The Bakerella Within

Have you ever visited The Bakerella‘s website?   No?   Well, what are you waiting for?   To say Bakerella is just a baker is like saying that Pavaratti was just a singer.   That Target is just a store.   That Oklahoma! is just a musical.

Bakerella is a such an effortlessly wonderful baker that she makes me think I, too, am an effortlessly wonderful baker.   So on Saturday I went to Michael’s to gather all the supplies I’d need to attempt Bakerella’s cake pops.   I wanted to make pumpkin cake pops.   So festive and they really seemed so easy.

Beanie and I first cleaned the kitchen together so that we had a clear work surface.   Chris faked a massive heart attack when he saw me actually cleaning, but I told him not to be such a smart ass and so he hid out in the backyard for the rest of the day.

I only call someone a smart ass when I’ve got on my serious pants.   And Chris is scared of me when I’m wearing my serious pants.

I asked Bean if he was ready to work some cake pop magic.   He assured me that he was wearing his serious pants, too, and he was up to the challenge.   And then he called me a smart ass and so we had to take a time out and talk about our language.

After that, I was ready.   The cake pops start out by baking a box cake mix.   Whenever a recipe’s first step is a box cake mix, I feel really good because I can actually make a cake from a cake box mix.   This usually makes me think that I can make whatever comes next in the recipe because I’ve already made a cake.   But I’ve really only made a box cake.

Its a false sense of accomplishment.   And I blame Bakerella.

The most fun part of the recipe comes next.   You take your beautiful box cake and you crumble it up in a mixing bowl.   And it looks like this when you’re done…

Well, actually.   Yours will have about twice this much crumbled cake because I ate half the cake as I crumbled it.

Once the cake is crumbled, the fun really starts.   You take one tub of cream cheese frosting…

And mix it up with the crumbled cake.

The good news is that since I ate half of the crumbled cake, I had to eat half the tub of icing, too.   Otherwise the proportions will be off.   And a good baker sticks with correct proportions.   And I’m nothing if I’m not a good baker.

And P.S.   I eat icing right out of the tub.   Sometimes with a spoon.   Sometimes without.

When you’ve added the frosting to the crumbled cake, you roll up your sleeves and start mushing it all together.

TWO IMPORTANT WARNINGS:

Warning #1:   This is incredibly messy and your hands will feel disgusting.

Warning #2:   You will eat half of the crumbled cake/icing mixture as you mush.   Better have a big glass of milk on hand.

Once its all mixed together into a mushy pile of heavenly goodness, I suggest you take a minute (or 47) to clean your work station.   This should include digging chocolate cake mush out from under your fingernails.

I wonder how many hours of her life Bakerella has spent digging cake out from under her fingernails.   And I wonder how many cakes you could make from all the cake under her fingernails?   These are the thoughts that fill my day.

BACK TO THE MUSHY PILE OF HEAVENLY GOODNESS…

You then take the mush and start rolling it into little balls.   I was all over this because this step is just like when I make Chris’ favorite cookie.   Its so freaking messy and your hands get every more disgusting.   I did discover that if your hands were a little damp, the mush didn’t stick to them quite as bad.   But I never did figure out how to keep my face mush-free when I stuck it down in the bowl for a little snack.   I’ll get back to you on that.

Once all the balls have been rolled, you take your little lollipop sticks from your lollipop-making kit from Michaels….

…You then take the lollipop sticks and stick them into the balls.   Now you have cake pops!

Now you put your cake pops into the fridge so they can get good and strong and firm.   Because the NEXT step is to coat them in candy.

After I put my pops into the fridge to firm up, I checked in with my sous chef.   Beanie had set up shop in his high chair.   As a sous chef, his responsibilities are super important.   He has to chew on his freaky rattle with the balls on its head.   He has to try to get his feet in his mouth with the high chair tray in his way.   He has to blow raspberries.   I mean, its a tough life for a sous chef.

With my sous chef taken care of, I turned to the candy coating for my cake pops.   They are made by melting these candy chips down over a double boiler.

(Dear Bakerella – In your recipe for these cake pops, could you please explain how to use a double boiler?   I did not know what a double boiler was or how to use it.   This resulted in Chris trying to tell me how to do it.   Which further resulted in me trying to kill him.   At the last minute, I decided there would be less legal mumbo jumbo if I just kicked him out of my kitchen.   In short, it would benefit my marriage if you just included the double boiler instructions in your recipe.   Thanks.)

This is the point in my story where the poo hits the fan.

I take my cake pops out of the fridge.   I take my first pop and begin to roll it around in the melted candy.   Only, it didn’t work like I expected it to.   The chocolate was too thick and the pops weren’t firm enough.   The cake pops fell apart in the chocolate.

