BB-8 Cake Pops

bb-8 cake popsIf you’ve been a reader of my blog, you would know that I’m kind of a Star Wars fan. If you haven’t, you might want to check out a couple of parties I’ve thrown (here and here). So you can imagine how excited I am for the next installment to the Star Wars Series. (Very.)
bb8 r2d2 cake popI swear I got goosebumps the first time I saw the trailer. But what caught my eye the most was the glimpse of the new droid, BB-8. At first, I thought it was a head rolling on a soccer ball, but it’s not. It’s a droid and a really cute one too. When I saw that they released a BB-8 droid, I was very tempted to buy it. But then what would I do with it? It would probably sit there collecting dust or I could make Bear chase it around. I think I would rather put the money towards a new pair of shoes. But then again, it’s like a functioning mini droid. Ahh… first world problems.

bb-8 cake popshow to make a bb8 cake popSo I built myself a mini droid of my own, a cake pop. A ridiculous, time-consuming but adorable cake pop. Now, if I can only get it to roll around on its own…
how to make a bb-8 cake pop
BB-8 Cake Pops

You will need:
1 batch of vanilla cake (or boxed cake if you prefer)
1 batch of vanilla frosting (or canned frosting if you prefer)
cake pop sticks
white candy melts
gray fondant
blue fondant
orange fondant
black fondant
water, to attach the fondant
thin paintbrush
silver shimmer dust (edible)
vodka
x-acto knife (highly recommended to cut out tiny shapes)

  1. Crumble cake to cake crumbs and add in frosting ¼ c. at a time, until you get a play dough consistency. You want to make sure you work in the frosting completely, and that every crumb is mixed evenly.
  2. With ¾ of the cake dough, roll 1 ½ tablespoon sized balls. With the ¼ of the cake dough, roll 1 tablespoon sized balls. Chill thoroughly.
  3. Remove from fridge and using floss or a sharp knife, cut the 1 tablespoon sized balls in half (this is the head).
  4. On a cake pop stick, insert the half sphere cake ball followed by the round 1½ tablespoon sized cake ball. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 1)
  5. Melt white candy melts and coat the entire cake pop completely.
  6. Set it to the side to dry and set. Continue with other cake pops until all of them are coated. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 2)
  7. From this point forward, use the thin paintbrush and water to glue the fondant pieces onto the cake pop.
  8. Cut out a thin gray stripe of fondant and wrap around the top of the cake pop. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 3)
  9. Round out a pea-sized black fondant and shape it to a hemisphere and attach it slightly below the center of the gray stripe. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 4)
  10. Cut out a very thin orange stripe of fondant and wrap around below the gray fondant stripe stopping at the upper third part of the black fondant. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 5)
  11. Round out a small head of a pin sized black fondant and attach it diagonally from the pea sized black fondant. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 6)
  12. Cut out a very thin gray stripe and wrap around the circumference of the head of BB-8. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 7)
  13. Cut out tiny squares and rectangles from the orange fondant and attach it above the very thin gray stripe, on the outer third of the cake pop. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 8)
  14. Use a small dab of blue fondant and attach it below the pea sized black fondant. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 9)
  15. Cut out ¾ in. circles and cut out an “x” shape in the center. Attach it to the bottom left hand corner of the cake pop. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 10)
  16. Attach another circle to the upper right hand corner of the cake pop, cutting out the top portion. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 11)
  17. Cut out a small orange stripe and attach it to the bottom right hand corner of the cake pop. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 12)
  18. Using the gray fondant, cut out a small pea sized gray circle. Cut into thirds and place inside the center of the orange circle on the left hand corner. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 13)
  19. Cut out two small triangles and place on the opposite ends of the small gray circle. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 14)
  20. Cut out some random stripes of thin gray fondant and place on the center of the orange circle in the upper right hand corner. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 15)
  21. Cut out small gray circle and place in center of orange circle in the lower right hand corner. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 16)
  22. Cut out thin gray fondant stripes, and connect orange circles. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 17)
  23. Using tiny pieces of gray fondant, dot the corners of the gray fondant stripes, making “rivets”. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 18)
  24. Using a very thin strip of gray fondant, outline the smaller black dot on the head. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 19)
  25. Mix few droplets of vodka into the silver shimmer to create edible silver paint.
  26. Using a very thin brush, paint the gray fondant of the cake pop to give it a metallic sheen. You can also give a swipe of paint to the black circles to give it dimension. (As shown in the picture above. Picture 20)

