Cupcakes or Cake Pops? Why not both?

A great weekend to try a new recipe. Well, sort of. I haven’t made cake pops in forever. And being in the mood to try something different than what we learned at the Viking Cooking School Cupcake and Cake Pop cooking class, I decided to create my own cake pop recipe. With peanut butter – peanut butter frosting and chocolate cake. Can’t go wrong there! And using a box cake mix, easy peasy!

cupcake (2)

cake pop (2)

In making my cake pop recipe, you only need one layer of a cake. I knew I would have left-over batter so not to let it go to waste, I just made mini cupcakes. I also knew I would have some of that wonderful peanut butter buttercream frosting left so that would be so good on top of those cupcakes!

See the pictures above? I took mini Reeses peanut butter cups and put one on each cupcake-that gives one a hint of the flavor of the cupcake. But given who was eating them it probably didn’t matter! HA

Here’s the handy dandy recipe in case you get industrious this week:
1 box chocolate cake mix – your choice of flavor and brand
(baked according to the instructions on the back of box-for cake pops you will only use one layer of the cake – either freeze the other layer or use it to make regular size cupcakes or mini cupcakes – I got one 9-inch cake layer and 24 mini cupcakes out of one box of cake mix)

one recipe for peanut butter frosting
Your favorite recipe or this one which tasted fabulous:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3-5 Tbsp milk
To make frosting, cream butter and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar and mix, adding milk one tablespoon at a time until smooth and creamy like frosting should be. I think I used 3 Tbsp. milk.

For the cake pops:
You will also need 2 Tbsp. Solid Vegetable Shortening (Crisco) 8 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped

Crumble the cake layer into a large bowl. If the edges got a little crispy, you will want to cut those away. After crumbling, you should have about 4 cups of crumbles. Spoon in 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting and mix gently with a spatula or your hands (hands work better) If your cake mix is real moist, you may not need the full cup of icing. Start out with 3/4 cup of icing. Once mixed, place in refrigerator for about an hour to thoroughly chill.
Once chilled, scoop out about 1 Tbsp of the cake mixture for each ball and lightly roll between the palms of your hand to form a ball. They should hold their shape well and be solid, place them on a baking sheet (or something that will fit in your freezer) lined with either parchment paper or waxed paper – cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 30 minutes. (I like to put mine on small plates so I can work in small batches)
Fill the bottom of a double boiler -or if you are like me and don’t have one, just put about an inch of water in a saucepan and place a bowl (one that won’t touch the water) over the pan once the water comes to a boil and place the chocolate and Veg. shortening in the bowl. Stir the chocolate and the shortening until it is melted and smooth. Remove half of the cake balls and dip in melted chocolate, using a small wooden skewer, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. place back on paper lined plate. You can top each with finely chopped nuts, sprinkles, or leave plain. You can also melt small amount of white chocolate and drizzle over top. If the chocolate starts to get thick, just set the bowl back over boiling water. It will thin out again. Once the chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container at room temperature. If kept in refrigerator, the chocolate will sweat.

Now that wasn’t too hard, was it? See? I used some skewers in mine – if you choose to do so, make sure your chocolate comes up on the skewer to hold the cake ball on the skewer. Have fun with these!

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