This is only the second time I’ve made this specific recipe, though I’ve played with cake balls for a while trying to get the ratios and chocolate correct. I know I’ve done something different as the first batch of these I ever did came out perfect, but this time, my outer chocolate layer never quite got as solid as it is supposed to. That said, they were still really good.
This is a pretty simple recipe but it is also a lot of guesswork as well and kind of finicky. There is WAY more icing pictured above than what I actually used.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake Pops
Box Cake Mix (Baked and Cooled)
1 16oz Container Icing (approximately)
10 oz Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate*
10 oz Chocolate Almond Bark*
Lay out cherries on paper towel to drain.
Bake cake mix according to directions and allow to completely cool. Crumble cake into large bowl. Mix in small amounts of icing until cake sticks together. **Be careful not to add too much or the mix will be too sticky to handle.**
Form cake into balls about 1 1/4 inch wide. A cookie scoop is perfect for this. Lay out on a tray lined with parchment paper.
Pat cherries dry of any remaining liquid. Use your thumb to form a dent in each cake ball. Set one cherry in dent and work the cake around cherry until it is completely sealed in the middle for each ball.
Freeze formed balls for about 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Dip stick in chocolate to coat the end. Push about 1/2 way into cake ball. Let set up. Dip each ball into melted chocolate, coat completely. Use a spoon if needed to get chocolate around the top by the stick. Allow excess to drip back into pan before placing back on parchment lined tray. Leave to set up.
DO NOT allow to sit in chocolate for more than a second or two or the icing binding the ball together will start to melt and come apart.
*noted this way because this isn’t how I did it this time, but am pretty sure this is what I did the previous time when they came out better. You can use other chocolates or melting candies, but don’t use chocolate chips as they do not work well for dipping.
Total Time: 2 1/2 – 3 Hours Makes: Aprox. 35 – 40 Pops
There are a couple of reasons why I say that this recipe is finicky. One is getting the correct ratio of cake to icing so that the balls form and stick together without being TOO sticky that you cannot still handle them or that they fall apart quickly when you try do dip them in the melted chocolate. For this, I used some of my marshmallow buttercream icing I had in the freezer (I ALWAYS have leftover icing in the freezer). Part of the problem is the different consistencies in both cake and icing. Some cakes are drier and some icings are softer, so you do kind of need to go by feel on this.
The other issue, and one of the biggest problems I have had is getting the outer chocolate right. After this batch, I think I must have done a blend the last time of baking chocolate and the chocolate almond bark (probably why I had some in the pantry still). I’m not a huge fan of the melting candies for the chocolate flavor, so I’ve always avoided those. If you want to do something covered in a color or because you just like the flavor, those would be perfectly fine. The issue with the chocolate is the melting consistency and then the set up after. You want the finished product to have a firm coating.
One of the really awesome things about this recipe is that it can be made in a huge variety of ways. You can use any cake and icing combination to create any number of kinds of cake pops or even just the cake ball, though turning them into pops makes the dipping a whole lot easier if you have a stick to hang onto. As someone who does a lot of bigger cakes that require shaping, I will often have cake left over from having to trim down or cut off entirely along with left over icing. This is a prefect use for that rather than throwing it away. You can even freeze both the cake and icing to mix up at a later date.
This batch came out okay. They definitely look and taste good, but my outer chocolate was just a tad on the soft side. It never got sticky exactly, just a little softer than I would have liked. I ended up only making 30 of these as that is all the cherries I had. I had enough of the cake mix to have put together at least 5 to 10 more depending on how large I made these, but just froze what was left. No matter what you do, you WILL have the melting chocolate left over as you need a deep enough pool to be able to dip these. When I made these over the holidays, I used the extra to coat some pretzels in. This time, I poured the remainder into some candy molds and the kids have been grabbing them as snacks.