apple cake pops

I made these a while back, but a friend just asked me for the instructions. I figured why not post it here while I was typing it up, and I may as well add all the photos I took. credit for the idea goes to Bakerella

Here's what you need to make 1 batch (35- 50 depending on how large you make them):
- 1 box of cake mix, any flavor
- other ingredients needed to bake the cake (usually eggs and oil)
- 1 can of frosting that works with your cake flavor
- 1 bag of red candy melts, white/vanilla if you are going to mix your own colors (make sure to use CANDY coloring if you do)
- a ceramic or glass bowl for melting candy in (if you don't have something already)
- shortening/ Crisco
- 4" paper lollipop sticks
- tiny pretzel sticks for stems
- green sprinkles or taffy for leaves (see below)
- wax paper
- a big styrofoam block
Bake the cake in a 9 x 13" pan according to the directions on the box. I used white cake mix and added some nutmeg and cinnamon, but any flavor should work as long as it doesn't have chunks of nuts or fruit or chocolate in it.
Let the cake cool completely. You could even let it set overnight if you don't have 6 hours to do all this in one day. You can also prepare your decorations ahead of time... for the stems, break off 1/2" of a pretzel stick. If you are obsessive like me, just use the rounded ends and snack on the extra. Otherwise beak up the whole stick into little stems. For the leaves, I used giant star sprinkles.  Bakerella used giant diamonds. Some people posted that they used actual leaf-shaped sprinkles, or even green laffy taffy cut into little leaves. They would probably still be cute even if you just had stems.
Crumble the cake into a large bowl. The smaller the crumbles the better. Mix in about half the jar of room temp frosting. Bakerella calls for a full jar but it really depends on how moist your cake already is. Add more if you need it.
Use the back of a wooden spoon, NOT a hand mixer. You want the mixture to be about the same consistency as cookie dough, moldable but not mushy, able to hold its own shape but not too dry.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Scoop some "dough" and roll it into a ball about 1" in diameter. To make it apple shaped, you want it smaller at the bottom than the top, flattened at the bottom, and a dimple in the top. kindof like a squashed heart shape that's been squared off... you'll figure it out after you've tried a few. Fill up the sheet and stick it in the freezer to firm up.
This is when you start melting your candy. I used white and colored it myself so I could have red and green apples, but they sell red candy melts. Wilton's are the best kind. They make candy-specific coloring... don't use regular food coloring or you will ruin the candy! Also, watch out because it stains. Whether you mix your own colors or use the pre-colored candy, you should only melt half the bag at a time. Be careful not to over-microwave it because it will get dried out. DON'T add water if this happens. Use the shortening. It will thin the candy out and also help when you start dipping.
Pull your apples out of the freezer. You can pre-poke little holes for the stems if you like, then turn them all upside-down. Dip the end of a lollipop stick about a 1/2" into the candy. Then stick it into the apple, a little over halfway. There should be a little puddle of candy around the stick. Put the sheet back into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Don't keep it in too long or your dough will freeze, and crack your candy coating when it thaws out.
Take the apples out again. Zap your candy one last time and stir it up good. Dip the apples in the candy to coat them, tapping off the extra candy. Tap gently or the apples will fall off the stick! While the candy is still wet, insert your pretzel stem and leaf. Then poke the stick into the styrofoam block, making sure the pops don't touch each other while they dry.
ta-daaa! adorable and easy! I can't wait to make more :)
and a perfect use for the leftover candy melts and pretzels

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