Halloween ghost cake pops

Halloween ghost cake pops text

My last Halloween offering definitely wasn’t going to win any awards in the most attractive bake category (despite how much fun the kids had creating them), but these little spooky cake pops are much, much cuter.

My daughter Jessie and I made these for her school bake sale and from all accounts they were a big hit. The girls say they’d all sold out before they even made it into the school hall.

Halloween ghost cake pops2

Cake pops are always a hit with children but I avoid making them too often. They’re not at all difficult, just a little long-winded and involved. So if you plan to have a go at these, do make sure you leave yourself plenty of time.

The good people at Dr Oetker kindly sent me a big bag of ingredients in order to make this cake pops recipe, developed by Juliet Sear who is part of their Even Better Baking Team. The recipe is below and for more practical hints and tips, you can watch the video tutorial over on YouTube.

The cake at the centre of these wee little ghosties is a delicious chocolate fudge brownie, which this recipe has you making from scratch. If you want to make life a little easier, you could always use a shop-bought chocolate cake – just make sure it’s a nicely moist and squidgy one. The brownie balls are covered in a layer of white chocolate, before being dressed in their ghostly regal icing robes.

Halloween ghost cake pops

Makes 20 cake pops

For the cake balls
120g Dr Oetker 72% Cocoa Extra Dark Fine Cooks Chocolate
150g soft unsalted butter at room temp
200g Light Muscovado Sugar
3 medium free range eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla extract
125g Plain Flour

For the cake pops
2 X 100g bags of Dr Oetker White Chocolate Chips melted for sticking the balls onto the sticks & coating the cake pops
20 cake pop sticks

To decorate the ghosts
1 pack of Dr Oetker White Regal Ice
icing sugar for rolling out
Dr Oetker White Designer Icing for sticking the regal ice to the cake pops
Dr Oetker Jet Black Gel Food Colour

Preheat the oven to 140°C / gas mark 1).

Grease and line an 18cm (7 inch) square cake tin.

To make the fudge brownie mix, melt the extra dark chocolate in a microwave on medium power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time until melted, or in a heatproof bowl on a gentle heat over a bain marie. Leave to cool.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, mixing until combined.

Add the cooled chocolate stirring continuously. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Gradually fold in the flour until just combined. Take care not to over beat.

Pour the mix into your cake tin and bake for around 40 mins. Check it with a sharp knife or metal skewer. You want this to be slightly under baked, so the knife should come out with a nice paste stuck to the knife.

Leave the cake to cool, then turn out into a bowl and crumble with your hands to a fine, fudgy crumb.

To make the cake balls, take a handful of fudge cake mix and squeeze together tightly – you are aiming for little balls about the size of a large walnut, approximately 30g each. If the mixture is dry, the addition of a little melted chocolate or vanilla butter cream will help the mixture stick.

Melt the white chocolate chips in the same way as the dark chocolate earlier.

Dip the end of a stick into the melted white chocolate and push the stick into a ball, about half way in. Hold the ball to stop it splitting open when the stick goes in. Continue with all the balls.

Once all the cake pops are ready, pop them into the freezer for 30 mins, so the balls are firm enough to hold when dipping in the coating. Keep the melted white chocolate in a warm place to stop it from setting.

When the cake balls are firm, plunge each one into the white chocolate until completely covered. Tap the cake pop gently on the side of the bowl to shake off the excess.

To decorate the ghosts, roll out half the white regal icing into a large rectangle using plenty of icing sugar and a large plastic rolling pin. Roll fairly thinly – 2 to 3mm thick. Squeeze a little Designer Icing onto the tops of the cake pops or brush with some melted white chocolate to keep the icing sheet in place.

Using a cake cutter or small bowl, cut out circles of regal icing and place on each of the pops, smoothing down with your fingers to create the white sheet effect.

Decorate each one with a ghostly expression using the black gel food colour and a fine brush.

