Cake pops are the latest culinary trend
We investigate what all the fuss is about- and how you can make these sweet treats
Cake Pops are the latest culinary craze to hit the capital. Cake pops are what you expect them to be: cake on a lollipop stick. The idea originated in America and has spread to the UK thanks to online cookery blogs. The cake pops are made up of mushed-up cake, which is delivered in a stick decorated as anything that takes the makers fancy.
Oak studios in Hampstead run Cake Pop classes, where those who want to be in the know about the latest baking trends can pick up tips on how to make them.
At the shop, Leigh Koh, my personal Cake Pop instructor greets me with a festive array of mini Christmas puds, reindeer and snowmen. Koh, who runs a bespoke cake business called Craft Cakes, loves “making something fun like pops from simple ingredients and seeing the delight they bring”.
Koh’s first Cake Pop workshop in May introduced these decorated cake balls on sticks. In the course of the workshop, I soon discover why they are proving so popular. They hit the right spot by being near foolproof for recipe followers and giving results that look too good to eat.
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Thirty minutes into the session and I crack through the rich chocolate shell into moreishly moist vanilla cake. As I polish off the generous mouthful I understand why Koh thinks Cake Pops are the next big thing. “Portable, cute, special and different to overdone cupcakes”, she has seen record demand for her custom designs this month and even big coffee chains are catching on with newly released cake lollipops.
I take my batch home with me, safe in the knowledge that these little sweet treats won’t last longer than the five day eat by deadline.
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Leigh Koh’s tips on how to make cakepops
1) The cake mixture forming the central ball consists of crumbled cake bits mushed in a 2:1 ratio with a buttery syrup. This cake can be leftovers, shop-bought or you can bake your preferred sponge. The broken pieces form moist dough when combined with the syrup mixture of two parts icing sugar, one part creamed butter.
2) Chill the dough. This makes it easier to handle. Roll balls from 1 tbsp. of mixture onto greaseproof paper.
3) To make the iced exterior shell, microwave candy melts, (available from cake decorating suppliers). This is the time to get creative with flavours and styles. We used milk chocolate melt for a Christmas pudding base.
4) Take a lollipop stick, dunk into the melted candy then push midway into the cake ball. Next stage is to coat the ball. Holding the stick horizontally, “dip-lift-turn-dip” into the melted candy. Avoid rotating the ball whilst still in the mix as it will get stuck – my first pudding came to this sticky end!
5) Allow excess candy to drip off then leave to set (a polystyrene block makes a good stand). You can repeat step 4 with another colour or flavour depending on your design. We used white vanilla candy for the top half of our pop.
6) Final flourishes- your imagination is the limit here. Think sugarcraft details, edible glitter, and royal icing designs.
The Oak Studio hosts classes for 4-8 people run by local craftspeople. Leigh leads a Cake Pop Workshop Saturday 10 December. For details contact 07738- 784 631 or visit the studio this Sunday at the Hampstead Christmas Festival.