Sunday, September 19, 2010

An Apple A Day

The calendar says fall, but here in sunny southern California, the temperatures still shout summer. Just yesterday, we hit record-breaking temperatures, including a scorching 111 degrees where I'm at! Not fun when you park on the wrong end of campus and have to walk about 2 miles from the parking lot to your class, followed by taking the stairs up to the 6th floor. yuck. It was still 97 degrees when my class ended at 7pm!

After an incredibly hot August, and now September, I'm ready for it to start feeling like fall, and I felt like an apple spice cake with a maple cream cheese frosting would be just the thing. When I was googling I came across Bakerella's Apple Cake Pops (which she made with chocolate cake) and *knew* I needed to combine the cake pops idea with the apple spice cake recipe for a fun fall treat!

With a 3 hour professional development training scheduled after an already long school day, my principal thought snacks might help the pain of staying at work until 6pm on a Monday night, so she asked me to bake up some cookies. But instead, I brought these apple cake pops!

Apple Cake Pops
Source: Cake and frosting from Eggs on Sunday
Cake Pop idea from Bakerella

Cake Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tart apples, peeled and diced small

Cake Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a 9 x 13" baking pan (Eggs on Sunday reccomends an 8" or 9" pan, but since I was making the cake into pops, I wasn't so concerned with a thick fluffy cake.).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.

Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until well blended and light, about 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after adding each egg, and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the yogurt, in two additions. Mix just until blended. Turn off the mixer, add the diced apple and stir by hand.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is light golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let cool for about 5-10 minutes, then crumble the cake into a large bowl. Finish cooling the cake in the refrigerator while you make the frosting.

Frosting Ingredients

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (NOT fake syrup! Spring for the real deal here)
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Frosting Directions
Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed, until smooth.

Add the vanilla, maple syrup, spices and salt. Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until well blended. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Mix into the cooled, crumbled cake.

Cake Pop Materials

Lollipop sticks (I needed 2 bags. Buy them in the cake decorating section at Michaels)
Pretzel rods, ends broken off into about 1/4" pieces
Green sprinkles (I used small star-shaped sprinkles. Be creative!)

Making the Cake Pops

After mixing the frosting into the cake, being sure it is evenly combined, shape about 1-2 Tablespoons into balls, using your hands. I got about 40 or so cake balls out of this cake recipe.

Set the balls on a piece of wax or parchment paper and chill until firm, about 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator. Once the cake has firmed up, melt the candy melts in the microwave and stir until smooth. Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted candy and then gently push into the center of each cake ball.

That's a lot of cake pops!

Return to the refrigerator for another 5 to 10 minutes to allow the melted candy to firm up on the sticks.

Rewarm the melted candy in the microwave for about 15 seconds, stirring until smooth. Make sure the candy is completely melted and free of lumps. Gently dip the cake pops into the candy melt, completely covering each cake ball.

Gently lift the cake ball out of the melted candy and lightly tap off the excess. Stick the end of the lollipop stick into a thick block of styrafoam. Immediately, press the end of a pretzel stick into the top of each "apple" and add a green sprinkle. I found it was easiest to place the sprinkles with a pair of (clean!!) tweezers.

Let sit until the candy coating is completely dried and has firmed up.


Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) said...

Nice job! They're very cute!!

Blondie said...

Does dipping the stick in the candy melts help keep the cake ball from falling off the stick? Or does it just help keep it from dripping so much?

Janet said...

I think dipping the stick in the candy is suppossed to help anchor the cake pop to the stick. But honestly, my best advice is just to keep the cake balls nicely chilled, otherwise they fall apart really easily, even if you dip the stick in the candy melts.


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