How to Fix Yellow Cake Pop Sticks

Tags

, , , ,

One great thing about cake pops is that you can make them several days in advance of an event… even a week (or two).

The chocolate coating seals in the cake, keeping it fresh. However – have you ever noticed that after a day or two, the stick starts to turn yellow?

1 How to Fix Yellow Cake Pop Sticks

The problem: standard cake mix ingredients include eggs, water & oil. Lollipop sticks are made from tightly-wound paper, which essentially act like a wick, absorbing the fat content contributed by oil.

The solution: Musselman’s unsweetened applesauce! It’s really that easy… substitute the exact amount of applesauce for what the cake mix calls for in oil.

2 Ingredients Applesauce

Did she just say applesauce in cake mix? I sure did! Don’t stress, it will not change the taste at all, I promise. I tested this solution with several friends, and not one person noticed the swap.

Most mixes require a 1/2 cup of oil. Musselman’s snack-size applesauce cups hold just about that same amount!

3 How to Fix Yellow Cake Pop Sticks with Applesauce

Next time you are making cake pops, keep that oil in the cupboard and peel back a snack pack of unsweetened applesauce – no measuring required!

I had so much fun working with Mussleman’s on this post… such a quick fix for a very common cake pop problem.

Now that you have pearly white sticks, here’s a fun & easy cake pop idea for Fall… Halloween Pumpkin Pops! {see my Pumpkin Cake Pop Tutorial to get started}

Halloween Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Cake Pop vertical

Place melted orange candy into a Ziploc bag. Snip off one corner of the bag — the smaller corner you cut, the finer of a “tip” you’ll have.

Pipe on your desired design – then immediately shake black sanding sugar over the wet candy. The crystals will only stick to where you pipe – ta da!

Spider Halloween Cake Pop with Apple

Jack is so friendly looking, you almost feel bad eating him… almost :)

HH Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Cake Pop

I especially love the sugar crystal effect for the spider design… it’s the perfect texture for a Halloween creepy-crawly.

HH Spider IG

Photo backdrop: www.inkandelm.com

Movie Theater Chocolate

Tags

, , ,

I love movies. So does my whole family. We practically speak in movie quotes…

If you were to ask, “How’s the weather?”, my dad would likely reply, “You got a window? Open it.” (Good Morning, Vietnam)

When we are comparing two things that are similar, someone will inevitably say, “They’re i- *clap* -dentical!” (My Cousin Vinny)

Going to the movies is such an adventure. Walking up to the theater, you can always smell the rich scent of buttery popcorn. But then you get to the concession stand, and there are so many yummy chocolate candies… it can be so hard to choose!

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (9)

I’ve come up with a delicious treat that satisfies both salty & sweet… Movie Theater Chocolate!

With only 3 ingredients, it’s easy-peezy to make – LorAnn Oils Buttered Popcorn flavoring oil, chocolate melts, and some crunchies.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (1)

Bakerella recently debuted her own line of Make’n Mold chocolates, one of which is this beautiful Sunny Yellow – the perfect color association for popcorn.

LorAnn oils are super concentrated, a little bit goes a long way. I added 1/4 tsp. to half a bag of candy melts… you can use more/less depending how strong of a buttery popcorn taste you’d like.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (2)

Using Make’n Mold’s Break Up Candy Bar Mold, start with a thin layer of “popcorn chocolate’, then immediately sprinkle on some Rice Krispies.

If you’re out of Krispies, like I was, you can use crushed Special K (no one will ever know… unless you blog about it, haha).

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (3)

You can also use crushed Oreos or a toffee crunch mixture!

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (4)

Make’n Mold’s Salted Caramel melts are so delicious. For just a hint of this flavor, add a little swirl of candy, rather than a whole layer of it.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (5)

Set these to the side for a few minutes to firm up while you are melting candy for the next step.

Fill ‘er up! Bakerella’s Chocolate Fudge wafers are the perfect pairing to top off this treat.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (6)

Tap the plastic mold against the table to get rid of air bubbles. When you are happy with how the chocolate has settled, pop the tray into the fridge for just a few minutes.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (7)

Ta da! Don’t you just love the color?

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (8)

“When this baby hits 88mph, you’re going to see some serious sh–“… um… chocolate :)

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (11)

What is your favorite movie quote? Let’s hear some classics!

