My fun goal for 2012 was to make cake pops! When I've done it before they crumbled and didn't stay on the stick and it was a disaster. Last week I decided it was time to try again - and they turned out! I got into a good rhythm and the ones at the end of the batch even looked pretty! I brought them for the weekend with my family and everyone, especially my nieces, loved them. I found these tips to be very helpful, so I'm going to spell out how I had success with my cake pops, if you wish to make them.
box of cake mix
can of frosting
styrofoam (I got mine in the floral department at Michael's)
mini treat bags or cellophane candy wrappers
1. Make cake in 9x13 pan according to box directions. Let cool completely!
2. Scoop the cake out with a spoon and crumble it into a large mixing bowl. The crumbs should be fine - you don't want big chunks of cake in there.
3. Add frosting to the cake crumbs and mix to combine. I started with just 1/3 of the can. Test the consistency by rolling into a ball. If the cake ball crumbles in your hand, add a little bit more of the frosting. (I used just under half of the can.)
4. Roll out your cake balls. If you're having trouble getting them to be uniform in size, use a small cookie dough scoop. I was able to get 32 cake balls. Put them in a casserole dish with a lid, or on a rimmed baking sheet covered with saran wrap or foil. Place them in the refrigerator overnight.
5. Melt your candy melts according to the bag instructions, but add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil to the candies before sticking in the microwave. This will help thin out the melts a little.
6. Dip your lollipop stick (about 1") into the melts and then stick into the cake ball about halfway. Repeat with the the rest of the cake balls.
7. Place the cake balls with the sticks into the freezer for about 7 minutes (I used an 8x8 dish so that it would fit into my already-full freezer, so I did this in batches).
8. Dip the cake ball straight into the bowl of melts. Do NOT swirl the cake pop in the melts. Use a spoon to pour more of the melts over the cake ball if it is not completely covered. If the cake ball is not completely covered, some of the cake might ooze out of the bottom, so make sure you cover it completely.
9. Pull the cake pop out of the melts and then lightly tap the lollipop stick on the side of the bowl to get rid of excess coating. You may want to gently roll the lollipop stick in your fingers to help make sure the coating is even.
10. Place the dipped cake pop into the styrofoam to let harden. If some of the coating drips down the lollipop stick, then you know that you need to let more drip off before sticking in the styrofoam.
11. If you're decorating the cake pops with sprinkles, place the styrofoam on a rimmed baking sheet to help catch the sprinkles. Decorate with sprinkles immediately after dipping.
12. Once cake pops have hardened and are dry, put the cellophane wrappers over and close with a twist-tie. Store at room temperature.