Cake pops are a somewhat cool and quirky addition to the traditional pastime of baking, with shop windows forever battling to take the crown for the most inventive, inspiring and beautiful creations. From Sunday lunches to children’s parties, weddings to BBQ’s, a perfectly prepared cake goes down a treat no matter the occasion, so the children and I had a go at making our very own cake pops at home.
It is surprisingly straightforward to make cake pops, as I had visions of cutting blocks of victoria sponge with scissors or squeezing it into shape, but the silicone cake pop moulds by Jane Asher’s Kitchen were incredibly easy to use. Each mould comes with a full set of instructions and a sponge recipe, for which we have two sets of moulds and a pack of pop sticks too.
We used our tried and tested recipe of the weight of one egg matched to the same amount of self-raising flour, sugar and butter which we whisked until light and fluffy and spooned into the moulds. Unlike normal cake moulds where you part fill the open cases, with the cake pop moulds you fill the semi-circle trays right up to the top, just like ice cubes. There is no need to grease the moulds as it’s recommended that you run them under the tap to get them wet, shake them off and leave them moist before spooning in your mixture. When they were all topped up, we then popped the clear silicone lid on which is exactly the same layout as the trays, but each semi-circle now has a little hole at the top to let the steam out, incredibly handy for taking a peek through the oven door to see if they’ve risen.
We placed our cake mixture and moulds into our electric fan assisted oven at 160 degrees for twelve minutes until the cake pops were a light golden brown in colour and perfectly risen. Our single-egg mixture filled the moulds four times in total, giving us 24 individual cake pops to decorate. To remove them from the trays we simply turned them upside down over a wire rack and popped the moulds inside out for which they rolled out very easily and sat like plump little fluffy clouds on the wire as they cooled.
We decided to create two different toppings for our cake pops, the first a milk chocolate and the second a white icing, both finished with sugar sprinkles and strands. To make the chocolate topping we snapped a family sized bar of milk chocolate into a plastic bowl and placed it into a saucepan filled with boiling water to melt. We then dipped the end of a cake pop stick into the melted chocolate before pushing it into a cooled cake ball which glued it into place. We used a cup to stand the cake pops up to dry, and once they were all attached to sticks we could decorate them.
To make the icing topping we poured white icing sugar into a bowl and added a trickle of cold water from the tap as we mixed it together with a spoon until the sugar reached a smooth and thick texture similar to a cheese sauce. We then dipped our cake pops into each bowl, depending on whether they were being topped with chocolate or icing, before holding them over a bowl of sugar sprinkles and pouring them all over.
We returned the cake pops to a cup to stand them all up and popped them in the fridge for around five minutes to set, as we didn’t want them to drip and make a mess. The children loved baking, decorating and holding their cake pops on a stick, biting into the crunchy chocolate and nibbling off the pretty coloured sprinkles. Cake pops take what would have otherwise being a very ordinary looking fairy cake and has made them into a fun and exiting talking piece. As it was our first time making them we stuck to a very basic topping of chocolate and white icing, but Millie has already said that she’d like to make some for her birthday to look like pretty flowers and experiment with writing numbers and patterns with icing pens. You could also add chopped nuts, jelly sweets, dried fruits, fruit jam, butter cream and glitter to make them extra special. Instead of laying them on a cake stand you can poke them into a tower of polystyrene, stand them in a jam jar or even wrap them up like lollipops in plastic with a ribbon. What a lovely idea for all ages and occasions and a modern twist on the humble sponge cake.