HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food project?

Donut hole/ableskiver cake pops

chowser Jun 5, 2012 04:04 AM

I'm thinking of making something along those lines w/ a bake pop pan (they make round cakes the shape of cake pops). I think cake pops are cute but a pain to frost/decorate and I don't like that there's so much frosting. I thought I could do baked donut holes instead and just glaze them, top w/ sprinkles, etc. Has anyone done/seen this, or have a good recipe that might work? I'd like to make a variety, if possible.

  1. s
    seamunky Jun 7, 2012 03:53 PM

    most everyone has heard of/seen/tasted cake pops. why not fully embrace your idea and call them Donut Pops? Your guests would be all " Oooh! Aaaaah! I'd LOVE me a donut pop! You're so creative!" (Only YOU will know that you were trying to simplify it for yourself).

    Or even simpler, make gelato pops just by scooping gelato with a melon baller and covering them in fondant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: seamunky
      mamachef Jun 7, 2012 04:01 PM

      The donut pop idea is truly profound. A rose by any other name, right?

      1. re: seamunky
        chowser Jun 7, 2012 04:21 PM

        I'm actually not going to be there so no one is going to know who made them or what they are. I'll just drop them off. I called them donut hole cake pops here so posters would know my general direction. Although, when I read your phrase "donut pops", I thought--hmmm donuts on a stick would be great. I want something small and bite-sized. Gelatopops--that would that be like fancy good humor bars!

      2. s
        SAHCook Jun 5, 2012 03:37 PM

        My $0.02: When I've made cake pops, I've found that dipping the end of the stick into the candy melts before I put it in the cake ball is what keeps the cake from immediately falling off the stick. Then dipping the whole ball into the candy melt keeps it on until it's time to eat. I can't imagine the sticks staying in without that. You can get as ornate as you want with them (I've made puppies, chicks, popcorn bags, Pooh) but I usually just dip into candy melts and sprinkle with sprinkles. The melts don't add much to the flavor, IMO, but it does a great job of keeping it all together.

        I've also used much less frosting than what is called for, as much as half the frosting, depending on the cake. You just have to use enough for the cake to hold together in a ball. I've heard of people using lemon curd or ganache instead but I haven't done it myself.

        I love the idea of baked donut holes or ableskivers instead of cake!

        When I bring them to a group, I usually slip them into those little plastic bags and tie a cute ribbon around them. Then I arrange them flat in a box or platter to transport. Makes them easy to hand out without the pops getting manhandled by anyone, smudged, broken, etc.

        8 Replies
        1. re: SAHCook
          chowser Jun 5, 2012 06:18 PM

          I was wondering how these cake pops stay on, too, because I had the same trouble w/ cake pops. It made dipping them very difficult and that's one reason I thought glazed doughnut holes would be easier, especially w/ a heavier cake doughnut. I'm either playing with serving them in bags as you suggested so people could take them home; on a cut styrofoam in a cute summer basket covered w/ grass; or in a container filled w/ marbles. We'll see how much energy I have after making 60 some odd items.

          1. re: chowser
            mamachef Jun 5, 2012 06:49 PM

            Royal icing makes great glue for these.

            1. re: mamachef
              chowser Jun 5, 2012 07:26 PM

              If I go this route, maybe I'll put royal frosting on the sticks before sticking into the pops and then they'd stay. Whew, this was supposed to be a simple project!

              1. re: chowser
                mamachef Jun 5, 2012 07:41 PM

                You know what I just thought of? What about purchased apple fritters? They're dense, they're glazed, they would hold together beautifully without the addition of much more glaze at all (and again, hitting your own glaze w/ a bit of lemon and zest just to freshen things up could never ever be a bad thing.) I know you said you didn't want to do the crumbling thing, and admittedly the donut holes are easier (hey, you could do several colors of those, and skewer them, put in long clear cello bags; tie w/ different "toe shoe" ribbons...) BUT you'd have the advantage of not having to make the cake first; just dump large pieces of fritter in the processor and pulse briefly until crumbed, then form into balls and re-glaze. And I don't think these would be dry, either.

