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What is the appeal of Cake Pops?

Someone was asking where to find Cake Pops in Toronto and I have always wondered what the appeal is of Cake Pops. The idea of crumbled cake hand kneaded together with frosting and squeezed into a ball to make a lollipop type thing grosses me out. Anyone out there like these, and why?

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  1. I would like to know the answer to this, too. Is perplexing.
    I guess people like small, "cute" things. Like cupcakes. And cake pops are like an even worse cupcake. Blargh.

    1. It's basically a cake ball on a stick. Cake balls have been around forever. It's a great way to use up cake scraps from leveling cake layers, etc. I put them in the freezer and when I have enough, I make cake balls.

      "Anyone out there like these, and why?"

      I like them. They taste good. Why do people like cake? Same reason.

      1. They're probably used as childrens' party favors, like the cookie and chocolate pops. Had no idea that they "pressed" cake crumbs, would have thought they'd use a mold with the stick inserted like the cookie and chocolate pops with so many novelty mini molds available.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lilgi

          "They're probably used as childrens' party favors"

          And weddings, engagement parties, showers, etc. They are very "pop"ular. :)

          1. re: lilgi

            They now have a cake pop machine so you can do just this but very easily. I saw it on one of those infomercials on TV. -__-

            But most cake pops I have encountered are balls of cake and frosting smooshed together and then rolled into a ball, then dipped into candy coating, melted chocolate, frosting, etc. The cake pop machine would have balls of just the cake so perhaps the interior texture and flavor would be different.

            1. re: nafrate

              My basic cake ball (which is a cake pop without the stick) is cake scraps, a bit of powdered sugar, a bit of amaretto (or another complimentary liqueur), and add ins such as chocolate, peanut butter or white chips; nuts, etc. (I've never mixed in frosting; to me that seems like just too much.) I mix it all together with my KitchenAid and then scoop out balls with my small ice cream scooper. I usually coat them in dark chocolate and then sprinkle with colored sprinkles or I use a piping bag with royal icing to make a flower or some other small decoration.

          2. i've never been much of a frosting fan, so they don't appeal to me. but i can still see why people who like frosted cake & cupcakes enjoy them - it's just a different way of combining the elements of those traditional recipes...and maybe adding a little something extra to the mix.

            2 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Yes. I can't think of a way that frosting and cake could be combined that I *wouldn't* like.

              1. Never had one but do see the appeal.

                There was an Easter Tree decorated in a gorgeous candy store inside the most elegant hotel I've seen in a very long time in Salt Lake City about a month ago. Growing on the tree were cake pops in all appropriate shapes for Easter. I could have grabbed 5 for the little ones but knew they'd get ruined before they got them.

                Perfect size snack bite and sweet craving.

                4 Replies
                1. re: iL Divo

                  I made the christmas tree ones for my son's kindergarten class and they were a big hit. Yes, it's the cuteness factor. Same as decorated sugar cookies and cutesy cupcakes. It's not all about the taste.

                  That being said, I don't go for canned frosting at all but these weren't too bad. Perhaps it was the hard coating on the outside, maybe it was that I was delirious staying up until the wee hours making the darned things! But they were slightly addictive. I imagine they could be quite delectable with homemade cake and frosting.

                  1. re: 16crab

                    The ones I'm speaking of were 3 different "outers".
                    1. hard like you'd use on decorated sugar cookies
                    2. fondant covered
                    3. piped buttercream
                    So you had: smooth hard surface that you could affix/glue candy decorations on
                    decorative piping tips that you could create (say) grass or fur effects
                    You could stick or bury 'things' in the fondant
                    I'd say this candy store did their homework and the client willfully paid for their innovations.

                  2. re: iL Divo

                    My MIL sent us some from Williams-Sonoma for Easter. They were brownie pops and decorated to look like chicks, eggs and bunnies. Delicious!

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      See? Just what you said here. I think they have a fun purpose.

                  3. They're cute, easy to serve. They're also a pain to make and overly sweet. IMO, they're like Sandra Lee projects.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chowser

                      Yes, a pain to make indeed! Not something I'm rushing to do again anytime soon!

                      1. re: chowser

                        why do they have to be that sweet? cut back on the coating sugarwise.
                        you're right about SL. her stuff is never successful when I've made the couple of things of hers I have

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          It doesn't cover them otherwise and you can get those pretty designs.

                      2. I've never heard of this thing; but I have a sinking feeling that I'd love them. They do seem to be something easily mocked by the foodie snobs, don't they? That makes me want to try them all the more.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: SherBel

                          I wasn't mocking cake pops and had not intended my post to read as such. Is merely asking what appeals about something a widely known method of foodie snobbery/mockery?

