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Candy Cane Cake Pops

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at cake pops ever since first stumbling upon Bakerella back in February of 2008, but it just never happened. To be honest, I think I was a little scared of how mine would actually turn out. Well, cross this one off the bucket list because it’s finally done!

And yes… I purposefully started with a simple design that promised to be, um… “forgiving” if my melted candy coating didn’t turn out quite so smooth and beautiful as Bakerella‘s. What better way to disguise lumpy cake balls than with a coating of crushed candy canes, right?!

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Well, the white candy melts turned out to be extremely cooperative (hooray!), so I was even able to create a 2nd “smooth” design, replacing the crushed candy canes with little accents of bright red candy melt stripes instead. (You still get the “candy cane” flavor on the 2nd design if you add peppermint extract to the cake batter.) And the “candy cane sticks“? They’re just regular white lollipop sticks wrapped with red ribbon!

Ready to try these yourself? Good, because they don’t just look cute – they’re seriously TASTY too! Instructional pictures + full recipe below…

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FOR THE CAKE POPS:

Bake cake according to box instructions. Add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract to the batter (optional). Let cake cool completely, then crumble it into a large bowl.

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Mix in almost an entire can of frosting (about 4/5 of a can).

Candy Cane Cake Pops

I started off using a large wooden spoon to mix the cake and frosting together, then switched to my hands, as Bakerella suggested. Using your hands gets the job done so much quicker – but be warned that it’s MESSY!

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Roll the cake-frosting mixture into quarter size balls and place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet or another flat dish that will fit into your refrigerator or freezer. The batter should make between 45-50 balls.

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Note: The batter is very sticky and tends to stay to your hands when you’re rolling the balls. I did a quick rinse & dry on my hands several times during the rolling process because I found that the cake balls rolled out much smoother when my hands were batter-free and slightly damp, as water helps to keep the batter from sticking.

Chill in the fridge for several hours. If you’re in a hurry, use in the freezer instead. You just want to get them firm enough to hold their shape during the warm-candy-dipping process.

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When you’re ready to coat the cake balls, melt white candy melts (similar to white chocolate) as per instructions on the bag. I melted an entire bag in 1-minute intervals at 50% power twice (mixing in between each interval) then at 30 second intervals until the consistency was nice and smooth.

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Dip just the tip of your lollipop stick in a little bit of the melted candy and insert them into the cake balls, a little less than half way.

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Place the pops back in the freezer for a bit to firm up (which happens pretty quickly).

Once firm, carefully dip the entire cake ball into the candy coating and rotate until the cake ball is fully covered.

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Rotate and softly tap the covered cake pop to help the excess chocolate drip off.

Candy Cane Cake Pops

While the coating is still wet, roll the cake ball in a bowl of crushed candy canes. Cover just half-way or completely – whichever you prefer.  (Skip this step for the “smooth” design.)

Candy Cane Cake Pops

Insert the sticks into a sheet or block of styrofoam to dry. (Note: the following pic was taken after I also decorated the sticks.)

Candy Cane Cake Pops

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FOR THE CANDY CANE STICKS:
6″ Lollipop sticks + thin red ribbon = Candy Cane Sticks. Easy! Just wrap the ribbon diagonally and secure both ends with the tiniest dab of hot glue (watch the fingers!). You can also use clear-drying tacky glue. This might sound like a lot of work but it goes surprisingly quick and gives you nice bonus points for presentation!

Candy Cane Cake Pops

You can decorate the sticks before or after you make the cake pops. I started off decorating them before, got distracted by something else, then forgot about the sticks and went straight into the dipping process, so most of my sticks were decorated after. It worked out fine though!

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For a cute dessert table display, cover the styrofoam with fake snow!

Candy Cane Cake Pops

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PEPPERMINT CANDY CANE CAKE BALLS

{inspired by Bakerella‘s cake pops}

YOU’LL NEED:
– 1 box white cake mix (baked as directed on box)
– 1 can vanilla frosting
– 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
– White Candy Melts – 2 bags
– Candy Canes, crushed
– Red Candy Melts – 1 bag (optional, used only for design #2)
– Styrofoam – sheet or blocks
– 6″ white Lollipop Sticks
– Red Ribbon
– Hot Glue (or clear-drying tacky glue)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Here are Bakerella’s original cake pop instructions, (with my addition of crushed candy canes on step #8):

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (I use the back of a large spoon, but it may be easier to use fingers to mix together. But, be warned, it will get messy. Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
4. Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
5. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
6. Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
7. Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
8. While still wet, roll cake pops in crushed candy canes (for design #1)*
9. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

* For Design #2, (the “smooth” design) let dipped cake pops dry, then add a few red Candy Melt stripes on top. Using a zip-loc bag with a tiny piece of one corner snipped off, drizzle the melted red candy back and forth across the top of each cake pop.

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Candy Cane Cake Pops

These are awesome for holiday dessert tables or party favors… and if you’re short on time, you can skip the sticks altogether and just make candy cane cake balls. They’ll still look pretty darn cute – just like little cake truffles!