Congratulations to my fellow classmates of 2011 at Washington and Lee. Today marks the start of our lives as college graduates. It finally hit me during our school president's speech, but only for a minute. I got choked up and teary-eyed, but I stopped myself before I made a scene. My attention immediately went to the hot, blazing sun. As much as I love tradition, I don't understand why graduating while being baked by the heat started in the first place. We survived, though, sweating through our sundresses and our eco-friendly caps and gowns.
We knew that this town would be crazy busy for dinner and that no restaurant would have enough space for all of our families, so we decided to hold a cook-out at our house. While the dads took care of food for the grill, the moms worked on the rest. Veggies, salads, fruits, drinks, etc. My contribution? Dessert! I made two things: Cream Puffs and Cake Pops! Things were somewhat disastrous, but in the end, I made more than enough pretty looking desserts.
As I realized halfway through making these, you can and should make these ahead of time, but make sure you have room in your freezer. Make the cake, let it cool, crumble it, mix in the frosting, and shape into balls. Then--this is the important part--stick them in the freezer and leave them in there for at least an hour but up to 1 day. When you push in the sticks into the balls, they will slide down if they're not frozen. Even if you're not making Cake Pops, freezing them will keep the crumbs to themselves so that they don't show up in the chocolate coating.
Speaking of the coating, buy candy melts for dipping. I had so much trouble with white chocolate especially when I tried to make it blue by adding food coloring. The color theme for the desserts was blue and white for our school colors. It's really royal blue and white, but I couldn't get the blue that dark. As long as people got the idea, it's all good. It's a versatile dessert--the cake mix can be any kind you like combined with any flavor of frosting that you prefer. Take these to your next gathering. Everyone will be impressed! My instructions below are very simple so if you'd like more detail or picture-by-picture steps, see how Pioneer Woman did it.
- 1 box cake mix
- 1 can frosting
- 1 package chocolate bark or candy melts
1. Bake the cake following the instructions on the box. I went for Duncan Hines' Moist White Cake. Let it cool completely. Crumble the cake in a large bowl.
2. Mix in the frosting. You can opt to use less, but the cake balls might not stick together as well. Roll into 1-inch balls. Let sit in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
3. Melt the chocolate bark or candy melts in the microwave or in a double boiler. Take the cake balls out of the freezer. Push in popsicle stick in the center and coat with melted chocolate. Place stick in styrofoam or down on parchment paper.