Friday, April 8, 2011

Cake Pops Quest: Part the First

All right!  As I mentioned yesterday, I'm on a quest to create the best-tasting recipe for cake pops for the least amount of calories.  I have been brainstorming several variations on the theme, and will be trying them out on several test audiences (family, friends, innocent bystanders) over the next few weeks.

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!


  1. This looks like so much fun! (And deliciousness!) I look forward to more stops on the cake ball journey.

    Also, I have to say that it makes me really *really* happy that you bought the bling sprinkles (blingkles?) I nearly commented about them on your last post, but I restrained myself. :3

  2. OMG, can't wait till they're perfected!

  3. Awesome idea and one near to my heart as I love me some cake pops ;) One way to slash calories is to add only half the frosting. The full tub really isn't necessary and it's much easier to handle with just the half. Adding the diet soda/pumpkin idea is a great idea to lessen the calorie count!!