Confession #17: I can’t help wanting perfection… Chocolate Chocolate Cake Pops

by alexandra

Post image for Confession #17: I can’t help wanting perfection… Chocolate Chocolate Cake Pops

I rarely make cake. I don’t know about you, but I’d feel guilty making a cake just for myself and my family without a special occasion. For that same reason I don’t often make a lot of “intense” desserts… usually I stick to chocolate chip cookies, which are pretty much my ultimate favorite dessert. But, since it was my sister’s birthday a couple weeks ago, we got to make some special goodies for her party. So… I took my first stab at making cake pops!

I was really excited to make these, because it was something new to try and because, with desserts, I feel like you get more into the “presentation” factor, of making it look pretty. That’s where my desire for perfection comes in. I so wanted to make these look perfect! I had only tried cake pops twice before… once was the Starbucks kind, and the other was one that my sister had made with store-bought cake mix and frosting. I knew I wanted to make ours from scratch though; I wasn’t raised to bake with mixes! I also noticed that there are very, very few cake pop recipes on the internet made completely from scratch, so now I get to share one with all of you :)

We used a family recipe for the chocolate cake, a cream-cheese frosting made from scratch to keep the cake pops together, and mouth-watering melted chocolate for the coating. With some sugar sprinkles on top, they came out so cute and were a huge hit at the party. What I love about them is the moistness of the chocolate cake, the solid chocolate on the outside, and the sugary crunch of the sprinkles on top. These pops aren’t hard to make, just a bit time-consuming. BUT, they’re also a lot of fun to make, especially if you get someone to do it with you!

Chocolate Chocolate Cake Pops 

With great advice from Bakerella and The Kitchn

(makes 40 cake pops)

Note: This recipe does make a lot of cake pops, so if you want less, I would split the recipe in half. That way, you’ll end up making one round pan of cake rather than two, and you can half the frosting and chocolate coating as well. Also, these cake pops freeze well, so if you have extra, keep them in the freezer and just pull one out when you’re ready to eat it. You can eat it really cold or wait a few minutes for it to soften a bit.

For the Cake (we call this Crazy Cake, because it’s made without butter or eggs):

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cocoa (preferably dark, dutch-processed)

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups water

 Oven Temperature: 350 F

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vanilla, white vinegar, oil, and water. Fold into dry ingredients until just combined.

3. Pour the batter into two greased, 9-inch round cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Make sure that a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean when the baking cycle has finished.

4. Once the cakes are finished baking, cover them with saran wrap and put them in the fridge to cool completely. Once they are almost ready, you can start making the frosting to help shape the cake into balls.

For the frosting: 

(from The Kitchn)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (you can just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds)

2 cups powdered sugar

4 tablespoons butter, softened (1/2 stick)

1 tablespoon milk

small pinch salt

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together all of the ingredients on high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

To put together the cake pops:

4 cups chocolate chips (bittersweet or semisweet)

40 lollipop sticks (you can find these at craft stores, like Joanne)

large block of Styrofoam, or preferably, a cake pop stand, also sold at Joanne

colorful sugar crystal sprinkles (optional)

1. Once the cakes have cooled and the frosting is ready, remove the cakes from the round pans and place them in a large bowl. Mash the cake up with a fork or spatula until it is crumbly and no large chunks of cake remain. The cake is very moist, so don’t worry if it still seems to stick together a bit. Add the frosting to the bowl and stir until well incorporated into the cake.

2. Using your hands, shape the cake into balls, about the size of a golf ball. Place on a plate covered in saran wrap (to prevent sticking). Once all of the cake has been made into balls, cover the balls with more saran wrap and place in the fridge to cool (we let ours cool overnight, so that we could finish the cake pops fresh on the day of the party). If you’re in a rush, you can just pop them in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. You’re goal is to make the balls set.

3. If using Styrofoam rather than a cake pop stand to hold the cake pops, use a lollipop stick to poke holes in your styrofoam, making sure to leave ample space between holes so the cakes pops won’t touch. I recommend doing this before you’ve made the cake balls into cake pops because this way, you can easily place each cake pop into a hole when it’s ready. Once the cake balls are firm from chilling, microwave the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted. Once melted, take the cake balls out of the freezer/fridge . One by one, dip each lollipop stick  about  an inch into the melted chocolate and gently stick into the cake pops still resting on the plate. Make sure the whole chocolate-covered part of the stick makes it into the cake pop, so the pop has enough support. When finished with this step, place the plate of cake pops, which should be upside down on the plate (stick side up) back into the freezer for about 10 minutes, until the melted chocolate on the stick has hardened and the sticks are stuck in the pops.

