A friend of mine asked me if I would make cake pops for her son’s birthday party. He particularly likes Angry Birds. You know, those little colourful birds which are angry at green pigs for some reason or another. I have no iPhone or Android so I do not play that game. (I know my husband does, once in a while.) So, here I am, making birds.
First of all I had to think of a cake, since she was looking for vanilla and chocolate I thought I start with both. Make a vanilla cake with, well M&Ms, cause which kid doesn’t like M&Ms, right? Since cake pops use frosting to hold their shape I used vanilla and chocolate frosting later on. The white cake recipe, by the way, comes from the Canadian Cook book.
– 1/2 cup shortening
– 1/2 tsp. vanilla
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 1/3 cup flour
– 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– 3 tbsp. skim milk powder
– 3 egg whites
– 1/2 cup water
– chopped M&Ms
Cream the shortening and half of the sugar together until fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix again. Combine flour, baking powder and skim milk powder and beat into fat/sugar mixture alternating with the water. Chop the M&Ms by hand or use a food processor. Stir in the chopped M&Ms, be aware that you cake batter will be likely to change colour.
Tip 1: The food process will make them rather fine or you will have some bigger chunks. Big chunks are ok for a cake but don’t work so well with cake pops.
Tip 2: During baking the M&Ms will soften up. If you are looking for a crunch in your cake pops, add them when you crumble the cake.
Now, beat the egg white until mostly stiff, then add the rest of the sugar and beat until it forms stiff peaks. Fold into the batter and combine well.
Bake at 180°C for 30 min or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Angry Bird Cake Pops:
– candy melts in different colours
– candy sticks
– food colour/gel
– icing sugar
– small brush
Before you start making the cake balls you should assemble all the little details you will need later on. I made the feathers and beaks out of fondant. The eyes were white chocolate but can also be made of fondant, or if you can find the right size, candy.
Melt some white chocolate in a little zip lock, snip of the end and draw eyes on wax paper or aluminum foil. Share a bit so you don’t have tips and let it dry.
If you use white fondant you will need to tint it. Depending on the colour and the shade you will need 2 to 6 drops. Use the icing sugar so that the fondant won’t be sticky. Keep the finished fondant in zip lock bags so they don’t dry out.
Tip 3: If you have colouring gel use it. It usually is stronger and will give you a better shade.
Shape the beaks, feathers and ears, make sure you count right so that you have enough. Make extras, just in case. These you can let sit out so that they might harden a bit. It will be easier later on to handle them.
Now it’s time for the cake pops. If you are making vanilla and chocolate like I did, divide the cake in half and crumble in two separate bowls. Then add vanilla or chocolate frosting, not quite half a can. Mix this well until you have play dough consistency.
Tip 4: Start with less icing and add a bit more as you mix. That way you will not add too much icing, which will result in rather sloppy cake balls. (You can always add more icing, adding more cake is a bit more time consuming.)
Once you have the right consistency start diving into cake balls. You can use a cookie dough scoop, go by feeling or use a scale. I used the last, starting with 20g per cake pop and made 30 (that was the number I needed). The left over cake/frosting mix was divided equally, resulting in 30g cake pop balls.
Form the necessary shapes, for Angry Birds this means: a pyramid shape, an egg shape, an oval shape, and three times round ones. This applies only if you are going with the design I did. Otherwise, shape as needed.
Place the cake balls in the fridge so that they can chill before you insert the stick. While you wait you can melt the necessary colours: white, black, blue, yellow, green, and red. I recommend to use the right colour to insert the stick.
Dip the stick into the chocolate and insert into the cake ball. Let it dry, either outside, in the fridge or in the freezer. Repeat until all cake balls have a stick.
Then it’s time to dip, make sure your chocolate/candy melt is soft and runny, use some vegetable shortening to thin it out if necessary. Drip each cake pop into the chocolate without stirring. Remove carefully and let excess chocolate run off. You can slightly tap it or swirl it but don’t be too rough on it. Stick into a Styrofoam block or if you have a wooden block.
For the pig: use an M&M to make the snout. Simply attach it with some chocolate to the cake pop before dipping. Once it is covered with the chocolate it will look like a snout.
Tip 5: Make sure that the temperatures of the cake balls and the chocolate/candy melts are fairly close. Too cold pops and too hot melts will result in cracked cake pops.
Once all cake pops are dipped and harden check for cracks. Use a toothpick to fix and problems. Then take the brush and apply some chocolate/candy melt on the eyes, feathers, beaks, and ears to attach them to the pop. Draw on details and let it all harden.
Tip 6: You should work on one colour at a time so that your melts have the ideal temperature.
It took quite some time to finish it all due to the details and the amount of various colours. However, it was a good project and I believe I will be able to make the next batch much faster.