Well here they are after many trials and tribulations: my Baby Shark themed cake pops (by the way, I am never getting that song out of my head). I actually struggled with whether or not to even do a write up on these because I felt like I was so far out of my element, but I finally decided I might as well.
I have never made cake pops before, but for some reason I thought, of course I can make shaped, detailed cake pops replicating a popular children’s animated video having never even made basic cake pops before. I don’t know if it’s a good trait or a bad one, but I have a habit of just assuming I’ll be able to do things perfectly on the first try without any previous experience. I just dive right in (pun intended).
Which is exactly what I did here. Making the cake component of the cake pops was actually super easy. I was using cake scraps and leftover American buttercream from the freezer. I defrosted four different kinds of cake and a ton of buttercream thinking I’d make all different flavored cake pops. I started with scraps of Tessa Huff’s cherry chip cake and one leftover layer of the chocolate cake from Liv for Cake. I crumbled them up together, then beat it with a paddle attachment to break them up a bit more and get them fully incorporated with each other. Honestly, the cake mixture was so moist I probably didn’t even need to mix any buttercream in, but that seemed boring so I mixed in a tiny bit of vanilla buttercream.
Then I started shaping the mixture into my shark shapes. I made them pretty basic to start, kind of a long teardrop shape. Then I did shorter, rounder teardrops for my fish. I had so much of the cherry chocolate cake mixture, and was I only making 16 pops, so I ended up making them all the same flavor, so all my other cake scraps went back in the freezer. Then I refrigerated the shapes overnight because I planned to dip them the next day.
The next morning, I pulled my cake out of the fridge and shaped them more carefully, adding more of a snout and smoothing them out a bit before dipping. I had big problems dipping straight out of the fridge. The biggest lesson learned here is your cake pop can’t be too cold, and your candy melts can’t be too hot. Either way and you’ll get cracking. Once I got the hang of it, I dipped each shark once entirely in white, then dipped just the top half in another color and let the excess run down its back and off the tail end. This created a slight ridge down the back, but I think this made them look more shark-like. After the second dip I let them harden, then attached the fins and eyeballs, etc with additional melted candy melts. The fins were all cut from candy melts. I used the bigger end of a piping tip to cut the curved edges. One annoyance here was that candy melts are a smaller size now so the ones I had already were a bigger, better size for this, but the ones I just bought were smaller. The smaller size probably helps when you’re melting them down, but not so much when you’re trying to use them for shark fins.
Then it came time to dip the fish. With these, I had new problems. I still don’t know what went wrong, but when I dipped them, the orange candy melts kept bubbling up and making them look like they had welts all over their bodies. I don’t know if I thinned out my melts too much or not enough, or if my cake was too moist, but I didn’t have time to mess with them more so I just went with it.
I used candy eyes for the eyes and orange heart sprinkles for the fish fins. The fish mouths and Grandma Shark’s glasses are ‘O’ sprinkles (Michael’s carries packs of sprinkles where the whole pack is one letter). Mommy Shark’s lips are a pink heart sprinkle, and Grandpa Shark has white sprinkle eyebrows and mustache (I think he might be my favorite). The nostrils and eyelashes are painted on with black Edible Art Paint.
Now, I might have gone a little overboard with my cake pop holder. I think I spent around $27 just on supplies for the box, and yet, the end result is underwhelming. I have to admit, I’m a little embarrassed by my work on this box, but it was for a children’s party so I guess it’s okay if it’s a little juvenile. It’s a regular cardboard box underneath, covered with foam sheets and foam stickers from Michael’s and Walmart. I cut X’s in the box top with an X-acto knife then pushed the pop sticks through. I wanted them at all different heights, but they were so top heavy they kept falling over, even when they were pushed all the way down. I ended up filling the bottom of the box with all the rice we had in the house (which was a lot more than I would have thought), so I could push the sticks into the rice and keep them from shifting around. Then I filled the top in with blue Easter grass.
This was a fun challenge for me despite all the frustrations, but it was so far outside my comfort zone, and outside my usual aesthetic, I don’t know if this is a road I’ll be going down in the future. I thought they tasted really good though. I don’t usually eat cake pops, but these were very fudge-like and not too sweet inside so it balanced out the sweetness of the candy coating.