About six months ago, he asked for “Burnt Butter Pancake Cake Pops” for his next Birthday. Something that, as far as I can tell, did not exist – but he’s a dreamer. I laughed at him and reminded him what happened the last time I attempted cake pops.
I’m pretty sure that his Utopian vision included me and His Cake Pop Fairy Godmother Jamie working together in coordinating, brightly colored aprons. Me making his beloved pancakes, then flipping them across the kitchen where Jamie would magically transform them into her lovely cake pops.
But between his request and birthday, Jamie fired cake pop making from her life. Which meant that it was solely on me to make his fantasies come true.
So I decided to attempt it alone, but only with the compromise of ditching the sticks – after all, they were where most of my angst originated last time. But a man can’t whine about getting (Pan)Cake Balls when he asked for (Pan)Cake Pops – that would not end well.
But no one (that I could find) had ever attempted such a thing before, so I was left to my own imagination to decide of what, exactly, (Pan)Cake Balls consisted. So I bought a bunch of experimental ingredients and decided to make a few variations, hoping that one came out edible.
My final creations included:
1. Pancakes + Cream Cheese Icing + Butter Pecan Syrup coated with White Chocolate,
2. Pancakes + Nutella + Butter Pecan Syrup coated with White Chocolate,
3. Pancakes + Cream Cheese Icing + Butter Pecan Syrup coated with Semi-Sweet Chocolate, and
4. Pancakes + Nutella + Butter Pecan Syrup coated with Semi-Sweet Chocolate.
I was by far the most shocked member of our family when all of the variations worked, didn’t give me any lip in the process, and came out quite delicious (and only slightly ugly, but a chocolate kind of ugly is not really ugly at all.)
I do not now consider myself an expert in the Dark Art of Cake Pop/Balls (If you want details on making successful cake pops, check out Jamie’s Fantastic Cake Pop Guide), but here’s my recipe, after being slightly scaled down since I accidentally made…um, seventy cake balls.
~ 3 cups Powdered Pancake Mix, or however you like to prepare pancakes (I use Aunt Jemima Original Mix.)
~ 2 1/4 c. Milk (or as needed per your pancake directions)
~ 3 Eggs (or as needed per your pancake directions)
~ Butter. Lots of Butter. (2-3 sticks)
~ 1/2 c. Cream Cheese Icing (I used Pillsbury Creamy Supreme but feel free to be impressive and make your own)
~ 2 tbsp. Butter Pecan Syrup
~ 1/2 c. Nutella, the basis of any good recipe
~ 24 oz. White Chocolate Bark
~ 24 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bark
1. Make pancakes by the box directions. Be sure to cook your pancakes in an insane amount of butter, and let the butter get a little brown on the edges, thereby giving it the husband-pleasing burnt butter flavor.
(I justify this butter usage by the fact that I’m not slathering butter on the pancakes again before eating them. So it’s all good.)
2. Once you have a pretty stack,
tear them up and throw them in the food processor,
blending until you have fine crumbs.
3. Once you’ve gotten all of your pancakes crumbled,
get another bowl to divide out specific batches (if you’re planning on making more than one variation.) I put three cups of crumbs into each batch, which made 24-30 cake pops. You should have about two batches’ worth.
Cream Cheese Variation:
4. Add approximately a 1/2 cup of Cream Cheese Icing and 1 tablespoon of Butter Pecan Syrup to the three cups of crumbs. Mix well with a spoon, past the point that you think it’s all mixed in.
If your batter is too wet to roll into balls, refrigerate for a few minutes.
(Note: the amount of icing mixed into cake balls is a matter of personal preference. (Pan)Cake Balls will be less sweet than Cake Pops. If you want to add more icing to make it sweeter, feel free – you will just have to refrigerate your dough longer to get it ready to ball.)
5. Roll your dough into small balls, then refrigerate again for a few minutes.
6. While the cake balls are chilling, slowly warm your white chocolate bark. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper or aluminum foil, then roll the cake balls in the chocolate one at a time.
If you want sprinkles (we used ours for color coding), have your kid add them before the chocolate coating dries.
(Also, if you’re making more than one batch, have your kid write down a sprinkle-color legend.)
After all balls are coated, refrigerate again until hardened (about 30 minutes), then store refrigerated in a sealed container.
Repeat the above steps, except substitute 1/2 cup Cream Cheese Icing with 1/2 cup Nutella.
Semi-Sweet Coating Variation:
Coat your Cake Balls with Semi-Sweet Melting Chocolate instead of White Chocolate.
So that’s it. And yes, my husband was well-pleased.
Oh – in case you wondered which variation is best, I prefer Cream Cheese/White Chocolate, Ali prefers Nutella/Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Noah prefers whatever I give him, Jamie prefers Nutella/White Chocolate, and Chris prefers all of them served on a plate together.
So that clears things up.