lace mould. The mixture should feel a bit like silicone sealant - pliable, but sticky.
  5. Continue to fill the silicone mat. Any left-over magic icing can be wrapped in double cling film for later.
  6. Leave the mould to dry for about 12 h, then carefully prise off the pieces of lace and store in an air-tight container.

My original intention was to use the round laces to form petals with each cake pop being the middle of a flower. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make them stick to the cake pops and they kept falling off. So a quick adaptation was to cut out the middle of each piece of lace and stick on top of each cake pop. I did try a few cake pops with sprinkles, this worked quite well, but must be done before the candy coating sets.


Needless to say that for 75 cake pops, I spent a lot of time in the days before the party, making icing laces. And as it took me a couple of silicone moulds to get the knack, I made well over 100 of the laces and there were quite a few left over.

One of the most interesting things the cake pops resulted in was that when Lundulph's Mum and Aunt tried them, there was a rush of childhood memories that came back to them - of a type of cake their Mother used to make. Some search on google came up with Russian Cake. I'm not sure how true the history of this is, but it's a very nifty way of using up scraps of sponge cake, however in this cake, jam is used as the binding agent, rather than cream cheese frosting. The texture is the same, and that's what triggered the memories.

As an aside I can also mention that Lundulph had no issues eating these either, even though there was cheese in them.

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