LorAnn Oils are so versatile! Check out these amazing ideas using LorAnn Oils for cakes, cookies, pudding – even sink freshening tabs!

 

  1. Strawberry Fudge from The Stylish Nest
  2. Pumpkin Spice Latte French Macarons from Rickabamboo
  3. Amaretto Cookies from The Blonde in the Apron
  4. No Soda Root Beer Cupcakes and Frosting from Juggling Act Mama
  5. Coffee Donuts from the First Year Blog
  6. Pumpkin Spice Brownie Cookies from Flippin’ Delicious
  7. Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake from The Frugal Foodie Mama
  8. Sink Freshening Tabs in a Snap from Christina, Plain and Simple
  9. Marshmallow Cookies with Princess Cake Frosting from Mom’s Busy Helper
  10. White Chocolate Key Lime Shortbread from It Bakes Me Happy
  11. Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate from Delightful E Made
  12. Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie from Nel’s Nook
  13. Cinnamon Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting from Hezzi-D’s Book and Cooks
  14. Almond Cake Cookies with Cinnamon Spice Glaze from Mom’s Test Kitchen
  15. Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes
  16. Princess Sand Tarts from Diary of a Recipe Collector
  17. Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Glaze from Deliciously Sprinkled
  18. Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
  19. Purple People Eater Popcorn Balls from Seven Alive
  20. Green Apple High Hat Cupcakes from Pint Sized Baker
  21. Pumpkin Pie Pudding Parfait from Fearlessly Creative Mamas
  22. Mango Butter Cake from Clark’s Condensed
  23. ‎Pistachio Lemon cake from Self Proclaimed Foodie
  24. Apple Crumb Coffee Cake from Healthy Deliciou
  25. Chocolate Chip Horchata Zucchini Bread from Plate to Gate
  26. Key Lime Cookies from Cooking with Curls
  27. Key Lime Margarita Cookies from Lori’s Culinary Adventures
  28. Chocolate Irish Cream Bundt Cake from Lynsey Lou’s
  29. Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies from Never Skip Dessert
  30. ‎Maple Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce from the Paisley Barn
  31. Pumpkin Cinnamon Cream Puffs from That’s my Home
  32. Citrus Body Scrub from Melissa’s Cuisine
  33. Pumpkin Spiced Tres Leches Cake from Flavor Mosaic
  34. Salted Caramel Meringue Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet
  35. Pumpkin Toffee from Eazy Peazy Meals
  36. Movie Theater Chocolate from KC Bakes
  37. Lactose Free Bacarian Cream Pudding from Travel Parent
  38. Red Velvet Muffins from I Love my Disorganized Life
  39. Maple Bacon Fruit Dip from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
  40. Maple Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding from Awesome on $20 a Day
  41. Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn Snacks from Grumpy’s Honey Bunch
  42. Cranberry Cheesecake Bites from Lady Behind the Curtain
  43. Pumpkin French Macarons from Sweet and Savory by Shinee
  44. Caramelized Apple Spice Cake from The Freshman Cook

Grilling Peaches in the Rain

Tags

, , ,

All summer I’ve been reading about grilled peaches… how amazing they are, the rich juiciness, and amazing flavor. I don’t have a grill, but luckily, I was visiting my parents and they have a big ol’ grill!

I was excited to try out this “campfire cone” idea I had seen on Pinterest. Most people stuff mini marshmallows & chocolate inside of a waffle cone for a s’mores effect, but someone had suggested peaches, white chocolate & sliced almonds and that peaked my interest. Not a huge almond fan myself, I swapped in chopped walnuts & was looking forward to making them.

The weather was calling for passing showers, but the skies were blue & it was a beautiful afternoon… those weathermen always get it wrong. OK, if we are being honest – it was hot & humid, but the sun was out and it was perfect picture-taking conditions.

I had all my ingredients ready, the grill was hot and I was ready to go…

grilled peach white chocolate walnuts campfire cones

I put the peaches on the grill, closed the lid and heard a single psst noise… then a few more, psst psst. It was rain drops hitting the hot metal grill lid. No, I thought, please no…

And then I’m pretty sure I heard Mother Nature laugh, because within seconds, the sky ripped open & a mad dash ensued to get everything under cover.

caught in rain

Hubby was so nice and dashed to our car for my big umbrella… I was a woman on a mission, a little monsoon was not coming between me & some grilled peaches!

