International Incident Party: Cake Pops (and a giveaway!)

I have to admit, when Penny challenged us to make Cake Pops for this month’s International Incident Party, I had never actually eaten a cake pop, let alone made one.
In fact, I was so clueless that I thought they were just little round balls of cake on sticks. And I wondered how you got the cakes to be little shapes like that and then how you iced them.

I headed over to Bakerella, the queen of the cake pops to discover that in fact, they are composed of crumbled up cake mixed with frosting (icing) and then dipped in chocolate.  Really?  I will say that the idea is actually a little gross – sounds like a LOT of sugar!  I was also concerned that I would not be able to make perfect little spheres. I envisaged a lot of mess (well, more than usual!).

Then I saw a picture on Foodgawker of perfect little cake pops, even made in the shape of cupcakes. Neat looking little things. Heading over to the post, I found our that these had been made using a My Little Cupcake CakePop mold that you can buy here.  For $5.95 I couldn’t resist.  And am glad I didn’t!

There are no process photos of this endeavour for a number of reasons:

1. There are so many tutorials online that you hardly need my 20 process pictures to add to it all. (see Bakerella’s video tutorial for starters)

2. I just got a new camera (last night!) and haven’t had a chance to learn all the ropes yet and when I was making these, the battery was charging. (Thanks mum, dad and Neil for the early birthday pressie!). And yes, I am still figuring out the white balance settings, before you ask 😉

I will tell you that I used a packet cake mix (gasp!) because we had one in the pantry for emergencies. Since I wasn’t sure how they would turn out, I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making a whole cake from scratch.

I used a 9×13 inch cake pan and ended up using about 1/2 of the cake for 12 pops.  Into the crumbled 1/2 cake, I mixed 1/4 cup of cream cheese frosting (also from my emergency stash in the fridge).

After each step (mixing the cake and frosting, rolling the mixture into balls, pressing out the shapes with the mold, dipping the bottom part in the chocolate) I refrigerated the pops to make them easier to handle.

These were actually incredibly easy to make.

The hardest part was photographing them.  Today was windy and rainy and my “studio” (aka my front porch) was totally rained out.  I thought I would catch a break but didn’t bank on the pops being so uncooperative (you really need some styrofoam to sit them in – I had them in dried beans and styrofoam and it was still a challenge).  The wind whipped up around the Easter grass (I stupidly bought plastic Easter grass) and meanwhile, inside, Cleo managed to find the couple of strands I hadn’t managed to clean up (it goes everywhere!) and eat it. Only to bring it straight back up. Naughty!

So yes, there was a cake pop meltdown. But it all worked out in the end 🙂

These babies are currently on their way to Neil’s curling finals and we hope he has more luck with that than I did with my photo session.  Me? I just didn’t want to see the pops again LOL!

Edited to add: I made 12 of these and only 10 made it all the way to the end. One fell apart when I dipped it in the chocolate and the other, well, I had to taste test it – I was pleasantly surprised – it was fudgey and truffley and not *too* sweet.  I do feel these were on the big side though – I couldn’t eat the whole one in one go…

And now here’s the fun part!  A giveaway open to anyone, anywhere in the world!

Yes, thanks to Thomas Allen, I have a copy of The Pop Bakery cookbook!

As I am paying the postage this giveaway is open to anyone.

How to enter?

No requirements. Anyone who leaves a comment here on this post will be eligible to win. I will draw the winner’s name through Random.org on Monday April 18th at 6pm EST and announce the winner in the following day’s post.

My way of saying “thanks” for reading and commenting 🙂

UPDATE: The contest is now closed and a winner has been chosen, to be announced tomorrow, Tuesday April 19th. Thanks for entering!

** Don’t forget to check out next month’s “Forever Nigella” event – I’m hosting a street party in honour of the Royal Wedding and would love for you to join me. All the details here.

Check out what everyone else bought to the party by clicking on the links below:

124 thoughts on “International Incident Party: Cake Pops (and a giveaway!)”

  1. I stand by what I said earlier, this are so cute! And happy early birthday, for getting a new camera and not getting a chance to play with it very much prior these photos came out great!

    I also had issues with the stupid cake pops wanting to fall down and had to resort to polymer clay to mold around the bottoms of mine.

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  2. Let me guess, is your new camera a…Nikon D90? Exif tells all 🙂 Very nice photos for the first time using it!
    As for cake balls, I was just at a baking store today and saw special cake ball molds. This post makes me wish I had picked some up to try out!

