STARBUCKS BIRTHDAY CAKE POPS

No forks needed to eat this clone of Starbucks’s portable pastry creation on a stick. The trend of cake pops on blogs and at specialty bake shops caught the attention of the world’s largest coffee house chain. Starbucks research and development chefs figured out how to produce three different flavors: Rocky Road, Tiramisu, and Birthday Cake (to celebrate Starbucks’s fortieth anniversary). The pops are each made by hand for the chain, just as you are now able to do with this recipe to create your own home copy of the most popular flavor. Find lollipop sticks, Styrofoam blocks, candy melts, and nonpareils at a craft store (such as Michaels) that carries cake decorating supplies.

1 18¼-ounce box white cake mix (such as Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines)
1¼ cups water
⅓ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vanilla frosting (from a 16-ounce tub)
2 14-ounce packages pink Wilton Candy Melts
White nonpareils (small balls)

YOU WILL ALSO NEED
36 4-inch paper lollipop sticks
3 12 x 4-inch Styrofoam blocks


Cooking method

1-Make the cake in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan following the directions on the box using the water, oil, and eggs. Cool completely.

2-When the cake is cool, gently crumble it into a large bowl using your hands. Make sure there are no large chunks of cake. Spoon dollops of the frosting into the cake and mix it up using a large spoon just until the frosting is mixed in.

3-Roll the cake into 1½-inch balls between the palms of your hands and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

4-While your cake pops are chilling, use a lollipop stick to make 12 holes, about 2 inches apart, halfway down into each of the Styrofoam blocks. This is to hold your pops until they set.

5-
When the dough balls have chilled, pour the candy melts into a microwaveable glass or ceramic bowl. Zap them for 1 minute and then stir until smooth. If the candy melts are not completely melted, pop them back in the microwave for another 15 to 30 seconds, then gently stir.

6-Now it’s time to coat your cake pops. Take a few cake balls out of the freezer at a time on a plate. Press a lollipop stick about halfway into one ball, then swirl the ball into the candy up to the stick. Carefully bring it out of the candy and gently tap your hand on the side of the bowl so that the excess drips off. While the candy is still tacky, move the cake pop over another bowl and sprinkle the top with some white nonpareils. The sprinkles that do not stick will fall into the empty bowl and you can use them again. Place the finished pops into the holes in the Styrofoam and keep them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until ready to eat. After they are chilled, you can also store the pops in bags in your freezer for a couple of months.

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