20 lollipop sticks
1 bag of light cocoa candy melts
small chocolate-coated crispy balls or white chocolate stars
1 ⅞ cup (5/8 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg, lightly beaten
2 cup self-rising flour, sifted
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
PREPARE AHEAD Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line an 8-inch (20- cm) baking pan with waxed paper.
TO MAKE THE CAKE Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and mix on a medium speed until the mixture is white and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix in.
Add half the beaten eggs and flour to the mixture and combine well. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. To see if your cake is cooked, insert a knife into the center--it should come out clean.
Rich Chocolate: Replace 1/4 cup (25 g) flour with 1/4 cup (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder. For the frosting add 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture, or for extra chocolate flavor add melted chocolate to taste.
Zingy Lemon: Add the juice and zest of one lemon to the butter and sugar mixture and stir well. For the frosting add the juice of half a lemon to the mixture. Cool the cake on a cooling rack.
Making the Cake Balls
Break or slice the cooled cake into manageable pieces. Crumble the pieces by hand or, for a finer result, use the grater attachment in a food processor. Using your hands, mix the frosting into the cake crumbs. Add a tablespoon at a time--you may not need it all. Too much frosting will make the pops too wet to stay on the sticks when being dipped. The mixture is ready once it holds together when rolled in your hands.
Weigh out 1 oz (25g) pieces of the mixture and roll into balls between your hands, or form into the required shape for your pop design.
Once shaped, put the cake balls on a plate and cover. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the mixture to firm. They can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
PREPARE AHEAD Chill the cake balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
TO MAKE THE CAKE POPS Melt the candy melts, dip a stick into the melted candy, and push into a cake ball. Repeat with all the sticks and cake balls. Let set. Dip each cake pop into the melted candy and tap off the excess.
If you are adding the stars, let the coated cake pop dry, then dab melted candy onto the cake pop with a toothpick and attach the stars.
Tip Sprinkle the chocolate balls over a bowl to catch the excess. You can then continue to sprinkle these over the cake pops with a spoon.
Recipe courtesy of Cake Pops by Helen Attridge and Abby Foy. Published by Spruce/Octopus, 2012.