Halloween ghost cake pop

 

These spooky cake pops are perfect for making with little ones and so I’m entering them into this month’s Family Foodies ‘Cooking With Kids’ challenge, a month bloggers event hosted by Eat Your Veg and me, Bangers & Mash.

family-foodies

Disclosure: I received complimentary ingredients from Dr Oetker in order to try out this recipe. No money exchanged hands and all opinions expressed are my own.

Halloween pumpkin cake pops

Cake pops are very cute. After all, who doesn’t love food on a stick? I made some simple ones recently for a school cake sale and they sold out instantly. In fact, the school caretaker got in there first and bought some while we were still setting up.

I’ve seen lots of beautifully decorated cake pops on websites and blogs recently and for some strange reason I’ve felt an overwhelming urge to create some special cake pops for Halloween. Now this just isn’t the kind of thing I do normally. My interest in baking has increased massively over the last couple of years but creating cleverly crafted cakes and daintily decorated delights is way out of my comfort zone.

Admittedly, these little pumpkin pops are not an example of patisserie perfection I’m afraid, but they are a bit of fun and most importantly my children can’t get enough of them.

It took me a couple of attempts to get these Halloween cake pops right, mainly because white chocolate isn’t particularly easy to work with as a cake coating.

The first time it took me ages to get the colouring right. I was adding a drop or two of red liquid food colour, then a drop of yellow, and a bit more red, and a bit more yellow, ad nauseum. Eventually the chocolate just split and went all grainy and horrible because I’d over-worked it. I added a little vegetable oil to loosen it again, which seemed to work but then the coating refused to set properly on the cakes and they ended up looking a complete and utter state.

The second attempt was better. I used white chocolate again but went for a concentrate paste colouring and took lots more care not to overwork it. The end result, as you can see, is OK but I still haven’t ended up with the lovely smooth finish you get with normal chocolate. Next time – if there is a next time – I might try a white cake covering or ‘candy melts’ – it might taste ghastly but does that matter as long as it looks the part?

There are various ways to make the cake pops themselves. I have seen a cake pop machine on the market but that seems a little excessive to me. I bought a special cake pops baking pan, which works fairly well but I don’t think it’s completely necessary. I’ve since found a few pop cake recipes online using ready-made cake; you simply mix with chocolate and roll into balls. No baking necessary.

But if you do fancy going down the baking pan route, here’s what I did…

Halloween pumpkin cake pops

Makes 12

50g plain chocolate
60g butter
80g caster sugar
1½ tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg
50g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
200g white chocolate
12 lollipop sticks
orange food colouring concentrate paste
2 tbsp jam
green ready-made icing
black writing icing

Preheat oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.

Grease the baking pan liberally with vegetable oil and dust with cocoa powder.

Put the plain chocolate and butter in a large mixing bowl and heat gently in a microwave or over a large pan of hot water until melted. Mix in the caster sugar and cocoa, and then stir in the egg. Finally add in the flour, baking powder and salt and combine well.

Spoon the mixture into a twelve-pop baking pan, filling each well so it creates a slight mound over the top. Put the lid on and secure.

Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into one of the holes comes out almost clean. Leave to cool for five minutes in the pan before removing and leaving to cool completely.

Melt a couple of the pieces of white chocolate and dip the lollipop sticks in before inserting into the cake pops. Put in the fridge for half an hour to allow the sticks to set into place.

Line a plate or board with greaseproof paper.

Melt the remainder of the white chocolate in a large bowl. Using a skewer, gradually add in a little of the orange colour paste at a time, stirring gently after each addition, until  you get the shade of orange you want.

Dip each cake pop into the orange chocolate using a metal spoon to pour over the chocolate and fully cover each one. Spin the cake to let the excess chocolate drip off. Place on the greaseproof paper and leave in a cool place or in the fridge for a few hours to set.

Heat the jam gently in the microwave and leave to cool a little.

Roll out the green icing and cut out leaf / star shapes. Stick the icing onto the cake pops using a little smear of jam.

Lastly draw on the faces using the black icing – triangles for eyes and noses and zig-zag mouths. Leave again in a cool place to allow everything to set into place. Preferably somewhere up high and out of sight, as when the little ones spot them, they won’t be around for long. Happy Halloween!