- Makes: 20
- Prep time: 15 mins
plus up to 2 hours chilling and cooling time
- Cooking time: 45 mins
- Skill level: Easy
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g unrefined caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 free range eggs, at room temperature
- 180g self-raising flour
- 4 tbsp milk, at room temperature
- 60g of unsalted butter
- 250g of icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
You will also need
- 400 g (1 bag) of candy melts
- Vegetable oil
- Lollipop sticks
The candy melts will stay melted for about 20-30 minutes. If you stir your candy at regular intervals while working, it should keep it from hardening.
To make the vanilla cake
- Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
- Lightly grease and flour an 25cm round cake tin or a 20cm square cake tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar until it turns pale and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Mix the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add half the flour and then half the milk and mix until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
- Pour the mixture into the already prepared tin and bake for 35-45 mins or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once baked, leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.
To make the Buttercream.
- Mix together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence.
To assemble the cake pops
- Crumble the cake thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. It's best to do this by hand as it gives a finer crumb, but you can also use your food processor. You may want to remove the crusts of the cake with a sharp kitchen knife first to avoid any lumps.
- Once you have crumbled the cake as finely as possible, take your frosting, a heaped tablespoon at a time, and begin mixing it in with the crumbs. You may not require all of the frosting, depending on how moist your cake is, so just use a little at a time. Keep mixing until you have a fudge-like texture. To see if it’s ready, squeeze a little of the mixture in your palm – it shouldn’t crumble and it should be pliable. If you add too much frosting the mixture will be soggy, sticky and heavy and the cake pops will just fall off the stick when you try to dip them.
- Wrap the mixture in cling film and chill for at least one hour. The mixture should be firm but not too hard when it’s ready to work with.
- Break off a small piece of the mixture about the size of a ping-pong ball and roll into a ball with your palms. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Place each ball on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm.
- Meanwhile, prepare your candy melts. Place the candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Take out candy melts and stir thoroughly. They may have just started to melt. Place back in the microwave and melt for a further 30 seconds.
- Stir again, making sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Return to the microwave for a final 30 seconds, then give a final stir. Melted candy doesn’t normally achieve the same silky, runny consistency of melted chocolate. To make it easier to work with, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil per 400g bag of candy melts. Work enough oil into the candy to create a silky consistency.
- Take a lollipop stick and dip one end about 20cm deep into the melted candy. Immediately insert the stick into the top centre of each cake ball about halfway through. Don’t insert it too deep or too shallow. Place on a tray lined with baking paper to set. It should take between 1 and 2 minutes for the candy to set.
- To dip cake pops make sure the bowl is deep and quite full with candy so you don’t need to tilt it. Hold an un-dipped cake pop by the stick and dip fully into the candy. When dipping, be sure to cover right to the top of the stick to secure the pop in place. Gently tap the cake pop over the bowl to remove any excess candy.
- You can either decorate with sprinkles or sugar decorations before the candy has set or leave the cake pops to dry completely if you’re making a more elaborate design.