I kicked off my flip flops while the family watched in laughter as I balanced a tray of ingredients, tongs, my camera and the umbrella, splashing through puddles as I scampered over to the grill. Luckily the grill was mostly covered by the garage roof.

grilled peaches

I rubbed a tiny bit of olive oil on cut side, so the peaches didn’t stick to the grill. And look how pretty they turned out!

Next, I layered in the goodies… diced grilled peach, chopped walnuts & white chocolate chops.

campfire cones assembled

Once the cone is filled up with your desired ingredients, wrap it in foil and cook it on the grill (or campfire) for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate starts to melt.

on the grill

Peeling back the foil was like opening a little present. The white chocolate chips were warm and melty, and it all smelled delicious!

finished grilling

The first few bites were so good, the juicy peach bites paired really well with everything. However, I hit some “dry pockets” where it was just nuts & chocolate… it was okayyy, but it didn’t taste amazing. Hmmm, how could this be remedied?

Then genius struck – I added a scoop of softened vanilla bean ice cream – MAGIC! The soft ice cream dripped into the little nooks and crannies throughout the cone, bringing all of the flavors together for a wow moment. Now THAT was tasty :)

Normally a rainy day would have a blogger packing their camera away. But I have to say, the weather antics made it such a fun adventure!

Back to School DIY Treats

Tags

, , ,

It’s so hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is upon us already, signaling the unofficial end to summer. And if summer is wrapping up, that can only mean one thing…

It’s “back to school” time! Some of my friends’ kids went back weeks ago, while others aren’t starting for another week… crazy how the start times can vary so widely.

As I was browsing Pinterest for a few minutes hours, I kept coming across the cutest ideas for Back to School Treats… so I just had to gather them up & share them with you.

Regardless if your kiddos are in-session, or still enjoying the last days of vacay, these fun treat ideas will brighten anyone’s days – teacher or student!

 

Chalkboard & Apple Cake Pops by Cake Poppin’, featured on Pint Sized Baker

backtoschoolcakepops-cakepoppn

M&M “Glue Sticks” by Mirabelle Creations

gluestickpushpops

Rolo “Pencils” by Hoosier Homemade

rolo pencils hoosier homemade

Rice Krispies Treats “Desks” by Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

school desk rice krispies treats

String Cheese “Pencils” by Moneywise Mom

String-Cheese-Pencils-1024x768

Pretzel Rod “Crayons” by The Girl Who Ate Everything

edible-crayons-line

Ok, these next ones aren’t sweet… but COME. ON. I would eat every subject, lol. They are SO CUTE!

“School Book” Sandwiches by Hungry Happenings (Beth has a lot of great BTS sweet treat ideas at the bottom of her Rice Krispies School Bus post)

school-book-sandwiches-end-of-year-parties

What will you make for back to school?

Beach Cake Pops Tutorial

Tags

, , , , ,

Living on the East Coast, summers at the beach are a must. The warm sand, the cool ocean – so many fun memories and adventures!

Beach cake pops are so fun & easy to make…

beach cake pops title

Make the “sand” by placing graham crackers in a food processor & running it until the crumbs are fine, but not powdery. You can also do this by placing the grahams in a Ziploc bag and going over them with a rolling pin.

If you’ve ever been on the beach, you know that sand is not just one color… to give your edible sand some depth, mix in copper disco dust (which will give it a nice twinkle as well).

graham cracker sand

Ready to take a dip? Well your cake pops should be!

The graham “sand” needs to be applied while the chocolate is still wet, so that it sticks. Prepare a “dipping” station like this to keep things running efficiently.

cake pops setup

After dipping your pops in melted blue candy, and tapping off all of the excess chocolate, lightly touch the top of your pop into the “sand” bowl – then place it in your KC Bakes cake pop stand to dry.

dipping cake pops

Next, we need some seashells!

I purchased this seashell mold from Lollicakes by Ella to make these starfish, seashells and sand dollars.

Just like sand, seashells aren’t usually monochromatic… after being tossed around in the sea, and washing up onto shore, they have various shades of color.

chocolate molds

I used both luster dust and petal dust to give some life to my seashells.

Luster dust is shimmery, which is a great way to give them some sparkle and shine. Matte dust has a flat effect, and is used to create more of a dirt-like smudge.

