Cake Pops question

hobbes heart
Posted on 02/12/2013 by frost_solcom
Hi, all!

Thinking about what treats to make my sweetie for Valentine's, and I'm kicking around the idea of making something like cake pop truffles [I'd like to make him something dainty and snackable and something that'll look fancy arranged in a pretty heart-shaped box and embarrass him when I drop it off where he works]. Thing is, I've never made cake pops before. All the recipes I've seen need you to blend cake crumbs with frosting. I don't really want to use frosting, so my question/s is/are:

Could you use peanut butter or instant pudding? [And if not, what else could you use?]

I often make myself peanut butter pudding by mixing peanut butter into instant pudding, so I'm kind of thinking of using chocolate cake and PB/caramel pudding, because he loves those flavours. I'd imagine I'd have to be careful not to add too much pudding/PB - when you guys have made cake pops, what sort of consistency has been just right for you?

What [non-expensive] non-frosting items have you guys made cake pops with? And what are you making for yourself/your sweetheart this Valentine's Day?
unsafetypin 12th-Feb-2013 02:04 am (UTC)
I'm not sure how well pudding would work out - the pudding would probably make the mixture too wet/moist and won't hold together properly. You could try using half pudding and half icing. If you're dead set against using icing at all, peanut butter would be a better substitute, as long as it's not the runnier natural peanut butter.

When I make cake pops, I use just enough frosting so the mixture will hold together and roll into a smooth ball that doesn't fall apart or crack.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you! You're right, that makes sense.

I ended up trying a mixture of peanut butter and pudding, and it turned out fine. At least, I think it did! I'd never baked or eaten cake pops before, and they held together well enough; only one or two of them cracked, and I think that's just because I didn't mix too well :)
gileswench 12th-Feb-2013 02:18 am (UTC)
I would definitely think that pudding is too close to liquid for the purpose. Frosting is thicker and wouldn't fall apart so easily. If you decide to try the peanut butter option, I'd recommend a creamy commercial brand. It's a much closer match to the texture of frosting.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, I wouldn't have thought of the difference that would make! Thank you!
kamaliitaru 12th-Feb-2013 02:36 am (UTC)
If I were you, I would use a teaspoon of instant pudding, some powdered sugar (maybe), and peanut butter - I'm thinking like a nanaimo bar filling, with cake crumbs as part of the powdered sugar.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you! I didn't have powdered sugar on hand, but this sounds like something to think about for next time! I ended up just mixing enough pudding into my peanut butter to give it a more frosting-like feel, and it seemed to hold up okay :)
miss_sarac 12th-Feb-2013 02:59 am (UTC)
caramel works. Maybe a jam/jelly.

You could also probably do a lightly sweetened cream cheese, if you didn't want to do a true 'frosting'.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
Caramel! I hadn't thought of that!

I wanted to try cream cheese, but was trying to stay on budget! I'll definitely try it another time :)

Thank you!
after_the_ashes 12th-Feb-2013 03:03 am (UTC)
I used Nutella one time.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
OMG that must have been amazing!
diatom 12th-Feb-2013 03:16 am (UTC)
i haven't made the pops myself, but I've had a co-worker describe them to me in detail. Generally I find them WAY too sweet for my taste, and so does she, so she's tried decreasing the amount of frosting...but has had only mixed results. in the end, she found she had to use frosting to get the cohesion right. i've since been debating what would work, myself.

maybe if the cake were less sweet, the frosting wouldn't end in overpowering sweetness (if that's your concern!) pudding that had a lot less liquid in it than normal, though...might work. marshmallow fluff might work. i've wondered if tapioca could be introduced, to make a thin frosting-substitute thicker...

i hope you write with your results! :)
kamaliitaru 13th-Feb-2013 04:16 am (UTC)
This is why I don't do cake pops much at all, even though they are cute. I've found that cream cheese works, but so does adding just the instant pudding powder to milk or coconut milk. I haven't found some consistent results to post, because a lot of it depends on the cake.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
I'd never made or eaten cake pops before, and I was pretty worried about them being too sweet. That was part of the reason I didn't want to use frosting!

I had much better results than I anticipated! I ended up using peanut butter with just enough butterscotch pudding added to it to make it a more frosting-like consistency, and it worked pretty well. A few of the cake balls cracked, but I think that was just because I didn't mix the crumbs into the PB mix well enough. I used a vanilla cake and rolled them in melted chocolate, and they were delicious!

We don't have marshmallow fluff here, but I wonder if that would work! Going on what I imagine the stuff to taste like, it sounds yummy :)

Thank you!
caerfrli 12th-Feb-2013 03:46 am (UTC)
Melted chocolate. It's pretty rich and you have to work faster but it sticks better. The pudding might be too thin. The peanut butter might work.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
Melted chocolate! That sounds like a cool idea! It was my first time making them, so I was working pretty slowly; I'll try this next time for sure!
Thank you!
cappyhead 12th-Feb-2013 05:38 am (UTC)
I've seen cake pop baking pans, which seem to imply that you don't need to mix the cake crumbs with anything. But I've never made cake pops before, so I can't really say.

My thought was to make chocolate lava cakes for Valentine's Day dessert, to follow up our steak dinner. I've used Gordon Ramsay's recipe before and it came out quite nicely:
archinatrix 13th-Feb-2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
I've never made cake pops, but I have consumed a few.

