I’m obsessed and addicted.
…okay that may be a slight exaggeration, but I truly forgot how awesome the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves is and I can’t stop making things with it in!
I’m not the first person to make these cake pops, and I’m sure I won’t be the last, but the awfully seasonal and I plan on making another batch ready for ‘trick or treaters’ come the end of the month. (Except for those I’ll probably stick to vanilla or chocolate cake, as I know the spices require an acquired palette.)
So the idea; pumpkin shaped cake pops with the flavour of pumpkin spice.
This is my own recipe; it’s an adaptation of the carrot cake recipe that I use.
For the batter:
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g soft brown sugar (I always forget to sift this, but do it’ll make your life easier as you go on, honest)
250ml vegetable oil
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
If possible, grind the nutmeg and cloves freshly in a pestle and mortar, they hold oils and it just gives for a fuller flavour than pre-ground dried ingredients. But if you can’t don’t worry too much!)
For the butter icing
55g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Cake pops aren’t difficult to make; they’re just time consuming and have several stages to them.
- Bake a cake, leave to cool
- Destroy said cake into crumbs
- Mix with butter icing to form a dough
- Shape into desired shape and ‘glue’ onto the lollipop stick with chocolate
- Leave to set
- Coat with covering (in our case chocolate)
- Leave to set
- Decorate further and wrap
Pretty simple stages, right?
I’ll go through each stage as I did it, but they’re fair straight forward!
- Right let’s start by baking the cake. Pre-heat the oven to 150˚C.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate, spices and sugar together and sieve to ensure that they’re well combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and oil together, then make a well in the dry ingredient bowl and pour the egg mixture in.
- Fold this all together until it’s well combined.
- Grease and line a cake tin, it doesn’t matter what size, as we’re not going for looks with this cake, we’ll crumb in up once it’s done.
- Bake this for a good fourty-five minutes until a skewer (or knife, whatever you have handy) comes out clean when inserted.
- Carefully remove the cake from the tin, and pop on a cooling rack. This is the odd part of cake pops baking…we’re going to destroy our lovely cake. Carefully rip it into medium sized pieces and leave to cool completely. Ripping it up will just speed the process up.
- Whilst it’s cooling let’s make the butter icing to combine with the crumbs later.
- Pop your butter in a bowl and beat until very soft, add the icing sugar in four stages. Ensuring that it’s fully combined before adding any more. Between the second and third lot of icing sugar add the milk.
- Add the spices into the icing and beat until combined.
- Once the cake is completely cool we need to turn it into crumbs, you can do this in a food processor, but it’s so easy to do by hand I don’t see the point in getting the blitzer dirty for no reason. You only the soft inside of the cake, so the cake pops are as dough like as possible if that makes sense, so pull out all the inside part of the cake and discard (or put to one side to eat later!) the crust and rub the cake between your fingers until you have a fine
breadcake crumb consistency.
- Using your hands mix together the butter icing and crumbs until a pliable dough is formed. I’ve found this is the perfect amount of butter icing to cake ratio, but add in stages as it’s easier to add more, but you can’t exactly take it away! You don’t want it to be too sticky, but on the flip side it needs to hold together in a ball without falling apart.
- Now divide them into equal sized balls and shape into a nice even round sphere. I made one that looked the right size in proportion to my lollipop stick and weighed it, it weighed 42g, and weighed the rest of the dough out to the same weight.
- Shape the dough into pumpkins by using a cocktail stick or lollipop stick and making indents into the balls. Viola, mini pumpkins, now for the colouring.
- Melt the candy melts in a heat proof bowl over a small amount of water on the stove. You can melt them in the microwave, but I prefer this method because you’ve got more control over the whole matter and there’s less of a chance of burning the chocolate; but it’s just personal preference.
- We now need to attached the cake pops to their lollipop sticks, to do this we dip the lollipop stick into the chocolate, getting an even coating and then stick it into your mini pumpkins, leaving it to set completely, this causing a kind of foot for the cake pop to sit on and stops it going all the way through the ball. I only had one of these such casualties in this batch.
- Once you have all the cake pops on sticks it’s time to make the chocolate easier to coat the pumpkins. This has pros and cons about it, but I think the pros outweigh the cons in my mind. It makes it far easier to coat the cake pops, but it vastly extends the setting time of the chocolate so they’re far more delicate for longer. But it does set eventually. To thin down the chocolate we increase it’s oil content, I gradually added the vegetable oil to get the right consistency. We’re looking for a consistency whereby the chocolate flows off the spoon easily, but still coats it. I found five tablespoons was perfect.
- Take each pop and stick it into the chocolate and swirl it around. Try to to this in one movement, and perhaps if you can’t quite cover it all just flick some extra over with a spoon. Importantly pull the cake pop out directly vertically, so you don’t end up with ‘drip’ marks over the sides of the cake pops. If you look at some of my photos you’ll see what I mean.
- Sculpt little stalks from green fondant and place on top of the cake pop before the chocolate sets to make it really look like a pumpkin.
- Leave to set fully.
- I had bought a pen with edible ink to draw on my faces onto the pumpkin, but it just wouldn’t work. I think it was to do with the oil content of the chocolate, but after a quick search on the internet I found out I wasn’t alone. One such post suggested buying black candy melts and piping the faces on. I didn’t have any black candy melts, so I made up some icing from icing sugar and water coloured it black and piped using that; but it ran. So I’d stick with the black candy melts if I were you; that’s what I’m going to do next time.
Now comes the most fun part; constructing them!
Pumpkin Cake Pops; enjoy!