This past weekend, our alter ego selves – because we, the Ladies of FFA, could never ever obtain what is about to be revealed – found themselves with Too Much Time On Their Hands. When my sister and I got the photographic evidence (see below), we just shook our heads. Maybe we sighed. Long, self-suffering sighs of long self-suffering. Envy may have laced the sighs. Imagine, having all that time on ones hands. Oh, who make are we kidding. We know we’re not cut out for this kind of labor, but we confess. We did it. We did it all. Muahahaha!
Ahem. Sorry about that. Nine hours of making bunny cake pops does that to a person.
In any case, we are pleased with the results. They turned out so cute! Yay for following directions!
Bakerella – HOW do you do this all the time? We salute you!
First, we made cake. Strawberry, to be exact, which is what Bakerella used in her blog post on the subject. I thought it sounded so good that I wasn’t inclined to differentiate. After letting it cool completely, you crumble it up nice and fine.
Then you drop in about three quarters of a 16 ounce can of frosting. Ker-plop! We used Duncan Hines classic white. Using a large spoon, you take the back of it and kind of mash the frosting into the cake till it’s all incorporated. It looks messy, but someone’s gotta do it.
Then you make cake balls! Bakerella’s cake pop book recommends making the ball shape first so as to get them all relatively the same size. At this point they’ll go in the fridge for several hours or the freezer for several minutes to help firm them up. This part is very important; if the cake isn’t firm enough we found that it will not stay very well on the lollipop stick later.
We went a little insane and also planned to do Easter egg pops, too. For those we made up cake balls using a gluten-free cake mix from Betty Crocker. There’s a lovely gal I talk to on Twitter that was curious if gluten-free would work good for these. While we didn’t get hardly any egg pops made – ran out of time and bunny bounce – we’re happy to report that the gluten-free cake worked just as well. Yes, the texture is slightly more…noticeable? The cake and frosting melded well, but the texture just isn’t as soft as regular cake. The gluten-free baked up much more dense and slightly grainy. Still, yes, gluten-free folks! You too can has cake pops!
Next we prepped the bunny ears. I wasn’t sure at all that I’d be able to find pastel-colored candy corn, but a friend of my mother came through. Of all places, I’d never have thought to look in a Hallmark gift shop. Using the rounded edge of my biscuit cutter, we took took off about an eighth of an inch from each candy corn point.
After this, folks, I’m sorry to say that we got so caught up in all the detail work of these things that we forgot to take pictures of things like dipping the pops in the melted candy coatings, assembling the bunnies, etc. But we have plenty of results to show you!
Behold – the one egg pop that made it through our rigorous inspection! We only made a handful of the eggs. As tired as we were, we found that trying to make an egg shape, plus keeping that shape wile trying to shove in a lollipop stick without squishing the things, was too difficult. Maybe another day, egg pops.
Sis blogging partner declared at one point, “I’m going to make ALL mine cross-eyed.”
We even made some blue bunnies. Sis and I like blue.
They’re so cheerful looking that even we, at nine hours of making these things – NINE (translation: SO TIRED) - managed to crack a grin at them.
Finally, after cleaning up all the candy and supplies and mess, hubby cut me a foam round to fit my cake carrier, and we prepped them to take to my office on Monday.
Even while ready to be delivered to an office where folks will munch their ears right off, these bunnies are excited to be going somewhere.
After nine hours of making these things, I said I never, ever wanted to make cake pops again, but I couldn’t resist vowing (after looking through Bakerella’s book yet again) to make more. One day. When we’ve got that elusive, coveted too much time on our hands.
Easter Bunny Pops
from Cake Pops by Bakerella (wording slightly changed, but still her recipe and methods)
Prep/Assembly Time (see notes): Several hours Level: Advanced Servings: About 40-50 cake pops
- 48 uncoated Basic Cake Balls (directions below), formed into rounded triangle shapes
- 48 ounces (3 pounds) pink, white or your favorite color candy coating
- Deep, microwave-safe plastic bowl
- 48 paper lollipop sticks
- Styrofoam block
- Round cookie cutter
- 96 pieces pastel candy corn
- 48 pink jumbo heart sprinkles
- 96 white confetti sprinkles
- blue, black and pink edible ink pens
To make cake balls:
- 18.25-ounce box of cake mix (we used strawberry)
- 9×13-inch cake pan
- Large mixing bowl
- Wax paper
- Baking sheet
- Plastic wrap or aluminum foil
Bake cake as directed on the box, using the 9×13 inch cake pan. Let cool completely.
Once cake is cooled, crumble cake into a fine, fluffy texture into a large bowl by cutting two pieces at a time and kind of mashing them together. Feel for any large pieces that need to be crumbled. Repeat until all the cake is crumbled.
