Friday, July 22, 2011

Misadventures in Cake Pop Making

So we've been following the great Bakerella for awhile now and we haven't had the courage to tackle cake pops, but we finally decided to just go for it and let's just say things didn't go quite how we imagined. We thought (naively) that they wouldn't be too hard. After the day we had, we definitely ate our words and now have even more respect for what Bakerella does. So sit tight and let Sugi spin you a tale of frustration, a complete mental meltdown, the Great Chocolate Fiasco of 2011, and the eventual second wind that led us to finish the darn things. 

Our day started with bright optimism as we had been looking forward to finally getting around to making cake pops. We had a solid plan for our day; I had baked red velvet cake and made cream cheese frosting the night before, we had all our supplies gathered, we had picked a theme (the minions from Despicable Me) and we were happy and full of energy. 

Things started off great as we had no problem with the first few steps of Bakerella's basic cake pop instructions. As our little minions sat chilling we decided to melt our chocolate. This is where our day started falling apart. I ended up overcooking the chocolate and we had to wait until Ai's boyfriend got off work to make another run to the store for more. At this point we weren't too worried about things. We decided to move on and make the eyes and hands for the minions. We used marshmallow fondant we made using this recipe and since fondant is like clay we had no problems at all.

With nothing left to do for awhile we took a break to make and eat dinner. Afterwards, Ai's boyfriend arrived like a wonderful chocolate angel with LOTS of chocolate. We were finally able to get back to work and were again optimistic. We were excited when the chocolate melted beautifully, however this joy was short lived. We added yellow gel food coloring to the chocolate and it made it super thick! We had a moment of panic, but after reading the directions on the back of the chocolate realized we could save it with vegetable shortening! 

So with our chocolate salvaged we were once again optimistic and excited to start dipping our little minions. And again our hopes were squashed. The minions were not turning out nice at all! Our chocolate was still thick even after we added more vegetable shortening. We decided to just keep going and keep dipping these ugly little things. As we let the chocolate set on the pops, we realized that many of them were cracking! At this point in the night, we were completely heartbroken, cursing like sailors, and vowing to never touch another cake pop again. 

I'm not quite sure what made us decide to continue working; maybe it was because we had already invested so much in the pops, or how late it was getting, or how far gone our minds were at this point. So after making some royal icing to use as glue and decoration, we trucked on like the stubborn fools that we are and actually started decorating the pops. After all the hiccups we had, turns out our cake pops weren't half bad. We even started joking that even when we fail we win and that it was because we drink Tigerblood, that duh, we were winners! 

Okay so enough of this boo hoo, poor us story. I'm sure you're all just curious to see the pictures. So on to the pictures folks! 

The minions! We forgot to get styrofoam blocks for the pops and improvised with dixie cups. haha

See we really did put them on lollipop sticks!

Mmmmm red velvet brains! 

Ai made amazing Mario Piranha Plants! 

We made some random pandas and a strawberry!

Ai made a cute little pig! 

So at the end of the day we actually did have a lot of fun making the pops. This whole experience was one we definitely learned from and we decided that we would like to make cake pops again! So before we sign off here are the things we learned and hopefully you won't repeat any of our mistakes:
  • If it is your first time making cake pops, it's probably a good idea not to be too ambitious with your design. (Overestimating our skills is obviously our fatal flaw! >_<) 
  • Vegetable shortening is your best friend when it comes to working with chocolate! Keep adding some in until your chocolate runs like a smooth stream off a spoon. Towards the end of our dipping session we actually dipped really smooth pops after we had added more shortening. 
  • NEVER put gel food coloring into white chocolate, use liquid food coloring instead.
  • Bakerella is some kind of magical Cake Pop Wizard Queen! She is just sooooo amazing at what she does! 
  • As long as you're with your best friend a giant fiasco will turn into something to laugh about.
  • If all else fails take a shot of Tigerblood! It'll definitely make you a winner! 


  1. You guys are amazing!! I love those things!!! Bakerella totally needs to put those minions on her website!!

  2. Thanks Thao! We emailed her so hopefully she sees it!

  3. Omg!! You guys are so funny & awesome!! I'd love to join baking and decorating with you guys one day :)I miss you guys!!
    <3 cassie

  4. @Cassie...we miss you too! we were actually saying it'd be really fun to do this stuff with you!

  5. They look AWESOME for first attempts!

    Just wanted to add that you need to use oil-based colours (Americolor Candy Colors) rather than liquid or gel - both of these are water-based and will make your chocolate seize.


  6. @Cake Pop Princess

    Thank you so much for the compliment and tip! Although I don't think we'll ever make cake pops again. lol We've done them only one other time after this little misadventure.