“If you imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”
Ah, graduation time. It’s such a special time to enjoy with family and friends, and to really be proud of this huge accomplishment and milestone in your life. You did it! Now you should enjoy some cake pops, grad style 🙂
(P.S. sorry the photos aren’t great. These were my first ever cake pops- done a year ago, before I really tried to take pretty pictures of my baking. However, I still really wanted to share them because they are such an adorable thing to make for your special grad -and yummy too!)
The cake pops themselves can really be made out of any cake and frosting that you prefer. I made this one out of my carrot cake because it happens to be my favorite flavor of cake – and it holds its flavor well so that it doesn’t become unbearably sweet combined with all the frosting (I prefer cream cheese frosting) you’re going to use.
Bake a 9×13 inch sheet cake (You can follow my recipe here for the carrot cakes. This amount will be enough for the sheet cake.) Make cream cheese frosting.
Once cake is cooled, crumble the cake into a large bowl (I use my clean hands, or you can use a food processor for a few seconds. You can’t really use the edges of the cake which will be hardened too much, so you can just snack on those!) and add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup frosting and mix together with crumbs until you get a consistency that you can shape.To mix, you can use a spatula or your clean hands. You may need to add a bit more frosting if you still have crumbs left.
Next take some of the mixture in your hand and roll it into a 1.5 inch ball. Make as many pops as your combo of crumbs and frosting allows. ( I can usually get about 14-16) They will be very moist at this point.
Place the pops onto parchment paper and put them in the freezer for a couple hours.
1-2 bags of dark chocolate candy melts
1-2 Styrofoam blocks
Wilton’s candy eyes
Orange Air Head candy
Yellow star shaped sprinkles
Watermelon or cherry flavored sour belts candy
Lindt dark chocolate squares
mini chocolate chips
Reese’s mini peanut butter cups (not the mini mini ones but the classic minis wrapped in the gold foil)
Once you are ready to take your pops out of the freezer, begin melting your candy melts dark chocolate – do just 1/4 cup at this time, in 15 second intervals, mixing in between.
Now dip your candy stick into the chocolate and then into the cake pop so that it goes half-way through the pop and leaves a little circle of chocolate, sealing the stick in. Be very careful not to push it all the way through, or even to the top – because, unfortunately, in my experience, once you do that, when you try to cover the whole pop in chocolate it may just break your little pop in half. If you put it all the way through – don’t worry – you’ll have to remove the stick, reshape the pop, and put it back in the freezer and then try again.
Once all the sticks are in the pops, place them back in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Now melt more chocolate – about a cup at a time, still in 15 second intervals, and still mixing in between.
Let the chocolate cool a bit and meanwhile prepare the candy. For each pop, you’ll want two eyes, 2 star sprinkles, one lindt choco square. Cut the Reese’s cup in half and use the narrower upper half only (I found the whole cup was too heavy to stay on the pop. Also, make sure they are refrigerated and cold before you cut them – makes it less messy). Shape mini beaks out of the Airhead candy (see my pics for what they should look like. Doesn’t have to be perfect!) Now rip the sour belt into narrow strips about 1 inch long.
Take the pops out of the fridge. They should be pretty secure now. Take the stick and dip it pop first into the deep cup of chocolate, so that it is completely covered. Now remove it and swirl and shake it around a bit (not too hard) so that excess chocolate drips off. Place the stick into a prepared Styrofoam block. Now get to work right away on your candy, because the chocolate hardens pretty quickly. Attach the two eyes, the beak, the feet, and one mini chip a bit to the side at the top as an ear (the other imaginary ear is supposedly under the graduation cap!) Next dab some chocolate on the top of the pop (a bit to the side, since you have an ear – see the pictures for guidance) and attach the base of the graduation cap (open larger peanut butter side down, since we cut them in half earlier!) Now dab chocolate on top of the base of the cap and attach the lindt chocolate, design side down, at an angle. Dab a dot of chocolate at the top middle of the cap and attach the sour belt as the tassel. Once you have done this with all the pops, place them in the fridge for about an hour to fully harden.
Now take a big bite of wisdom out of that lil graduation owl cake pop!