Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ninjago Cake Pops

I luv cake pops. What a fun idea to put a cake ball on a stick. When Brek wanted to have a LEGO themed birthday party this year, I wanted to make birthday cake pops.

I made cake pops once for Brek's class party. I didn't follow any recipe because... well... I was just playing around.

I started to test recipes about a month before Brek's birthday party. The trouble started right away. My homemade frosting couldn't hold the cake balls together. I could kick myself for not remembering what I did right the first time I made the cake pops. After so many tries, I wanted to go with Plan B: cupcakes. Then I found
a Nordic Ware Cake Pop Kit at Target. I gave the pan a test drive. Whoa!!! Talk about less headache.

Let the making of cake pops adventure begins! I decided to work on the LEGO’s Ninjago theme. Since I couldn’t use colorful candy melt, I thought the chocolate around a cake ball would be perfect as the ninja's mask. Another challenge was making sure a cake ball didn't fall apart when I inserted a stick into it. I decided to use a pound cake recipe to make these cake pops. When cake pops were in the fridge, they firmed up really well, which was what I wanted.

In order for these cake pops to have any resemblance of Ninjago, I made their colorful bodies from craft foam sheets. I drew the decorations on the Ninjago’s outfits using markers and fabric pens. Sensei Wu's hat was a cupcake top, and his beard was made from homemade marshmallow.

Ninjago Cake Pops
makes 24 cake pops

1 1⁄2 cups (6 oz) all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda (Arm & Hammer)
12 Tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature (Kerrygold)
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract (homemade)
2 large eggs, at room temperature (Eggland's Best)
1⁄2 cup (4 oz) sour cream, at room temperature (Daisy)
Vegetable oil

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray (top and bottom) cake pop pan with vegetable oil.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Using a hand mixer, whip together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract on a medium speed until light and fluffy, about one minute.
  5. Add the eggs and sour cream. Mix in medium speed for one minute.
  6. Add the flour mixture and mix with spatula until just combine.
  7. Using a medium size cookie scooper, scoop the batter into the prepared cake pop bottom pan. Cake pop top pan has small holes for venting.
  8. Cover the cake pop pan and insert the two locks.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Let cake balls cool in a pan for 10 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Trim cake balls if they are not perfectly rounded.
  12. Wash and dry cake pop pan. Use the rest of the batter to make more cake pops if desired.
  13. To make cupcakes, use a large size cookie scooper and scoop the batter into lined cupcake pan. Bake them in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minute (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean).
For ninja's mask
    1 bag of chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
  1. Melt half cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler.
  2. Dip the candy stick in the melted chocolate.
  3. Insert the stick into a cake ball.
  4. Place a cake pop on to the cake pop stand.
  5. Repeat step 2 to 4.
  6. Refrigerate the cake pops for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best.
  7. Once the cake pops are firm to touch, they are ready for decorating. Melt the rest of the chocolate chips in a double boiler.
  8. Scoop the melted chocolate into a piping bag.
  9. Cut a little bit off of the bottom of the bag.
  10. Pipe the ninja eye brows and eyes.
  11. Pipe the ninja's mask around the eyes.

For Sensei Wu
    1 large cupcake
    homemade marshmallow
    melted chocolate chips
  1. Use the melted chocolate from the piping bag to decorate his eyes.
  2. Attach the marshmallow beard to a cake pop by using melted butter.
  3. Refrigerate this cake pop for about an hour.
  4. To make his hat, slice off the top of a cupcake.
  5. Score under the cupcake top just enough to fit the cake ball. 
  6. Brush the top of a cake pop with melted chocolate.
  7. Place the cupcake top onto the cake ball.
  8. Add more melted chocolate under the hat and around the cake ball as reinforcement.  
Keep the completed Ninjago cake pops in the refrigerator. Let them come to a room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to ensure soft texture cake pops.

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