In Defense of Cakepops

Today I am going to talk about something very serious and that is cakepops. Now, I know they have gotten a bad rap. Elizabeth doesn't like them and Joy the Baker thinks they are lame (you know, all the cool girls). Some say they are a trend that will pass like cupcakes, and I offer the controversial stance that they are better than cupcakes. Cupcakes are not actually that easy to eat with all that extra frosting. In fact, I went to a place in Boston that sold shots of buttercream frosting, and I thought that was just gross. Cakepops are a smaller portion than cupcakes and therefore not as bad for you. Also, they are easier to transport. Here are things that are good about cakepops with some caveats.

  • Of course the idea of smashing up cake and mixing it with frosting seems gross, but I sort of agreed to go in on a pan with my coworker without realizing I was agreeing ( Me: vague and open-ended - "Oh that sounds interesting." Coworker: "That will be $13." Me: "What you ordered it? Ok".) It worked out because I have used it a good amount of times now. Having a pan like this, that creates something like doughnut holes, is much better than smashing up cake with frosting. How can anyone be against cake that looks like doughnut holes?
  • In the beginning, the only cake pop recipes I tried recommend these Wilton candy melts that you can buy at Micheal's and Joann Fabrics (where I worked over the holidays). I think these things suck. If they overheat at all they totally lose their consistency, and the package says to add some vegetable shortening, but they never get back to their original texture. They are $3 (milk and powdered sugar together would make a much cheaper glaze). They taste like eating sweetened, hardened vegetable shortening.  Also, trans fats are uniquely bad for you. I'm done with these at this point, but I am sure I should have known that food from the place where they sell fake flowers and picture frames wouldn't be that good for you. 
  • Perhaps eating things off of sticks looks infantile, but I think this makes them easier to eat at cocktail parties. And the small portion size is a plus. Thomas Keller has said that even the most delicious foods lose their exciting elements after a few bites. I think dessert is really this way - sometimes you just want a bite that will cleanse your palate and send you on your way in a good mood. You can make half a recipe of any cake recipe (New York Times Essential Cookbook has some great ones), and make 20 cakepops. You can then freeze them and defrost them as you want them. This is great portion control as you aren't going to eat 6 cake pops. That would be weird. However, a layer cake is there on your cake stand in your dining room begging to be eaten for breakfast and calling to you every time you walk by. 
  • The whole idea of making cakepops look like animals and characters I think is too difficult for the average person, even one who has an interest in decorating foods (like me). I tried to make pineapples and my husband couldn't guess what they were, and my Valentine's Day bears looked a bit like squirrels. I think I'm officially giving up on making cakepops look like other things. It looks prettier to just decorate them, and if you dip them in a glaze and then roll them in something that is not see-through like coconut flakes, you can use a homemade glaze instead of those God awful Wilton candy melts, and it will still look fine. 

So there it is. A silly trend I actually like. I was saying last weekend to my friend that the book Hello Jello made me want to make Jello my hobby, and then we had a discussion about cupcakes being out, cakepops being trendy, and Jello being way out of style. Would I be cooler to bring back a retro thing or do what is currently really trendy? In some contrarian view, the current trend would make me less cool. It is all very complicated. Now eclairs - there is a dessert that is far enough from the trend spectrum to be pretty neutral. I'm just going to go with every InStyle magazine I get in the mail that usually says women should ultimately not worry too much about trends, and I'm also going to feel free to admit to thinking this particular one might be just a bit brilliant.

Comments

  1. Are donuts and pies already over or still on the up and up?

    I think you should totally bring back the Jello mold...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think pies are on the up and up. Apparently, you can buy awesome vintage jello molds from Etsy and ebay! I was reading my jello book last night, and there is a jello museum near Buffalo. Bringin' jello back!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I saw an infomercial for this the other day. For $19.99 they will DOUBLE your order! Of course I don't know what you need with two of these molds :)

    Can you post a recipe for the glazing? I just dipped Oreo Cookies in those candy melts for work for St. Pat's day and they were terrible to work with. I didn't even realize they had transfats. (LOL as you see my standards are much lower for work).

    ReplyDelete
  4. I finally subscribed to your blog. Woooo, cake pops!

    ReplyDelete

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