"Cute and creepy monster cake pops that you can make *completely* from scratch (or substitute any of the main components for store bought - your choice!)"
We’re only a few weeks away from Halloween (yeesh, where did September go?!) and this is the first spooky recipe I’ve managed to churn out for the 2015 season.
Seriously, I’ve been slacking!
But not to worry – I’ve still got a few more festive recipes up my sleeve before All Hallows’ Eve has come and gone. After all, I’ve got to have something to snack on while I watch Hocus Pocus… on repeat.
I’ve been kicking around the idea of making cake pops for a while now, and Halloween seemed like the perfect time to do it… I just couldn’t seem to settle on what to make.
At first I wanted to make little pumpkin pops, which quickly became Jack Skeleton heads, to eventually become little ghosts… and it just kept going from there, my mind swirling with all these cute ideas but never being happy enough to settle on just one.
It wasn’t until I stumbled across these little candy eyeballs in my cabinet that the puzzle pieces finally started to fall into place. I knew exactly what I was going to make: Monster Cake Pops!
Making the cake pops purple seemed like the perfect choice for the little monsters, both festive enough for Halloween and popular enough that they could be made year round.
But my absolute favorite part about these cake pops?
The green cake inside.
Or, as I like to think of it:
The green monster brains.
These cake pops are made completely from scratch, from cake to the frosting to the buttercream fondant.
However, if you’d like to save yourself some time and effort, you can buy any of the main ingredient items (fondant, frosting, or cake) and substitute them in. It will work just as well!
Final notes: You’ll also need to pick up some cake pop sticks and the aforementioned candy eyeballs to get the same look and feel of this recipe.
Also, you’ll also need a sturdy cake pop stand, as these cake pops do end up being a little top heavy with all the fondant. I made my own stand by securing a square piece of styrofoam into a large, heavy bowl. I then covered the styrofoam with black tissue paper and spider webbing for decoration.
If you need more fun cake stand ideas, just search for “styrofoam cake stand” on Pinterest – there are much better ideas there!
Monster Cake Pops
Buttercream Fondant *
Buttercream Frosting **
Cake Pops ***
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3/4 tsp canola oil
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 tsp food coloring optional
- 2 cup white candy melts
- decorations such as sprinkles, black fondant, icing, etc
For the Buttercream Fondant *
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), add in light corn syrup, shortening, salt, vanilla extract, and 1 cup of powered sugar. Beat on medium until smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove mixer blades. Using your hands, slowly kneed in the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar. If needed, add more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Fondant is ready when it 1) does not stick to your hands 2) fondant feels mostly dry and not too oily and 2) you can hold up a long piece of fondant, gently shake it, and it does not stretch or change shape.
- If using food coloring, separate fondant out in groups as needed (if doing multiple colors). Flatten fondant out and add a few drops of food coloring to the center. Fold the fondant over the food coloring and kneed until the color is evenly dispersed. Continue this step until the desired color of fondant is reached.
- Cover fondant with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use (do not refrigerate).
For the Buttercream Frosting **
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + small bowl), add in butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat on medium until butter has broken apart, about 2-3 minutes.
- Keeping speed on medium, add in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. If using food coloring, add it at this stage.
- Continue to mix until frosting is smooth and there are no clumps.
- Cover frosting with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use (do not refrigerate).
For the Cake Pops
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a small baking dish (such as 8x8) with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk, canola oil, vanilla, and egg white. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + medium bowl), sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add softened butter and mix on low until butter has broken up, about 2-3 minutes.
- Keeping speed on low, mix wet ingredients in with dry ingredients. If using food coloring, add it at this stage.
- Continue to mix batter until there are no more clumps, about another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean.
- Place cake dish on a wire rack and let cool completely.
Putting It All Together
- Remove cake from pan add it to a large bowl. Crumble it into small pieces with your hands. Remove any dark or hard pieces that might have formed along the sides while baking.
- Add 1/3 cup of frosting to cake crumbles and work together with your hands. Kneed until it can form a large, solid ball that holds together.
- Scoop 2-3 tbsp of cake mix and form a ball. Place the ball on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat this step until all the cake mix has been used.
- Place tray with the cake balls in the freezer for 10-20 minutes to harden them up.
- Remove cake balls from freezer. Melt 1/3 cup of candy melts per package instructions.
- Dip the end of a cake pop stick (about 1/2 inch) into the melted candy, then insert the coated end into a cake balls. Repeat until all cake balls have sticks.
- Place cake balls back in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Melt remaining 1 and 3/4 cup white candy in a small, narrow bowl.
- Dip cake balls in the white candy, coating completely. Tip: Do not twist cake balls in the melted candy. To get full coverage, dip cake balls, remove from candy, turn, then dip again. This will ensure the stick does not break loose. Give the cake balls a final shake to remove excess candy, then set them on their sides on the parchment sheet.
- Place cake balls back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.
- Reheat the white candy so it's fluid, then coat all of the cake balls a second time. When placing cake balls back on the parchment paper, be sure to rest them on a different side than the one you used for the first coat.
- Place cake balls back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.
- When ready to decorate, arrange cake pops in a display of your choosing. See list above for my recommendations.
- Prepare the fondant: using 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup, roll fondant into a ball and then flatten it out on a solid surface. For a smooth look, use a rolling pin. Cut fondant into a circle about 4-5 inches across. Tip: I used a small salsa bowl as my guide.
- Gently pick up the piece of fondant and drape it over the cake pop. Be sure to secure the fondant to the tops and sides of the cake pop, then work on arranging the folds along the bottom.
- Decorate the cake pops as you see fit, adding eyes, mouths, hair, etc.
- For best results, keep cake pops refrigerated (for up to 4 hours) until ready to serve.