Cake pops are a hit at our house. Red velvet for Christmas, strawberry and lemon in the summertime, carrot cake at Thanksgiving… the list goes on. The beauty of these little bite-sized cake snacks is there are limitless flavors and ways to decorate them!
To celebrate summertime and my daughter’s upcoming birthday, I’m going to show you how to make vanilla-dipped orange dreamsicle cake pops with drizzle. You need to know that I have tried just about every option out there, from the cake pop pans that bake the cake in preformed balls to rolling them myself as well as trying a wide range of dipping variations. This tutorial shows the simplest way I have found to make cake pops without sacrificing flavor.
What you’ll need:
1 sheet cake, baked
Cream Cheese Icing
Cake pop sticks
2 packages of Vanilla Almond Bark (found in the baking aisle)
Bake your cake. At Christmas, I make red velvet from scratch, but for Ashlyn’s birthday, I used a Betty Crocker orange cake. Both are delicious. Set it out to cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 tub of cream cheese icing with the baked cake. Mix with a beater until your cake holds together when formed into a ball. You can absolutely make your own icing as well. I make a buttercream for the red velvet that’s delicious. It’s totally up to you and your preference of flavors. For this, I used Betty Crocker pre-made cream cheese icing.
Roll the mixture into 1″ cake balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place your cookie sheet in the freezer for five minutes. You can leave these in the freezer as long as you need. I left these in overnight because I wasn’t going to dip them until right before her party. They will retain their moisture. Don’t worry.
Heat up your almond bark in the microwave for 30 seconds. Many brands come in a tray that is microwave safe, so you can just pop it in the microwave. If the brand you purchase doesn’t, just break up the bark into smaller pieces and put them in a glass measuring cup (or mason jar, in my case). Stir after 30 seconds then heat for another 30 seconds. You want the bark to be a smooth liquid that will drip off a spoon, so keep reheating for 10 seconds at a time until you reach the desired consistency. If you heated yours up in the provided tray, pour the liquid into a mug or glass measuring cup for dipping.
A friend recently told me that if you can’t find that right consistency, try adding some vegetable oil. It worked!!! Thanks to Creations by Lennie for that tidbit!
Remove your rolled cake balls from the freezer. Dip the end of a cake pop stick in the heated almond bark, then place it in one side of the cake ball going in about halfway. After all of your cake balls have sticks, replace in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Remove your cake pops from the freezer, and dip each one into your almond bark. When dipping, turn the cake pop upside down, fully immerse it in the almond bark then remove it. I hold it just above the measuring cup to allow any excess to drip off before placing it in my drying rack. I strongly suggest you don’t twist the cake pop or tap it on the edge or dip it more than once as this increases the likelihood that the cake pop will fall off the stick. (I may or may not have plenty of experience with this one…) Once you’ve dipped all of your cake pops, put them in the freezer for another 5 minutes to allow the almond bark to harden.
This is where you can get creative! Decorate your cake pops however you want. You can put sprinkles on before the almond bark cools, decorate your cake pops like animals or characters, use fondant … the possibilities are endless. For a simple drizzle, I heat candy melts (available anywhere cake supplies are sold: Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, etc.) in my chosen color in the microwave using the same process as the almond bark. Again, you want the consistency to be a smooth liquid, though, slightly thinner and more runny than your almond bark. To achieve this consistency, I typically heat the candy melts 10-20 seconds longer than I did the almond bark. I find it’s best to heat these in a glass measuring cup, though a mug will work as well. Again, add some vegetable oil. It helps!
Once heated, dip a spoon in the melts, let most of it run off then drizzle it over the tops of your cake pops in a zig-zag motion. After all of your pops have drizzle, place in the freezer for another 5 minutes to let harden fully.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you when everyone you know wants you to make these for the next friend or family gathering. They are delicious and an easy alternative to regular cake and icing. We’d love to hear how yours turn out, so leave us a comment below and enjoy!