Then I cried.

Then I picked up another cake pop and tried again.   Same thing happened.

And then I cried some more.

Now, lets all take just a moment and bow our reads in silence over the half a dozen cake pops that were sacrificed this afternoon.

We lost a lot of good pops today.   But I’m not giving up.   I will stay the course.   I will persevere.   I will conquer the cake pops.

This is not The End.

This is to be continued…



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41 thoughts on “The Bakerella Within

  1. Ashley

    Saying a quick prayer for you!! Cant wait to see the continued version 🙂 Such a cute idea!

  2. Keep trying! I’ve attempted them once, I think that I froze my pops, which helped them to maintain their shape. Don’t give up! Keep us posted, and thanks for the laughs EVERYDAY!

    (long time lurker, first time replier)

  3. I’ve always wanted to make those but have been far to scared and intimidated to do so. One of these days I’ll buck up and give it a go. You made a good effort!

  4. One of these days, I am going to try these!

  5. Shannon

    That is such a cute idea, I’m definitely going to try this sometime soon. I didn’t see the original recipe from Bakerella, but maybe freezing them for a little while before coating them would help?

  6. Jenn

    seriously, good luck!! i tried the same thing a few months back and well, here’s what happened to me: http://frostedbyjenn.blogspot.com/2009/03/because-everyone-fails-sometimes.html they are much harder than they look!!

  7. Zoe

    I’ve never heard of these, but they look so fun!

  8. Laurel

    Kate, I have that same necklace. It is a little more appropriate for you, but I love it! Adam gave it to me for Christmas one year, then the earrings for my birthday. I wear them almost every day!

  9. Oh no! Baking disasters are so disappointing. If you’re looking for seasonal and delicious, you may want to try pumpkin cupcakes. I made some last week and they were ridiculously good.

    I am also a huge fan of Martha Stewart’s baking recipes. Her instructions are well-written, and I have grown to trust the recipes. (It was her pumpkin cake recipe I used last week.)

    I see that Kitchen Aid behind you, Katie. Put it to use! They’re so fun. Plus, there are starving women all over the world who don’t have Kitchen Aid mixers. . .

  10. Mel

    I’ve visited Bakerella’s website and I think cake pops are a-mazing. I also think that I would totally screw them up. You had me all inspired to try them out and convinced that I could do it…….until the end. Next time will be better! You can do this. I can’t decide if you actually wanted double boiler instructions or not. I’m going to tell you anyway and just ingore me if you do know how do this already. Find two pans that stack together. Put water in the bottom one, put the second one inside it, and then put the choclate into the second one. It helps the chocolate melt without burning. Freezing the cake pops or leaving them in the fridge overnight sounds like a good idea. If I make this I will blog about it and post pictures.
    P.S. Hi I read your blog and I never comment. I think you have the cutest baby on the entire face of the earth. : )

  11. I think some of my MIL’s biggest baking flops have turned into our favorite desserts! For example: She makes a Tollhouse Square. Basically instead of taking homemade cookie-dough and spooning it onto the baking sheet to make cookies, you glide it on there into a square and bake it. Then you cut it into squares about the size of brownies and put ice cream on top. REALLY GOOD. Kind of like a pizookie (do you guys have BJ’s there?) Anyway … it looks like this http://http.cdnlayer.com/smoola/00/00/2d/58e734546d0d59fc_m.jpg

    So she really messed up the recipe (we discovered the baking soda was expired, very important) and it turned into this chocolate chip cookie mess, more doughy than cookie. We piled it on top of itself and ate away. It was amazing!!! No need for ice cream

    I can’t wait to see the results, even if it wasn’t exactly what you planned!

  12. Lucky for you I went on a cake ball frenzy last spring and worked out the kinks. To start, I use PW’s tip of only using about 3/4 of the tub of frosting. I think that the balls hold their shape better that way.

    1) Don’t put the sticks in until the last step.
    2) Put the cold cake ball in the bowl of coating.
    3) Spoon the coating over the ball. DO NOT ROLL IT AROUND.
    4) Gently remove coated ball (snicker) onto a sheet of waxed paper.
    5) Now put in the stick and poke the stick into a piece of sytrofoam. Leave it there until ball hardens (more snickering).

    Regardless of how they look, they taste great.

