This picture of the train cake pops was the inspiration for our train cake pops.
Two weeks before the party, I read a great tutorial on cake pops and decided to give it a shot. http://veronicascornucopia.com/2010/01/20/cake-pops-2/
I baked the same chocolate cake mentioned in the previous post and did not add frosting because Veronica from the blog said it was not necessary with this recipe on her cake pops FAQ. So after crumbling the cake, I smushed the cake crumbles into the bottom of a baking pan as hard as I could and put it in the fridge to harden. Six hours later, I cut the cake into rectangular shapes and dipped the lollipop sticks into candy melts and into the rectangles.
It didn’t work. The rectangles started cracking and falling off the lollipop sticks as I tried to dip them into the candy melts. =(
Back into the stand mixer the cake went and turned back into crumbles. I added 2/3 cup of frosting and was shaping them into balls when I realized that I could shape them into logs and still frost them to look like train cars. And then it was midnight, so I put them into the fridge and let them harden. That was Tuesday.
Wednesday, I learned how to dip those. The video on Veronica’s blog is very good, except that I didn’t trust it at first. While doing the first batch, I learned that my candy coating was not melted enough, and that the tapping method does work, even with the log shape. You can see some of the failed ones in the top picture (too much candy coating from not tapping it off). The ones in the bottom picture are PERFECT! It took 3 bags of candy melts from Michaels to do about 50 cake pops, including all the mess-ups that used up too much candy melt at first.
That night, Sarah and I frosted them up. We put frosting on top, added sprinkles, piped a blue edge of icing to look like the top edge of the train car, and used frosting to stick jumbo confetti circle sprinkles on to look like wheels.
Thursday night, Sarah and I bagged and tagged them, and Friday I did the engine cake pops out of Rice Krispy treats. Rice Krispy treats are pretty holey so I filled in the big holes with candy melt and let that harden before I dipped (and tapped) the whole thing.
I piped a “1” for the final touch. I had to find a way to display the train pops, so I bought dry foam blocks for flowers. I needed 1.5 foam blocks for each train, consisting of one engine and 5 cars. I wrapped the 1.5 foam blocks in foil to keep it together (I couldn’t wrap it tightly enough with paper or saran wrap), and then cut a strip of wrapping paper to go over the foil. Orientation of the words on the wrapping paper was important, so it was not practical to wrap it directly with the wrapping paper (the words would have been upside down on one side of the box….although, by the way the boxes were displayed in the end, you would not have noticed).
So that was my project two weeks before the party (the cake pops went into heavy-duty ziploc freezer bags in the freezer until the party). But there’s more…