                          1. re: janniecooks

                            well as i said earlier they don't appeal to me either...but i can understand how part of your OP - "The idea of crumbled cake hand kneaded together with frosting and squeezed into a ball to make a lollipop type thing grosses me out" - might be taken as a judgment or slight to someone who does enjoy them.

                            FWIW, i didn't take it to mean you were intentionally bashing people who eat them. some people are just more sensitive or quick to take offense.

                            1. re: janniecooks

                              Not sensitive, not taking offense. I've never even seen one of the damned things. But 'grosses me out" is an opinion. That's all.

                              1. re: janniecooks

                                "I wasn't mocking cake pops and had not intended my post to read as such."

                                Then maybe you shouldn't have used this line:

                                "The idea of crumbled cake hand kneaded together with frosting and squeezed into a ball to make a lollipop type thing grosses me out."

                                BTW...I use my hands for mixing such things as meatballs, etc. What's wrong with using one's clean/gloved hands for mixing? :)

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  i though the same thing....i NEVER wear gloves to roll truffles and i haven't had any complaints!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    If you wear gloves, then it's that much harder to lick your fingers when you're through! My problem w/ the crumbled cake in frosting and then dipped in more frosting, or those candy molds is you get far too much frosting to cake ratio. I prefer my cakes frostingless to begin with.

                                    1. re: chowser

                                      ha! i'm with you chowser - as i've said more than once, i don't really do frosting :)

                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      ditto ^^^^
                                      my family hasn't complained either.
                                      and my truffles are dern good..................... :)
                                      ^^^ but my hands do get pretty messy................who cares though, they're clean

                                    3. re: ttoommyy

                                      the difference between hands in meatballs and hands making kneaded cake and frosting is that the meatballs are cooked after being handled and cake pops aren't. but perhaps they aren't as "hands-on" as I thought.

                                      As for expressing an opinion, I'd venture that chowhound is filled with more opinions than facts and expressing opinions is the primary purpose of CH and means of communication here.

                                  2. re: SherBel

                                    There is one food blogger who seems to have cornered the market on them, www.bakerella.com. She is definitely very skilled in the decorating area. I was telling my sister-in-law about the site once (I think she was giving something cool away) and then my sister-in-law stood in line at Williams Sonoma in NYC and got me a signed copy of her cookbook. I figured I had the cookbook so I may as well give the pops a go.
                                    As much as you can tell about someone from their food blog, this gal seems to be just a wonderful lady who deserves the good fortune that came from her blogging efforts. The postings have waned a bit lately as she's had some health problems. But it's on my regular rotation to stop in and drool at the food photography.

                                    1. re: 16crab

                                      As much as I dislike the taste of cake pops, she does an amazing job with them. Hers are almost like works of art and the reason I tried making them in the first place. She's extremely skilled, and patient (and makes it look far too easy on her blog). I'm sorry to hear she's not doing well.

                                  3. I think there are a lot of reasons theses are popular--they can be decorated, they're two or three bites of something sweet, they're cute, and on and on. IMHO, though, once Starbucks gets a hold of something (and they now offer cake pops--in the Seattle area, anyway), its day has passed.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Erika L

                                      I agree; I had them first at Starbucks and immediately wondered what the fuss was about. If I'm having cake, I'm HAVING CAKE. Why pay $2 for a pop when for a few dollars more I can have a huge slice? And I'm not big on the icing being almost 50% of the pop, either. I feel cake pops are part of the whole trend of downsizing desserts to 200 calories or less, and think they may disappear eventually.

                                      1. re: Smorgasbord

                                        I haven't seen a calorie count but would guess from the amount of frosting in and around each one, that one small cake pop has the same, if not more, calories than a slice of cake.

                                        1. re: Smorgasbord

                                          Right, I think the examples on Bakerella are beautiful/fun for special occasions, but when I want something sweet to go with my coffee, I'd much rather have a piece of normal cake!

                                          1. re: Smorgasbord

                                            there's a Starbucks in the hotel in Salt Lake City.
                                            as I was on the computer waiting for it to reboot, a whole family came out of the SB's all carrying a cake pop.

                                        2. These sound much like the Oreo "truffles" that were in vogue a couple of years ago. Oreo-type cookies were mashed finely together with cream cheese, molded into balls and dipped in chocolate. Majorly addictive.

                                          Mushed sweet stuff with more sweet stuff? Always a winner.