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Monday, May 7, 2012

Perfect Cupcake Cake Pops - The cake pop design everyone is trying to master in a start to finish tutorial.

Cupcakes Recipe Cake Pops
 The Cupcakes are my favorite cake pop design!

PREFACE/VERY IMPORTANT: Before you begin to follow this tutorial, you need to perform steps 1-5 of my tutorial on making cake ball pops which are listed HERE. Once you have completed my steps or your own method to make cake ball dough and your dough has set in the fridge or freezer so it is easy to shape, proceed with instructions below to create cute cupcake cake pops. First say that 3 times, fast!

Ingredients/Materials for Creating Cupcake Shape and Decorating:
  • Basic ingredients to make cake ball pops (can be found in my tutorial on making cake ball pops HERE. For the cupcake cake pops coating, you will need both white AND chocolate/brown almond bark or white AND chocolate/brown candy melts.)
  • Small flower-shaped cookie cutter.
  • White icing for decorating gel (Comes in a tube and can be purchased online at www.foodservicedirect.com or just click HERE.
  • Sprinkles
  • Some kind of small, round candy to simulate cherry/candy on top of cupcake. (Candy buttons on top of my cupcake pops.)

  • Roll dough into logs - You should scoop out a handful of cold dough and squeeze the dough between your hands, rolling it from one hand to the other so the dough is tightly packed and doesn't separate or crack when you use the cutter to shape it. As you are "kneeding" the dough from hand to hand, start to roll it into a log, but not a skinny log...more like a log/ball (photo). The logs need to be wide enough so when you place the cookie cutter on them, it doesn't go OVER them like a ring on a finger, It needs to cut THROUGH the dough with excess left around the edges of the cutter. The logs also need to be long enough so dough spills over the top, once the cutter hits your cutting surface, to create the "muffin-top" effect. I prefer to cut each log with the cookie cutter right after I have rolled it instead of kneeding all of the dough into several logs and then cutting each. My though process is, I'm going to have left over dough either way and will have to repeat the kneeding/cutting process either way.
  • Cut logs with flower cookie cutter - Standing the dough log upright on your cutting surface, place your flower cookie cutter at the top and press it down/into the dough. About halfway to the bottom of the log, you will need to tactfully hold the cutter at the sides or at the very edges of it while working it down as to not mess up the dough that spills out of the top. You don't want to make your own dents into the muffin-top with your fingers. After you've pushed the cutter to the bottom of the log, a little more tact is needed to remove the dough from the cutter without ruining the shape. Remove the excess dough from around the cutter and pick up the dough by the sides of the cutter. Carefully and slowly push the dough from the bottom end (not muffin-to end) working the dough out. I have to loosen the dough from the cutter by pushing the dough, with my index finger, little by little, around the circumference of the base of the cupcake shaped dough until it easily slides out.
  • NOTE: There is a quicker way to make your dough into cupcake shapes but I find the aesthetic result is not AS perfect, but still cute. If you roll your dough into individual log/balls making sure their width is a bit longer than the width of your cookie cutter, you can press the cutter into each log/ball as they sit on a cutting surface and before the cutter reaches the bottom of the log/ball, pull off the cutter. The pressure of pushing down on the cutter will shape the "cup" of the cupcake perfectly while moving the excess dough to the bottom of the log. The excess dough at the bottom of the log that you did not cut through should look like a muffin-top and your cupcake will be sitting muffin-top down.
  • Freeze to set - Put each cupcake into the freezer after it's cut out so the cake can set more while you are cutting the others.

Crafty Gal Tip: It doesn't hurt to roll some of your dough into cake balls instead of shapes. They nicely break up the design presentation.

  • Arrange your work space so it is functional as related to the process - Before you continue working with your cake shapes, take a minute to make sure you are READY to proceed....IMPORTANT: IMMEDIATELY after you prepare your dipping chocolate so it is the right color and temperature, you will be working with it to make the pops and coat the cake. Your work space needs to be clean and efficient. It is best to put your foam board in the freezer and put your pops in it, one-by-one, after you coat each. You will be dipping, decorating and setting one pop at a time, all in the matter of about fifteen seconds so the "flow" of your space is vital to your final product. I have my foam board in the freezer, my dough shapes on a pan covered with aluminum foil next to my microwave, and aluminum foil covering my counter where I may sprinkle/decorate the pops right after they are coated.
  • Melt chocolate - Grab a few squares of your brown/chocolate, almond bark or if you are using candy melts, a couple handfuls and put into a microwave safe container. I use a recycled Duncan Hines icing jar. Put your chocolate in the microwave and start heating it, checking and stirring every 15-30 seconds, until consistency is smooth. I have to set my microwave at power 6, otherwise, burn baby burn! And overheated chocolate is not salvageable. You may need to STIR in a little water, condensed milk or Crisco (canned) in between heatings, to make the chocolate thin enough to enclave the dough shapes easily.
  • PROMPTLY move forward to instructions for C. Make Cupcake Dough Shapes into Pops and Coat with First Layer.
  • Use skewers/lolli sticks to make dough shapes into cake pops - Grab a stick and dip it about 1/4 inch into the melted chocolate. Take a cake shape and while nestling it in one hand, carefully/slowly slide your skewer/lolli stick about halfway into the cupcake through the bottom of the "cup".
  • Coat cake pops with melted chocolate - Immediately after you've made a cupcake into a pop, dip the cupcake into the melted chocolate so it coats the cupcake right up to where it meets the stick. You'll find yourself tipping the container of chocolate at somewhat of a 45% angle while maneuvering the cupcake around slowly and carefully so it gets covered evenly. Do not double dip. Let excess drip off as you hold the pop upside down or on its side over the container of chocolate. You may cautiously tap the stick on the side of the container to aid in getting excess coating to drip off.
  • Freeze coated cake pops to set - Back in the freezer Cupcake...Place each coated pop in the foam board in the freezer to set while you work on coating the other pops.
  • Melt white almond bark or white candy melts - Repeat instructions from B2 but with white bark or candy melts while incorporating next step of adding color...
  • Add icing dye/food coloring to chocolate - Adding your color can be tricky. You have to wait until the chocolate is melted so you can smoothly integrate the coloring and achieve an even shade. Then, you have to heat the chocolate again to make up for the liquid coloring which more than likely cooled your chocolate a bit. I used pink food coloring gel and stirred it in until I got the color I wanted for my cupcake top.

The second layer of coating is to cover the muffin-top of the cupcake so it looks like frosting. Just as you did in step 3, repeat. Except when you dip the cupcake into your colored coating, you will only cover the muffin-top. 

Make sure the muffin-top is engulfed with the colored coating and then pull the pop out of the coating just when the color reaches where the muffin-top turns into the "cup" or base of the cupcake. 

Hold the pop, muffin-top straight down while the excess drips off but before the coating is dry and hard add sprinkles. 

Put in foam board, in freezer to set. Again, to break up my presentation design,  I skipped the sprinkles on the coating of some of my cupcakes but added them later to the "cream" of the cupcake. 

Add "cream" to your cupcakes by using white icing gel and applying it, in a swirl, starting from the dead center of the muffin-top until you have a dime-size circle at the top of your cupcake. 

For the cupcakes you spared from sprinkles in their coating, add some now to the white icing or "cream" of the cupcake. Top off your cupcakes with a Red Hot or other small candy embellishment. Freeze to set.
How to Make Cupcakes, Cupcake Cake Pops, Cake Balls


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