Are you looking for a fun activity to do with your kids this Family Day? These cake pops have a kid-friendly activity literally every step of the way. Plus, you'll impress everyone with what looks like a very tricky treat to make (disclaimer: they're not!).
Cake pops seem to be ubiquitous these days in coffee shops. You can find them in pretty much any flavour and any colour you can imagine. We decided to stick with chocolate, because you can't go wrong with chocolate, and because we heard that Valentine's Day is around the corner and these could also subsitute as a great Valentine's treat!
The recipe asks you to make your own chocolate cake and icing and believe us, you won't regret putting in the extra work. The recipes themselves aren't difficult and you most likely have all the ingredients you need on hand already. If you'd like, you can make the chocolate cake ahead of time, and wrap it up and set aside until you're ready to make the pops, that way the task doesn't seems as daunting.
After the cake is baked, you make a simple buttercream icing and then the fun really begins! You take that beautiful chocolate cake that you just baked and your crumble it into the smallest pieces you can. This is perfect for kids!
Next you mix the cake and icing together, and then roll the filling into small balls. Again, we think this is a perfect step to include your kids in. The balls should be fairly small (using about a tablespoon of filling for each one), so that they don't get too heavy on the lollipop sticks you're going to place them on. After you have all the balls rolled (you should have about 40), the balls go into the fridge for at little rest.
Then comes the most fun part of all! Chocolate dipping and decorating! You can use any chocolate you'd like! We used easy to melt chocolate wafers in both dark chocolate and milk chocolate varieties, but white chocolate would be fantastic too. Then have fun with your decorations! You don't need to stick with sprinkles, nuts, mini M&M's, mini chocolate chips, flaky salt etc., would also be super fun for both adults and kids!
In order to keep them in their round shape, we found that the easiest thing to do was to poke some small holes in a cardboard box (at least 4-inches in height) and then stick the lollipop sticks in the holes until they dried completely. You could also do the same thing if you have some extra styrofoam laying around.
Finally, if you're not in a cake pop mood, but still feel like making something special, skip the stick and treat the cake balls as truffles. All you need to do is dip the balls into the chocolate, place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and then decorate how you'd like. No stick required.
These cake balls are a fun project that the whole family can get involved in. They come together easily, with little effort, and the decorating possibilities are endless! We know you'll love them!
Chocolate Cake Pops
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (32 g) Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola, vegetable, or melted coconut oil (we used coconut)
2 large eggs, at room temperature (which is especially important if you're using coconut oil!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
6 Tablespoons (86 g) salted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (90 g) icing sugar
1/2 cup (41 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
2-3 teaspoons cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
30 ounces candy melts or chocolate wafers
Sprinkles, flaky salt, nuts, etc. for decorating
Lollipop Sticks (We found ours at Bulk Barn)
1. Start by preheatin your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pan with non stick spray (square or round).
2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the oil, eggs, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the thot water, and whisk everything together until combined. Make sure there are no hiding pockets of dry ingredients!
3. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-27 minutes (although, ours took significantly longer, closer to 35-40 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
4. Make the icing: With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons of cream, and vanilla extract. Beat together on high for about 3 minutes, until the icing really starts to come together. Add another teaspoon of milk/cream if it looks a bit thick (we did this!).
5. Crumble the cooled cake into the bowl on top of the icing. Make sure there are no large lumps. With a mixer on low or a large spoon, beat the frosting and cake crumbles together until combined.
6. Measure 1 Tablespoon of the cake mixture and roll into a ball. Place the balls on a lined baking sheet (you should have about 40 total) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (we let ours sit overnight).
7. Melt your chocolate coating in a bowl (the deeper the better). Using a microwave, heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is completely melted.
8. Coat the cake balls: Remove only 3-4 cake balls from the refrigerator at a time. Insert a lollipop stick into the center of each cake ball, about 3/4 of the way in. Dip the cake ball into coating until it's completely covered. Use a spoon here to ensure complete coverage if you need to. Very gently tap the stick against the edge of the bowl to allow excess coating to drop off. Decorate the top with sprinkles, or your decoration of choice, and place upright into a styrofoam block or box. Repeat with the remaining cake balls.
9. The coating sets really quickly on cold cake balls, so you should be ready to enjoy in about 30 minutes. Store the cake pops in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Enjoy!
Inspired by this recipe.