Blueberry Cake Balls

Blueberry Cake Balls 3So, I made blueberry cake balls that look like blueberries.  Where in the world did I get such an idea?  It all started with a text from my sister, who sent me a photo of a strawberry layer cake that looked like a strawberry.  I wasn’t surprised that it originated from my favorite macaron café of all time, Laudrée.  This image fueled my creative fire and with the help of a good friend, we came up with an idea for this cake ball.
Blueberry Cake Balls 1Blueberries are in season right now, and here in Jersey we grow some very tasty ones.   They’re really fat and juicy, but I feel that the most “blueberry flavored” blueberries are wild blueberries.  They are very small, but they pack a huge wallop of blueberry flavor.  This cake ball uses both kinds of blueberries for the biggest berry impact.
IBlueberry Cake Balls 2The cake ball consists of blueberry vanilla cake mixed with blueberry frosting then dipped in a thin coat of chocolate (your preference dark, milk, or white) and then finished off with a thin layer of fondant.  When I tried this recipe out, I dipped a handful of the cake balls in chocolate and left the others plain.  When I proceeded to wrap both kinds in fondant, I was surprised that they both held up well.  Unfortunately, I celebrated too early because the moisture from the blueberries in the cake and frosting started melting the fondant on the non-chocolate coated ones.  Lesson learned: you must cover this with chocolate before proceeding to the fondant portion
Blueberry Cake Balls 6Please tell me I’m not the only person who thought of Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I saw these.  If you don’t know, Violet is the girl who turns rotund and blue like a blueberry in the book and movie.  To get this shade of blueberry, I mixed three kinds of gel food coloring: Wilton’s violet, Spectrum’s royal blue and Americolor’s super black.  As for the fondant, I tried to mimic the flared crown by doing a double layer of fondant but it wouldn’t stay.  So I settled on drawing it in with black food coloring and a small paint brush (which I reserve for food use only).
Blueberry Cake Balls 5I know there may be a few of you who are looking at this post (or maybe many of my other posts) thinking, “Yeah, I can never do that”.  Whenever I try a novel concept, I always have my doubts whether it will work or not.  Am I wasting precious time, ingredients and money?  Is it worth the pile of dishes?  But in the end, I always feel like the risk of taking the dive outweighs watching from the sidelines.  If I fail, I fail but not without learning something.  So, why don’t we just dive together? 🙂

Blueberry Cake Balls

You will need:
1 batch of blueberry cake
1 batch of blueberry frosting
chocolate or candy melts
blue tinted fondant
black gel food color

Instructions:

  1. Mix blueberry cake with a third of the blueberry frosting until fully incorporated. If the cake does not hold shape, add more frosting and mix until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Scoop tablespoon sized portion of cake and roll into slightly flattened circles.
  3. Chill in the freezer while you melt your chocolate.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, dip your cake balls into the chocolate using a fork and make sure to tap off the excess.
  5. Chill the chocolate covered cake balls while you roll out the fondant.
  6. Roll out the fondant as thin as possible.
  7. At this point the chocolate should have set, if not then refrigerate until the chocolate has set.
  8. Cover the cake balls and make sure you smooth it out so that there are no lumps.
  9. Mix your black gel food color with a little bit of water to loosen up the pigment.
  10. Draw a five pointed crown on the top of your blueberry and a dot in the center.

