Monday, December 12, 2011

Baking in Bulk, Just in time for the Holidays

And that is just a few of the cake balls I made this week.

  Hey all, I just wanted to remind you to enter my give away. You still have a few days!  Also that post will give you a bit of information about making a large quantity of cake pops.

  So, this time of year, every baker knows that there is not enough time to get everything done.  I want to make like 20 different things and I will probably only get like 2 things made.  Sigh, such is life I guess.  So the point of this post is that I want to share how I make my cake balls, in large batches, without killing myself.

  Now when I say large batches, that means like 15 dozen and more.  A small batch is about 5 dozen, because I can get that out of one cake.  So when I bake for the holidays, I have a few weeks when I have to work all around my baking.  I plan it out in advance so I can do a bit each day.  I want it to be enjoyable and not too stressful.  Also I want my stuff as fresh as possible.

 Anyway while I am writing this post I have a large amount of cake balls, and pops to make.  I need 15 dozen cake balls, just simple ones, and then about 80 cupcake shaped cake pops. See my give away post, to see that.  So that is a lot of stuff for one little person to do.  I have in the past been desperate and made Hubby help me.  He does it, but you know he is counting the ways to kill me in his head, or out loud.  He forgets he is not alone and says things out loud sometimes, so you know, I have to sleep with one eye open.
This is how it starts, I get all my pans out.

  So on to my cake balls, I  like to try and do things in 3 days, or steps if you will.

  The super amazing way I make and bake large amounts of cake balls/pops  ( that is a working title, feel free to make suggestions)
I butter and flour my pans to be all ready.  I actually needed 5 cakes, and I only have four pans.  Its a pain, but I don't have room for more really.

Day 1 (or Step 1) - Bake cakes.  That's it, just bake them and if you are moving on to the next step you are ready.  If like me you want to continue the next day, just wrap up your cakes in the pan with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge.  They can stay out at room temperature too, it won't hurt them.

Day 2 (or Step 2) - Mix your cake balls.  I have the smaller kitchen aid, so I have to mix one cake at a time.  But if you have a few cakes, like I did. I had five.  Crumble up one cake, mix with icing them put into a large bowl.  Do the same for all the cakes so you end up with one huge bowl of cake ball  mix.  I so wish I had a picture, but I was in a rush.  I had like 20 pounds of cake ball mix, or maybe the glass bowl was just heavy.  Either way, this allows you to shape and work without having to stop and mix each cake.  I like to shape my cake balls and put them in parchment lined cake pans, that way I can wrap them and stack them in the fridge and the balls will not get squished.  If you put them on cookie sheets you can only do one layer, no one wants a squished cake ball, it is a scientific fact.  Don't believe me?  Well I don't have time to prove it to you right now, but it's true, I promise.

Day 3 ( or step 3) - I really recommend waiting at least a few hours between steps 2 and 3, so your cake pop middles get chilled enough.  What I always do is set up what I am going to need.  So firstly I had to make the cake pops.  So I got my Styrofoam, my lolli pop sticks, my sprinkles, tweezers, plate to hold the cake balls that I take out of the fridge, and anything else I need.  For the cake pops, I get a few cookie sheets and put parchment paper on them, I melt my chocolate and get out my dipping fork. There is nothing worse than having to stop to go look for something.  Its called Mise en Place.  I learned that in college.  I know, my parents would be so proud.  Thousands of dollars later, to basically learn to have your crap all together.  I think I can hear my mom crying, she must really be proud. Your proud right Mom?  Mom?! Anyway.  So the last step is to decorate your cake pops or balls and then package them. 
This is my set up. I used two full bowls of chocolate to dip all the cake balls I had.

My first batch.

After each batch, I move them with that white glove to cookie pans, then I kept dipping and moving until I was done.

So I decorate on the cookie sheets, these I just drizzled white chocolate on.

See this way you just have to roll up the paper when you are done, a lot less messy.  I decorated the other cake balls by drizzling chocolate then sprinkling sprinkles on.

I then get my boxes all ready.  These did not work out, they were too small, but I did not figure that out until after I had put them all together. Figures.

See just too small, I wanted to get 12 in there, oh well on to the next  thing.

Just to show you, I will use them for cookies another time.

Not as nice as I would like, but it works. I always put parchment paper on the bottom to keep them from sliding all over.

  I know this is not rocket science, but I remember when I started trying to do it all in one day. I would make short cuts and make mistakes and not like what I was doing.  This is supposed to be fun. 

