They’re made of baked cakes, crumbled and mixed with icing, then rolled into balls, frozen, impaled on a stick and dipped in chocolate. (They’re easier to make than they sound, and if you’re pressed for time, you can start with store-bought cake and skip the baking part altogether.) Bringing out a tray of cake pops will whip your party into a sweet frenzy. When it’s Christmastime, fruitcake pops are in order – and a great way to doctor one up and render it unrecognizable, if there are non-fruitcake-lovers in your midst.
The original recipe for cake pops calls for cake mix and canned frosting — it’s more what’s done with them that’s the idea — but like any other baked goods, your pops will be tastier if made from scratch. Fruitcakes make a sturdy base for cake pops, as it tends to be more substantial — and far less crumby — than most cakes. Start with purchased fruitcake, or make your own — here’s an easy recipe from Marion Cunningham — or if you really want to streamline things, start with store-bought round donut holes, ditching the need to shape and roll them entirely. On the outside, they look just the same.
Christmas Cake Pops
1 fruitcake – dark or light
2-3 cups frosting – try cream cheese (recipe below) or lemon or vanilla buttercream
2-4 cups white chocolate chips or chunks
coarse sanding sugar (optional)
Crumble your fruitcake into large bowl. Add 2 cups frosting and stir well — don’t worry if it’s a total mess. Put the bowl into the fridge to firm up and make it easier to work with.
Once chilled, roll the mixture into balls the size of a walnut, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Push in a lollipop stick and put the balls into the freezer for a bit to firm up.
Melt your chocolate on low power in the microwave, or in a glass bowl set over simmering water (or in a double boiler). If it’s too thick, add a teaspoon of butter as it melts. Dip your cake pops into the melted chocolate, swirling to get rid of drips, and place them stick-up on a waxed paper or parchment lined sheet. If you like, sprinkle with sanding sugar, sprinkles, coconut or anything else you can think of. Let sit at room temperature or refrigerate until set.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
half an 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. regular or light cream cheese
2-3 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla, beating until the mixture is creamy and well-blended. Add a little more sugar or milk if necessary to achieve a spreadable frosting.