                1. re: mamachef
                  chowser Jun 6, 2012 08:07 AM

                  Funny that you mention remade because I have seen donut hole pops online w/premade donut holes and am very tempted.

                  1. re: chowser
                    mamachef Jun 6, 2012 08:23 AM

                    Well, why not? We already agreed; it's about the novelty and pretty of it all, so take your labor off the front end since you want time to work on the presentation! Win-win!!

                    1. re: mamachef
                      SAHCook Jun 6, 2012 10:16 AM

                      Agree to this, unless you have the time or just really want to bake them yourself. This is one place where I always use cake mix and never apologize for it!

            2. re: chowser
              SAHCook Jun 6, 2012 10:19 AM

              I usually bag and tie them even if I'm presenting them similar to what you describe. (And I learned early on to transport them flat then arrange when I get there!) It keep people, kids especially, from touching several before choosing one, lessens breakage, helps prevent smudging.

          2. w
            wyogal Jun 5, 2012 03:20 PM

            I use cake doughnut batter and spoon them into hot oil. They naturally turn into spheres while cooking.

            6 Replies
            1. re: wyogal
              chowser Jun 5, 2012 06:14 PM

              Deep frying is my nemesis! I love real donuts and would love to be able to do that. I do want cake donut holes.

              1. re: chowser
                wyogal Jun 5, 2012 06:51 PM

                ??????????? Heat oil in a deep pan. Drop in batter. Take out when golden. Put on paper towels.

                1. re: wyogal
                  chowser Jun 5, 2012 07:25 PM

                  Except for me, it's heat oil in a deep pan. Wonder is it hot enough, or not? Throw in a piece of bread, sizzle. Add dough (or whatever)--slow simmer in oil because it's not hot enough. Increase heat. Add more. Deep burn, center raw. Reduce heat. Finally right temp for the first one. Add some more, then heat drops and it simmers. Raise heat again. Is the first one done? I can't tell but they've all absorbed oil and there's little left in the pan. Ow, and meanwhile, oil has splattered all over my arms. When I'm done, I'm left with a mess, plus all this extra oil because I don't fry often.

                  1. re: chowser
                    wyogal Jun 5, 2012 07:27 PM

                    I just put the handle of a wooden spoon in, when I see bubbles, it's hot enough. Then keep it on a medium heat to keep the temp steady.
                    But, I hear ya!

                    1. re: wyogal
                      chowser Jun 5, 2012 07:30 PM

                      I need to bite the bullet and take a class. I watch it on TV, see people do it, read all about it (even using a thermometer at times) but when I try it myself, I'm Murphy's Law in action.

                      1. re: chowser
                        wyogal Jun 5, 2012 07:32 PM

                        No, just fry more. That's really all it takes. and a family willing to eat the mistakes.

            2. greygarious Jun 5, 2012 11:08 AM

              You might consider pie pops. I haven't perused Pie It Forward but made them for a celebration, based upon the book's cover photo. Use cookie cutters in decorative shapes, or a round biscuit cutter, and be sure to cut a vent large enough to allow the fruit filling to show. Popsicle sticks are available at craft stores. Otherwise, skip the sticks and make mini-cupcakes. A standard cake or brownie mix sized recipe will yield 24. I have two nonstick pans but also saved the oven-safe plastic ones that Trader Joe's feta and caramelized onion cup frozen hors d'oeuvres come in, and have re-used them for other baking.

              8 Replies
              1. re: greygarious
                mamachef Jun 5, 2012 11:13 AM

                I remember this idea and liked it very much. Great idea on saving the plastic pans from TJ's, too.

                1. re: greygarious
                  chowser Jun 5, 2012 02:59 PM

                  I'm trying to understand this better. Is it minipies on sticks? Or are you using the cookie cutters on cake to make mini cupcakes? I need to make over 60 so it needs to come together, quickly and assemblylike, plus it's in the middle of recitals and before going away on vacation.

