Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin Cake Pops

I love any excuse to make cake pops. Sure, it's easier to just order a couple while I am driving through Starbucks (yep, Ethan loves when I do and often urges me to do just that! haha!), but it's so much more affordable to make a big batch myself. They keep well in the refrigerator, so I can enjoy them for a couple weeks! I decided I wanted to try making a batch for Halloween to pass out to the adults during our neighborhood Trick or Treat. I thought that combining pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing would be fantastic and festive. So, I decided to experiment with the cake first. I came up with the following recipe:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


Preheat the oven to the temperature recommended on the cake mix box. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and add the cake mix. Stir in the water and pumpkin puree. Add in the pumpkin pie spice and stir until well blended. Prepare two round cake pans and pour the batter evenly between the pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once the cakes have cooled, crumble them into pieces. Normally at this point, you would add the frosting to the cake to moisten it, then roll into balls. This cake, however, was already super, super moist and adding frosting would make it too moist to form the cake balls. So, I (with Ethan's 'help") just formed balls from the cake and popped them into the freezer to help them firm up. 

Later that day I prepared to coat the balls. It was then that I realized I had left them in the freezer too long - they were completely frozen! :( This had not happened the last time I made them - they never completely froze or else maybe I didn't leave them in long enough to do that? So, I had to let them defrost a bit on the counter, then I was able to begin. I still wanted that cream cheese flavor, so I tried melting some cream cheese to add to the melted candies. As I expected it might, it made the chocolate seize up immediately. That wasn't going to work. :( I had to settle for coating the cake balls with melted candies and no cream cheese. I had decided I wanted to make them look like pumpkins, as I had seen on another blog. So, first I dipped the sticks into melted dark chocolate, then inserted the stick into the ball. This would represent the stump of the pumpkin. I then used yellow and red candies to make an orange coating for the ball. Unfortunately, this was also a learning process. I thought more red would make a brighter orange color, but sadly it made an awful reddish-peach color instead. I ended up using mostly yellow with a just a few red candies to make a semi-decent orange color. I was still never able to achieve the color I really wanted, but it worked. I was then going to pipe melted green candy leaves to top them off, but I ran out of time, so I didn't.

I packaged the finished product up to pass out. I ended up having quite a bit leftover (I had made 3 batches of cake), so I was able to share some with family in Ohio the following week too!

I was pretty happy with how they turned out. Not quite the appearance I was going after, but the taste was delicious!! Still on a pumpkin kick, I made pumpkin pancakes the next day with a sweet cream cheese spread. Delicious! Next up I will be trying out a chocolate mint recipe for Christmas. :)

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