After dipping your brush in either dusts, tap or brush it on a plate to remove some of the excess powder… then add more as needed for your desired look.

luster dust petal dust

You can add as many shells as you wish to each pop, but usually 2 or 3 does the trick just fine.

Place a small dot of melted chocolate on the underside of your finished seashell to “glue” them to the sandy top of your pop. Be careful not to hold the shells for too long – since they are small, they will start to melt from the natural heat in your fingers.

beach cake pops

Ta da! Beautiful beach cake pops that are great for a beach-themed wedding or engagement party.

Add a twine/rope bow to give it a rustic, romantic look. Enjoy!

New York Cake Poppers Meet-Up

I don’t know about you, but summer is flying by me at warp speed this year, its already mid-August!

This past weekend, on Saturday, August 9th, I hosted my fifth event, the New York Cake Poppers Meet-Up, in Astoria, New York! Search #NYCPMU on Instagram for pictures from the event. 

We all gathered at The Astor Room, which is an amazing venue. Not only is it newly-renovated & simply gorgeous, with an amazing staff and delicious food – but it’s full of history as well! It was originally built as a commissary to a film studio that became Paramount Pictures & and major shows like Orange is the New Black and Sesame Street are filmed right next door.

NYCPMU Group SmallLisa (The Sweet Tooth Bar) styled and created this gorgeous (& delicious!) dessert table! Carolina (The Sugar Penguin) contributed her yummy sugar cookies, and Crystal (Lulu Popz) made the amazing mini cakes.

IMG_2592

The swag bags were hung by their chairs with care, and super fun raffle prizes were on display, waiting to be claimed.

IMG_2614

Karyn of Pint Sized Baker led a really good session on Food Photography. She discussed elements like photo editing and staging, and also showed us how just the slightest changes in lighting and composition can make all the difference in getting a great photo, regardless of whether you are using an phone or DSLR camera.

She also brought her camera and hooked it up to her laptop to do a mock photoshoot right there in the restaurant, demonstrating how she takes pictures for her blogs Pint Sized Baker & Dieter’s Downfall.

IMG_2599

I did a little presentation on Social Media Do’s & Don’ts… thankfully no one snapped my picture – I’d rather be behind the camera than in front of it, haha. Most cake poppers connect through social media, that’s how these meet-ups got started after all – so this session provides the bakers with ways to build their brand to create a positive experience for their followers.

We had a fantastic panel session too! (L-R): Lisa (Goodiebites), Dee (Diva’s Delights), Karyn (Pint Sized Baker) & Noel (The Cake Poppery). I can’t remember the specific comment that gave them all the giggles, but this portion of the event was so much fun… the bakers asked some great questions, and there were really informative discussions that followed – some of the topics included how to handle large orders, charging deposits and structuring order pick-up times. Noel also shared about his publishing experiences.

IMG_2629

To wrap up the day, Noel did a book signing of his two books – The Art of Cake Pops & Amazing Cake Pops (find them here on Amazon).

IMG_2645

Then we had one extra special raffle prize… a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer! Bakers posted a pic of themselves on Instagram or Facebook to enter, which resulted in some really cute (& wishful) photos – baker Al D. was the lucky winner!

Al D

 

Speaking of prizes… the NYCPMU Swag Bag Giveaway!!!

One lucky KC Bakes reader will win…

IMG_2671

And inside that BRP Box Shop portfolio…

IMG_2677

Those boxes have minds of their own, though… I turned my back for one second, and they got into the NYCPMU photobooth props made by Jenae Creates!

IMG_2678

NYCPMU Swag Bag Goodies:

  • Aardvark paper straws
  • All Beauty flavored water (2)
  • Bakery Charms cake pop keychain
  • BRP Box Shop boxes
  • Cake Play isomalt nibs
  • CandiQuik melting candy (vanilla & chocolate)
  • Chocolate Treasures mini pipettes
  • Confetti Couture sweets kit
  • Green Pan 9″ round bake pan
  • Hatch gift card
  • Jenetiqa skin care sample
  • JJ Pops homemade caramel
  • LorAnn Oils twin pack
  • Pfeil & Holing sanding sugar
  • Sweet Imaginations poppy stick sample
  • Sweet Life Cake & Candy Supply clear vanilla
  • Sweets & Treats Boutique cupcake liners
  • The Glitter Shoppe sample pack
  • ToGoSpa eyedews sample

PLUS – both of Noel’s books and a KC Bakes mini cake pop stand!!!

