Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Daughter

Today is our daughter, Erin's birthday and like my sister, she's miles away, but that didn't stop me from calling her at 3:30 a.m. (PST) this morning to sing "happy birthday" like my Dad did for me (even when I was married and had children!)  Erin told me this evening that Maddie said happy birthday, but  hasn't quite got down the singing part yet.

So, I thought about this dessert I had last week at a Vera Bradley event--a Cake Pop.  Basically, it's cake mixed with icing and covered with chocolate.  An ingenious idea and I'm thinking this will ship better than cupcakes!

The trick is to bake up your favorite cake in a sheet pan, let it cool and then crumble it into the icing.  Mix up  the cake and icing and form into balls.  After they chill you dip them in melted chocolate; it's that easy and just think of the combinations you can come up with.

Red Velvet Cookie Pops
Preheat oven 350F-degrees.  Use a 12" x 17" sheet pan.  Brush with melted butter, then line with parchment paper and brush with butter again.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 oz (2 T) red food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3 T cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 T white vinegar
In the bowl of the KitchenAid, using the whisk attachment, beat butter until fluffy.  Turn the mixer on low and gradually add the sugar, whisking until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and red food coloring and mix well.  Change to the paddle attachment.  
Sift the dry ingredients.  Measure the buttermilk and add the white vinegar to it.  Add one-third of the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk mixture, beat well.  Repeat, ending with adding the last one-third of the dry ingredients.  Beat to combine.  Pour into the prepared baking sheet and spread with an off-set spatula.
Bake in the preheated 350Fdegree oven for 5 minutes, then, lower the temperature to 325Fdegrees and bake another 15-18 minutes, just until the center springs back when touched (or use a toothpick to test for doneness-should come out clean).  Don't over bake.  Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan.

Meanwhile prepare the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese
6 T unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pecan flavoring

In the bowl of the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter thoroughly.  Add the extract and pecan flavoring (if using).  Add the confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Crumble the cooled cake and add, small amounts at a time, into the prepared frosting.
When all the cake has been added, the batter should resemble the consistency of cookie dough.
Use a two-tablespoon-sized scoop to measure up the dough.  Roll it into a ball and place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment.
Refrigerate the cake balls for at least 2 hours to chill thoroughly.  This recipe made 4 1/2 dozen balls.

While chilling, melt 3 cups of semi-sweet, bittersweet, or white chocolate over a double boiler.  Erin doesn't like white chocolate, so I mixed the semi-sweet and bittersweet.
Start by dipping a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate, then stick it into the cake ball.

Next, dip the cake ball into the melted chocolate and cover completely.  Shake the excess chocolate off and, then, turn it right-side-up.  I used a block of "oasis" (you can find it at a floral craft store, i.e. Michael's, Ben Franklin, etc.) to stick the cake pop in to set.
When they're completely set (you can refrigerate them to speed up the setting), wrap or place in a small gift bag and tie with ribbon.
It's just like eating a "cake truffle" and fun for adults, as well as, kids.  I hope that FedEx truck makes it to New Jersey tomorrow.  Enjoy!


  1. I've been wanting to try these too.... Pretty cute idea. I was thinking of making them for a Christmas party for where I work. (I may use a short-cut and get a cake mix. Not near as good as homemade though).

  2. Denise~You could easily make up the cake balls and freeze them before you dip them in chocolate. In fact, I bet easily 1-2 months before Christmas do this step. When you dip them in chocolate they'll set even faster.
    I will say, they're pretty good!

  3. Wonderful idea and looks tasty! You've given me a couple good ideas for my oldest daughter's wedding, they do not want a traditional wedding cake. Will have to check with my personal baker on this one!!

  4. These look so yummy! I'm definately doing these soon. Thanks.

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  6. Cupcakes on a stick... What's not to love!?! These are going to be added to my Christmas baking list this year for sure.

    Happy Birthday to Erin! She shares the month with my Dad who will be 76 on the 15th. :)

  7. Please excuse me for being late to the party here but I wanted to wish Erin a very happy happy birthday! The photo of Erin is so beautiful and her little one is darling! What a wonderful surprise to receive on her special day : ) With much love to you and your family xo

  8. Susan, that's a great idea. I like that! Freezing them would work great.

  9. Susan, as always, I enjoy reading your posts. We had a nice birthday with Erin, Mike and Maddie. She can really say "Happy Birthday"! These are really cute cake pops, just perfect for a sweet celebration. [Erin made an outstanding birthday carrot cake that we enjoyed!] Take care!

  10. Tess~I would have made Erin carrot cake pops, but I knew she had already made one for you all to celebrate. Love you, Susan

  11. Thanks mom for the delicious cake pops and for everything.
    They were a wonderful surprise and still enjoying them now!
    And thanks for the birthday wishes.

  12. The cookies taste as good as they look.

  13. Thanks honey, you posted under the wrong item:) but I love you anyway. xoxo