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  3. Confession time, I’ve never had a cakepop and I know for a fact I don’t want the ones from Starbucks to be my first one! I might have to make my own or drive to Toronto and try one of yours:)
    Can’t wait to see the evolution with your new camera and happy very early birthday!

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  4. Your first batch of cake balls are precious! Way to go!! =)

    There’s a bakery in Austin dedicated to just cake balls/pops – my favorite? Walnut and brie with spice cake dipped in white chocolate. Oh the possibilities are endless!

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  5. I, too, had problems with taking the photos too! And the stick I used was not suitable… but still it was fun to make and also GOOD too eat…
    see you soon MARDI!!

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  6. Mardi, your cake pops are adorable and mine couldn’t sit still for the photoshots either! I didn’t know we could get cake pop molds, or I would’ve bought them for this purpose. Had to go to cake pop therapy afterwards and that proved more expensive (especially on the hips)!

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  7. Hi Mardi, I completely understand where you were coming from. I don’t normally use a lot of icing on the cakes, so using it as binding agent sounded to me like complete sugar overload! But I do agree that cake pops can be extremely cute (look at yours!) and fun when entertaining! Love the cupcake mould!

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  8. OK, my confession is that I have had a cake pop or two. A friend of mine had a friend of hers make some for her daughter’s wedding (long before I ever heard of Bakerella) a couple of years ago and I must admit I thought they were 1. Cute and 2. Good.

    It seems standard practice to make them with a cake mix but the ones I had were not a mix; both the red velvet cake and the frosting to mold them were made from scratch…but this was for a wedding!

    These are cute but I would be hard pressed to imagine making them without kids around to enjoy the results; though I did see the ones at Starbucks the other day…and admit Ethan, I was tempted!

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  9. I don’t need to be entered in the contest – it’s doubtful I’d give these a go myself and I’m sure there’s others who’d love it much more but I just wanted to say I think these turned out amazingly well.

    And I bow to you and your perseverance in the rain and wind. I would have made myself a cup of tea, ate a few of these and waited for some better weather!

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  10. Ahhh I have been reading Bakerella’s blog for ages, but have never worked up the guts to actually cake pops! a) they look complicated and b) omg soo much sugar, how could I justify? But this book looks adorable, and if I won i reckon that would be a good excuse to finally give cake pops a go, right?!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  11. These look fantastic! And I think you’re selling your photos short. They came out well! Although I certainly empathize with difficult “studio” situations.

    I had never had cake balls/cake pops until a couple months ago. I also thought they were balls of cake and was confused about the process. I still haven’t tried making them myself, but I’m eager to give it a go.

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  12. Wootles! I was so hoping someone would make the little cupcake ones, so I was very happy to see these little joys staring sweetly at me 😀 Beautifully finished, well done!

    Totally loving your presentation too, mine could have definitely benefited from some grass for my birdies to play in 🙂 🙂

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  13. I remember the first batch I made.. the balls just feel all the way through the bottom of my stick.. so this time round I made a denser cake, did not follow bakerella’s recipe *gasp* and made it work! Yayy!

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  14. I am too late for the party but not for the giveaway, I guess…. 🙂 These look so yummy, I bet my kids would love popping them in all the time. Love the colorful photos!

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  15. Darling, you have *no* idea how happy I am to finally see a give-away that everybody is eligible for! Oh my goodness, I’ve been waiting for this day for a while 😉

    Your little cake-pops look adorable – I’ve never made them either but I’ve seen them around a fair bit. They’re super cute 😉

    You are too lovely. Hope you’re feeling miles better!

    Jax x

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  16. Oh…they look so cute! And congrats for your early B’day gift. Have yet to try cake pops..infact feel a little odd to bake a cake and then Crumble it!! Anyway these cutties tempt me to do the same 🙂

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  17. Poor Cleo! Lovely pops and I’m getting braver about trying to make some myself, based on your experience.

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  18. TOO CUTE!!!! They are fun! My girls and I have been discussing making cake pops for some time but have yet to make the plunge. I’m sure when they see your photos they will clamor to make them. Hmn… I’m hiding your post until after Passover!

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  19. Your cakepops look amazing! And that was your first attempt? Wow! I’ve always wanted to try making these. Thanks for the generous giveaway!!

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  20. So really after all the fuss – they’re just tarted up Timbits? 😉

    I am sorry the psot does not include a photo of Cleo and the purged streamer.

