Sweets on a stick are all the rage this year, particularly cakes. Bakerella started it all with her universally adored cake pops, which have turned into an entire new cookbook. She started a dessert trend that’s now popping up – pun totally intended – everywhere, even in the Canadian great white North, where we’re more likely to recognize the resemblance between a white-chocolate dunked cake pop and a snowball.
But here’s a secret – if you don’t have the gumption to bake cakes, mix frosting, combine the two, shape and freeze them into balls before dipping them in chocolate, you can streamline the entire process – by picking up some cake doughnut holes. I won’t tell if you won’t.
Of course if you want to go whole-hog and make them from scratch, kudos to you – it’s a simple process, and a fun winter weekend project if you have kids around. Here’s a formula from the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, where for the past 21 years they’ve celebrated Christmas in November with special packages that incorporate cooking, decorating and mixology sessions with Food Network chefs and celebrity decorators, all interspersed with fabulous food and wine, a gala dinner with a live band, and all the holiday extras – horse-drawn carriages, lights, trees, fireplaces, even pictures with Santa. I’ve been a presenter myself for the past 8 years, and it’s no exaggeration that it’s one of the highlights of my year. With over 200 cabins on the property, the JPL is surrounded by mountains and lakes, and has in the past been visited by the late Bing Crosby (the cabin he stayed in is named after him, even) and the Queen Mother.
This past weekend was the last package of this season, but you can bet this week they’re already planning next year’s sessions, wine tastings, buffets and gala dinners.
Ailynn Santos was a new presenter at CIN this year, and she showed guests (in between meals) how to make these lollipop cake truffles, which it turns out resemble snowballs on a stick if you roll them in coconut or sanding sugar after dipping them in white chocolate.
Snowball Lollipop Cake Truffles
The cake truffles were presented by Ailynn Santos at Christmas in November – I turned them into snowballs!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 cups icing sugar
1 brick cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 lb. white chocolate, chopped
untoasted coconut or coarse white sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 8″ pans: coat with shortening and flour and parchment paper.
Combine flour, cocoa, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream or milk, oil, vinegar, and 1 cup hot water and mix until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean-approx. 40-45 minutes.
To make cream cheese frosting, beat the ingredients together until creamy and smooth.
Cool cakes in pans for a few minutes before taking them out. Once cooled, crumble up and mix together with enough cream cheese frosting until moist enough to roll into balls.
Shape cake and frosting mixture into 1″ balls and place lollipop stick in the center; chill or freeze for about 15 minutes.
Melt white chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water (you only need about an inch of water). Dip the cake pops in the chocolate to coat, then roll in coconut or coarse sugar to create a snowball effect.
About Ailynn Santos: she is the founder and lead cake designer of Whimsical Cake Studio Inc. Her passion for designing cakes stems from being self-taught through books, other designers and each unique cake she creates. With the desire to learn more, she researched some of the best in the cake industry and discovered cake classes with Bonnie Gordon in Toronto. It was there that she was able to learn more tricks of the trade and discover her own style…a whimsical style in every sense of the word.