To enter the giveaway, answer this question in a blog comment:

What has been your favorite memory so far this summer? 

Was it a vacation? A party? A special moment with family? Share in a comment to be entered to win!

After you leave a comment, please navigate to our Rafflecopter to verify that you commented (link below). Be sure that you are signed into Facebook and it should only take you 2 minutes to earn 24 more chances to win all of these amazing prizes!

Click here to enter —-> http://tinyurl.com/ma7zul8

Deadline to enter: Friday, August 15 @ 11:59pm EST – limited to US Residents Only

“Ice Cream” Cupcakes Bar

Tags

, , ,

I scream, you scream, we all scream for… cupcakes?

cctitleslide

That’s right! Ice cream cone cupcakes have been a favorite of mine, ever since my mom made them I was younger. They are such a fun way to serve cupcakes, and I have a new twist to make them into an interactive activity for kids.

I was babysitting my niece and nephew, ages 6 and 9, who have grown used to the fact that every time I come over, we are baking something. We’ve made quite a few things over the years, from Tie Dye Cupcakes, to cake pops, cookies and more… so I wanted to do something different.

While I was in the grocery store, I spotted Duncan Hines Frosting Creations and had an idea – we could make an “Ice Cream” Cupcakes BAR, with different flavors of “ice cream”! *note: this post is not sponsored by Duncan Hines*

IMG_8712Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees & prepare the cake mix as directed on the box. You can use any flavor mix, but I like using Confetti Cake because the cake looks more colorful when you bite into the cone.

IMG_8714Portion 2 tablespoons of batter into each cone. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, it is just the right amount.

IMG_8716If you don’t have measuring spoons handy, any spoon will do… just let your kiddos know to fill the cones to just below the inner ridge of the cone (below the open squares/pockets that go around the top/inside of the cone).

IMG_8718

In the oven they go for about 20 minutes.

IMG_8721She was mesmerized when the batter started to rise…

IMG_8722

Keep an eye on them around the 18 minute mark. If the tops start to get golden brown, bring them out and test the cake with a thin knife or tooth pick… if the knife/pick comes out clean, then you’re all finished.

IMG_8724

As the cones are cooling, begin to prepare your “ice cream” (aka various flavored frostings). One can of Duncan Hines Frosting Starter is all you’ll need; simply portion it out in equal amounts into smaller bowls.

Start by sprinkling in about a third of the flavor mix, stirring thoroughly. Using a separate spoon, taste a small amount to determine if you need more flavoring… this was the kids’ favorite part – somehow we kept needing to taste more & more!

IMG_8732

Time for dessert! This would work great for a birthday party treat… everyone can add their own “ice cream” frosting and toppings for a DIY “Ice Cream” Cupcake Bar.

IMG_8734

The pastel sprinkles I bought at Chocolate Treasures paired so nicely with the light colors of the frosting.

IMG_8748

My favorite flavor was the Strawberry Shortcake frosting… it was so good! Enjoy!

IMG_8742

 

 

 

Sharing Some Surprises

Tags

, , ,

Greetings friends!

I know it’s been a little quiet here on le’ blog… I’m surprised they didn’t hand me a feather duster when I logged in!

Life got a little busy there, as it tends to do. The great news is that I have quite a few tutorials lined up to share with you in coming weeks. But first, I want to share a little about what’s been keeping me busy.

As you know, I’ve planned four of my Cake Pop Meet-Ups so far, which have taken place in New Jersey, California, Florida & Texas… the fifth is happening next weekend in New York & I’m starting to brainstorm where to plan more for 2015. But since last December, I’ve also been working on something just a tad bigger than the meet-ups…

Cake Pop Con

Cake Pop Con is a national cake pop conference that will take place later this year on November 7-9 in Philadelphia, PA, for 150+ bakers.

We are 62% sold, and so far we have bakers coming from 17 different states – some as far away as Hawaii! We even have some international bakers attending from Canada, Germany, Brazil, the Dominican Republic & Australia!

If you like cake pops in any capacity, Cake Pop Con will be a weekend full of events that will surely knock your apron off :)

I am both super excited and incredibly honored that Angie Dudley, Bakerella, will be our keynote speaker! Here we are at her book signing just 8 months ago. Hearing her speak there was so inspiring, I can only imagine the excitement her keynote speech will create.

