Creative Fun in the Kitchen: Cake Pops!

I have no idea what possessed me to raise my hand high, and wave it around, when the question was asked, “Who’d like to review a book called Cake Pops (by Bakerella)?” First of all, I had no idea what cake pops were. Secondly, I try to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. Baking’s not my strong suit.

Photo: Angie Dudley

But then the happy book came in the mail and I got sucked in. Maybe it was the fact that my 19 year old daughter snatched it from the envelope and didn’t let me see it until she was done ohhing and ahhing over it. Riding on her enthusiasm I found a quiet moment to explore its pages on my own. And I quickly understood her gusto.

What are cake pops? Good question. I’d never heard of them either. But the idea is clever and unique. It’s basically a small ball of cake, that’s been shredded, then blended with a small amount of frosting so it will hold its shape. Then it’s dipped in chocolate. Is your mouth watering yet?

Photo: Bakerella

The genius of this idea is that the possibilities for geeky creativity are practically endless. Melting chocolates come in dozens of colors. Finishing decorations can be anything from simple sprinkles or drizzled lines on top, to more creative ideas using cleverly placed candies and fruit snacks.

Photo: Bakerella

These treats can be made as ‘pops’, when they’re perched on Popsicle sticks, or enjoyed as balls, sans sticks. Either way, they’re yummy, clever, and adorable.

Now on to more specifics about the book. The author, who wrote the book under the her blog’s name, Bakerella, admits in the opening pages that she’s not formally trained. She happened upon the idea of cake balls, stuck them on a stick to make pops, and began posting her creations on her personal blog. When the Martha Stewart Show featured them, the idea spread, and soon a book was born.

It’s a very well done book. It’s colorful and well laid out. It’s full of satisfying pictures that show in great detail how to make each version of this treat. As a rookie baker I greatly appreciate well written instructions, placed perfectly next to detailed photographs, diagramming each step.

Photo: Judy Berna

I was just a few pages into this book when I was completely convinced that even I could make these adorable things. Before I could adequately review the book, I had to see if it could not only inspire a reluctant baker like myself, but turn me into a creative master pop maker.

The end result? These amazing cake balls, that made one of my friends very happy when I presented them to her for her birthday.

Photo: Judy Berna

I followed the directions to the letter and every single hint that’s given in the book is tried and true. They weren’t hard to make. In fact, they were so entertaining to play around with, I’ve started to brain storm about which variety I’ll try next.

One of my fellow GeekMom writers, Jenn, made a batch too. They are fun to take to parties and family gatherings, especially when they’re wrapped up in fancy bags.

Photo: Jennifer Day

I’m thrilled to own this book, because if I had not been sent a review copy, I would have definitely bought one of my own. It’s the perfect gift for any geek mom friend (or yourself!) and has tons of potential for fun with kids in the kitchen.

Photo: Bakerella

Side note: The blog where the phenomenon was started is bakerella.com and is a great place to poke around until you get your own copy of the book. There are many new ideas on the blog, that don’t appear in the book, including some adorable holiday designs for Valentine’s Day and Easter.  As this idea spreads around the web, many other bloggers are posting pictures of their clever variations, including one of my geek favorites, the Star Wars Pops. There’s also a great tutorial on the basics of cake pop making on YouTube, featuring the author herself as your guide.

So obviously I highly recommend this book and the fun that can come from it. There are a few more snowed in months of winter left. Maybe it’s time to invest in some colored chocolates and spend an afternoon or two playing around with cake pops.

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