I just have to start with a question: do you have any idea how hard it is to draw the lines on a basketball? Not on paper, no, that’s easy-peasy. Just a plus sign and a couple semi-circles. No, I mean on a sphere. Or 25 spheres. Eek! Drawing the curvy lines that almost-come-together-but-change-their-mind-at-the-last-minute-and-don’t was a bit harder than I expected.
That said, these little pops are pure sugary goodness! The idea for candy-coated cake on a stick came from Bakerella — she makes ridiculously adorable little shapes (like sheep and Winnie the Pooh) and turns them into lollipops. I modified her recipe and made little orange basketball pops for Greg’s birthday.
Next year he’ll have to take up racquetball.
50 lollipop sticks (or 25 for a half batch)
Cake mix of your choice
Orange candy melts
Tube of black gel icing or edible pen
*Bakerella’s directions are somewhat split between a couple pages on her site. The best I found was her video on amazon.com. It includes a few tips not listed in her posts — too bad I didn’t see it until afterward!
1. Cake pops start with cake! Bake up your cake mix as directed, or, if you’re like me and only want to do 25 pops, divide the mix (and other ingredients) in half and bake them in an 8×8 pan. It will take less time than what the box says. Let the cake cool.
2. In a large bowl, crumble the cake into little pieces. Go ahead and do it with your hands — it’s fun!
3. Stir in frosting. (Use just half the can if you’re doing half the pops.) The mixture should resemble a smooth dough, not full of lumps and cake chunks.
4. Line a cookie sheet or tray with wax paper. Roll the cake into small balls.
5. Freeze for 15 minutes, then refrigerate until you’re ready to dip!
6. Put your candy melts in a small, deep bowl. Melt according to the package directions (something like 1 minute on half power). Stir until it’s nice and smooth (and re-microwave whenever it loses this consistency — you don’t want to try dipping when it starts getting hard and thick).
7. Dip the end of the lollipop stick into a tiny bit of candy melt and stick it halfway into a cake ball. I didn’t actually do this, as I learned about it later, but it seems super helpful.
8. Holding a cake pop by its stick, dip a cake pop straight into the candy melt (just enough to cover it) and bring it straight back out. Very gently tap off excess. (I wish I could say that I didn’t lose any cake balls in the candy melt, but I cannot. Maybe pre-dipping the stick makes all the difference!)
9. Stick the dipped pop into the styrofoam block to dry. (Alas, I only had a styrofoam wreath. It worked!)
10. Decorate! To make the basketball lines, start with the two straight lines dividing the ball into quarters. As for the crazy curvy line… it really helps to have a basketball handy for reference. I found it easiest to draw the beginnings of the curve on each side and then connect. Be patient. If all else fails, draw a jack-o-lantern face — it’s almost that time of year!