Lately I have been totally obsessed with the blog, Bakerella. This amazingly talented lady creates oodles of gorgeous (and delicious, I suspect) baked and candied goodies. On of her signature creations is the Cake Pop, a smooshed cupcake rolled into a ball, covered with melted candy, and popped onto a stick. Basic Cake Pops are pretty cool, but what really blows me a away are amazing decoration ideas she comes up with for them. She makes chicks, sheep, easter eggs, even mini cupcakes out of her Basic Cake Pop recipe.
I have been dying to try these things out, so when my neighbor had a birthday I hopped on the excuse! He’s a huge Bruce Campbell and horro movie fan, and I wanted to make something fun that would be unique, yummy, and hilarious. So? I made him an army of Cake Pop Zombies!
I started out by making a run to my local party store, and then grocery store, to pick up supplies: lollipop sticks, candy melt wafers and dyes, red velvet cake mix, a tub of pre-made frosting, Red Hots, Baked Bean Candies, and a huge, red, gummy spider. When I got home, I threw together the cake mix and popped it in the oven. While the cake baked, then cooled, I prepped my candy for use as decorations. I cut several of the Red Hots in half, giving me an assortment of creepy red eye shapes. I chopped the Gummy Spider into bits so that it could be used as brains.
After the cake was cool, I popped it out of its pans and into a huge mixing bowl. Using a spatula, then a fork, then a spoon, then back to the spatula, I smashed and crumbled the cake until it was totally pulverized.
Next, I mixed in the entire tub of frosting. This is where I think I made my first mistake. First of all, Bakerella’s recipe calls for Cream Cheese Frosting specifically. This detail had abandoned my brain while I was at the store, so of course, I picked up Vanilla Frosting. Secondly, Bakerella suggests adding just enough Frosting to moisten and bind the cake. In my enthusiasm, I added the entire tub at once. Not too bright.
Forming my Cake Balls was challenging. They cracked, they crumbled, they were pretty much uncooperative in general, the little bastards. They were more or less spherical by the time I popped them in the fridge to chill – that was good enough for me. I melted the Candy Wafers as they chilled, then took them out to insert the lollipop sticks.
Now comes the really disastrous part! For some reason, I found coating these Cake Pops to be extremely difficult. Because the Cakes were a little loose, they left crumbs in the coating! Plus, I could not get the candy to stop tracing so that it would leave a smooth surface. In fact, I couldn’t even dip the pops because the coating was just way too thick. I am totally clueless as to what went wrong here. I wound up having to spread the coating on with a spoon, which looked sort of awful. I suspect that A) my Cake Pops were too big, and too shoddily constructed, and B) my candy coating was maybe not hot enough. I had it in a double boiler, but maybe it needed more heat?
Zombies turned out to be a great first run of the Cake Pop recipe. I’m afraid the technique has escaped me a bit, and I couldn’t for the life of me achieve a smooth surface on my Pops. These guys ended up with all kinds of weird deformities. Good for zombies, but if I had been trying to make cute chickies or easter eggs I would have had to abandon ship. Luckily, all these craters, cake crumbs, and cracks gave my little Zombie Heads extra charachter. I even decorated the true casualties, the Pops that has smashed or fallen from sticks during the candy coating process.
I used a tiny paring knife to carve out mouths and eye sockets for my zombies. I filled these cavities with colored candy coating, dribbling them with blood and black ooze. Some of them even had their heads chopped open so that I could show off their gummy brains. Yum?
Dean, and his wife Meg, seemed to like his Zombie Army, though I think they might have freaked out their kids. 🙂