Add three quarters of the container of frosting. Mix into the crumbled cake using the back of a large spoon or use a stiff spatula. You won’t need more frosting. Too much will make the cake balls overly moist and hard to work into pops.
Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a wax-covered baking sheet. Cover and place in fridge for several hours or in the freezer for about 15 or so minutes. The balls need to be firm to work with, but not frozen.
To make bunny pops:
Shape balls into a rounded rectangle shape, narrower at top, wider at bottom. Keep balls chilled until ready to use. (We would take out a few at a time to dip, then go back to the fridge for more as needed.)
Melt candy coating in a microwave-safe plastic bowl, following instructions on the package (which were 30-second intervals at 50% power until smooth and melted, stirring between microwave times). The coating needs to be about three inches deep in the bowl, so look for bowls that are deep and a little narrower to accommodate this.
One at a time, dip about 1/2 inch of the tip of a lollipop stick into the candy coating, and insert straight into the larger, bottom side of the shaped cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through. If you push too far in, the ball will slide down and the stick will push out the top of the ball. Dip the cake pop into the melted coating, and tap off any excess coating back into the bowl by gently tapping the wrist of the hand holding the pop, not by tapping the pop against the bowl. Place in Styrofoam block to dry. Repeat with rest of cake balls.
For the ears, use a cookie cutter with a curved edge to cut off the pointed tips of the candy corn. (You may want to prepare these ahead of time.) Dip the cut end of each piece into the candy coating and attach it to the top of the bunny head. Hold the ear in place for a few seconds until the coating sets like glue. Place in Styrofoam block to dry completely.
Use a toothpick to dot a small amount of the melted candy coating in position for the nose, and attach 1 pink jumbo heart sprinkle. Hold it in place until set. (We found these stuck pretty well almost immediately, but still need time to dry.) Use the same technique to apply white confetti sprinkles for the eyes, and let dry.
Draw eye details on the confetti sprinkles with blue and black edible-ink pens. Draw the mouths with a pink edible-ink pen. Let the pops dry completely.
Other Good Tips from Bakerella:
When making the cake balls, don’t pack them too tightly in their ball forms. If you do, the cake might expand after a little while and crack the candy coating.
When using the edible ink pens on the candy coating, don’t press too hard or the coating may stick to the pen tip, making it hard to write any further with it.
Bakerella also notes that if the candy coating seems too thick, try adding a little shortening or paramount crystals to it and melt. We did this each time and it did seem to help.
To store the pops:
For cake pops made with store-bought cake mixes and frosting, use an airtight container to store on the counter. You can also wrap them in individual treat bags tied with ribbon. (If you have any dang energy left, that is.)
If cake pops are made with homemade cake and frosting like cream cheese, store in refrigerator either in an airtight container or in individual treat bags.
Cakes pops last for several days and can be made a few days before an event. The finished pops can be stored in the freezer if you need to make them further in advance.
Bakerella’s note: Manufacturers do not recommend storing candy coating in the refrigerator, but I have had success with storing finished pops by wrapping in individual treat bags tied with a ribbon and placing them in an airtight container.
One last thing – enjoy!
When dipping the cake pop in melted candy, don’t leave it upside down for too long or the pop might slide right off. If your bowl is not deep enough to dip the entire pop, say the bottom is still uncoated after dipping, hold the pop at a slight upward angle, tap gently on wrist that’s holding the pop and rotate slowly to encourage the excess coating to fall to the bottom of the pop. The rotating motion will help the coating to travel down the pop and hopefully cover any part not covered by the initial dipping. Carefully wipe off any excess that tries to pool at the bottom of the pop against the stick.
These tasted the best to me two days after they were made. For some reason, they didn’t seem nearly as sweet, and the cake had lost a little of its initial moisture, which was a plus to me since they were so, so moist. I guess it’s possible for cake to be too moist!
On time making these as well as preparing to make them: do yourself a favor and shop for the supplies plenty of days in advance. If your town is anything like mine, you might even have to resort to buying some supplies online, which could tack on even more days waiting to get materials.
As far as making the cake balls, Bakerella states in her book that you need “several hours” to make even basic cake balls, and the same is true for cake pops. Prepare to set aside a day, especially if you’ve never made them before. It’ll be much more fun, and a lot less frustrating, if you can make the time for it.
Bake the cake the night before to save a little time.
Allow yourself to make some mistakes. Part of successfully making these is making a mistake or two so you can learn what not to do as well as how to do them right.
Lastly, we love Bakerella’s Cake Pops book. It can give you even more and much better insight on how to make these fun treats. Enjoy!