With Thanksgiving right around the corner (aka tomorrow!), I’m loving all of the pumpkin, sweet potato, and spicy desserts that are ubiquitous this time of year. If you guys are looking for super easy, delicious fall recipe, definitely check out my pumpkin cupcakes that I made a few years ago. For me, it’s a go-to staple now! I’m currently working on letter W (there’s a special component/extra for this one that I am SO excited to share with you), but for now, I don’t want to leave you empty handed for Thanksgiving. So, for the first time ever, here’s a non-cupcake recipe for you guys!
Cake Pops (can be adapted to almost any cupcake recipe/flavor!)
Pumpkin Cake Pops
1. Bake the cupcakes according to the original recipe. Let cool.
2. Add about a dozen cupcakes (removed from their wrappers) to an empty stand mixer.
3. Before mixing, add in about 1/4 cup of frosting. Turn the mixer on and best until well incorporated (but don’t over mix, as you don’t want it to be mushy). Add in small amounts of frosting if the mix is too dry and still crumbling. However, the mixture doesn’t need to be smooth in the stand mixer; even if there are crumbs or it doesn’t look moist enough, try forming a cake pop ball first to see if it will stick together. So long as there’s enough frosting for the ball to keep its form, you’re fine. If you add too much frosting, the cake pops will be too dense and won’t have a nice texture.
4. Roll the cake/frosting mixture into balls, about the size of golf balls. Stick on a baking sheet and put in freezer for about half an hour.
5. Take the cake balls out and also get your cake pop sticks ready. Melt a small amount of white chocolate or candy melts, and dip the the last centimeter of the sticks into the melted chocolate. Insert the coated ends into the cake pops and stick them back into the freezer for another 15 minutes.
6. Melt white chocolate or candy melts in a microwave proof bowl that is big enough for you to submerge or at least twirl part of the cake pops in. If your candy coating is too thick even when melted (and is pulling the cake off of the stick or causing it to break), try adding a small amount of coconut oil to thin it down. I work in smaller batches of about 1/2 – 3/4 cups chocolate melted at a time just so I don’t end up melting more than I use. It cools and thickens eventually, but I just pop it back into the microwave.
7. After lightly coating the cake pops (you don’t want it to be too thick, otherwise the cake to coating ratio will be off), you can either lay them stick-up on a baking sheet to cool , or you can get a clean block of styrofoam and poke the sticks into that, so the balls cool upright and remain perfectly smooth. (I poke holes ahead of time so that it’s easier to get the sticks in; just make sure that you space the holes far enough apart so that the bigger, top heavy cake pops don’t hit each other). Using styrofoam is definitely more work though, and the cake pops will still taste just as delicious even if they harder on a baking sheet.
8. If you feel like it, you can add some food coloring to the coating and pipe some squiggly lines over the tops for decoration, or you could use sprinkles, dark chocolate, or nothing at all!
These cake pops have been one of my biggest hits with friends and family. And honestly, they started from a mistake! I had over baked a batch of cupcakes, plus I also had some extra frosting on hand, and I just didn’t feel like wasting so much food (not to mention the time I had put into making them!) One of the reasons why I LOVE cake pops is because they’re great for using over baked/mess-up cupcakes. If you ever have cake that is just too dry to use for cupcakes, make them into cake pops and nobody will ever know! If the texture is weird, the cupcakes are sort of ugly, or you just have extras, make them into cake pops. Honestly, I don’t know if I would normally make cake pops from scratch without leftover cake because they do take a bit of work/a lot of steps. However, they’re so convenient for hiding baking mistakes, and you can use this basic recipe/technique with any flavor of cupcakes that you make! So, while I particularly love these pumpkin cake pops, especially around thanksgiving, please consider making cake pops any time you have a baking misstep, as they’re a delicious way to save some cake and impress your friends.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!