    Alas, they were gone in seconds at the curling finals – I didn’t even get my hands on one…

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  21. I’ve never had a cake pop either, and wondered how they were made so thanks! These look awesome and something I will definitely note to try in future. All the best with the new camera – I’m sure you’ll have so much fun figuring out all its tricks 🙂

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  22. They look beautiful – so cute – great colours and very tempting.
    I have made 3 attempts at cakepops now from Bakerella’s book. The nicest ones to eat were the lion ones – I made them from chocolate cake, mixed with chocolate frosting but the candy coating was peanut butter so they were quite tasty. Otherwise, they are not my favourite things to eat but boy do the kids love the novelty of them!

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  23. Your cupcake pops turned out great! I am making these on the 1st for my grand daughters birthday. I hope mine turn out half as nice as yours!

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  24. These look great! I’ve heard of cake pops and have seen them on a few websites before. Looks like your first efforts worked brilliantly – so pretty!

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  25. Well done with your first cake pop attempt! I can’t even make cake…much less little mini-uber-cute ones with sticks. The curling team is lucky!

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  26. I’ll admit that I’ve never made cake pops either – but they look like such fun. And, despite the fact that they probably DO contain a ton of sugar, they’re small. So, eating one or two won’t hurt, right?

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  27. These are super cute. I considered having these as a special treat at my wedding but I agree they were too sweet. Good to know there is a new way to make them.

    And I always have a cake and brownie mix in the pantry just in case!

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  28. Mardi, I love the shots of the pops in the bag with the grass! I agree…they do sound kind of gross…glad to hear they taste good. Congrats on the new camera. Looking forward to even more impressive photos (although your work is so good, I’m not sure how much better you can get!)

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  29. Cute!!!! I have tried Cake Pops once…and did not have as much luck as you… I tried round and found them very hard to get to actually be… well round…and then had a hard time dipping in chocolate and then getting to stay on the stick…but I will try them again!!!

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  30. Seriously, how cute are your pops! I must admit that I have never tried making them, although they have been on my list for quite a while. Your photos are great too, and I totally get what you mean about your “studio” and bad weather. I don’t have lights so quite often I am desperately trying to get a good photo in between the cloud cover, and my food melting in the hot weather.

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  31. I love cake pops – they are adorable and automatic portion control! I need to look into some of those tutorials soon. Long live the emergency stashes 🙂

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  32. OMGoodness your little cupcakes look amazing! I love the two-toned effect, I don’t think I have the patience to do one of those let alone attempt to do a dozen!
    I’ll see you later this month at the street party, I’m doing mine this Friday as part of a Bachelorette event 😀

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  33. I think there is an exuberance in these photos – I would never know you were having so much trouble! So cute. Sad to have missed my first Incident ever, but catching up after a trip takes time …. Happy early birthday!

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  34. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of super-sweet desserts, so I’ve yet to try a cake pop despite the fact that they’re completely ubiquitous lately. Yours are awfully cute, though!
    PS – If these are your first photos with the new camera (and shot under less-than-ideal lighting conditions, no less), I can’t wait to see what happens once you’ve gotten a little more practice! 🙂

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  35. I think these cake pops are fantastic. My first attempt making them was for a childrens birthday party as favours. The kids and adults both found them to be spectacular! I must admit that they can be tricky to make but they are definetly worth the end result and kind comments! I’m totally going to get one of the cupcake molds! they look so cute! 🙂

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  36. Had my first cake pop a few weeks ago, cute idea. I like the idea of using a mold to create shapes other than a sphere. Yours look great. Oh and congrats on the new camera! Do tell, what did you get?

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  37. Your photos are SO cute! Would never have guessed your struggles… well done! I’m a piano teacher and hold a “Celebration” (small party) when a student graduates to next level. Love bringing novelty treats and these would be PERFECT! A mold addict, I must find that, too. 🙂 Such fun. Thanks!

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  38. So cute!!! My daughter loves cupcakes and she
    Thought these were great. She wants cupcakes instead of a cake for her party. We might try these. Thanks. The pictures were fantastic.

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  39. I have watched my daughters make very messy cakepops for awhile now…they are sooooo delicious and their friends go wild for them!!! Yours are beautiful and I have admired bakerella’s for some time! These are about the yummiest idea ever!

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  40. How cute……..might be an idea for the lolly buffet at the wedding in September.

    Now if I only had a book for some ideas……………………….

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  41. I make cake pops and sell them around the holidays, I will be making Easter egg cake this week. My problem was buying the styro foam to hold them as they were melting, the styro foam is expensive and the holes get bigger every time you use it, I needed a better solution so my husband got me a scrap piece of wood from our local hardware store and drilled holes in it, it holds 33 cake pops at a time! and best part costs all of 52 cents!

    Reply

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