Recipe: Chocolate Cake Pops, Gluten-Free and Healthy

by Teresa J. Mitchell

Creative Cake PopsGone are the days of sheet cakes, cupcakes and perfectly round, flat confections! A new rage has hit the scene. All kids asks for them. Many brides add these little jewels to their menu. What exactly is this marvelous innovation?

Meet the cake pop! You can decorate these little suckers (and they seriously look like suckers!) to match any decor or fit any occasion. We've tweaked the tradition recipe and technique to offer you a treat that meets most dietary restrictions. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and low in refined sugars. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake Pops, Gluten-Free and Healthy

Prep time: 60 minutes | Total time: 3 hours | Yield: 50 pops

Ingredients

• lollipop sticks
• foam block or other drying stand.
• 4 cups almond flour (not almond meal)
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder
• 1 1/2 cup applesauce
• 6 large eggs, beaten
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup raspberry fruit spread, no sugar or sweetener added
• two 4-ounce unsweetened chocolate baking bar
• pure stevia extract powder, to taste
• 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Bake the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, wisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt if using, baking powder and stevia extract powder. Stir in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cook completely. Refrigerate or freeze to hurry cooling along.

Make the cake balls:
In a large bowl, crumble your cake into uniform crumbs. You can use a food processor or you can invite the kids to crumble along with you.

Mix or mash in about 3/4 of the raspberry fruit spread. The cake should hold together when squeezed. Add more fruit spread if necessary to get the desired consistency. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls or use a mini ice-cream scoop to get uniform-size cake balls. Place them on a wax paper-covered baking sheet. Refrigerate the cake pops until firm, or place in freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. You don't want them to freeze. The cake expands as it defrosts and it could crack the chocolate coating.

Coat them in chocolate:
Meanwhile in a double boiler, melt the chocolate baking bar. Add the vanilla extract and strevia to taste and stir well to combine.

Dip a lollipop stick into about 1/2 of chocolate. Stick it at least half-way into a cake ball, but not all the way through. Repeat with remaining cake balls. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm around the lollipop stick, about five minutes. Submerge the cake pop into the chocolate. Once the cake pop is completely covered, lift it out of the chocolate. Hold the cake pop in one hand, and gently tap your hand, turning the pop as you go so the excess coating will come off evenly.

After it quits dropping, hold cake pop upside down for a more seconds few seconds before inverting. Dip again if you plan to dip your pops twice. Add sprinkles, sanding sugar, or other decorations when the cake pop is about halfway dry.

Invert the cake pop, and place in your stand to dry. When the cake pops have cooled completely and candy coating is hard, you can decorate with fondant or decorator frosting. Place a treat bag over each pop and tie with a ribbon. Store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Cook's Note

Are you in a hurry to just get these made? Although they're not as healthy and they probably won't be gluten-free, you can pick up an unfrosted sheet cake (or bake a cake mix), pick up a can of frosting and a package of baking chocolate bars or candy melts.

Then, follow the assembly instructions and you'll have a batch of cake pops in no time at all! Have you made up a batch of cake pops yet? How did you decorate them?