For Valentine's Day, I wanted to try out a new cake pop idea. I also wanted to use a PopsMaker that I received as a gift. I have made cake pops the original way by baking a cake, crumbling it, mixing with icing, and rolling the balls. (See my Cake Pops post for recipe.) I was hoping the Pop maker would be easier. It was super fast! I did find that without the icing mixed in, the cake balls were more airy on the inside and once covered in the candy coating, sometimes the weight of the coating pulled the balls down the stick. I switched to a pound cake and this seemed to resolve the problem. Another slight issue with the Pop maker is the slight ridge around the middle of the cake ball from where the top and bottom of the maker line up. But it does make cake balls much easier and faster.
To make these adorable Valentine's Day cake pops, you will need:
- Cookie, lollipop, or cake pop sticks
- Candy Melts: Red, White, and Black. You can find these at candy or cake decorating stores, hobby stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael's, and even some larger chain grocery stores.
- Shoestring licorice. DM Tip: I used colored string licorice for the attennaes, although black would work well too. I could not find black string licorice anywhere, but I think I like the different colors better. I found a good substitute licorice type of candy called Creatables Lanyards by Fascini at Toys R Us.
- Gum Paste
- Candy eyes. DM Tip: If you want different sized eyes, check out local cake/candy decorating stores! Many smaller stores make their own candy eyes and you can find them in smaller sizes than Wilton's eyes.
- Large Heart Sprinkles
- Red gel icing colors, for the ladybug pops
- Styrofoam block or cake pops holder
- Ziploc bags (snack or sandwich sized) or piping bags
1. The day before you make the ladybug cake pops, color gum paste red to match the red Candy Melts. Roll into flattened small balls and let dry on parchment paper.
2. Make a batch of cake balls. DM Tip: Use a heavier cake mix (like pound cake) if using a pop maker or make by hand. See my Cake Pop post for directions.
3. Once the cake balls are made and cooled, melt a small amount of red Candy Melt and dip the end of a cookie/lollipop stick in the melted candy.
4. Insert candy side of stick into the bottom of the cake ball.
5. Set the cake balls to the side so the Candy Melts can set. DM Tip: This usually takes 10 minutes or less. If there is a little of the melt showing on the bottom of the pop, test to see if it is hardened. If it is, pick up one pop by the stick and hold upside down. If the pop stays on, the melt has set.
6. Once the Candy Melts have set, melt additional red candies in a container deep enough to dip the cake ball in.
7. Dip the cake balls in the melted candy coating and gently tapped on the side of the container to get off excess candy coating.
8. Next, set the Pops in a Styrofoam block or Pop holder in the refrigerator to set. DM Tip: This usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
9. Once the coating had set, remove from fridge and decorate the pops. See below for directions.
1. Melt the black Candy Melts, place in a Ziploc bag, seal, and cut just the tip off. Pipe onto the cake pops to make the ladybug's dots. Make sure you leave a spot at the front of the pop for the head.
2. Melt red Candy Melts and place in a bag. Using the red melts, attach the head and let set.
3. Once the heads have set, pipe on eyes and a mouth using melted black Candy Melts. While the ladybugs heads set, make the antennae. If you are making the love monsters too, make enough antennae for the ladybugs and the monsters.
4. Cut the candy into small pieces and attached heart shaped sprinkles to the end using the red candy melts, and then set aside to harden. DM Tip: The antennae are a little fragile, so you might want to make extra.
5. Finish by attaching the antennae behind the head with the melted red melts. You will have to hold the antennae in place until the melted candy starts to harden.
*LOVE MONSTER POPS:
1. Melt red Candy Melts, place in Ziploc bag, seal, and cut the tip off. Attach two large hearts at the base of the pop for feet using the melted candy. Let set.
2. Melt the black Candy Melt, fill bag, seal, cut off tip and pipe on a shape for the mouth. Let set.
3. Melt the white Candy Melt, fill bag, seal, cut off tip and pipe on teeth on the black mouth area. Let set.
4. Make antennae. Cut the candy into small pieces and attached heart shaped sprinkles to the end using the red candy melts, and then set aside to harden. DM Tip: The antennae are a little fragile, so you might want to make extra.
5. Melt red Candy Melts and attach eyes. Optional: I also piped a small dot for a nose on some of the monsters. Let set.
6. Attach the antennae with melted red candy melts. Hold in place until candy starts to harden.
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