Cake Pop Questions
Hi everyone! It's Kim, from KC Bakes. We receive a lot of cake pop questions on our Facebook page, so I wanted to compile a list of cake pop frustrations that we all experience, and share what I've learned along the way. If I don't know the answer, I'll definitely find it out for you.
Why do my cake pops keep cracking?
Cracking the #1 cake pop mystery. Generally, it's a temperature issue - the cake balls are too cold and the melted candy is too hot. Some bakers like to chill their cake pops in the freezer, and use mini Crock pots or double boilers to keep their chocolate hot - this can create an extreme difference in temperature. When I make cake pops, I keep my cake balls in the refrigerator and use the microwave instructions on the candy melt bag. Sometimes though, there is just no rhyme or reason.
My cake pops have air bubbles on them - how did that happen?
You are not feel alone. For awhile, I was having THE worst time with air bubbles. They make your cake pops look lumpy, and can cause oil leaks (refer to next question below). The usual cause of air bubbles is stirring your chocolate too fast, by using more of a whipping method, or from over-stirring. I use a regular metal spoon to stir my candy melts with slow & steady strokes.
One thing that has really helped me with this problem is switching to CandiQuik. Their chocolate comes in one block and in its own tray. Traditionally when you melt other brands chocolate discs, it involves quite a bit of stirring because you have to keep stopping the microwave every 30 seconds, for quite a few minutes - hence, the air bubbles. But what I've come to really like about CandiQuik is that you put the tray in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, and you're done. Since switching, I have not had air bubble problems - not once!
Why is my chocolate is so thick - what do I do?
When I dip the balls, they start to come off the stick. I tried dipping the sticks in chocolate before sticking them in the cake ball, but I still have the same problem. Help!
Dipping the sticks in chocolate before inserting them in the cake ball is an important step, you're on the right track. The important step here is to keep the cake balls chilled, otherwise they will soften up and fall apart when they're dipped in the chocolate. Here's what I do when I make cake pops:
Another problem can be the size/weight of the cake ball itself. If its particularly large, or really dense, this can cause the cake to fall off the stick as well.
Why is there condensation on my cake pops?
This is a common result of using frozen cake balls. In order to make cake pops, the cake balls need to be thawed out - but sometimes it is hard to tell if they are 100% thawed before dipping them. So as the chocolate exterior hardens, and the interior cake ball comes to room temperature, this causes the pop to "sweat".
Condensation is also a result of refrigerated finished pops. Whenever someone picks up cake pops from me, I advise them to store them at room temperature, usually on their kitchen counter. Note: I live in New Jersey, so I'm not sure how areas with more extreme weather conditions handle this issue.
Why are my cake pops leaking oil?
With my air bubble issues that I mentioned above, I also had the worst time with leaking pops. When chocolate hardens, it contracts. So, if there are air bubbles on the surface of your cake pop, they will break open when the chocolate dries, creating small holes & exposing your cake ball underneath. Even if its a tiny pin-hole, oil will still be able to seep out of it. To fix this, dry off your finished cake pop and use melted chocolate to "plug" the hole.
Cake pops also leak oil if the cake itself is particularly wet. This can be a result of adding too much frosting, or by using a really dense cake recipes that call for a lot of eggs or oil (chocolate cake seems to give me the worst leaking problems).
Have you seen the commercials for cake pop cake pans? Do they work?
I'll fully admit I'm a bit of a cake-pop-snob when it comes to these pans/makers. They simply create dry balls of cake - there is no frosting involved in the process, so I'm not sure how they stay on the stick in the commercials (TV magic?). A friend made "cake pops" using one of these makers, and to be perfectly honest, it tasted like a stale donut-hole... it was dry in the center, and the chocolate exterior made it tough to eat because there was zero moisture. Just my humble opinion here - some people love them. Let me know what you think on this one :)
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These cake pop questions were posted on our Facebook page, and bakers gave their feedback. Check it out.