This is what your plate should look like before you stick it in the freezer:

4. If need be, stick the melted chocolate back into the microwave for a few seconds to melt more. Then, dip each cake pop into the melted chocolate at an angle, tipping the bowl if necessary to cover the cake pop completely, and gently tapping and rolling the cake pop in order to remove the excess chocolate. Then, sprinkle the cake pop with the sugar crystals and stick into the Styrofoam or cake pop stand to set. If one ball falls off of its stick, don’t worry about it! It can be a sample to taste! Once all of the cake pops have been coated, place the styrofoam/cake pop stand with the cake pops in the freezer to solidify. After the chocolate coating has hardened, you can put the cakes pops on a plate or in a ziploc; they’ll pretty much be resistant to breakage at that point.

Enjoy these cuties!

Linked To:

Sweet Tooth Friday

Foodie Friday

Something Swanky Sweet Treats

Weekend Show Off Party

frugalfeeding September 2, 2011

These look seriously amazing. They’ve been all over wordpress recently and these look as good as any, if not the best. Great recipe :D

alexandra September 2, 2011

Thanks so much! That means a lot to me to hear someone say that, because I spend a lot of time baking and blogging about it. It’s all really close to my heart if you know what I mean.

frugalfeeding September 2, 2011

Oh, not at all. It’s close to my heart too and they look fantastic, really.

alexandra September 2, 2011

Thanks :)

Liz F September 2, 2011

These look great! I’d love to try these for a party. Thanks for sharing!

alexandra September 2, 2011

Thank you! Let me know if you get the chance to make them!

And you’re welcome :)

Sasha @ The Procrastobaker September 3, 2011

Beautiful :) and i know i would eat far farrrr too many of these if i was given the chance!

alexandra September 3, 2011

Yup, you definitely have to have willpower! I just take one out (of the freezer) and forbid myself from going back to get another.

Thanks for the comment :)

Allison @ Alli n Son September 5, 2011

I love cake pops, but yours sound like perfection!

Thanks for stopping by Sweet Tooth Friday.

alexandra September 5, 2011

Thanks for the comment and thanks for hosting Sweet Tooth Friday! :)

The Poet Herself September 6, 2011

I like that you made them from scratch–you’re right that most of the recipes rely heavily upon boxed cake mix and even canned frosting. Nice job!

Visiting from Sweet Tooth Friday, BTW.

alexandra September 6, 2011

Thanks :)

I had to do some scavenging around the internet to figure out how to make these from scratch and do it well the first time around, so I tried to compile everything I learned so others will have an easier time with it!

Sylvia September 23, 2011

Glad to stumble across your recipe, will be trying it for a Death By Chocolate fund raiser for high school Drama Club and Dollars for Scholars. Thanks for posting

alexandra September 23, 2011

It makes my day to hear that! Let me know how it goes, or if you have any questions.

Michele Lozier September 23, 2011

I’m going to try making these for work tomorrow night..wish me luck. The last time I tried making cake pops I made them from the typical boxed cake/canned frosting recipe and they were disasterous!! But these look totally forbidden :-) and my co-workers will love them! Thanks for sharing. =]

alexandra September 23, 2011

You’re welcome! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you. Let me know how this attempt at cake pops goes!

Danielle DaVault September 27, 2011

Okay, I have got to say these are little bites of heaven. I made them into cake balls instead of pops. I shared them with some friends and already have several orders for parties. I also tried them with vegan cream cheese and vegan margarine and they still taste amazing. I had to add a few tablespoons of vegetable shortening to the vegan chocolate chips, but this is my new favorite recipe. Thanks for the inspiration!

alexandra September 28, 2011

Thank you! I’m so excited that you tried them out! Cake balls are definitely easier than cake pops if that’s the way you want to go. I think it’s great that you were able to experiment and make the adjustments you wanted. Thanks for letting me know that you liked the recipe!

KSKS October 7, 2011

Do you think it would work if I left out the cocoa powder to make them just plain vanilla!? :O

Please help! THANK YOU
p.s: THESE LOOK AWESOME!!!!

alexandra October 7, 2011

I would say it’s possible, although to be honest, I’m really not sure. I’ve never tried it. If you decide to try it though, let me know how it works out so I can share that answer with others!

Riley September 2, 2012

Hi! I was going to try out these cake pops because they look awesome but i was wondering how long you bake the cake for? Please answer as soon as possible! Thank you so much! :)

brighteyedbaker September 2, 2012

35 minutes! It’s on there, but I guess your eyes just hopped over it. ;) Let me know how you like them!

Riley September 2, 2012

Thank you so much! I see it now…whoops!! They turned out delicious! Time consuming but definitely worth it! I have been looking for a cake pop recipe from scratch and this one was wonderful! Thanks again! :)

pam January 16, 2014

I think if you leave out the cocoa you should add a dry ingredient to make up for it. Maca is a nutrient rich powder that works great with vanilla.

alexandra January 17, 2014

Thanks for the suggestion!

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