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15 March 2009

Cake Balls and Mini Cupcakes

So for Ben, my nephew's, Birthday I made some super cute cake ball lollipops and mini cupcakes from some recipes I found at Pioneer Woman and Bakerella. Bakerella has been on Martha Stewart touting these things.. they are that popular. I think mine would have looked better had I not had the decorating skills of a 5 year old. Luckily my friend, Megan, was there helping me make them look a little more professional. The lollipop and mini cupcake recipes are super easy, highly impressive, and delicious.

Items necessary: *Baked cake made from your favorite store bought cake mix *Your favorite store bought icing *Melting candies- whatever colors you prefer, definitely get chocolate then get some pretty colors (you can purchase these at Michael's or Hobby Lobby) *Candy mold in the shape of a Reeses cup ( for mini cupcakes, Can be found at Hobby Lobby and Michaels) *Lollipop sticks (for lollipops, Can be found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels) *Styrofoam Block lollipop holder ( Can be found at Michaels or Hobby Lobby in fake plant section) *Candy for decorating ( I used M&Ms, you can use sweethearts or whatever else floats your boat) *Sprinkles *Icing ( if you want, see mini cupcakes)

To make the cake balls, that you need to make the lollipops and mini cupcakes, you bake your favorite cake and mix it with your favorite icing flavor. Bakerellas recipes call for a cake made from boxed mix (she likes red velvet or chocolate) and store bought icing (I think she uses butter cream or chocolate). I made a funfetti cake and mixed it with almost a full thing of store bought butter cream icing. I was thinking the funfetti would look cute, but the problem is that when the cake cooks it gets brown on the sides, bottom, and top so the color turns into more of a cream and tan speckled mixed with really light colors in it. I didn't think it looks very pretty so, next time I will be using a dark cake.

After you mix your cake (already baked) and icing together, form small balls using your hands and place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Once you have made all your balls (I love saying balls over and over again) and placed them on the wax paper, place in the fridge for 2 hours or the freezer for 30 minutes until the balls get hard- you don't want them frozen, just solid. No one likes rock hard balls. teehee.

Now that your balls are hard (This so makes me think of the schweaty balls shtick that Alec Baldwin did on Saturday Night Live. If you have never seen it check it out on You-Tube, it's super funny) we shall begin making mini cupcakes first. Melt your chocolate candy in a deep bowl, make sure not to burn it. I heated the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave, making sure to stir well each time. Once the chocolate was hot and melted, I put a spoonful of chocolate, enough to fill the mold half way, in each mold and placed a ball in each mold, pushing down on the ball until the chocolate filled the mold to the top. Then you let the mold sheets with chocolate and the balls sit until the chocolate hardened. I stuck my mold in the freezer for 10 minutes to speed up the process. I then melted the colored candy (in my case, vanilla flavored candy, colored blue) the same way I melted the chocolate candy. I popped my cake balls out of their molds and flipped them upside down and dipped them in the blue candy. Make sure you dip them until just above the chocolate line. You want to be able to see that they look like they are cupcakes. Decorate the top quickly with sprinkles and M&Ms or other bite sized candy before the colored candy top hardens. Sit the mini cupcakes right side up and allow to harden. now you are done with your mini cupcakes. Take a bite.. it's been well worth it.

Look at the cute little sun and those scrumptious little mounds of goodness. (Ew, I am never saying mounds again when talking about food; it sounds too lascivious)

To make the lollipop's, you take your cold balls out of the fridge/freezer, dip a lollipop stick in the melted chocolate (or colored vanilla melted candy), then stick the stick 1/2 of the way into the ball. Let it sit a minute and then take the stick, turn it upside down, and dip the ball in the melted candy. Tap the lollipop stick on the side in the bowl to get off the extra melted candy. Now flip over and stick the lollipop stick into the Styrofoam box. Decorate the top of the cake ball before it hardens with M&Ms or sprinkles or let it harden and then decorate the top with icing. Now you are ready for a treat.

I will post some better shots of the cake lollipops. These pictures are weak.

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