May is National Strawberry Month so I suppose it shouldn’t be a big surprise that strawberries seem to be everywhere lately. I dare you to try to browse through Pinterest for more than five minutes without spotting a delectable strawberry treat, or two, or ten. Well, get your pinning finger ready cause I have one more strawberry treat that you don’t want to miss… strawberry banana cake pops!
Ingredients & Supplies
To make strawberry banana cake pops, you will need:
– 18.25 oz. box of strawberry cake mix and ingredients to make the cake (I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Strawberry Cake Mix)
– 1/3 cup of strawberry daiquiri mix
– 1/3 cup of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations frosting starter
– 1/4 teaspoon of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations strawberry shortcake flavor mix
– Up to 1 teaspoon of LorAnn Banana Cream Flavoring
– Pink and yellow candy melts
– Red and yellow sparkling sugar
How to Make Cake Balls
To create cake pops, you need to start by making cake balls that you will later apply to lollipop sticks. The easiest way to make cake balls is to start by following the directions on a box of cake mix. I usually deviate from the directions in one way, I use half the amount of oil. For this strawberry banana cake pop recipe, I also replace the water with strawberry daiquiri mix. This gives the cake pops a stronger strawberry flavor and a beautiful pink color.
After you bake your cake, let it cool completely and… get ready for destruction! Your goal is to crumble your cake into fine crumbs. You can do this one of two ways:
1) Use your hands. Put chunks of your cake into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to crumble it into a pile of fine crumbs.
2) Use a food processor. Put chunks of your cake into a food processor and pulse it into fine crumbs. Then, move the crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix 1/3 cup of frosting starter with 1/4 teaspoon of strawberry shortcake strawberry mix (you can also substitute pre-mixed strawberry frosting).
Add the frosting to your cake crumbs and thoroughly combine using your hands. Continue until your crumb mixture becomes the consistency of clay.
Once you have created your cake pop “dough”, you can begin rolling your cake balls. I like to use a stainless steel coffee scoop to portion out my cake mixture so that all my cake balls are the same size, about 1.25″. Roll the mixture in the palm of your hand to create round cake balls.
Set your cake balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet or plate and put them in the freezer or refrigerator. If you have time, keep the cake balls in the fridge for a few hours until chilled. If not, about 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer will do the trick.
Helpful Tip: Keep in mind that making cake pops is a temperature sensitive process. Putting cake balls in the freezer may make them too cold for dipping, so you will need to let them sit for a few minutes after removing them.
How To Turn Your Cake Balls Into Cake Pops
Microwave your yellow candy melts in a bowl on low power for 30-seconds at a time. Stop and stir after each 30-second interval then repeat until the coating is completely melted. Stir in 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon of LorAnn Banana Cream Flavoring, depending on how strong you want the flavor.
Helpful Tip: Make sure that you use LorAnn Super Strength Flavors, which are made for flavoring candy and chocolates. If you use a water-based flavoring, such as LorAnn Baking Emulsions, your coating will seize up. Save the emulsions for when you want to make awesome sugar cookies and funfetti cake cookies!
Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted coating and then into a chilled cake ball, gently pushing until the stick is about half way through the cake ball. Turn your cake pops upright, set them in a cake pop stand, and place them in the fridge to chill before dipping.
Helpful Tip: Work with just a handful of cake balls at a time. Rotating them in and out of the fridge ensures that you are always working with perfectly chilled cake balls. This is where it comes in handy to have a few petite cake pop stands to rotate around!
Dip each chilled cake pop straight down into the melted coating until the cake ball is completely covered and sealed. If you need to angle the cake pop, gently tilt it in one direction and then another. Resist the temptation to stir the coating with the cake pop. If you do, your cake pop may fall off of the stick into a candy coating abyss.
Remove the cake pop from the melted coating by pulling it straight up. Then, turn the cake pop at an angle and gently tap off any excess coating.
Helpful Tip: A tall narrow bowl works best for dipping cake pops. Keeping the coating warm throughout the entire dipping process is key to having a smooth coating on your cake pops. To avoid having to repeatedly reheat your coating, a chocolate melting pot is a great tool.
While the candy coating is still wet, sprinkle sparkling sugar all over the surface and add a banana Runt to the front of your cake pop. Set your cake pops in your cake pop stand until the coating has hardened.
Repeat all of the above steps using pink candy coating, red sparkling sugar and red Runts. To learn how easy it is to turn your red runts into strawberry candy decorations, check out How To Make Easy Fruit Candy Decorations.
Is the strawberry at the top of your list of favorite fruits? Are there any other fruits that get a whole month dedicated in their delicious honor or is the strawberry just special?