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I finally have a reason to make cake pops — my son, EJ’s, 3rd birthday, which is actually on Friday, Earth Day.  Have you heard of cake pops?  Bloggers have been going crazy over these things for months.  From what I gather the craze began with Bakerella, who is a massively talented baker/blogger, and she wrote a book called Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats.  Her cake pops are just plain adorable.  She does characters like Sesame Street, Winnie the Poo and Mickey Mouse.  I have an addiction to sweet miniature edibles so I approached this with caution.  I don’t have time for my addiction to flare up right now.  Take mini cheesecakes, for instance.

I’ve done them for baby showers….

Birthdays….

Weddings (this one is for my own wedding)….

And this one was my brothers (I also did 250 maple leaf shaped chocolates and homemade truffles. Oh, the cream cheese was all homemade)….

Am I Wonder Woman?  No.  Not even close.  I am to special occasions as Clark Griswold is to family vacations.  A disaster.  My own worst over-achieving enemy.  You see, as I look through these galleries of photos I can feel the panic, stress and tears all over again.  Who makes 250 mini cheesecakes for their own wedding (and caters the rehearsal dinner)?  And the Sesame Street ones — I put my 92 year old grandma to work on those to finish in time.  I was out of town for work for 10 days leading up to my brother’s wedding and I worked right up until the wedding started to finish them.  It never fails that I am out of town right before an event or the one and only decent baking supply store is closed or some other crisis arises.  I call my best friend, Shelly, my sister and/or mom to help bail me out and my kitchen ends up looking like this…

Actually, it looks worst than that.  But I do love mini cheesecakes.  Now I love cake pops and I’m scared.

I am proud of myself, though, because if you follow me on Facebook (which you should!) then you might already know that I was making these last night.  I had grand plans to make the Mickey Mouse ones .  The instructions are easy enough.  I made the cake and icing, rolled them into balls and proceeded to cut a little pieces off of the ears (chocolate disks) to attach to the cake balls.  Here’s the problem.  I didn’t want to drive to Lenexa to The Bakers Rack to get good quality candy wafers for the ears and the Wilton ones at Hobby Lobby are gross, so I picked up a bag of Ghiradelli chocolate chips.  “They’re big”, I thought.  Not big enough.  Instead of looking like the silhouette of Mickey Mouse they looked like a bear.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider driving to Lenexa today to get the right ears and work all morning right up until I needed to be at my son’s school for his party just to have Mickey Mouse cake pops.  I didn’t, though.  I think my husband was shocked.  I just dipped the cake balls into chocolate and they were delicious.  Okay, enough about me.  Let’s talk about cake pops.

Cake pops:  Crumbled up cake mixed with frosting, rolled into balls, stuck with a popsicle stick and dipped in chocolate.  So that’s how you make a basic pop.  If you want to make an adorable character then I’d go on over to Bakerella’s blog.  I’ll stick to what I’m good at and share with you the gluten-free cake recipe and strawberry cream cheese frosting I used.  To display the cake pops you can stick them into styro-foam bricks.  I have a few cardboard cupcake trees just laying around the house (for mini-cheesecakes, of course) so I poked holes into one and stuck the cake pops into the holes.  The kids faces when I walked in with a tower of “lollipops”, as they called them, were priceless.  Totally worth the work (yes, these do take some work) and I totally didn’t need to make Mickey Mouse.

Happy Birthday baby EJ!!

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake
This recipe was adapted from one on Gluten-Free Girl.  She always has the best gluten-free recipes.  It’s just a plain ‘ole cake that cake be dressed up a thousand different ways.

1/2 cup each brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, tapioca flour and potato start (you can get these at most grocery stores these days)
3/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 sticks softened butter (or 1 cup coconut oil)
2 cups dehydrated cane juice (sugar)
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the flours, gum and salt in a medium sized bowl.  Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2 – 3 minutes).  Add the eggs one at a time until fully combined.  Add the vanilla.  Alternate adding the flour and sour cream.  First add 1/3 of the flour then add 1/3 of the sour cream.  Repeat 2 more times.

Grease and line two 9 inch cake pans.  Split the cake batter between the two pans and back for 30 – 35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.  Cool completely and remove from pans.

Strawberries and Creme Frosting
This is enough frosting to make cake pops.  If you are making full cake then just double the recipe.

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup finely diced strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Beat everything together and use accordingly.

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