Happy Fourth of July to everyone! This holiday weekend my parents are in DC visiting me, and we’ve got a full plate of tourist activities to knock off our list. Today, we will battle the crowds and head down to the National Mall to watch some fireworks. Although I’ll be the first person to admit my detestation of large crowds, there’s something truly special about celebrating our independence with our nation’s capital as a backdrop.
Before we battled the heat, humidity, and throngs of people—we decided to make a red, white, and blue themed dessert. And what better option than some cake pops?! I have been wanting to try my hand at making cake pops for a while, and decided that I’d give it a try for the Fourth of July. These cake pops aren’t difficult to make, but they do require a little advance planning. It’s a fun recipe to make if you have some leftover cake and don’t quite know what to do with it.
For those that aren’t familiar with cake pops, let me give you a quick rundown. A cake pop is a form of cake styled as a lollipop. Cake crumbs are mixed with icing or chocolate, and formed into small spheres or cubes in the same way as cake balls, before being given a coating of icing, chocolate or other decorations and attached to lollipop sticks. This trend really began to take off in 2010 thanks to other baking blogs such as Bakerella.
Whether you’re celebrating with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, or concerts—I hope you have a spectacular Fourth of July!
Fourth of July Cake Pop Recipe
1 package white cake mix (and ingredients listed on box)
½ cup vanilla frosting
1 bag (12 ounces) of white chocolate chips
½ (6 ounces) bag red candy melts
½ (6 ounces) bag blue candy melts
20 candy sticks
red and blue gel food coloring
¼ cup shortening
Bake cake as directed in a 9 x 13 pan and let cool completely. Crumble cake up into a large bowl. Divide cake evenly into two bowls. Into one bowl, add ¼ cup frosting and 3-4 drops of blue food coloring. Into the other bowl, add ¼ cup frosting and 3-4 drops of red food coloring. Stir with a fork until frosting disappears and is completely incorporated into the cake crumbs. Test your mixture by picking up a handful and squeezing it together. It should hold together without breaking apart. If mixture is too dry, add more frosting.
Roll mixture into walnut-sized cake balls and transfer to a wax paper lined baking cookie sheet. Make sure balls are tightly packed and look smooth with no cracks. If they appear cracked, you may need to add more frosting. Transfer cookie sheet with cake balls to freezer or refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
Place white chocolate chips into a double boiler and stir until completely melted. The melted coating should coat a spoon but still be able to slowly drip off. If coating is too thick, add shortening ½ teaspoon at a time.
Remove cake balls from freezer. Dip tips of lollipop sticks into candy coating and insert sticks no more than halfway into center of your cake balls. Let them set for 1 to 2 minutes, resting on the cake ball, sticks in the air.
Pick up cake pop by the stick and dip into candy coating. Gently tap stick against side of bowl and rotate cake pop to help excess coating fall back into bowl. Reheat and/or melt more candy coating as needed. Poke stick of cake pop into styrofoam block or a cardboard box with holes to stand up straight and dry completely, about 5 minutes.
To decorate the cake pops, heat both red and blue candy melts in a double boiler and transfer into separate plastic bags then snip a small part of one corner off each bag. Decorate the pops using the melted chocolate in whatever design you fancy!
Heather’s Helpful Hints
Sometimes when making cake pops, you might find that the chocolate cracks while they are drying. This typically happens if your cake pops are too cold before dipping. If this happens let your batch warm up a bit before dipping. If your cake pops have already cracked, fear not! Wait until the coating hardens and dip again.