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The cake pops that challenged my sanity…and nearly won

2011 April 12
by Emily Hill

You think I’m kidding. I’m not. AT ALL. Just ask my mom who witnessed my first attempt at making Bakerella’s famous cake pops. It all started with my sister asking me to be in charge of the food for my cousin’s baby shower and me never wanting—for some strange reason—to do anything easy. I found the cutest mini cookie cutter in the shape of a onesie and originally thought I’d use it to cut fondant and lay it on top of a cupcake, but of course I’d already done the fondant thing for Evonne’s cupcakes. And baby shower cupcakes are like prom dresses: you can’t show up at a party with the same outfit twice.

Then I got this crazy brilliant idea to finally break open Bakerella’s Cake Pops cookbook and try my hand at these popular treats.

Bakerella Cake Pops cookbook

Bakerella can form those little bites of cakey goodness into everything from snowmen to Superbowl treats; I should be able to do the same, right? (No, I didn’t take into account her extensive experience or take a second look at the examples on the front cover of her cookbook before embarking on my cake pop journey. Yes, I totally should have.)

In my mind it was easy enough: make cake pops; form cake pops into the shape of a oneise; dip in light blue chocolate; embellish with “Team Jacob” in edible marker and some sweet candy stars. (My new nephew’s name is Jacob and while he was in the NICU we were all on his team!)

I also needed to make those cookie dough-filled cupcakes (so the cake pop stick has some support), top with decadent homemade chocolate frosting and shower with blue sugar crystal sprinkles. Well, the cupcakes were a cinch, but those cake pops? I am still having flashbacks.

The recipe for cake pops is innocent enough: 1 box cake mix baked according to package directions; 2/3 to 1 can frosting. The end. Here’s my version of the story.

Bake chocolate fudge cake and crumble into the tiniest of pieces.

cake pops
Note to self: Do not crumble in a large metal bowl if you want to take a decent photo.


Mix in cream cheese. (I only used about half a can because this cake mix was overly moist.)

cake pops cake bites
Same note to self on the metal bowl thing.


Use your favorite cookie dough scooper and form the mix into balls (aka cake bites). Freeze for 15 minutes or chill in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

cake pops cake bites

Work in tandem with your mom to form the chilled cake bites into onesie shapes. Have your mom remove a few cake bites from the freezer at a time as you form the shapes, and then she can finesse the shape once you pop it out of the cookie cutter. (Moms are good at finessing.)

cake pops cake bites

cake pops cake bites
See my right middle finger? It’s only a faint expression of what’s going on inside my head. You can’t tell but I’m mentally flipping off the cake bites at this point.


Here are the finished onesie cake pops before we re-chilled them so we could more easily dip them in the melted chocolate. What you don’t hear (obviously) is me telling my mom they look more like Mickey Mouse ears than baby onesies.

cake pops cake bites


Time for dipping! And this is where it got really, REALLY fun! (That sentence is dripping with sarcasm, believe you me.) Because we’d pressed the cake bites into a flatter shape, I quickly discovered the popsicle sticks were too thick for the onesies. The first one completely fell apart as I tried to gently insert that danged stick (dipping it into the chocolate a bit first to secure its hold). It was a classic “you’ve got to be freaking kidding me!” moment. Good thing we had some bamboo skewers on hand, so we tried it with those. Much better than the popsicle sticks.

cake pop cake bite
Note to self: Show Nathan how to focus the camera when he’s taking the photos.


But guess what? Those onesies are also a lot longer and heavier than your typical cake pop, so when you dip it into the chocolate and ever so slowly pull it out, you can’t turn it on its side and tap your wrist like Bakerella tells you to do in her book to remove the excess melted chocolate. If you do that, that handy bamboo skewer pokes right through the cake pop and splits it in half. You then you have two halves of what looks like Mickey Mouse’s head floating in your melted chocolate. And those fetchers are nearly impossible to retrieve.

Oh, and I forgot to mention I didn’t have Paramount Crystals to properly thin my chocolate so I went with the Googled suggestion of using a little shortening. That combined with me not knowing what the crap I was doing and using two different melting chocolates meant I badly tempered the chocolate and it came down with a severe case of those dreaded white spots. (I mentally flipped off the melted chocolate too.)

Anyway, after some trial and error, I found the best way to dip these babies was to leave them upside down as I pulled them out of the chocolate, and then slowly and gently swirl them as I used another bamboo skewer (I went through a lot of those that night) to scrape off any excess.

cake pop cake bite
Same note to self about Nathan’s photography skills.


