Without further ado, here is my sure-fire cake pop tutorial:
Step 1: The Cake
Now, just because I use a store-bought cake mix doesn't mean I don't doctor it up a bit!
Just use your favorite cake mix and follow the directions on the back of the box except for 2 things:
1: Substitute 75% of the oil for applesauce (it doesn't have to be exact). This keeps the cake part from being too oily and falling apart. It also makes the cake more moist and gives it a fuller flavor.
2: Add a small package of pudding. DON'T MAKE THE PUDDING! Just add the dry mix!! This also adds to the flavor. If you're making vanilla cake pops, add vanilla pudding. If you're making chocolate cake pops, add chocolate pudding, etc.
After you bake the cake make sure you let it cool completely before doing the following steps.
Step 2: Crumbling The Cake
That said the easiest thing to do is to break the cake into large chunks and put it into a bowl. Then take a fork and use that to break it up. After the fork has done its job, and after washing your hands, break up any chunks the fork missed with your fingers.
Step 3: The Frosting and Rolling
Remember that having too little frosting is always better than having too much. Because you can always add, but you can't take away. If you put in too much frosting then the cake balls may not form well, and if they do, they will just fall right off the sticks and make a huge mess.
All you do is put one nice spoonful of frosting in, like so:
After you mix in the frosting you want it to be sticky but firm. Try making a few test balls and if they just crumble apart and are dry then add a little more frosting.
Now all you do is form the cake into little balls (I used a cookie scoop to make them all the exact same size) and set them on a pan that is lined with wax paper. You don't want them touching:
Step 4: The Sticks and Dipping!
Take a bag of candy melts and put them in a glass bowl. Microwave them for 30 seconds, stir, and keep repeating that process until they are all melted. After they have melted, put in 1 tablespoon of oil and mix it up. This helps the chocolate not be so thick. Don't put in too much oil or it will be runny!
Now you can get the cake balls out of the freezer! :)
Take the sticks and dip them about 1/2 inch into the melted chocolate and the immediately put them into the cake balls. You want the stick to be about 3/4 of the way through the cake ball.
After they have set, take them back out. Before you do though make sure the chocolate is still melted!
Now simply pick up the cake pops by the sticks, gently dip them in the chocolate, and put them either in styrofoam or a cake pop stand to dry.
Step 5: Decorating!!
To pipe on designs get a thick, plastic, disposable piping bag and fill it halfway with candy melts (unmelted). Then put the piping bag in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until the chocolate has melted. Then snip a small hole in the tip of the piping bag. You are ready to decorate!
*Make sure the cake pops have hardened before you decorate them!*
Try experimenting with different colors of candy melts and sprinkles - you can't mess up!