I was disappointed when I realized I wouldn’t be joining my friends on a bus tour/volunteer trip for spring break until I realized these two points: 1. I get to cook what I want with my mother paying for ingredients, 2. Queen sized bed. Day 1 of spring break was spent attending a funeral and eating my boyfriends cousin’s delicious homemade lasagna, which needless to say inspired me for my spring break goal: bake/cook at least one thing per day (this does not include my daily egg sandwiches). So, day two I started off pre-making the infamous cake pops (made famous by bakerella). Though the recipe I used called for boxed red-velvet cake and store bought cheesecake I enjoy making things hard on myself, and after all it is spring break. So day two (well the night of day two) was spent making red-velvet cake (courtesy of Bobby Flay) and a cheesecake (thanks to another food blog called simply recipes. If you are going to take on the task of making cake pops why not make your own cake?! But if you do decide to make the cakes from scratch I recommend doing them the night before you try to assemble the pops. With this project I have discovered that I lack talent in food photography. Part of the problem may be that I’m taking all the photos with my phone…
Note: Both the Red-Velvet Cake and the Cheesecake can be made simultaneously if you can figure it out.
Step 1: Perfect Cheesecake – Simply Recipes (edited to fit cake pops whole recipe can be found in link above)
- 2 lbs/32 oz cream cheese, softened (to about room temp)
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream or 2/3 cup plain yogurt and 2/3 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
I only made the filling part of the cheesecake because the pops don’t need crust or anything, however, if you are looking for a good cheesecake recipe I would recommend this one it turned out great!
NOTE: Spring foam pan is not needed but can be used but must be tin-foiled to ensure no water is allowed in.
Heat oven to 325ºF. Prepare pan. I used a 9 by 13 in. I would recommend a deep 9 in round pan (spring foam one works just see note above). If you use a rectangle you will get a lot of the brown top part in the cake pops (which does not alter the taste but does make them hard to form into the “perfect” little spheres). Place in roasting pan or bigger pan for later.
Cut cream cheese into chunks and cream in mixer for about 4 min (I suggest using a stand mixer). Add sugar and mix for another 4 min. *Make sure to scrape sides every once in a while to incorporate the ingredients the paddle is missing. Add salt and vanilla. Mix. Add eggs, one at a time , and mix after each addition. Add sour cream and mix. Here I used greek yogurt and baking soda because I ran out of sour cream and it worked perfectly. Add heavy cream. Mix.
Pour into pan. Place pan into larger pan (I suggest using a roasting pan but it just has to be bigger). Fill larger pan with water until about 1 1/4 in up the side of the smaller pan. Place in oven and bake for 1 1/2 hour.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 30 min. Then place in fridge for 2-4 hours until completely chilled (I suggest doing this overnight).
Step 2: The Red-Velvet Cake – Bobby Flay w/ some additions from yours truly
- 3 3/4 cups AP Flour
- 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine or regular vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray 9 in circle pan with baker’s spray (or Pam whatever you have handy) and wipe with paper towel to get even coverage (the cake is going to be crumbled later so there is no need to worry about it coming out perfectly which is why there is no need to butter, flour, and place parchment paper down.
Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl and set aside.
Using stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and oil (I used canola oil) until fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, mixing after each new addition. Add vanilla and vinegar.
Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk. Mix well. Add food coloring. I recommend adding 1tbsp first and seeing if you like the color, if you don’t add another 1/2 tbsp and so on until the color you want is achieved.
Bake for 30-40 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). Let cool, I suggest overnight just because it’s convenient otherwise about two hours is sufficient.*I only cooled overnight because I baked them around 9 pm the night before I was going to assemble the cake pops.
Step 3: Frosting – Basic Buttercream Icing
- buttercream after it came out of the fridge
This is just a basic recipe for buttercream icing I pulled off the internet. It’s nothing special so if you have your own favorite buttercream recipe go with that. Also note that the cake pops recipe calls for either buttercream or cream cheese frosting (store bought but again I like to make my own), so, if you want to make cream cheese frosting here’s my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe for red-velvet cake (scroll down to the frosting part and give it a go).
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
NOTE: I made this the night before and then put it in the fridge with plastic wrap on top. The next day I put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds and it worked the same. So, if you would like to make it a day ahead of time that is an option!
Mix shortening, butter, and vanilla until all ingredients are incorporated. Add sugar one cup at a time (mixing after each cup is added). Add milk. Beat until light and fluffy.
Step 4: Cake Pop Time! – Red Velvet Cheesecake Pops – Steamy Kitchen
The pops on the recipe and the ones that can be found at bakerella look amazing mine turned out a bit shoddy but still yummy! If you need more photos of the process I recommend looking at the original recipe which can be found above.
1 red velvet cake
1/2 – 3/4 cup buttercream or cream cheese frosting
7” plain cheesecake
1-2 cups honey graham crackers crumbled
1-2 bag of 10-12 oz. candy melts, your favorite color (I used vanilla candiquik because that was all I could find at the grocery store, but if you want to make a trip to Michaels they offer a large variety)
¼ – ½ cup of vegetable
lollipop sticks (I used bbq skewers and cut off the pointy ends)
NOTE: On the original recipe all the cake(s)/frosting is store bought, store bought cakes/frosting can be substituted.
crumbled red velvet cake
Crumble red velvet cake using a food processor (or hands). Add 1/2 cup of frosting and crumbled cake into mixer and mix. Add another 1/4 cup of frosting if you can’t easily roll into balls (this was necessary for me and I just kept adding a little bit until it got to a point where I could roll the “batter” easily).
adding the frosting
Measure out about 1/2 tbsp of “batter” and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheet or in shallow pan. Repeat until all of the “batter” has been rolled into balls. Put red velvet balls into fridge for 30-40 min.
red velvet balls
Place tin foil in bottom of pan. Once balls are chilled take about 1/2 tbsp of cheesecake and form around the bottom of a ball. Then take about another 1/2 tbsp and form around top half. Roll until smooth-ish. Place on tin foil. Repeat until all of cheesecake is used up. (I had some extra balls which can just be covered with the candiquik at the end). Place in fridge for 30 – 60 min but can be left overnight to chill if needed.
adding the cheesecake
Crumble graham crackers using food processor (you can do by hand but it’s a pain). Remove balls from fridge. Roll each in graham crackers.
Melt some of your candy melts (if it dries in between steps it will easily remelt so don’t worry). Stick the ends of the sticks in and coat about 1 – 2 in of end of stick in candy melt. Insert stick into the balls. Be careful not to push stick all the way through the cake pops. Place in fridge for 30 min.
half with sticks half with grahams
Melt all of your candy melt and remove pops from fridge. Coat the pops in candy melt and place on tin foil with the sticks in the air. Twirl each one a little and tap it over bowl of candy melt to get the excess off. Place on tin foil or parchment paper to dry. If you would like the pops to be perfectly round (without the inevitable flat part on top) you can stick them into foam blocks. I have yet to make perfectly round ones so if you have anymore ideas on how to make them round let me know!
covering with candy melt
Always refrigerate the pops until ready to serve them.