And even then, it doesn’t always work out.

cake pop cake bite


But all in all, they turned out all right. At least that’s what my mom kept telling me.

cake pop cake bite


All that was left to do was embellish. I had ordered some edible markers and used the dark brown to write “TEAM JACOB” on the front.

team jacob cake pop


Then I had Nathan, who was oh-so-eager to help, attach the candy stars.

team jacob cake pop
You can’t see it but he has the biggest, happiest smile on his face because he’s so excited to be accessorizing onesie cake pops.

He used a little melted chocolate and the back of a plastic fork (we’d had enough of those skewers) to place them above TEAM JACOB.

onesie team jacob cake pop

onesie team jacob cake pop


Voilà!

onesie team jacob cake pop


And now for the final reveal…the cookie dough-filled cupcakes adorned with the Team Jacob onesie cake pops!

onesie_cake_pop_cupcakes

onesie_cake_pop_cupcakes


P.S. After all this, I think I prefer those Oreo truffles (1 package crushed Oreos mixed with 1 package cream cheese) over this whole cake bite thing. I’ll try that next time…once I’ve recovered from this adventure.
P.P.S. You can find the link to the recipe and photos for the cookie dough-filled cupcakes here.
P.P. P.S. You can find the recipe for the chocolate fudge frosting here. It’s my new favorite!

46 Responses Post a comment
  1. April 12, 2011

    They look great and I bet they were a hit.
    Mrs. Organic´s latest ~ You GuysMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    They were a hit and someone there even said how cute the onesies were. That made my day because I was still convinced they looked like mouse ears.

    [Reply]

  2. April 12, 2011

    Adorable!! And I love that Nathan was helping.

    Just a reminder, my birthday is a month from today. Hint, hint.
    Kristina P.´s latest ~ Our House Is Still a Very- Very- Very Fine HouseMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I will put it on my calendar and start brainstorming today. I’m not sure I can top that Hoff cake, though. That was pretty amazing!

    [Reply]

  3. Barbie permalink
    April 12, 2011

    I think they are adorable! I’m throwing a shower at the end of the month. If you could go ahead and make 45 in pink that would be great. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Um, I don’t think I’ll be making these again for quite a while…if ever!

    [Reply]

  4. Marshall permalink
    April 12, 2011

    Just wow.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Marshall, you’re awesome! :)

    [Reply]

  5. April 12, 2011

    Very cute Em!!!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Thanks, Sarah! And I think we need another San Diego trip….soon. ;)

    [Reply]

  6. April 12, 2011

    Above and beyond my friend. Above and beyond. They are adorable and I am sure everyone loved them.
    Leisha´s latest ~ Welcome!My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    They did enjoy them, so that made the effort worth it! As for the extra gray hairs, the jury is still out on that one.

    [Reply]

  7. April 12, 2011

    Uh, wow! You are much braver than I. That is why I am not in charge of baby shower sweets. They would get cake mix cupcakes.
    Michelle´s latest ~ Paper Mache EggsMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Well, they are cake mix cupcakes but doctored up a bit. And they would never put me in charge of the decor or super cute gift items. They would get crepe paper and balloons.

    [Reply]

  8. April 12, 2011

    They look ah-mazing!
    Kalli´s latest ~ I still hate Golds GymMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Thanks, Kalli! They go great with Metamucil shooters. ;)

    [Reply]

  9. mom permalink
    April 12, 2011

    What? You were “flipping” them off? It was an extraordinarily GREAT idea and they turned out SO cute. We just needed to start them earlier than 11pm. Everyone enjoyed them at the shower along with all the yummy spinach salad and chicken-salad croissants you made. Are you going to blog about those cute drink holders and Megan’s “rubber-ducky in the bubble bath” decorations? It was a FABULOUS shower!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Thanks, Mom! And yes, I am planning a follow-up post with all the other fun stuff. I am still recovering from writing this one. ;)

    [Reply]

  10. April 12, 2011

    My jaw is dropped! I wouldn’t even BEGIN a huge project like this one! (and all the other projects you take one!) But then again, I’m not as patient or creative as YOU are!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    If you read the parts about me mentally flipping off everything, you’ll know I’m not that patient. ;)

    [Reply]

  11. Jennifer permalink
    April 13, 2011

    I thought you were insane to even attempt them…and you pretty much proved me right.

    However, after all the stress they turned out amazing. Too cute.

    Talented as usual Em.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I am seriously laughing! You know me well enough to understand my moments of insanity. Love you!

    [Reply]

  12. April 13, 2011

    I think they turned out great looking! I am very impressed. I’ve never tried the cake balls, but I do the oreo ones a lot. Of course, I felt all impressive making them into plain old balls. Now I know there is even another step to awesomeness.

