Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Pops

I wanted to make cake pops. If you don't know what I'm talking about here's the breakdown: Cake pops are candy or chocolate coated balls (or shapes - hearts, footballs, etc) of cake on a stick. Creative, fun, tasty. If you'd like to do further research on the subject you can learn more here.

Now, my problem with cake pops is that the ones I had tasted were way too sweet and when I looked into making them I found out why. First you bake a cake. Then you crumble it up and mix it with icing or jam so that the cake holds the desired shape. I was determined to find a way to omit the "icing glue" so that I could cut down on sugar in my pops.

Then we were invited to a birthday party and what was served? Cake pops! My friend, Kristi, was apparently thinking along the same lines as me because she did exactly what I wanted to; she figured out how to omit the "icing glue" with a little help from gluten-free genius Elana over at elanaspantry.com.

So, for my daughter's sixth birthday she had cake pops! Cake pops that weren't too sweet and also happened to be gluten-free.

Here's what I did.

I baked a batch of Elana's Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes as a cake with a couple of modifications. (original recipe here)

Flourless Chocolate Cake
  • 2 squares unsweetened bakers chocolate (chopped) and semi-sweet chocolate chips to make 1 ½ cups total chocolate
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Place chocolate and almonds in a food processor.
  2. Grind until the consistency of coarse sand.
  3. Pulse in eggs, grapeseed oil and agave.
  4. Then pulse in vanilla and salt.
  5. Pour batter into a parchment lined 8x8 cake pan and bake at 350° for 20 t0 30 minutes (I can't remember exactly how long it took - just test it with a toothpick to see if it's done. It should be a nice dark colour but watch that the edges don't burn! haha).
  6. Cool completely.

Making the cake pops:

(original recipe and directions here. I chose not to use the suggested cake because I didn't have almond flour, fyi)

You will need:

  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or bitter-sweet bakers chocolate (or whatever)
  • lollipop sticks (I got mine at the Bulk Barn)
  • sprinkles, candies (optional)
  1. Once cooled, crumble cake into a big bowl, making sure there are no large pieces.
  2. Form into 1½ inch(ish) balls and transfer to a parchment lined plate.
  3. Place plate of cake balls in freezer for 1-2 hours until very solid.

When cake balls are frozen well:
  1. Melt the 1½ cups chocolate in a small pot on the stove.
  2. Remove one ball at a time from freezer.
  3. Dip about ½ inch of the tip of a lollipop stick into melted chocolate.
  4. Insert the lollipop stick straight into the bottom of the ball, pushing about ⅓ of an inch deep.
  5. Holding stick with the ball attached, dip entirely into melted chocolate until covered.
  6. Make sure chocolate coating meets at base of lollipop stick; this helps secure the ball to the stick.
  7. Tap and twirl any excess chocolate coating off the cake pop so it is evenly coated.
  8. Apply sprinkles (if desired, which I didn't).
  9. Place stick of cake pop into styrofoam block in the fridge.
  10. Complete with remaining balls and allow to set completely.
You should end up with about 15 to 17 cake pops.

Once my cake pops were set I wanted to add some white chocolate embellishments so I melted some white chocolate chips and proceeded to pipe it onto the cake pops to make them look like "chocolate roses". Unfortunately, the white chocolate chips I purchased were horrible and didn't melt well so I only managed to do a few (poorly!) before giving up. (I'll get good quality or bakers white chocolate next time!)

All in all, it was a success! My daughter was so excited about her cake pop "flowers" and, with my husband's help, decorated the styrofoam cake pop holder with grass and a nice scene of bunnies and a fawn.

And finally, the proverbial cherry on top was the fact that my friend Sarah (who has to be on a celiac diet) kept asking me, "Are you SURE these are gluten free? Cause they don't taste like it.".

She had two :)


  1. looks great! def going to try these for one of my boys' parties! just a question, in your recipe for the cake directions said mix chocolate and almonds in food processor... but don't know how much almonds?

  2. Thanks, Teesha!! I have made the correction - 1/2 cup of almonds.
    Let me know how they turn out when you make them!

  3. omg.
    i think i might need to get my phd to do that!!!
    just kidding.
    i sent eva bday card today!
    xo asahi P

  4. Perfect. I'm making fox head cake pops for Elli's 1st and agree that the sweetness is overwhelming. Now, I have to shape my pops into fox heads, sooooo i need to know, were these less gluey guys as moldable as the others, do you think?

  5. Oooooooh.... aahhhhh. Those look super, terrific, fantastically delicious. You rock my world Natalie. Really. You do.

  6. Asahi Princess - Yes. Almost! They are a lot of work but soooo delish and lots o' fun!

    Melissa - hmmm... I'm not sure. I know that I could have crumbled mine up finer and I'm sure my pops would have been less lumpy. I found that these are pretty moldable but I'm not sure how they would compare. If your fox shape is really intricate you might want to do a trial run. But then you would have to eat them ;)

    Jennifer - Aww... thanks!

  7. So happy to find this! I was just trying to find out if I really needed to add the frosting to my flourless cake for Gluten free pops! As it's such a "sticky" cake to begin with...Thanks!

  8. Hi, Anonymous! Glad I could help :)


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