  13. I’m also snickering at Mindee’s comments. It’s a good thing we’re all grown-ups around here.
    I think that I would have been in the same boat, Katie…having eaten at least half of the cake/icing. I think that as long as you can still eat it and it’s yummy then it’s not a total failure. I made a chocolate cake one time using flaxseed meal and whole wheat flour. Somehow I got the measurements wrong…oh, I remember, I tried to substitute part of the butter with the flax meal, which you are supposed to be able to do. Well, my measurements were wrong and I ended up with probably three times the amount of meal I was supposed to…anyway, the whole middle of the cake (each of two layers of chocolate) was totally sunken in and not really cooked. I tried to make the best of it and eat around the edges, but even that was nothing but grody. Yes, I said grody. I had to throw the whole thing away. It was sad. My husband shook his head and said that the whole purpose of eating cake was that it was bad for you, so never go and try to make it healthy. He may have a point there. 🙂 I look forward to seeing how your perseverance pays off!

  14. the same thing happened to me when I tried to make these!!

  15. You and I are LITERALLY the same person. I just discovered this site last week and called my best friend up and told her that we had to try to make these for a baby shower we are hosting at the end of the month. Yet, I know deep down that my Amelia Bedelia will come out and it could likely be a complete disaster. My dream, though, lives and must be tried!

  16. Emily

    I had a moment of silence for your cake pops. Don’t give up, you can do this!

  17. I say stick with no-bake desserts. I created my own the other week with crushed nutty bars on the bottom, vanilla pudding/sweetened condensed milk in the middle and crushed oreo’s on top. It’s much easier and you really can’t fail!

  18. I consider myself a good baker, and this project seems even too ambitious for me! I am not good at putting stuff in the fridge and waiting for it to firm up. I am too impatient. Once I start baking it is “all systems go”–and I have to keep going. I hate waiting for things to cool, or waiting for the oven to warm.

    I saw Long Trail in your fridge. I hope you congratulated yourself for your baking efforts with one of those!

  19. That’s a fun idea! if you like cake mixes, you should check out the book “The Cake Mix Doctor”. It’s FABULOUS and the cakes taste gourmet, and they are all made with mixes.

    Also, I tried to nominate you for that blog but after way too much time spent in frustration I gave up. It wouldn’t let me register because it said my email address was already used and then when I tried to enter my email it said that email wasn’t registered. grrr… so know I tried. (A lot of good that does you, I know).

    I’m doing a giveaway, so you should comment on my blog. That would be fabulous. (-:

    ~Kathryn

    1. Katie

      Don’t you hate when they make you register?!?!?  Its a huge pet peeve of mine on websites!

  20. casey

    I have tried to make these too…. I didn’t make it much futher than you did. I did manage to get about a dozen or so but I had to lose the sticks they just weren’t working. I used oreos instead of cake.

  21. I attempted the red velvet cake ball recipe last year. And stuck with just those, cake balls, rather than advancing to pops. Freezing them helped, though I had to keep them in way longer than Ms. Bakerella says.

    I wish she’d post about the first few times she made them, since you have to bet hers turned out not pretty either! Practice makes perfect. Though I do not think I will ever be able to make the intricately decorated ones that she does 😛

    Kudos to you for trying!!! And cute Beanie 🙂

  22. Ahh, that Bakerella deceived us all again! I say grab those cold little cake balls, drizzle them with candy topping and eat them like little truffles. Yum.

    And don’t cry over broken cake balls 🙂 They’re still delicious!

  23. I LOVE Bakerella’s site and I enjoy looking at her pretty pictures and dreaming of the day that I’m creative enough to make them. But until that magically happens, all I will do is dream. You’re braver than I am!

  24. Maybe those cake pops could be dipped in some of that nice hard candy apple coating. Most probably wouldn’t like them but I think they might become my main staple after donuts.

  25. a double boiler is quite simply two pots.
    one sits on the burner with an inch or two of water in it
    the other pot sits inside the first.
    put your chocolate inside the second pot
    crank the heat of the burner on high to make the water boil, the heated water will warm up the 2nd pot, this will melt the chocolate without scalding it because it is not melting directly on the heat.

  26. Aw, Katie! I’m sorry to hear that! (For the record, I went to baking and culinary school and not once did I have to use a double boiler, so maybe Bakerella has another way of making the pops and is just making it more increasingly difficult for others to recreate, therefore making herself seem so much better as a baker? Just a thought.)

  27. HA! This is amazing. Totally like something that would happen to me. Oh Bakerella, why must you make it look so easy? The nerve of her!! 😉

  28. I guess this is one of those situations where “practice makes perfect”. If I had to give any advice, it would be to stick the cake pops in the freezer for an hour or so. This way the cake will not crumble. Good luck!

  29. Courtney

    I totally feel your pain! I’ve made Bakerella’s cake pops a handful of times over the past year (including yesterday), and mine never turn out as good as hers. I usually put my pops in the freezer overnight to make sure they are nice and firm, but I still haven’t mastered the dipping part yet. My chocolate never looks as smooth and is usually clumpy. I’m gonna keep trying, so you should too!