Bakerella & KC Bakes

We also have an amazing group of speakers lined up to share their expertise with Cake Pop Con attendees! There will be bloggers, cake pop book authors, cake pop business owners and product developers, social media experts and more. Learn more about each speaker on the Cake Pop Con Speaker website

Have you ever been to a conference, and you only get to know the people sitting around you? Not at Cake Pop Con! We have a fun activity planned for our Welcome Mixer that will enable every attendee to meet each other!

We will also be having optional Master Classes on Saturday evening.  O Pops by Angie, Creative Edibles by Yuki and Karyn of Pint Sized Baker/Dieter’s Downfall will be giving hands-on instruction, teaching valuable information showcasing their amazing skills. These women are masters of their crafts!

Now, I have a handful of surprises up my sleeves that attendees won’t know about until they experience them throughout the weekend. But – I am willing to kinda share one right now…

In addition to the Swag Bag that all attendees will receive on Saturday, there is a SECRET swag bag that they will be getting Friday night! I can’t share what company is behind it, BUT – the bag will contain cake pop products that aren’t even on the market yet!

OK! I’ve said too much. If you want to find out more about Cake Pop Con… you need to join us! :)

Eventbrite - Cake Pop Con

As mentioned, we are 62% sold… after August 6th, hotel room availability will be extremely limited, so don’t miss out on our special rate!

Our Master Class tickets are becoming limited as well… Angie’s class only has 10 open seats and Yuki’s class has 16 open seats remaining.

I hope to see you in Philly in November!

Texas Cake Poppers Meet-Up

Tags

, , ,

Last weekend, I hosted my fourth Cake Poppers Meet-Up… number 4! I never imagined them catching on like this, but I’m so glad everyone is enjoying them.

On Saturday, June 14th, the Texas Cake Poppers Meet-Up was held in Austin. We did things a little different in Texas, and it was so much fun… we had activities at two venues! Search #TXCPMU on Instagram for pictures from the event. 

At check-in, each attendee received a name tag, event program and a swag bag FULL of goodies! See the end of this post for your chance to snag some swag!

IMG_2484

We started the day at Star Bar, where we kicked off the event with a fun icebreaker activity that got everyone moving around and interacting with one another. There were fun table topic questions to get people chatting, like “If you could be any cereal box cartoon for one day, who would you be and why?”

IMG_2403

For lunch, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ provided some of the most amazing food I had while I was in Texas – seriously, it was amazing. Miguel created a delicious taco bar with various meats, toppings & sides, as well as incredible handmade tortillas that everyone was raving about.

For dessert, our TXCPMU planning committee created a super yummy dessert table with Texas-themed treats – cookies and cake pops by Modesty, chocolate covered pretzel rods and Oreos by Sheri & red velvet whoopee pies from Julie. There was also fudge, and peaches picked right from one of the attendees’ trees!

DSC_0014

Karyn of Pint Sized Baker presented Photography 101, sharing valuable information about lighting, composition, editing & more. Everyone was jotting down notes, because her tips are simple, yet so useful! The littlest changes can make all the difference for an incredible photo.

IMG_2449

Next, I led a discussion Social Media Do’s & Don’ts. We talked about ways to improve your social media accounts, ways to be more efficient in posting, goal-setting and more. My favorite part of this portion is the open forum we have on the topic of what it means to be a good “social citizen” on social media. The bakers had great feedback and suggestions such as leaving good feedback if you like someone’s photo, giving credit where its due and supporting others.

Our raffle table was overflowing with really awesome prizes – from cupcake liners to books to artwork, we had a little something of everything. Check out our TXCPMU Raffle Winners so see all if the different goodies.

IMG_2402

Then we had one extra special raffle prize… a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer! Bakers posted a pic of themselves on Instagram or Facebook to enter, which resulted in some really cute (& hopeful) photos. Lucky ducky Karol was the big winner!

IMG_2453

Afterwards, we all packed up and headed over to Make It Sweet for Part 2 of the Meet-Up. We had a little bit of time before we headed into the instructional room, so everyone spread out to shop. This store is 4,000 square feet of bakers paradise – it has everything! I could’ve spent all day just standing at the wall of sprinkles.

Once in the group room, owner Jennifer shared great information about disco dust, luster dust and petal dust – the differences between them and best practices on how to use them.

