Halloween Treat #4: Ghostly Red Velvet Cake Pops

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Hello, dear readers.  No, you are not experiencing time in a weird, Night Valean way — I am in fact posting a recipe a full five days after its expected posting date.  Why?  Because this recipe took me almost an entire week and made me come very, very close to having a nervous breakdown.

As I will explain in detail in another post, cake pops are evil, especially if you’ve never made them before.  They require you to know a bunch of little tips and tricks that are essential to the cake pop-making process.  So, before we get started, here are a few tips to ensure a successful cake pop.

  1. Make peace with the fact that, unless you have a special appliance, your cake pops will not be perfectly round.  They just won’t.
  2. If you use a silicone mold like I did, click here for extra information on how to use it.
  3. Before adding sticks to your cake balls or dunking them in candy melts, chill them for several minutes beforehand.  This will be a life-saver.
  4. You will need to thin your candy melts a little.  To do this, stir in a little vegetable oil as you melt them.  The candy melts should drizzle freely from your spoon.
  5. Allow your melted candy melts to cool slightly.  The dunking process works best when they’re closer to room temperature.
  6. Dunk your cake pop in with one smooth gesture, making sure the candy melts completely cover the ball.  Do not dunk over and over or dab — the cake ball will fall over the stick, bringing you nothing but heartache.
  7. Fondant goes a long way when you roll it out thin enough.
  8. Get a Styrofoam piece to use as a drying rack.  Once you’ve dunked your cake pop, insert it into the Styrofoam.  This is so much better than filling endless glasses with cake pops.

Now, if you feel that you are mentally prepared for this most ghastly of treats, I invite you to keep reading and try your hand at your own Ghostly Red Velvet Cake Pops.

First, let’s gather our ingredients.  For this recipe, you’ll need a box of red velvet cake mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil, white candy melts, royal icing of some kind (or cookie icing), orange and black food dye, and fondant.  You’ll also need cake pop sticks (the thick ones are best) and a silicone cake pop mold.

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Ingredients

  • Box of red velvet cake mix (the moister, the better)
    • Whatever ingredients the cake box says you’ll need.  I used:
      • 3 eggs
      • 1 cup water
      • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 24 oz white candy melts
  • At least 4 oz royal icing/cookie icing
  • At least 4 oz fondant
  • Black and orange food dye

First prepare the cake.  Preheat your oven to whatever temperature the cake box says (I used 350 degrees Fahrenheit.)  Then add the cake mix, eggs, water, and vegetable oil to a bowl.

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Mix well until there are no more lumps.  Scrape the bottom periodically.  You should have a smooth batter.

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Now add approximately 1 tablespoon of the batter to your silicone cake pop molds.  Make sure you add the batter to the side without a hole and don’t overfill them.

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Place the top of the mold on and pinch it closed to form a seal.  Bake the cake pops as long as the cake box says cupcakes should cook.  Mine took 16 minutes.  This recipe will make a lot of cake balls — approximately 80!

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Allow the cake balls to cool and then place in the refrigerator to chill.  This is also when you’ll want to chill your cake pop sticks.

Now we make the candy melt dipping.  Pour your candy melts into a deep bowl and melt according to the packaging.  Generally, you’ll put them in the microwave, cook for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat as necessary.  Remember that you’ll want to thin it with a little vegetable oil so it’s easier to dip in.

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Once the candy melts are ready, dip your cake pop sticks into a little and insert them into the cake balls.  This will help the sticks adhere to the cake pops as you’re dipping them.  One you’re finished, place them in the fridge to chill.

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As they chill, you can take them out one at a time and begin dipping them.  Remember to dip them completely in the candy melts, spooning candy over them if the bowl isn’t deep enough.

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Remove the cake pop from the candy melts in one smooth motion and gently tap on the side of the bowl to remove excess candy melt.  Rotate the cake pop as you do so so it’s even.

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Do this over and over again until you either lose the will to live, run out of candy melts, or have all the cake pops you need.  You will end up with a mini forest of cake pops (which you can either store to harden in glasses or in a Styrofoam board in the fridge).

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If you have excess candy melt/cake balls/don’t want to make all of your cake balls into cake pops, you can drizzle some of the candy melt onto your cake balls.  The best way to do this is to put the candy melt in a plastic bag, snip off a tiny corner of the bag, and squeeze out the candy melt in any pattern you like.  It will be super cute.

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At this point, you can either declare yourself done (a wise move) or decorate your cake pops.  The easier (and most artisanal) way is to drizzle on royal icing/cookie icing/candy melts in the color of your choice.  I made black and orange cookie icing by squeezing some cookie icing in a bowl, mixing in the food dye of my choice, stirring it, and then decorating via the plastic bag method.  They turned out really cute.

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However, if you truly want to make Ghostly Red Velvet Cake Pops, you’re going to need some fondant.  This is another time-consuming activity so be forewarned.

First, roll out a chunk of fondant the size of your palm.  Get it about 1/8″ thick (so pretty thin).

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Then, using either a small bowl or wide-mouthed glass, make circles in it big enough to cover your cake pops.

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Cover your cake pop with the fondant circle, wrinkling it to give it a sense of movement.  Add a few dots of black cookie icing/royal frosting/candy melts, and you’re done!  You now have a slightly soul-crushing but very, very cute treat.  Enjoy!

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