Last time I made cake pops, it was such a fiasco that I pushed all thoughts of cake pops from my mind. Every time I saw pictures of them, no matter how adorable, I resisted the urge to make them myself. However, my brother's birthday is today, and a while ago he informed me that cake pops were what he wanted me to make. I started to refuse, but then figured it had been a while and I've learned a few things since then, so may as well give it another try.
As with last time, I used a boxed cake mix to make my pops. The cake mix called for a cup of water, but my cake pop pan instructions said that for best results, I should substitute milk for water and cut the amount in half. So instead of one cup of water, I used one half-cup of milk. This made my batter thicker and I suspect that's where my problem came from.
Despite coating the pan generously with cooking spray, most of my cake balls broke in half as I opened the pan. I managed to salvage the equivalent of fifteen cake pops.
In order to be able to use the halves, I put melted white chocolate in between them, like a sandwich. There were a few that hadn't broken so I just put them on the sticks, using the melted chocolate as a glue. Then I let them all sit in the refrigerator for a while to set before I decorated them.
That is a Wilton cake pop decorating stand - much better than what I used last time, which was a styrofoam block that tipped over because my pops were too heavy.
This photo is just a close-up so you can see how I glued my cake pop halves together with chocolate.
After they set in the fridge, I started to decorate. I used green and blue food coloring and sprinkles. The finished product, though simple, looked very nice.
Some of the pops that had been glued together with chocolate were too heavy, so they began to come off their sticks when dipped in chocolate. To remedy this, I enlisted the help of my step-daughter. I held the pop together between its stick and a toothpick while she added the sprinkles.
This batch of cake pops, while simpler in design than my last batch, I found to be much more visually appealing - and a lot more fun to make. I think this is because last time I made them I had no idea what I was getting into. The internet made cake pops look so easy and adorable - I didn't know much about what I was doing, what supplies were needed, etc. There are a hundred different problems you can run into making cake pops, and though I've barely scratched the surface of the art of cake-pop making, I feel a lot more prepared. I know now that cake pops aren't as easy as they look and, what's more, I've learned to not let myself lose track of the fun that baking is supposed to be by comparing what I make with the masterpieces produced by others. There will ALWAYS be someone better than me, and that's ok! As long as I love what I'm doing, I will keep doing it.