IMG_2455Jennifer was so incredibly sweet and provided snacks & drinks for everyone! Each table was also given some cake dough, melted chocolate and various decorative supplies; attendees took turns sharing various techniques and tips – it was so rewarding to see everyone teaching and learning from each other!

IMG_2456 (1280x853)

It wasn’t until everyone had gone that I realized we forgot to take a group picture – d’oh! I did manage to snap a pic of my TXCPMU planning committee – (L-R) Julie (@jewelz51), Sheri (@blondiestreats) & Modesty (@mocakes). These lovely ladies were my local helpers that helped me plan such a great event all the way from New Jersey. They’re all so sweet, and really talented to boot!

IMG_2441

Now… the TXCPMU Swag Bag Giveaway!!!

One lucky KC Bakes reader will win…

IMG_2466

Here’s a close-up of some of the smaller goodies…

IMG_2471

And can you believe all of the boxes that fit into the BRP Box Shop Swag Portfolio?

IMG_2480

The winner will also get their choice of cake pop earrings from Bakery Charms – chocolate or rainbow?

IMG_2488

TXCPMU Swag Bag Goodies:

  • Aardvark red striped paper straws (2)
  • Bakery Charms cake pop earrings
  • BRP Box Shop swag portfolio
  • Caljava glam stick kit
  • Candiquik candy coating
  • Chefmaster candy dye
  • Hatch gift coupon for $25 off
  • Hoffmaster cupcake liners
  • Lorann Oils flavor dram
  • Lucks chocolate transfer sheets
  • Perfectly Posh samples
  • SpinningLeaf single cavity mold (2)
  • Sweet Life Cake & Candy Supply vanilla sample
  • Sweets & Treats Boutique party bags (2)
  • The Great Texas Pecan Candy Company candy sample
  • TLC Farms Texas-shaped goat’s milk soap

To enter the giveaway, answer this question in a blog comment:

Where should I host Cake Poppers Meet-Ups next year?

After you leave a comment, click on the link below to earn 16 more ways to enter this giveaway!

Click here to enter —-> TXCPMU Swag Bag Giveaway Rafflecopter

Super Smooth Cake Balls

Tags

, , ,

I love posting pictures on Instagram as I’m baking, like this one, and I often get asked how do I get my cake balls so smooth?

IG

It’s easy peezy, and I’m happy to share my tips!

Tip 1: crumb your cake using a food processor. Don’t pack it in too tight… the pieces of cake need some room to move around. If you jam it in there too tight, the blade will just spin around and could affect the texture.

IMG_2319

The cake should be finely crumbed – no large chunks of cake…

IMG_2321

Tip 2: use frosting sparingly. I usually just “eyeball” it, but it’s equal to about 1/4 cup. If your cake dough is too wet, the cake balls won’t hold their shape and will have issues being dipped.

IMG_2324

Tip 3: to incorporate the frosting, use a spatula to press it down into the cake crumbs, almost like you’re smearing it against the sides of the bowls. Press the spatula down, and while applying pressure, drag it backwards… Does that make sense? It’s tricky to describe… I keep acting it out as I type this.

IMG_2328

Rotate the bowl as you press into the cake mixture with the spatula… see how it’s starting to look fudgy?

IMG_2332

As you do this, the cake will form into a dough. Notice that there are no crumbs left around the side of the bowl? Because they are so fine, they are easier to absorb into the dough, and won’t cause lumps or bumps.

IMG_2340

Tip 4: use a 1.5″ cookie scoop to evenly portion your pops. I use the same technique as if you were measuring brown sugar – packing the dough in nice and tight, then leveling off the scoop.

IMG_2346

After you eject the dough from the scoop, I squish it in my hands a few times, then roll – roll – roll. Ta da!

IMG_2356

If the cake balls fall apart, then they are too dry and could use a little more frosting. Your hands should also stay clean – if they are the color of your cake, you’ve added too much frosting. Unfortunately there is no recovery if you’ve added too much frosting… that’s why it’s important to use it in small amounts.

I usually average 36-38 cake balls per cake. There’s usually more if someone isn’t in the kitchen sneaking samples.

IMG_2365

Top the dipped cake pops with a simple drizzle or dunk them in some sprinkles… can you ever have too many sprinkles? I didn’t think so.

IMG_2376

Cake pop stand from kcbakes.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 544 other followers