Cake Pops (gluten, egg, and dairy free)
Cake pops are, as the kids say, “all the rage” at the moment and while they sound like a neat idea they are usually made of things I’m allergic to and I’m not too crazy about putting a stick of paper into my food (it’s a texture thing, it just weirds me out). I still like the general idea of them, though, so I made what I call “Poor Man’s Cake Pops.” They’re gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free and what they lack in aesthetic perfection they make up for with flavor. Here’s what I did to create them:
1) The first step is to bake a cake. To save time and money I used a gluten-free cake mix from Bob’s Red Mill. The mix calls for three eggs but I replaced that with 3/4 cup applesauce, which gave it a more sponge-y texture. I used a round 9″ cake pan but the shape doesn’t really matter, as you will see in step two.
2) Once the cake has sufficiently cooled, put it into a large bowl and add a 1/2 cup of frosting. I normally make my own frosting but I found a dairy-free canned frosting next to the gluten-free cake mix so I used that instead (if you’re curious, I used Cherrybrook Kitchen Vanilla Frosting). Smoosh the cake and frosting together using your hands and keep doing that until you’ve created a sticky, cake-y mess.
3) Form the cake/frosting mix into balls about an inch or an inch and a half wide and place them on a plate. Depending on the cake and frosting you’re working with you will either have really messy or tightly packed cake balls. Once all the cake has been formed, put the plate of cake balls in the refrigerator for an hour to firm them up for the next step.
4) While the cake is chilling melt the chocolate. I used six dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s that were each around 1.65 ounces. I know it seems like a lot of chocolate, but remember that the resulting dessert is rich enough that (at least for myself) one is plenty so it’s not so bad when it’s broken down into one serving. I’m sure you could melt the chocolate in the microwave, but I like the control of boiling it on the stove. Since I don’t have a double boiler I boiled water in a medium sized pan and melted the chocolate in a smaller pan on top of the boiling water. The advantage of boiling the chocolate in that configuration is that it’s less likely to burn than if you melted it with the pan directly on the stovetop. Anyway, It looked like this:
5) Take the now more solid cake balls out of the refrigerator and, using a regular table knife, spear one in the center and dip it in the chocolate. Use a spatula or spoon to help you coat the cake ball with chocolate.
6) Once the cake is covered in the chocolate carefully move it over to a plate you’ve covered with parchment (waxed) paper. Use another table knife to help you remove the knife in the cake ball. You can use the knife to spread the chocolate over the hole where the knife was so it has a totally covered look.
7) Once all of the cake balls have been dipped in the chocolate it’s time to decorate. If you choose to decorate, keep it simple. You can use some leftover frosting, sprinkles, pretty much anything. I chose to use some India Tree Nature’s Color sugar that I had in the cupboard.
8) Stick the cake pops back in the refrigerator for a half hour and they’ll be ready to eat. Using this basic recipe you can create lots of different flavors and, if you don’t have a problem with dairy like I do, you can use white chocolate and try adding different dyes.