If you’re like me, you’ve seen many of Bakerella’s Cake Pops and thought, Yeah. Sure. I could totally do that. Just as soon as I catch that pig that’s flying around my house. Then, of course, she and Pioneer Woman both tease us into thinking the impossible is indeed possible with their simplified Cake Balls. (PW Here, Bakerella Here.) Except, of course, I still knew there was no way I could make something look that pretty…ever. I have shaky hands and the patience of a 2-year old. So, as many of you have heard me mention, I have re-named the Cake Balls to Cake Poppers and suddenly…they’re achievable!
Here’s the thing: If you call them Cake Poppers? They DON’T HAVE TO BE SPHERICAL. That’s the best thing about the name change. That – and if you’re 12 like me – you can mention them without giggling. (Hee Hee…Balls.) But seriously – once you remove the need for them to be in the shape of balls? By changing the name? The pressure is gone and the precision is unnecessary. ALL HAIL SLOPPY BAKERS!
I decided to document my process, now that I’ve got it fined-tuned, to share with those of you who have been struggling with the Cake Balls before. Keep in mind, this is the EXACT SAME RECIPE as Bakerella and PW use, but with a name change to allow for my own personal imperfections. Maybe the name change is all you need, but if you need more? Here’s my sloppy and messy guide to Cake
Balls Poppers: Cake Balls For The Baking Impaired!
The cast of characters. I also suggest you keep wax paper and disposable forks/spoons on hand…but neither are necessary.
Step One: Bake the cake as per the instructions on the box. While this step seems like an easy one…it has been forgotten before.
Step Two: Let the cake cool for several hours. I usually even leave mine overnight.
Step Three: Mix in one container of Cream Cheese icing with then entire baked cake.
Step Four: Now it’s time to roll them into
balls poppers! Basically, I go for balls (hee.) by rolling them up in my hand, but I don’t fret about the perfection of the shape. IT DOESN’T MATTER. TIP: Keep your hands damp. After about 7 poppers, you’ll probably need to re-wet them. Not sopping, just damp. Makes it easier to keep the cake from sticking to your hands.
Step Five: Put them in the fridge and wait for at least an hour…but I usually go for two hours. Now – I consistently get at least two trays full of these things with each batch. Sometimes that’s 70, sometimes that’s 80. Once…when doing it for a bake sale? I got 90 out of one batch. And charged $1/3 Poppers. That means I made $30 for the bake sale from my one batch of Cake Poppers. Look out world…I’m gonna be RICH!
Step Six: Melt the chocolate for the coating. TIP: Get the chocolate for the fountains (I found ours at Hobby Lobby) because it coats easier than the multi-colored basic candy chocolates. The other one kind does come in cool colors, but for these babies? The milk chocolate for fountains? PERFECTION.
Now, I melt mine in 45 second increments and stir each time until it’s all the way melted. But – every bag seems to tell you something different and every microwave is different. I’ve never used an entire bag on one batch of poppers before, so you might be okay if you mess up, just don’t get any water near the stuff. Has a bad reaction and won’t coat/melt properly.
Step Seven: Coat each Popper with chocolate.
As you can see, this is where I use disposable tools. The chocolate is messy and weird to clean up since it’s desire is to be a solid and it fights with water. I coat with the spoon and then hold with the fork while the excess chocolate drips. This is the key though: THESE ARE NOT CAKE BALLS. There is no need for any technique because no one knows they’re supposed to be round. They are Poppers. Tiny bites of cake. Blobs are actually better! So, don’t fret over how yours look. TRUST ME.
As you coat, they dry pretty quickly. As a matter of fact, mine are usually starting to dry before I finish the entire tray. So…give it a few minutes when you’re done and survey your work. Add some chocolate in spots that need them…it doesn’t matter. Because the last step? The drizzle to cover all mistakes! You’ll just drizzle chocolate over all of your poppers so that any mistakes get hidden! All hail imperfections!
There you have it! How I made Cake Balls achievable even for a twitchy, shaky-handed, impatient newbie like myself! I hope you are as successful as I have been with these treasurers. They were even requested for my son’s Theatre Awards reception on Saturday. When people start specifically requesting your baked goods? You are officially AWESOME. Which I am. Because – while I may have been known to ruin WATER ONLY muffins – I have perfected the Cake Popper. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Oh..and I forgot! My messy kitchen shot to prove my mess extends beyond the frame of the pretty pictures above!