Cake has a central role in most birthday parties - but many a parent has realised that while the little darlings love to look at the cake, they seldom actually eat it! What does go down well, though, is portion-sized treats. Cup cakes have filled this spot for some time, but now there's a new kid on the block: the Cake Pop. From a planning point of view they are great because they can be made ahead and chilled or frozen without fear of them drying out. They work just as well as a dessert (these in the photo were make for an Easter Sunday lunch), or an addition to afternoon tea.
A cake (I used sponge cakes – chocolate for some and lemon for the rest)
Melted chocolate (I used coating chocolate)
Styrofoam and lolly sticks
This can be as simple or complicated as you like. Buy a pre-made cake, or make up your own cake, either way, no-one will know the difference.
Crumble the baked cake and add to a bowl of pre-made butter icing. Mix until it’s the consistancy of cookie-dough. Put the mixture into the fridge for 15 minutes to harden slightly.
Scoop up tablespoons of the dough and make ping-pong sized balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet and put into the freezer for 30 minutes (or longer) to harden.
Melt the chocolate while the balls are hardening.
Push a lolly-stick into each ball. Put a little melted chocolate on each stick - it will help anchor it in the ball.
Dip the ball into the melted chocolate.
Allow the excess chocolate to drip off, and cover with sprinkles or other treats before the chocolate gets hard.
Push each lolly stick into a covered piece of styrofoam while the chocolate is drying. If you do not have something to push the stick into, you can put the ball down onto a plate like a toffee apple.
These portion-size treats can be easily themed for a party. White coating chocolate can be coloured to create psycadelic pops.
All the cake-decorating techniques can be applied to make faces, figures and fun. You can also put the individual pop into a see-through bag as a take-home treat. If there are any left-overs, they can be frozen.