Blueberry Cake

Ingredients:
1 ½ c. cake flour
1  c. sugar
½ tbsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. salt
¾ c. buttermilk, divided
4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pint fresh blueberries, washed and drained

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a 9×9 in cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. On low speed, add ½ c. buttermilk and butter and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolk, ¼ c. buttermilk, and vanilla extract until homogenous.
  5. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
  6. Increase speed to medium, and mix until combined.
  7. Fold in fresh blueberries
  8. Bake about 25-30 minutes until cake is done or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then move onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

Blueberry Frosting

Ingredients:
2 c. frozen wild blueberries
¼ c. sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. butter, room temperature
½  tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. heavy cream
⅔ c. powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, cook blueberries, sugar and lemon juice until the mixture reduces to about half or until thickened.
  2. In another bowl, beat butter, cream and vanilla.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar ⅓ c. at a time until completely used.
  4. Once the blueberry mixture has thickened and cooled, add to the sugar mixture until fully incorporated.

Bunny Cake Pops

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When I came across a package of edible grass at Target, a passage from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl was the first thing that came into my mind:

“The grass you’re standing on, my dear little ones, is made of a new kind of soft, minty sugar that I’ve just invented! I call it swudge! Try a blade! Please do! It’s delectable!

Automatically, everybody bent down and picked one blade of grass – everybody, that is, except Augustus Gloop, who took a big handful.”

Filled with nostalgia from my childhood obsession with the wonderful world of Willy Wonka, I immediately grabbed two bags and tossed it into my basket.  From there, it promptly sat on my counter waiting to be used for something scrumdiddlyumptious.

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This is what I have for you. It’s perfect for Easter*, spring and bunny themed parties. I hope you give it a try and wait for the squeals of “It’s so cute!” to follow you for the rest of the day.

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Bunny Cake Pops

You will need:

1 Batch of Cake (whatever flavor you prefer, you may use 1 box cake mix if pressed for time)
1 Batch of Frosting (whatever flavor you prefer, you can use 1 can frosting if pressed for time)
1 Bag of White Candy Melts
Mini Marshmallows
Edible Grass
Heart Shaped Sprinkles
Black Edible Sugar Pearls
Light Pink Sanding Sugar
Lollipop sticks or Striped Party Paper Straws

Instructions:

1.  Crumble up cooled cake until you have very fine cake crumbs.

2.   Add half of the frosting to the cake and mix until it is evenly distributed.  If you can mold the cake into a firm stable ball at this point, stop.  If not, add the rest of the frosting ¼ at a time until you are able to shape it.

3.  Scoop tablespoon sized balls of the cake mixture and shape into an oval (approximately the size and shape of a piece of sushi rice ball).

4.  Chill cake balls in the freezer until firm (this could take anywhere from 15-30 minutes)**

5.  While the cake is chilling:

a. Cut the mini marshmallows vertically, and dip into sanding sugar for the ears.

b. Cut more mini marshmallows horizontally for the tails.

c. Cut edible grass into desired size.

d. Melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave until completely smooth.

6.  Remove the cake balls from the freezer and dip your stick (or straw) into a little chocolate and insert it into the top middle of the cake ball. Place back into the freezer for 5-10 mins until the chocolate has set.

7.  Line a sheet with parchment paper and place tufts of edible grass where your coated cake ball will land.

8.  Once the chocolate has set, take the stick and submerge the cake ball into the melted chocolate and gently tap the excess chocolate off.  Place on the edible grass.

9. Quickly, before the chocolate sets, place the tail on one end and the ears on the opposite end.  Place two black pearls for the eyes and a heart shaped sprinkle for the nose.  You can use a (clean) tweezer to facilitate the placement of the eyes and nose.

10. Let the chocolate set at room temp, or if you’re in a hurry you can place it in the freezer to set it.


*I am aware that bunnies have nothing to do with the meaning of Easter.
**Be careful when chilling the cake balls.  If the cake balls are too cold, it will crack your chocolate when it comes to room temperature.