                  1. re: chowser
                    SAHCook Jun 5, 2012 03:21 PM

                    I think this may be what she means: http://www.bakerella.com/easy-as-pie/

                    Really cute!

                    1. re: SAHCook
                      chowser Jun 5, 2012 06:13 PM

                      Very cute, thanks! I have to try those out. Maybe another time when I'm not so time crunched and don't have as many to make.

                      1. re: SAHCook
                        jeanmarieok Jun 7, 2012 12:32 PM

                        Oh my gosh those look wonderful!!!

                      2. re: chowser
                        greygarious Jun 7, 2012 11:36 AM


                        Mini-pies on sticks. They do take some time, as with anything involving pie crust, but they are cute. 3-4 bites per pop.

                        1. re: greygarious
                          chowser Jun 7, 2012 12:29 PM

                          Those are really cute. I love the different shapes. I need to do them some time, although not for 50-60 girls... It also gave me the idea of doing pop tarts on sticks like that, too.


                          1. re: greygarious
                            SAHCook Jun 7, 2012 01:54 PM

                            I love the heart-shaped one for Valentine's Day!

                      3. mamachef Jun 5, 2012 06:10 AM

                        chowser, you're going to need a fairly dense, pretty moist cake to pull this one off, in order to avoid the copious amounts of frosting needed to keep airier-crumbed cakes holding together. I'd suggest a good lemony poundcake, and a nice tart lemon glaze. Just bake the batter in your ableskiver pans; crumble them (or keep 'em whole if you prefer) and mix w/ the glaze; form onto pops, and re-glaze or frost. I'm thinking keeping them whole, you can avoid the extra frosting to keep those together too.
                        (I had an awesome "adult" cake pop not long ago....deep fudgy cake, formed around a brandied cherry, dipped into a brandied glaze. Goooood times.)

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mamachef
                          chowser Jun 5, 2012 06:16 AM

                          I was going to borrow these pans from a friend:


                          She said they call for a cake mix so wasn't sure how they'd work w/ home made cake batter. I was hoping they'd work for baked donut holes or ableskiver batter. So, I don't have an abelskiver pan but these look pretty close? I've made cake pops w/ crumbled cake and frosting and don't want to do that again--just way too much work for what little you get out of it.

                          Lemon sounds really good. This will be for a dance company, mostly kids. I thought it would be much easier to serve (since i won't be there) and a perfect size, after a big catered dinner. If it doesn't work, I'll stick w/ cupcakes.

                          1. re: chowser
                            mamachef Jun 5, 2012 07:05 AM

                            Yep, those are basically the same thing, minus the ridge on the ableskiiver pans. All the recipes I've seen for cake pops made in a "unitasker" :) do call for boxed mix, but I can't see a single reason a homebaked recipe wouldn't work in it. You can always do a trial run, and give the results to friends and family to judge, but such as it is, chowser, it's kind of a novelty item and that's where the fun is in these. Nobody's expecting much more than a sugar bomb - the kids won't be looking for heavy nuances. :) So yeah: lemon glaze on lemon, or lemon on plain, with plenty of zest? That'll keep it lighter, less cloying.
                            And nobody minds a decent cupcake, if it all seems like WAY TOO MUCH!!
                            ps I e-mailed you at your listed e-mail. I'm not sure it went through or if you still use it though.

                            1. re: mamachef
                              chowser Jun 5, 2012 10:49 AM

                              It is a novelty and pretty colors will be a bigger draw than how it tastes. I was thinking donut holes on a stick would be more of a novelty. My fall back will be cupcakes and I was thinking I'd use frosting to look like a tulle skirt and stick a paper doll in to make it look like a ballerina since it's a dance function. BTW, my e-mail address is correct and I've received e-mail from other CHers but didn't get one from you.

                              1. re: chowser
                                mamachef Jun 5, 2012 11:12 AM

                                Found ya!
                                Check "ballet party" or "ballet cupcakes" - ideas abound. My daughter's been doing cupcake "bouquets" that could be modified as a ballerina's skirt....

                        Show Hidden Posts