Saturday, June 18, 2011



***Scroll Down To Enter Free Book Giveaway***

Have you noticed desserts are getting smaller these days. Although the classic small dessert, the "Petit Four", has been in style for a few centuries, the cupcake has really taken off as the dessert of choice in the last half of the 20th century. The 21st century has gone even smaller with the cake pop sensation that is sweeping the nation. Angie Dudley, a blogger that goes by the name "Bakerella", has popularized these cute little cake balls on a stick. And, she bumped them up a notch, by designing pops that look like everything from owls to mini-cupcakes. Her book "Cake Pops" gives step by step instructions for pops for just about every occasion you can imagine.
The new trend may be a good thing health wise as you're able to get your dessert in a couple of bites of cake instead of a big piece. I like the idea of the cake pops not only because they are visually stunning, but because you can have a bite of fudge cake, a bite of red velvet and a bite of vanilla without investing in the calorie count of three slices!

But how do these cakes work out for the gluten free baker? I wasn't sure at first as gluten free cake tends to be crumbly, but the secret to the cake pops actually works out very well with gluten free cake. The process involves crumbling cake (with GF cake you are halfway there out of the oven), mixing in prepared frosting, which acts like a glue for the crumbs, then encasing them in candy coating. The pops can then be dipped in sprinkles, nuts, coconut, crushed cookies, or decorated according to the instructions in the book. I suggest watching Dudley's how-to video on

My first attempt is pictured here. I dipped green pops in flower sprinkles and stuck them in Styrofoam inserted in a flower pot. The effect was springy and fun, and needless to say the kids loved them! I used Shufra brand gourmet baking bar for the candy coating as I needed a non-dairy alternative for the Candy Melts (Wilton brand), which seem to be the candy coating of choice in the book. They worked beautifully. Regular chocolate chips would work too, but they tend to be thicker than candy coating, and so you may need to add a teaspoon or two of solid vegetable shortening before melting to achieve a glossy coating and silkier consistency for dipping.

I wanted to use a boxed cake for added convenience in this project, but the eggs required in the boxed mix are a problem for Rosie. On the Internet I found a number of recipes using a can of soda and pudding as a substitute for the eggs and fat in boxed cake mixes. I tinkered around and came up with the recipe below. Link to to use this cake or anyone of your choosing in a variety of eye catching cake balls and pops.

Enter to win a copy of "Cake Pops" (which was generously supplied by Chronicle Books). Leave a post below with your e-mail address (in case you win), and tell me what you like about cake pops. The contest ends July 31st, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be randomly selected from all posts. Good luck!

Check back in August, as I will continue the theme of small desserts with a review and giveaway of the just released Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Kelli and Peter Bronski.

You can make this recipe with any flavor soda or plain seltzer. The soda flavor should compliment your cake, like cherry with chocolate cake or lemon-lime with yellow cake, etc.

Instantly Vegan Cake

1-15 ounce box Gluten Free cake mix
1-1.7 ounce box instant pudding (any flavor), or 1/2 -3.4 ounce box instant pudding
1-12 ounce can soda (any flavor) or seltzer (additional as needed)
1 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8 or 9-inch round baking pan with non-stick cooking spray, and line with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan, or line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until well blended, or vigorously mix by hand with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended and smooth. Additional seltzer or soda may be needed to achieve a cake batter consistency. Add a couple of tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake according to package instructions, but check 10 minutes before the end of the suggested cooking time, as this cake generally needs less cooking time than that indicated on box.

Place on wire rack to cool completely. The top of the cake may crack as it cools. Store covered.

Yield: One 8 or 9-inch cake layer


  1. I love cake pops because you can have one delicious bite without blowing your diet!

  2. There needs to be more gluten free recipes. Thanks for your efforts.

  3. Love the idea of trying out all cakes and frostings.
    Who needs flowers on a table when you can have a bunch of colorful cake pops! :)

  4. Ha! I've never had a cake pop, but they are interesting little creatures. I just purchased one for my daughter the other day, she seemed to like it. I was busy with my cupcake and didn't have the heart to sneak a maybe I will have to make some!

  5. would love to win this cookbook! thanks for a great post

  6. My little Grandaughter always only licks the frosting off of cake, but when she attended her first birthday party, cute little cake pops were served. She ate three...every morsel of those 3 cake pops! She looked at me and said, "Look Grandma, little cake suckers!"

  7. Hi, Where/how do we leave our email address?

  8. Love the cake pops -- perfect for any type pary. They are made ahead, leaving the hostess free to enjoy the event too.

  9. What a wonderful give away!

    Love cake pops.....perfect for entertaining and they are always a hit!

  10. Cake pops give the baker an opportunity to us his/her creativity. With a couple flavors of cake, a couple typs of frosting and a variety of sprinkles/dodads the possibilities are endless.

    Plus you can make a variety of shapes and sizes


  11. I LOVE cakepops.I can vent my creative spirit now that i'm a stay at home mom out of necessity of caring for my disabled child. I don't think anyone can feel blue when baking CAKEPOPS! They help me stay positive & who doesn't luv sharing goodies they created themselves!
    Lori T in Alabama :)

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  13. I forgot to add my email the 1st time! lol here's my post WITH email this time...

    I LOVE cakepops.I can vent my creative spirit now that i'm a stay at home mom out of necessity of caring for my disabled child. I don't think anyone can feel blue when baking CAKEPOPS! They help me stay positive & who doesn't luv sharing goodies they created themselves!
    Lori T in Alabama :)

  14. I'm SO EXCITED! I WON the cake Pops book & I'm sooo thrilled! I am a stay at home mom who LOVES to bake to stay sane. SERIOUSLY it's fun sharing baked goodies with friends, school & sending to long distance family!

    This book will enable me to vent my creative spirit even more! THANKS SO MUCH!!!!! I took a photo but can't upload it. But you can probably sense my HUGE smile in my words anyhow :)
    Lori T
    The Displaced Northerner!!!