The thing about cake pops is that they look so EASY.
And when you go and Google them or check out Pinterest, they are so darned PRETTY. And while they’re not not easy, they are FINICKY.
Before we begin, go read the Do’s and Don’ts of cake popping and then pop on back over here where I’ll show you how to make a Santa Hat cake pop. If you’re feeling particularly brave — or drunk — by all means get your kids involved.
OK. So you’ve baked, crumbled and mixed your cake and icing into a moist-but-not-too-moist cakey mass. You’re practically a pro. Now, scoop the cake mix with a one-inch scoop and roll it into a ball; not too tightly, mind you, but the ball makes it easier to shape.
At this point you need to make a conical shape so I flatten one end of the ball on the counter while pinching the top and then rolling the top, either between your fingers or back and forth on the counter, into a peak. (This would give you a Christmas tree shape, by the way. You’re welcome.) Tip the peak to one side and you have the floppy hat.
Time to insert the lollipop sticks (or festive paper straws). Dip into the red melted candy melts (and you have these ready at the perfect temperature because you read my how-to already, right?) and insert about 1/2″ into the cake pop. Don’t be shy.
Let’s go for a dip! Plunge the cake pop straight down into the melted candy/chocolate until fully submerged then lift straight up. Give a little twist of the wrist and, while holding the cake pop over the cup, allow the extra drippiness to drip off.
Resist the urge to shake the stick. Instead, gently tap the wrist of the hand holding the cake pop to ease off the extra candy melts. I use a toothpick to gently ease off the drippings. Twist the stick as you do this. Also, use the toothpick to pop any tiny air bubbles that may have formed before the candy shell hardens.
So, if that’s not enough, before the candy hardens, but not while it’s too wet (you will figure this out) squish a mini marshmallow and pop it on the tip of your hat. Instant pom-pom!
Waiting game: let the cake pops harden. Cry if they crack, but take solace in the fact that these imperfections are easily hidden with the next step. But first cover any cracks or leaky air bubbles with a bit of the melted candy on the tip of a toothpick and smooth with your finger tip. Let dry.
You’re almost there! Next, dip a teaspoon into the melted white chocolate wafers and drizzle around the base of the hat. The beauty is in the imperfection.
Continue dripping white chocolate around the base, filling in with the back of the spoon, covering the red all the way to the lollipop stick.
As before, let the extra chocolate drip off. Before the white chocolate has quite set (again, small window: too wet and the sugar melts into the chocolate and also drips off; too dry and — well — too dry) sprinkle white sanding sugar (or white nonpareils) all the way around for your Santa hat furry brim!
Step 10 (I know, I said 9 steps)
Enjoy the fruits of your labour. Bask in the glory. You did it! Now, eat ’em up! Or, if you’re feeling charitable, give them as teacher or hostess gifts. Kids will love them. And they store fantastically, tightly wrapped in the fridge or freezer. 🙂