    P.S. My good friend and old college roommate is Emily, from Mostly Zoey and Sometimes Us! I found your link on her blog and I’m so glad I did. Love it!

  30. Okay. I have sucessfully made the cake pops. They are not as easy as Bakerella makes them out to be. I have made them three times for fundraisers for my Breast Cancer 3-day walk. The first time, we nearly gave up. My sister and I bake the cake, mix in the icing, roll into balls…..then we melt a few pieces of the chocolate, dip the sticks in the chocolate, insert them into the balls and freeze. And then, I am way too impatient for the dipping, so my sister melts the chocolate..the key it the right consistency. We dip the frozen balls into the melted choco. Then I roll the balls holding the sticks for 30 seconds or so until the choco sets. We set them upright in a piece of styrofoam that we have poked holes in. They set good, we slap pink ribbons (or whatever we want) on the top in a different color icing. Patience is key to making cake pops. Patience is something that I don’t have a lot of. They are doable with patience.

  31. Bakerella is pretty awesome. I have never tried her stuff. I try to stick to super yummy foods that are less work and mess. 🙂

  32. Hilary

    You had me at crumbled chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting!! So maybe they don’t look perfect but they must taste divine!! Just a word about the double-boiler. Don’t stick any two pots together. They actually make double boilers that you can buy. I learned this the hard way. I was also trying to melt chocolate and figured okay, fill one pot with water and stick a pot with the chocolate on top. Easy, right? Well, I waited and waited for the chocolate to melt, not realizing that the water in the bottom pot had evaporated creating a build-up of steam. Instant homemade bomb. Exploded right in my face and covered me with burning hot chocolate. After a trip to the emergency room, I came home looking like Harvey “Two-Face” Dent from the Batman movies. Oh and this was my senior year of college. Now I melt all my chocolate in the microwave in a glass bowl using a reduced power setting. Much safer.

  33. I have made Bakerella’s cupcake pops four times, (see my last time at: http://www.janetbridge.com/2009/04/army-mom-cupcake-pops.html) So… If you would like to try them again I am happy to offer these few suggestions I learned along the way to help make it a less frustrating experience for you and your Ah-dorable sous Chef!

    First – To melt your chocolate disks, NO Double boiler! Microwave them instead in a wide, semi-shallow bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring each time – the warmer the chocolate, the thinner it will become, which equals easier dipping and better coverage. Note: if you leave your spoon you stir your chocolate with in the bowl, it will harden to the chocolate. The only way to get it out (since we cannot microwave spoons) is to run hot water over it and ruin your chocolate – I cannot tell you how many times I switched to another color only to find I left my spoon in chocolate that hardened. Doh!

    Second – Do not add the whole tub of frosting into your cake crumbs. For one, 9X13 crumbled cake I only use 2/3rds (even a little less) of the tub. Your mush should feel more like cake and less like frosting. When you pinch it, you want firm cake (like wet dirt), not sticky frosting is the best way I can describe it.

    Third – Freeze your cake balls for 10 minutes after you insert the stick and before your attempt to dip them into the chocolate. As you dip, make it less of a dunk, and “roll” your pop into the chocolate as you hold the bowl on its edge a little. Then, tap the pop on the side of the bowl as you twirl the pop between your fingers to even the chocolate coating out.

    Finally – I don’t know why and I cannot explain it, but cupcake pops and cake balls are just a little better if you use Red Velvet cake mix. Again… I do not know why, but trust me when I tell you other cake flavors did not perform as well or taste as good.

    I hope these suggestions help… I’m looking forward to your next attempt!

    Best always,

    Janet

  34. I MADE THEM!! I couldn’t believe it. My tips: buy the really, really thick lollipop sticks at Michaels. Don’t stick the sticks in until after you freeze the balls. Make the balls on the smaller size so that the sticks can hold the weight. AND instead of dipping cake balls in the chocolate, spoon the chocolate on the cake balls. It was magical for me. Check out a full report on my blog! http://jessicajeremy.blogspot.com/2009/10/cake-pops.html (oh and to see the kind of cook i am see http://jessicajeremy.blogspot.com/2009/10/amelia-bedelia-and-me.html)

  35. PS I melted the chocolate in the microwave. I highly recommend that too!

  36. Christy Martin

    I have better luck using Duncan Hines…and make the pound cake recipe that’s on the side of the Lemon mix box. You can follow the same instructions for any flavor.When you try again…melt a little chocolate and dip the stick in before you put it into the cake ball. Then definitely freeze them…when you dip into the melted chocolate they will not fall apart. Janet has lots of good suggestions.

  37. […] actually got this idea originally from a blog I read. Here is her first post about them. And here is her second post about them. I should have learned after reading these. But […]

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