Cake Pops Can Be Healthy(er)

cake pops

It’s not a common pairing of words, healthy confections, considering confections are by definition foods that have very little nutritional value, yet have a high calorie count. However, given the age we are living in, when it comes to confections we have a choice; do we just get whatever will do the job paying little attention to the ingredients list? Or do we pay the mind to what ingredients are in even our treats? Well, I choose to pay attention, reading labels of most everything I buy, even treats. So when my daughters asked that I make them cake pops for their birthday “cake”, I sought to make them as healthy as I could with what I could find at our local grocery store.

To make cake pops, is far more tedious than simply baking a cake. However, they are fun; fun to make, and fun to eat! I like that they offer portion control too! I can hand my girls a cake pop, which is likely far smaller of a portion than a piece of cake would have been, and they are completely satisfied!

Healthy-er Cake Pops

Ingredients:
1 9×13 cake (or brownie mix made according to “cake like” directions)
1 batch of frosting (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
Chocolate chips or bark for dipping (can be white, milk, dark, whatever you prefer)
Sprinkles for decorating
Coloring for chocolate to decorate with swirls (I used beet root powder to get a nice mauve color. You can use turmeric for yellow/orange, warm crushed blueberry juice for blue, chlorophyll for green. Be creative!)
Lollipop sticks, I like the 6″ ones best
Styrofoam rectangle or square; big enough to hold the pops while the chocolate hardens completely

I chose Naturally Nora baking products; specifically the “Sunny Yellow” cake mix, and the “A Lot’A Dots” frosting mix. I chose the frosting mix because it helped with another ingredient I needed, sprinkles; particularly colored ones! I also decided to give making brownie pops a try. For them I used Meijer Naturals brand brownie mix, with the “A Lot’A Dots” frosting. I was happy with the ingredients in Naturally Nora’s products, especially that they contained unbleached wheat flour, no artificial anything (not even colors for the sprinkles!), and have far fewer ingredients (all of which I can read and know what they are) compared to more common brands. I would have liked to see a “No GMO, or GMO-free” assurance somewhere on the packaging, but I did not. I contacted Nora directly and she said while she too wishes she could guarantee it, she has some suppliers that cannot. However, taking into consideration the top 4 GMO’s are cotton, corn, soy and canola, I felt better seeing few, if any of those ingredients in her mixes.

The Meijer Naturals brownie mix however, was labeled GMO-free! Another tip, to make them healthy(er); I used coconut oil in place of vegetable oil. It works best to melt the coconut oil but add it after mixing all the other ingredients together. It made for such a smooth batter, and smooth cake. Delicious! And you couldn’t taste coconut at all!

Method of Preparation:

1. Bake a 9×13 cake according to directions on box; let it cool completely.

2. Crumble it up in a bowl, then mix in frosting, a little at a time, until you can form a nice ball. Place the ball of dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least a half hour.

3. Remove the cake ball from the fridge and start forming little balls, about 1″-1 1/2″ in diameter, until you use up the mixture. I was able to get 22 balls out of the cake mix, and 32 out of the 2 brownies mixes (to make a 9×13 “cake”.)

4. Start melting the chocolate, on low! I stress low because if you use too high of heat the chocolate will seize. Especially if you are using a double boiler, set it on the lowest setting your stove will allow. (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips and white chocolate bark.)

5. Dip the lollipop sticks about 1/2 inch into the chocolate, then stick them into the balls about 3/4 of the way through. The chocolate will act like glue, keeping the cake ball and the stick together. Return the little balls to the refrigerator, for just 5 minutes or so. Remove them and begin dipping; the most challenging part in my opinion! It again, helps to keep the heat on the lowest setting possible. We were most successful holding the pops at an angle, and dipping, then spinning til cooled; it also helped to use a spatula. Another tip, if your chocolate isn’t thin enough add a little shortening. I used organic palm oil shortening; just a little goes a long way! If you are going to add sprinkles be sure to add them before they cool.
I suggest you trying this part out as a trial run, before making them for an event. What works for one, might not work for another, so seek what will work best for you :-) As the chocolate allows, stick them into the Styrofoam so they can stand upright to harden completely. Finally, take a bite! Yummy Yummy!!!

Cheers to HEALTHY CONFECTIONS!

Comments

  1. lesley ann says:

    yummmmy!!! can’t wait to try out what you did! I will be making the venture into black-bean brownie pops this weekend! 😀

  2. Can I just say YUM! I want to eat those right off the blog!

  3. I know my daughter liked them at the Birthday party :-)

  4. I will try this for my son’s birthday, thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you! Exactly what I needed.