I wanted to start simple, just to get a feel for the process of making the pops, so I started with a base of diet soda cake. My version is a twist on an old stand-by recipe from Weight Watchers (first introduced to me by my friend Aimee several years ago.) All you need for these is four ingredients:
|Add the diet soda to the cake mix. It will get very frothy initially.|
|Mix (in a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, in a box, with a fox) for 30 seconds on low, to combine.|
|Mix on high for 2 minutes, to make it smooth and creamy.|
|Pour into a 9x13 pan (or any pans you have available) that has been sprayed with Pam or spritzed lightly with oil. |
Bake according to directions on the box. I baked this for 28 minutes at 325.
Breaktime #1! Let the cake cool uncovered, overnight.
|When you return to the cake, hack into it with two forks, making the entire thing a mess of crumbs.|
|When all is crummy, add your frosting to the pan.|
|Wash your hands, please. And then... moosh. Moooosh the crumbs into the frosting. Mooooooosh.|
|Wash your hands, please. Then take a tablespoon scoop, and dole yourself some moosh and roll it into a little ball.|
|In fact, roll yourself 45 little balls. If it gets too gooey, pop the moosh into the fridge for 15 minutes. |
You can tell the freshly-fridged balls from the getting-warmer balls.
|Stick 'em up.|
Break #2! Let the pops sit in the freezer overnight.
|Oops. I added one ingredient to the mix in the first photo. |
What can I say? The bling-y sprinkles from Kake Kreations hopped into my basket.
|Heat up a double boiler and add some candy coating. |
(This is better for dipping than actual chocolate or white chocolate, which is a thicker liquid when melted.)
|Smooth as baby Charlotte's bottom. We assume.|
|Move the melted coating to a vessel which lets you can easily dip. |
I use the smallest bowl from our Crate & Barrel stackable mixing bowl set.
|Snag a pop from the freezer, and dip and swirl it around in the coating. |
Make sure that all parts, including the top of the stick, are thoroughly coated so the cake does not dry out.
|Decorate, if you wish.|
|The finished pops!|
I have stored ours in the freezer - I'm told that putting them in the fridge can sometimes cause coating to sweat and soften.
128 calories per pop!
Tom and I each had one today. They're not bad, but they're definitely cake-in-a-box-y. If you like cake-in-a-box, you'll like them. If you don't, you may find them to be too sweet. (I did.)
So, here enters my quest. I'll be swapping ingredients in and out as I experiment. I'm looking forward to trying some from-scratch recipes that are healthier. (The list of ingredients on a cake mix box are a bit scary. Uber-processed isn't how we eat these days.) I'll be trying out some unconventional add-ins (pumpkin!) and some unforeseen cake ball leave-outs (frosting!) to see how healthy I can make these without losing the yum factor. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for Cake Pop Quest: Part the Second!