December 9, 2020
Reindeer Cake Pops
Makes: 20 cake pops
Time: Prep time – 30 minutes, Cook time – 30 minutes, Rest time – 2 hours
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (scooped, 105 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (room temperature, 55 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole milk (120 milliliters)
- 3 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature, 50 grams)
- 1 ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar (105 grams)
- 1 – 2 teaspoons whole milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 20 ounces milk chocolate candy melts (or pure milk chocolate)
- 20 cake pop sticks
- 40 candy eyes
- 20 pieces of red candy (I think chewy candies work best)
- 20 small hard pretzels
- A stand to hold the cake pops (I used a cardboard box with tiny holes poked in it).
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C). Grease an 8” x 8” metal baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg, vanilla, and milk, and stir to combine.
- Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the greased baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for two minutes. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and whole milk, turn the speed to low, and then slowly turn the speed up to high. Beat on high for 3 minutes (the frosting should be light and fluffy).
- Crumble the cake, making sure there are no large pieces. Add the cake crumbles to the frosting, and stir to combine.
- Using a small cookie scoop (roughly 1 ½ Tablespoons each), scoop the dough into balls onto a nonstick baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour (or refrigerate for 2 hours).
- Make the antlers by cutting the pretzels in half. I found that the best way to do this was to use the tip of my knife to cut the middle of the bottom of the pretzel, which then broke the top in roughly the spot I needed. I then trimmed the top pieces to get the best antler shape.
- Melt the chocolate in a 2 cup liquid Pyrex measuring cup using either the microwave method or the double boiler method.
- Remove 1 to 2 cake pop balls at a time. Roll the cake pop to round the edge that flattened during freezing. Poke a small hole in the bottom of the cake pop, then dip the edge of the cake pop stick in the chocolate, then place the dipped edge in the hole (using the chocolate to act as a glue to hold the cake pop and the stick together). Once the stick has hardened in place, swirl the cake pop around in the melted chocolate to coat. Wait a couple of seconds then add the candy eyes, the candy nose, and the antlers (being sure to gently press the antlers into the cake just a little bit – if you press too hard and the antlers will break, too soft and the antlers won’t adhere).
- Place on a stand to let dry for 1 hour.
This recipe is easiest if you bake the cake a day in advance.
The cake pops must be very cold when you dip them in chocolate, or the recipe won’t work. It’s important to only take out 1 to 2 cake pops at a time (depending on how fast you work).
I recommend having extra pretzels on hand. Sometimes they just don’t break in the right place, so it’s helpful to have more laying around in case some of your pretzel antlers end up too small.
If you don’t have anything to hold the cake pops up while they dry, you can do the upside down version, where the cake is on the bottom and the stick is at the top. If you choose to do this version, it’s best to skip rolling them after they come out of the freezer, because the flat bottom will help in this scenario.
I opted to use milk chocolate candy melts because they’re more affordable, but pure milk chocolate will taste better and has an easier consistency to work with. It’s totally up to you which you choose to use!
If you want to make more cake pops, this recipe doubles beautifully. The only difference is that there’s no need to add in an additional egg to the cake batter.
These are really best made an hour or two before you want to serve them. If you need to make them in advance, you can store the cake pops in a hard sided airtight container in the freezer for up to a week. The antlers won’t hold up well in a bag though (they’ll break off). If you freeze them, allow them to thaw for 15 minutes before serving.