If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably remember my love/hate relationship with cake pops (love the aesthetics and the “wow” factor; hate the time and effort). But, alas, once I saw a picture of them, I just had to make Bakerella’s reindeer cake pops. They turned out pretty well!
Just in case my sorely lacking fine motor skills weren’t up to the task of attaching pretzel antlers and M&M noses to a ball of cake balanced precariously on a stick, I decided I’d better also have the ingredients on hand to make “regular” Christmas cake pops. Those turned out really nicely, too.
This is my third go at cake pops (I made them for Easter, then again at Halloween), and I’m happy to report that the process is going more smoothly, and the resulting cake pops look better. It still takes a lot of time, but it’s fun to make them for holidays. The kids love them (no surprise there!) — I’ve made a couple of batches to give away, and each time, I’ve had to carefully hide most of them. I’ll put a couple in the boys’ stockings this year. We’ll be making these again next week, for the preschool teachers’ gift baskets.
Anyway, if you’d like to make these, start by reading this post for instructions on where to buy ingredients, and how to make cake balls, melt candy coating, attach the sticks and dip the balls. Obviously, instead of the orange candy melts, you’ll want light or dark brown ones for the reindeer, and white, green or red ones for the “plain” Christmas pops. Since it’s already all written down, I don’t want to take up the space here — I think most of you probably just need the decorating tips, since cake pops have been around for a while now. 🙂
I also have to stop here and tell fellow cake pop enthusiasts about something that has rocked my world: You can make cake pops with ground Oreos!!!! Maybe everyone knows this already, but it was news to me. My friend Staci told me about it last week. All you do is pulverize Oreos into dust in the food processor or blender, mix with enough softened cream cheese to form a sticky ball (it should end up being the same consistency as the crumbled cake/frosting mixture), then proceed to form cake balls, refrigerate, and dip as usual. I couldn’t wait to try it, because it eliminates the cake-making step, and sounded like it would make the “cake” part less sweet, due to the dark chocolate cookie and unsweetened cream cheese. Well, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve now tried this ingenious cake pop-making technique (I made a small batch for my tutoring students), and they are so, so, so delicious that I may never make cake pops with regular cake again! They’re amazing — like eating a purely Oreo-flavored cake on a stick. Oh, gosh, even thinking about it makes my mouth water. For those of you who are wondering, One big package of Oreos plus about 3/4 of an 8-oz block of cream cheese yielded roughly 38 cake balls. You’ll want to set the cream cheese out at room temperature for a couple of hours before mixing with the Oreo dust. Speaking of which, make sure the Oreos are really processed into a fine dust. I used my blender, and it worked well. Thank you, Staci!
Whatever you decide to make the cake balls from, once you stick and dip them, here’s what you’ll need to decorate the Christmas versions:
Reindeer Cake Pops (based on Bakerella’s)
- Pretzels – I used regular twist ones, broken in half to form antlers
- Brown and red M&Ms (more brown ones than red ones; Rudolphs are supposed to be rare, after all!)
- Icing eyes
- Black food marker (use Americolor! Wilton ones won’t work on candy coating)
- 4″x6″ treat bags*
*Note: Don’t use the 3″x5″ size; otherwise, you’ll have trouble fitting the bag over the pretzel antlers.
Once you’ve dipped a pop into the brown candy melts (per these instructions), quickly — but gently and firmly! — press a pretzel half into each side of the pop, roughly placed where antlers would be (about a quarter of the way down the sides of the cake ball). Then, attach two eyes and one M&M nose per cake pop. If the candy coating has already hardened, no worries — simply dab a tiny bit of melted candy on the eyes or M&M, and affix to the cake ball. A toothpick works well for this job, or you can dip the eyes or M&M ever so slightly into the melted candy. Once the candy coating has hardened (only takes a few minutes), draw on a smile with a black food marker.
You can also make a few without the icing eyes (many thanks to Johnny for drawing the face on this one):
If you’re going to give these away, slip a treat bag over each cake pop and tie closed with a ribbon. Be very careful not to break the antlers when you’re wrapping the pops!
“Plain” Christmas Cake Pops
- Christmas-colored sprinkles – I used nonpareils and candy cane sprinkles
- Treat bags (3″x5″ or 4″x6″ will both work)
Once you’ve dipped a pop into the white, red or green candy melts (per these instructions), quickly decorate with your Christmas sprinkles. To make the nonpareil-covered ones, I rolled each cake pop in a shallow dish of nonpareils. The only part I couldn’t cover with this technique was the very bottom, near the stick, so I just sprinkled some in that area with a spoon.
For the candy cane ones, I stuck on a few (about 9) larger candy cane sprinkles after dipping the cake pop, then, with my fingers, put on a light sprinkling of nonpareils.
Once the candy coating is dry, slip treat bags over each cake pop and tie closed with a ribbon. The possibilities are endless with this one — use whatever holiday-themed sprinkles move you! I hope you enjoy making, eating and giving these away. 🙂