    I’m thinking I might be better off NOT getting that book of cake ball ideas…
    Charlotte´s latest ~ Learning to balance the teenager lineMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Yeah, don’t get the book. She makes it look easy. And honestly, I prefer the taste of those Oreo truffles a lot better!

    [Reply]

  13. April 15, 2011

    Ever tried the Oreo truffles using Mint Oreos? SO yummy! You really did such a great job. You’re amazing.
    Lady of Perpetual Chaos´s latest ~ Lollys GiftMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    NO! I simply must try that! And with Nutter Butters. And more Oreos. And maybe even some Thin Mints. ;)

    [Reply]

  14. April 18, 2011

    holy shiz. that is crazy cute…and I love your shirt…mostly because I own it too! shall we go to sadies together?
    von´s latest ~ the first of the seasonMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Okay, that is like my favorite t-shirt of all time! I would be honored to go to Sadie Hawkins with you!

    [Reply]

  15. April 18, 2011

    You’re kidding me! These are COMPLETELY ADORABLE. And, they look delicious. AND, I’m SURE Nathan did have a big ol’ smile helping out (he is SUCH a fan of Twilight films, after all). ;)

    You are so creative! Love it!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Thanks, babe! And yes, he’s a TOTAL fan–he loved every moment!

    [Reply]

  16. Jeannie Bowser permalink
    April 19, 2011

    That was a really cute idea. They really looked so yummy.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Thank you, Jeannie! Fortunately there were even yummier than they looked! ;)

    [Reply]

  17. ce'mone permalink
    September 5, 2011

    Hello, my mom and I are trying to make something to dip our cake pops in..we’ve tried everything from wiltons candy melts(which went no where) to (melting cake frosting(which was to no success)and marshmallow fondant ( that didnt stay on cake pops to well), so now we would like to try chocolate for the cake pops to dip them in to get a nice even coat that will cover the entire pop…do you have any ideas or suggestions to help us with our frustrating problem..also we would like to know how you colored thechocolate to get the baby blue color?

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I am still trying to figure out these cake pops! For a nice chocolate coating, I used Almond Bark, which I’ve found in the baking aisle. The light blue chocolate are chocolate melts I found at a local baking store. Some of them are actually a Wilton product. Sorry I’m not more help!

    [Reply]

  18. Katherine permalink
    October 21, 2011

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving me a much needed laugh and the ability to cling to what little sanity remained after attempting these “adorable” little pops myself. I thought I’d make little ghosts for my daughters’ halloween party this weekend. A dirty dozen will pass as mummy pops instead of ghosts…the rest are something out of a slaughter movie. (I chose red velvet with white frosting, so it’s an easy jump.) JEEEEEEEZ…I thought tamales took a lot of time…but at least you can cover them with salsa if they look a little lumpy.

    Thanks for the great perspective! And your onesies were adorable – hope everyone chewed slooooooowly!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Your comment had me laughing! I bet the mummy pops were fabulous, and I can think of nothing better than “slaughtered” cake pops for Halloween. ;)

    P.S. I would never attempt tamales.

    [Reply]

  19. LeeAnne permalink
    April 24, 2012

    I am cracking up right now because last week I had a similar experience making Bakerella’s baby face cake pops for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. It seemed simple enough, but it was the first time I had ever dipped cake pops in candy melts. What a mess! It was dripping everywhere and then after it dried the cake started bulging through any spot that was not completely covered by the coating. When I finally had all 40+ of the pops made, I attempted to draw the baby faces with Wilton’s edible pens…the pens would barely write. In the end, they turned out OK and everyone said they loved them. Not sure I will embark on this type of baking adventure again though. Thanks again – your onesies turned out beautiful.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I have yet to try another cake pop recipe. The onesies pretty much scarred me for life! At least girlfriends are great at giving us an “A” for effort. :)
    Emily´s latest ~ Italian broccoli with bacon & mushroomsMy Profile

    [Reply]

  20. Diane permalink
    June 7, 2012

    I could not get my edible markers to write on my cake pops . . . any suggestions??

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Mine seemed to work okay so I don’t have any suggestions. I’m sorry! I bet if you google it, you’ll find a helpful tutorial on what might work.

    [Reply]

  21. Danielle permalink
    August 13, 2012

    I love this! Really inspiring I’m going to attempt to make these for my sister baby shower this weekend. Was just wondering where did you find the onesie mold?

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I found the onesie cookie cutter at a local kitchen supply store that has a large selection of cookie cutters. It was pretty cheap! Good lucK!

    [Reply]

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