A couple weeks ago, I attempted to make cake pops for the very first time. I teased them a little earlier this month, but I thought I’d post the recipe and results here to the blog.
- 1 bottle Guinness
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup baking cocoa
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 container chocolate frosting
- 2-3 bags candy melts*
- lollipop sticks*
- wax paper
- styrofoam block, strainer, or cake pop stand
The first thing you’ll want to do is make your Guinness cake. I used a round, 8-inch cake pan, but any cake pan will do. The 8-inch pan was a little too small for the cake I made — it didn’t cook through all the way — but it made for moister cake pops, which turned out to be great!
Grease the pan with a little butter and then dust some flour over the surface. You don’t need to worry too much about getting the cake out of the pan in one piece, but greasing the pan will help a lot because this cake likes to stick to the insides of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, heat the butter and 1 cup of the beer until the butter melts. Save the rest of the bottle to sip on as you bake your delicious cake pops. Once you have your mixture of butter & beer (not to be confused with Butterbeer), pour it into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar and cocoa until blended. Then, add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla, and whisk them into the mixture. Finally, whisk in the flour and baking soda until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. I let mine bake a little longer since I used such a small pan, but use a toothpick inserted into the center to see if it’s cooked through. Mine didn’t quite cook all the way through.
Allow the cake to cool completely. Use this time to finish the rest of the bottle of Guinness.
Once the cake is cooled completely, flip the cake pan over a large mixing bowl and dump the cake in. Use a knife to cut it into large pieces, then crumble it with your hands. Add about half the can of frosting and mix it into the cake with your hands.
My cake was really moist, so I only needed to add half a can of frosting. Add more if you need to — test it by trying to make a ball with the cake and see how well it holds together. If it crumbles easily, add more frosting!
Now it’s time to make cake balls! Roll the mixture in your hands into quarter sized balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.
Melt your candy melts as per the instructions on the package. For this step, you don’t have to melt all the candy melts, as we’re just using it to stick the lollipop sticks into the cake balls. Dip the stick into the melted candy and then stick it about halfway into the cake ball.
Once you’ve stuck sticks into all the cake balls, put the tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes to let the candy harden and the cake balls firm up.
Now you can melt the rest of the candy melts and start coating the cake balls. It’s easiest to melt the candy melts in a fondue pot or a double boiler, but I’m not lucky enough to own one of those. I tried at first melting the candy using the microwave method described on the package, but the candy didn’t stay melted for long, so I improvised my own double-boiler:
Still not perfect, but it made the process much faster! I found it easiest to scoop up the melted candy and spread it onto the cake balls. Try to hold the cake pops upright as much as possible while you coat them because the frosting makes them heavier and more likely to fall off the sticks.
When you’re done coating them, stand them upright by sticking the sticks into a styrofoam block, or using a cake pop stand or a strainer, or really anything you can find with small holes in it. We tried using styrofoam, which didn’t really work out, and ended up using the bottom of our steamer to stand up the pops. I’m sure an actual cake pop stand would be ideal if you can find one, but, as you can see, not necessary.
That’s it! Now just be patient and wait until the candy coating dries, and enjoy your cake pops!
If you’re having a lot of trouble with the balls falling off the sticks, just make cake balls instead! Roll the balls in the candy coating and lay them out on wax paper to dry. They are just as tasty, I promise!
These aren’t quite as fancy looking as a lot of cake pops you might see online, but they are delicious, and you don’t need any fancy kitchen equipment to make them!
*I found my candy melts and lollipop sticks at Michaels. You should be able to find them at most craft stores. There are tons of colors, and even flavor packs you can add to the candy melts. I picked red and yellow because I was going to watch the USC game with friends, and they were white-chocolate flavored, which went nicely with the rich chocolate cake. Michaels has a lot of cake pop baking accessories you can get, too, if you feel so inclined, but you don’t need to in order to make delicious cake pops.