I’m not a party planner by any means. I love desserts and finger foods. I think the tone of any party can be set with what kind of food is served. But I had a vision in mind so I rolled with it.
Sam and I have this thing (among many of the hundreds of sisterly things we do) whenever I come back to Indiana. We head to the nearest Dairy Queen, go through the drive through, and both order butterscotch-dipped vanilla cones. She’s ten years my junior, but we’ve done it ever since I can remember. So, when trying to think about what flavor I should make the cake pops, butterscotch was the obvious choice. I made this cake several years ago when I turned 30, but I remember it well-especially the frosting. Dear Lord.
Here’s the deal. I made the whole recipe, but I definitely had enough leftover “cake pop dough” to make double the amount of cake pops that I ended up with (about 50). I ended up freezing the remainder of my dough for future use (or for nights where I want to secretly eat it out of the bag while watching a chick flick…shh). If you don’t need that many cake pops, I suggest only making half of this recipe. And, just like I’m not a party planner, I’m definitely not a cake pop master, either. With the help of my mother, we were able to develop a system of rolling, chilling, dipping, and drizzling with only a few casualties. I’ll include some of the tips I found helpful here, but, by all means, if you have other tips or suggestions for fellow readers, please leave a comment to help us all out!
Butterscotch Cake Pops
Servings: about 100 cake pops (see my intro above if you would like less)
For the butterscotch cake:
2 and 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
For the butterscotch frosting:
1 pound unsalted butter (32 tablespoons or 4 sticks), softened (Yep, a pound. You read it correctly.)
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons dark rum
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, or more depending on your desired consistency. I found three cups to be perfect.
Three 12-ounce bags of candy melts for cake pop shells (I used Wilton’s white candy melts)
One 12-ounce bag of candy melts for candy drizzle (I used Wilton’s black candy melts)
8 teaspoons shortening
Cake pop sticks
Sprinkles, for decoration
1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325F degrees and butter/flour two 8″ round cake pans.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add in the oil until well combined.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
5. Beat in the rum and the vanilla.
6. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
7. Add the flour mixture to the batter in two additions, alternating with the sour cream.
8. Divide the cake batter among the pans, filling about 2/3 full. **Make sure to clean out your mixer bowl. You will need it to make the frosting (see below.)
9. Bake the cake at 325F degrees for about 60 minutes, until it is golden brown and a cake tester inserted emerges clean-I found that in my mother’s oven, I needed to bake mine for about 70 minutes. Just check every 5 minutes or so if you are finding your cakes are taking a bit longer to cook through.
10. Transfer both the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
11. For the buttercream: Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it turns deep golden brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes.
12. Add the brown sugar, cream, and salt, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes longer.
13. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat it at high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch, 8-10 minutes.
14. Beat in the rum.
15. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated. Continue to beat the mixture until it is smooth and creamy.
16. Add enough confectioner’s sugar to the mixture to achieve a thick and spreadable consistency. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
17. For the cake pops: If you have already chilled your butterscotch frosting, set it out at room temperature so that it reaches a spreadable consistency.
18. In a large bowl, combine the cooled cakes and butterscotch frosting, using either your hands or a potato masher to mash them together to form a malleable dough. (You can adjust the amount of frosting here if desired-you may not use it all.)
19. Using a cookie dough scoop or your hands, roll the dough to form individual cake pops. Place them on a baking sheet, inserting a cake pop stick into each one. Once you have filled the baking sheet with cake pop balls, I find chilling them in the fridge for a bit helps firm them up.
20. In a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine three 12-ounce bags of candy melts with 6 teaspoons of shortening. Let the mixture melt until smooth, stirring occasionally. *If you find that the mixture is too clumpy, remove it from the heat for a bit or add in a small amount of additional shortening. You want the candy melts to drip in a steady stream off of a spoon.
21. Using a small spoon to help scoop the melted candy melts over the cake pops, gently roll each cake pop in the melted candy, twisting each one until smooth. Place the cake pops directly on your baking sheet. (Some people like to put an unmelted candy melt on the bottom of each cake pop to ensure a smooth surface. It’s up to you. I did not.) Let the candy harden and cool before proceeding to the decoration step. Repeat with the remaining cake pops.
22. For decoration: Repeat #20 with your decoration candy melt color, using only 2 teaspoons of shortening this time. Using a spoon or pastry bag/tip, drizzle the candy melts as desired over each cake pop (this is when having two people-one to drizzle, and one to twist the cake pop-comes in handy). Immediately decorate with sprinkles. Let cool.