Monday, February 14, 2011

Red Velvet Heart-Shaped Cake Ball Pops

Friday afternoon, I asked Jeff what he'd like to do for this week's Wednesday Treat Day. His response was "Oops, I think I forgot to tell you I took Wednesday off... can we move it to Monday?".

Um, sure... I said "But you realize that's Valentine's Day" . He then said "Oh yeah! Ok, so let's do a heart themed treat!" Fine, I thought - I should be able to manage that. But, then what the heck are we going to do in a heart shape? Especially on a short deadline! I looked around the web, gathered a few ideas and with inspiration from the Cake Ball Queen herself, Bakerella, we ended up making these - Red Velvet Heart-Shaped Cake Ball Pops!

What we did was bake a basic, from-scratch red velvet cake recipe in a 9" x 13" pan.

While the cake was off cooling, we then made a mess of homemade cream cheese frosting.

With the cooled cake crumbled into pieces, the tender bits are mashed together with a hearty scoop or two of the frosting. It sounds crazy if you've never heard of the process before, but it works like a charm!

Here's where we differ from all the other versions we've seen. Instead of rolling them into balls (which we ended up doing with some - more on that later), we took the moist, yet not sticky, mass of cake and frosting and pressed it into a plastic wrap-lined short sided 9" x 13" x 1" baking pan. After giving the slab a short chill in the freezer, we stamped out the heart shapes and gently meandered a lollipop stick in.

With one round of cutting hearts out of the cake and frosting mixture, we ended up with 22 - I asked Jeff if he wanted more to bring in, but he said that was enough. With the remaining scraps, we rolled them together into one large ball and used a tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out smaller portions... as if we were going to waste any crumb! Well, to be honest, we did roll most of the scraps into balls - we couldn't resist eating a few chunks along the way.

We did dip the tip of each stick in a bit of melted candy coating beforehand, giving the pops an extra anchor during the dipping process. Jeff wanted the cake hearts coated in color if possible, so we went the route of using candy melts (also called confectionery coating). I couldn't resist, however, dipping several in chocolate, just because.

Besides the darker chocolate, the other two colors were pink and white, but the white was a bit more special - it was a new pastel coating just-on-the-market that had speckles of blue, pink, yellow and red running through it. Fun!

Between the cake, frosting and coating, I thought these might be sugar-y bombs of death. It could be that I just have an insatiable sweet tooth, but neither of us find them so sickeningly sweet that we had to run and brush our teeth. While the coating outside was firm, the cake inside was so soft, smooth and luscious (if left at room temperature), with a show stopper bright red color.

From start to finish, these did take quite a long time to finish from baking the cake, making the frosting and creating the cake ball mixture, along with various resting times in the refrigerator or freezer during the whole process. With all the work, I would absolutely do another version of these again - you could easily adapt the process to your needs and run with the same idea, even using other flavors of cake. Birthdays, baby showers, holidays or for no other reason that you desperately need a fantastic treat to share - my mind is spinning with ideas! One note about the frosting - I didn't know how much we were going to need, so I made a full batch. We actually ended up only using about half of it, but I'm not going to complain about leftover frosting.


  1. I love this cake pop craze! Haven't seen any others in heart shape though. Love it!

  2. The hearts are beautiful! I make the shapes with brownies - no frosting required. If you make a fudgy brownie, they form into shapes and cake pops perfectly. Such a cute Valentine's treat!

  3. just did the cake pop thing myself! mine were chocolate peanut butter... made this peanut butter capn' crunch.

    clearly- yours are 1,000 times classier, ha
    thanks for sharing, these are lovely! happy belated love day!

  4. They look great! I need to go to Michael's and buy some candy coating.

  5. Kim - Too bad I waited so long to hope on the train!

    Caroline - Good idea!

    Meaghan - Nice!

    Anna - Exactly where we picked up ours!

  6. I just found your blog and I LOVE IT! You've created such an amazing archive of recipes. Wow. Excellent job, I cannot wait to try these as well as tons of your other recipes out. :-)

  7. Anon - Thank you! I'm glad you found us!