I believe that the higher density of the Original Cake Pop (wadded up cake with frosting) is critical to holding out on the dipped shell. If the "cake" inside isn't as structurally dense (ie, a fluffy baked cake with loose crumb), the candy shell isn't as supported and will crumble around it and fall off. (But then, I don't know if there's a recommended recipe for cake pop pans that might be more dense than straight up cake.)

At the extreme other end of the spectrum, I had cake pops made from donut holes once (ick) wherein the chocolate/candy shell completely collapsed around the super squashy "cake" part.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
I didn't think about the outer shell not being supported, but I'd figured that loose crumbs might be a choking hazard, if nothing else! :)

Oh, ick! >.< I hope you've had more good cake pop experiences since!
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
I've seen those online, and they look interesting! But I don't think you can get them here. And I was trying to stay on a particular budget, so it wasn't an option for me!

Oooh, steak dinner *and* lava cakes! That sounds scrumptious *_* I hope you guys had a fun night!
cappyhead 15th-Feb-2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
Well, I crapped out on the lava cakes, (tired, stressed, headachey) but we worked together on the steak dinner and it turned out fabulously. Two porterhouse steaks, seasoned & seared in a pan and finished in the oven. A tomato/mozzarella/balsamic vinegar salad on a bed of baby spinach as a side, and I made the easiest chocolate cookies ever, which I plan to post here very shortly. It was lovely, thank you!
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, no! I feel your pain, though, I wasn't at my best yesterday either :/

Ooooh, wow. That sounds *beyond* delicious, and it's so sweet that you worked on it together! Aaaaw :) *melts*

Awesome, can't wait to see those cookies!
spanishfog 12th-Feb-2013 05:42 am (UTC)
I've made cake pops with whipping cream as the binder, based on this recipe:
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! Thank you!
[Your icon is mesmerising, but I can't figure it out - what is that creature doing?]
rhuia 12th-Feb-2013 06:30 am (UTC)
I've made cake pops with both sour cream and cream cheese (separately), and they've come out fine. The trick for me has really been to keep them chilled right up to before I dipped them.

Good luck!
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Oooh, those both sound delicious! I hadn't thought of using sour cream, I'll definitely remember that idea :)

Thank you! ^_^
persuna 12th-Feb-2013 07:28 am (UTC)
I never use frosting because I find it makes them sickly. I'm not sure about pudding, but as longas you added it slowly to get the minimumfor the right texture it might work. Cake pops are quite hard to mess up! I find ganache (cream and chocolate) or a little dulce de leche both work, and I reckon peanut butter alone would too.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:03 pm (UTC)
That was my concern about frosting! Ganache sounds like an awesome idea, thank you!

I ended up using peanut butter with a tiny bit of butterscotch pudding mixed into it, and it held up fine. Your reassurance about them being hard to mess up really helped me feel more at ease about it, so thank you so much! ^_^
teragramm 12th-Feb-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
What about a push up pop. You could do it in a clear plastic cup.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:03 pm (UTC)
Hadn't thought of that! Thank you! ^_^
ayc311 12th-Feb-2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
depending on how moist the cake is that you're making (whether from a box mix or from scratch), you can decrease the amount of frosting. i just made chocolate peppermint cake hearts last night with a boxed cake and roughly two to two and a half tablespoons of peppermint frosting. you just need to mix them together until they get to be about cookie dough consistency. once you refrigerate them, the frosting will harden up so they'll be firm. just make sure you only take a few out of the fridge at a time while dipping - otherwise they'll be too soft and will fall apart on you.

good luck!
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! Omg, chocolate peppermint hearts sound absolutely divine! I hope you enjoyed them :)

Thank you for the tip on consistency! It's hard to figure out from pictures online when you're making them for the first time! And I'll definitely remember to chill them next time!

Thank you, thank you!
xalle 13th-Feb-2013 12:44 am (UTC)
I'd suggest some cream cheese or condensed milk but not very much, just enough to bind (I'd spoon it in a table spoon at a time). I think you could use peanut butter but I would be concerned that it would kill the flavour of anything else. You could also use (as I have done in the past) marshmallow fluff.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
[OMG your icon made me squeal with joy~!]
I wanted to try cream cheese, but it was out of my budget! I never even considered condensed milk, thank you! I don't like the stuff, but if I made a batch just for my sweetie, he'd be in seventh heaven. Thank you! ^_^

I did use peanut butter in the end [with a wee bit of butterscotch pudding mixed in to make it smoother], and it was actually fine - I was kind of expecting it to be overpowering, because I used a vanilla cake and figured the PB would be waaaaaay stronger, but it was nicely balanced.

We don't have marshmallow fluff here! What was the cake/candy combination you used it with?
cyren_2132 13th-Feb-2013 05:44 am (UTC)
Were I you, I might consider just making actual truffles and cramming a popstick in them if you want them to be truffles on a stick. If Youtube will let me embed, this video has a good recipe (though, they're not on sticks and some cautionary tales of the truffle making:
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oooooh! *bookmarks*

Thank you!
yep_thattoo 14th-Feb-2013 03:15 am (UTC)
I've used cream cheese before. It was delicious! I used it with a spice cake and then coated them in white chocolate.
frost_solcom 15th-Feb-2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, that *does* sound delicious!

Thank you!
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