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Confessions of a Cake Pop Hater: One Year Later

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Now that we have cleared up a few things about making cake pop dough and rolling cake pops (see here) and my love of a good #40 scoop, it’s time to talk about dipping cake pops.

Over a year ago when I sat down to write my first blog entry, I never thought I would wait 3 months to publish it and then another seven months before I wrote another post.

I envisioned a place where I could vent about the things that bug me in the world of dessert decorating. Turns out when I actively take time to record the steps of a project, I have found that the opposite is often true. I have begun to appreciate more of the work I put into things and the little joys I discover when working on an edible (or craft) project.

For example, my above reference to a #40 scoop. 🙂 I never realized how often it is my go-to scoop of choice, so now I make sure to poke fun at myself when I reach for that handy tool.

It’s also crazy how many things I work on that I don’t write blogs about. Even when I am not baking for a client, I am never bored.

I am currently obsessed with Lego design and creations. If I ever actually figure out a new building design, I am sure I will write about it. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the analytical process of figuring out how the design and engineering behind Lego buildings work. (When I am not baking, of course.)

It has been a year of adventure and learning new things, but it is time to circle back to the beginning and work on those cake pops once again.

They still are not my favorite thing to make, but maybe I don’t hate them quite so much anymore… maybe. 🙂

Melting the candy coating and dipping cake pops has always been more of an instinctual process for me than a repeatable step-by-step project.

Sometimes the coating does what it is supposed to right away, and sometimes I have to fuss with it to get to it to the proper temperature and consistency.

Here’s what I know about melting candy coating:

  1. Always melt the candy coating in the microwave at 20% or 30% power for 30 seconds at a time. Slow and steady is the best chance to get it right the first time. (A double boiler works too, but keep an eye on the coating to avoid overheating.)
  2. It is always a good idea to have paramount crystals handy. I prefer to melt mine in a jar and stir it in only if I know I need it. If the coating always has issues, the crystals can be added at the beginning of the melting process. When I add whole crystals to coating that is already melted, I can never get them to melt all the way and find little lumps stuck to my cake pops.
  3. The perfect temperature is barely warm when you touch it.
  4. The coating should easily drizzle from a spatula and settle when shaken. (See my sad attempt at a video below.) I usually compare the consistency to cold chocolate syrup.
  5. The way I make cake pops, I can dip them at room temperature. If they have been in the freezer or fridge, I let them come all the way to room temperature before dipping. If they are at all cool, I find I get more cracks in the coating to occur. (Cake pops made with other methods that are too gooey will not be dippable at room temperature.)
candy coating after a few rounds of low power microwave melting
starting to melt, but not there yet
there are still lumps, so not there yet
Everything is melted, but it was still too thick (and a little too hot), so it had a cool a little and get some added pre-melted paramount crystals.
my melted paramount crystal jar

Here is a (terrible) video of what I consider to be the correct consistency for dipping.

Somewhere in the course of the melting process, I decide the coating is melted enough to put sticks in the cake pops. So, I dip about 1/2″ of a stick into the coating.

As I gently insert the stick into the rolled cake dough, I twist the stick. This reduces the chance of creating a crack in the dough ball. The sticks get pushed in about 3/4″.

After all the sticks are attached, I finish melting the coating. I then transfer the melted coating to a deep container (like an 8oz mason jar or a deep coffee mug).

To dip the pops, I carefully invert the pop over the melted coating.

If the pop resists sliding into the coating, I have to wiggle the pop a little.

I slowly pull the pop back out of the coating, and tap it on the side of the container to remove excess coating. I hold the pop at as steep of an angle as possible, so there is less risk of the cake pop taking a dive off the stick into the coating container. (I have made close to 4000 cake pops at this point, sometimes it just happens anyway.)

The video below shows a successful dipping attempt. (I was also playing with cake pops on top of mini ice cream cones that day.) If I am drying them upright, I put them in a cake pop stand or stick them into an upside down egg carton.

If I am adding sprinkles, I do that before the coating sets. Otherwise, I let the coating harden completely before adding any other decorations.

Cake pops are not easy, and it has taken a lot of time and practice to get results I am happy with most of the time. It takes patience, and that was a hard lesson to learn.

One year later, and I still make cake pops.

Maybe by this time next year they will finally be out of style.

(fingers crossed)

Hoping your cake pop pursuits stay sweet!


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