  So I hope this helps you to see that with a little planning, making large batch's of cake balls, and pops is not that hard.  You just have to have your crap all together, Mise en Plas people, it is what all the college kids are learning. 

  Just a few notes to share a few tricks I use, and I bet others do too, but you know, I wrote it here first, so I win.

-when making a large amount of cake balls, set yourself up to dip them, and let them dry on wax paper on the table.  Once dry move onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet, you will get them closer together and can move them around.  Then when you are ready to decorate them, you just need the tray of them and it saves you a lot of room and time
-when making cake pops, have enough Styrofoam so that you always have an extra bit.  Meaning when you dip one, you can then move it to the empty foam, not having to try and fit it back onto the one you were working on, I added pictures, in this post,  because obviously I don't even follow what I was trying to say there
-when bagging your cake pops, use a piece of foam with about 5 cake pops at a time, slide the bag on the pop then tie them while they are standing.  Then, if you are curling the ribbon, do so and move the finished pop to a new piece of foam.  Leave them in the foam until you are ready to use them, I leave mine in the basement in the foam on my craft table.  It is cool and clean down there, so they will not crack in the fridge, but also won't melt.  I'm a genius, I know.
-when working with your dipped cake balls, use chocolate handling gloves.  These are super cheap, like $1 a pair and they are perfect to make sure you do not melt the chocolate with the heat of your hands.  I also like that you don't get finger smudges on the chocolate either.
-when working in large quantities use simple decorations.  Like with my cake balls, I wanted to use sprinkles, but instead of dipping a ball, then sprinkling each one.  I waited until the base chocolate set, moved them onto a cookie sheet, then drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled.  This also allows you to cover up any cracks you may get and it saves you a lot of time.
-have fun, not every thing has to be perfect, they all taste great no matter how they look.  Unless they are smooshed, then they will taste horrible ( just kidding, sort of)

  If you have any tips or tricks please feel free to share, I think I have learned more on the blogs in the last few years than I ever did in culinary school. Okay maybe not, but still I learned a lot.

Also I joined a link party here.


Jordan @ I'm With Cupcake said...

Thank you for sharing. I've made Cake Pops once before and it was pretty much a disaster. I'll take any tips I can get!

Sylvia Blum said...

WOW... they are looking amazing and so yummy! Lucky ones who receives these :)
And oh my.. how much work must have gone into soooo many cake balls.. you have been really busy
Sylvia xx

Lisa Dorsey said...

Thanks for sharing this! They all look so yummy! Good luck on your project!

AudreyO said...

That's really clever to make these over the course of a few days. The "problem" with cake balls is we end up sampling way too many of them :)

Connie Mercer said...

I made some but mine didn't turn out as pretty as yours. Followed all your steps but I can see my cake balls were bigger!

Suzanne B. Webb said...

WOW, that's impressive, I don't know if i could ever get motivated to make that many ~ they look good!

Murphy's Law said...

They look amazing. YUM!

Vanessa said...

Thanks for the tips! I just realized I need one of those handy squeeze bottles. That would definitely make decorating with chocolate much faster!

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

What a big project - and they look great! I'd get bored halfway though. ;) Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! How do you keep that big of a bowl of chocolate from not hardening before you're finished? We do buckeyes and always have to remelt even when we work with just a cup or so. Thanks!

Unknown said...


Thanks for the kind words:) I find that using a glass bowl helps to retain the heat a bit. Also I work very fast, I was done dipping almost one full bowl of chocolate within about 10 mintues. So it did get a little thick around the edges. I also have those wilton chocolate warmers that I use if I am going to be a bit slower. I really think the glass helps. And I always microwave on high for 30 second intervals. Thanks for stopping by.

Virginia Nebel said...

Hi Sue, thanks for dropping by my blog. You cake pops look amazing...I am a horrible (impatient) baker so I would never attempt to do what you do but I love reading about it and it's awesome you have such a cute and willing helper!

Christina Kim said...

Really, you are definitely in TIME for Christmas with such a whole lot of festive goodies :)

The Southern Product Queen said...

These look so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Every recipe I see I want to write down! LOVE it all!!! I'm glad you stopped by and left me a sweet note so I could find your beautiful blog! I'm your newest follower and would love it if you'd return the "love" on your next visit.

XO, Aimee

Tam said...

I missed this post before.
LOL You're a riot!

The Southern Product Queen said...

Its Linky Party time again on my blog! Would love it if you would link up again with me at