Cake pops have to be the most versatile dessert ever. You can decorate them and flavor them a million different ways. You can leave out the sticks and turn them into “cake truffles” or “cake balls”. They are ready-to-eat in perfectly portioned sphericals and darn it if they just don’t make everyone happy!
I LOVE cake pops. I don’t have all the fancy cake pop makin’ gadgetry – just do a search for cake pop molds on Amazon and you’ll find all kinds of goodies to make your cake pop making experience much more “professional” and supposedly easier too. But I don’t use any of that stuff. Would I like to? Yes. But I don’t really have the space to store said stuff and I really really don’t need any more excuses to make cake pops more often.
If you want to use the gadgetry, by all means, go right ahead! But if you don’t have the fancy tools, you CAN still make yummy cake pops fairly easily! We made these lemon cake pops for summer solstice this year and 5 days later they were all gone!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
yellow cake mix plus ingredients on box (eggs, oil, water)
Prepare cake batter as instructed and add 1 vial of LorAnn lemon oil to batter. Bake as directed. Be sure to coat your baking pan with oil/cooking spray!!
Allow cake to cool completely then turn out in pieces into the mixing bowl
Mix in icing 1 spoonful at a time until cake is able to be formed into balls. You want the consistency of the resulting “dough” to be moist enough that the cake balls do not fall apart. If you add too much icing, the balls will too soft to stand upright on the sticks – so just ditch ’em! The cake balls will still taste yummy, they’ll just be a bit softer in the middle. 😉
Form the “dough” into 1 inch balls, insert sticks, and place on cookie sheet covered with wax or freezer paper. Freeze for 1-2 hours.
When the cake balls have frozen and are firm, assemble the double boiler (or use the 2 pot method).
Melt candy coating in the double boiler/top pot, over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning/seizing.
Carefully dip each cake pop into the melted coating. Either return the dipped cake pop in a standing position to the wax paper (you will have a flattened “top”) or place pop in a stand. (Tip: Sytrofoam lids, cardboard boxes, and some colanders make easy impromptu stands.)
Place finished cake pops in the refrigerator and allow coating to cool completely.
Eat and Enjoy!
This is a pretty basic recipe. Experiment with different cake flavors and icing combos and add sprinkles or an icing drizzle or even fondant flourishes to make your own special cake pops!
And don’t stress if they don’t turn out perfectly – several of ours had some less than perfect candy coating (I let hubby and the kids dip them), it’s whatever. I don’t claim to be a “Pinteretst perfect” mom, so what you see in our pics is never a doctored up reality 😉 IMO, it’s the experience and memory-making that matters.
For one of our Summer Solstice activities, we made these easy, eco-friendly, bird feeders! They are eco friendly because every part of the feeder is bio-degradable/natural!
This craft takes literally minutes to do, making it a perfect activity for those who have little time or small attention spans!! (ahem, my child.) If you’re going to let little ones do the cutting (hello fine motor skills!), you should definitely use a kid’s safety knife. We have this set and LOVE it!
SENSORY TIP: For avoiders, have baby wipes handy or have them wear gloves, as this activity can be a bit sticky. I know my daughter HATES that sticky feeling!
What you’ll need:
Navel Oranges or Grapefruits (large fruits with thick skin work best!)
Wild Bird Seed
String made from natural fibers (yarn, twine, etc.)
If you don’t want to eat or juice the orange pulp, try replacing all the wet ingredients in a yellow box cake mix with orange juice for a fresh summery take on cake! Or check out THESE other orange recipes.
It’s hard to believe that the year is nearly half over! Summer is basically here, at least weather wise, where I live, but it won’t be “officially” here until the summer solstice on June 21st.
I love summer and I am super excited to celebrate Litha this year with my husband and daughter. My son is also in town, but for him it’s just summer solstice. As a blended family, we only get 7 or 8 weeks of summer with E (our son). He’ll be 17 this year and be entering his senior year of high school (and graduating with only 1 semester of college left to do to get his associates). Soon he’ll be working or pursuing other passions and we won’t have the unhindered family summers with him that we have now.
On the other hand, my daughter just turned 5 and so is at the age now where she can really enjoy (and remember) doing special things with the family. So I feel this kind of pressure to make THIS summer memorable for all of us.
We’ve already planned a trip to Niagara falls in a couple weeks – which I am SUPER stoked about – and we made a summer bucket list 🙂
We’ll return from our family vacation just in time for Litha so I’ve already been planning out our celebration activities! Here’s some of the things I came up with:
summer solstice/Litha/Midsummer activities:
sunrise / sunset yoga
brew sun tea
make a sundial
make shadow art
make bird feeders out of orange peels
make energy bags with herbs & crystals
make cupcakes / cake pops decorated like suns
gather wildflowers and make sun catchers (place between clear contact paper/laminate and cut out shapes)
create “time capsule” envelopes. Write down things that are going on, hopes, dreams, resolutions, etc. and put them in envelopes to open next Litha.
build a fire and roast marshmallows
cookout/grill or make a “summery” meal together
We may not do ALL of these, but I like having at least an idea of what our day could look like. I know that we will for sure do the time capsule envelopes and I’ve planned a dinner of lemon-garlic chicken linguine tossed with summer squash, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil (yum! Just thinking about it makes me hungry!) Don’t worry I’ll post the recipe after Litha! 😉
I’ll be doing a few other things to celebrate on a personal level and connect spiritually with the abundance of the season, but I don’t require or request that my family do the same.
I hope that no matter how you bring in the new season, that it’s a time of family love and togetherness!