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Strawberry Lemonade Cake Pops

Posted on May 20, 2012


When I spotted the luscious Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes over at Crumbs and Chaos ( love that name), it inspired me to make these tart and juicy cake pops for our neighborhood picnic.  Haven’t met a kid (or adult) yet who isn’t ga ga over cake pops, and this sweet tart duo is sure to be a hit.

I used buttermilk instead of regular milk to make the cake, because it makes everything super moist and tender.  And I’m a big fan of mascarpone cheese, so I swapped that for the cream cheese in the frosting for these sunny pops.  This frosting would be fab on cupcakes I might add, or even sandwiched between some macarons for that matter – and yes, definitely by the spoonful!

Strawberry Lemonade Cake Pops
adapted from Crumbs and Chaos

2/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed, or fresh, cleaned and hulled.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup low fat organic buttermilk, well shaken, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
1/3 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mascarpone strawberry lemon frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened slightly
2 Tablespoons strawberry puree, from about 1/3 cup of berries.  If you don’t have extra berries to puree, add 1 Tablespoon strawberry preserves, and decrease the powdered sugar slightly.
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

For Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 9″ square or round cake pan, tapping out excess flour.

Puree strawberries and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to blend.  Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the strawberry puree, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla until blended.  Set aside.

In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and egg whites, and beat an additional minute at medium speed.

Add half of the flour mixture, using an on off pulsing motion, then mix on low speed just until blended.

Add the strawberry mixture, mixing on low just until blended.  Then add the remaining half of the flour mixture in the same manner as above.  Do not over mix!  Blend just until combined.

Spread batter into prepared cake pan.  Bake on middle rack, just until cake tester inserted comes out fairly clean (about 20-25 minutes).  Remove the from oven and cool completely on baking rack.

Poke holes in top of cake with a bamboo skewer.  Whisk the thawed lemonade concentrate and the powdered sugar together in a small bowl until smooth.  Spoon over top of cake.  Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight so liquid can absorb into cake.

Prepare frosting:

Using whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat butter and mascarpone cheese together on high speed until light and fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients, blended on low until incorporated, then whip on high speed again until fluffy.  Add more powdered sugar if you desire a thicker consistency to the frosting.

Assembling Cake Pops:

Rake a fork across the cake to make fine crumbs.  Place the crumbs in a large bowl.  Add the icing to the cake, about 1/4 cup at a time, just until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it and roll into a ball in your hands.  You don’t want it too moist.  If the mixture is still a little crumbly, add a little more icing, a tablespoon at a time.  Scoop the mixture using a 1/2″ ice cream scoop.  Plop the dough into your hand and roll gently into a ball.  Place balls in a shallow dish in a single layer and freeze for 15 minutes, then insert your lollipop sticks (this prevents your nice ball shape from flattening out).  Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.  Cover well and keep frozen until ready to use.  You can keep these in a ziploc bag for up to a month.  Pull out a few at a time whenever a cake pop craving strikes!

When ready to use, heat vanilla candy melts (Wilton is the brand I use) in a small cup on medium heat in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds until smooth. Add a drop of gel food coloring to achieve desired color for candy coating – yellow or pink or a combination would be great for these pops.  Lay out a piece of parchment paper on your counter or on a cookie sheet.  Dip a frozen cake pop into the cup, spooning the melted candy over it so it is completely covered.  Use a teaspoon to lift the cake pop out of the liquid, and tap the teaspoon against the side of the glass so the excess runs off evenly. This will give you a nice, smooth coating and you won’t have to worry about excess melted candy pooling on the paper.  Roll cake pops in sprinkles if desired.  Stand cake pops stick side up on the parchment paper and allow to harden. If excess does pool around the bottom of the cake pop, simply run a toothpick around the base of the cake pop and it will come right off.

If your candy coating thickens too much during the dipping process, simply reheat in the microwave on medium for 10-15 seconds to melt again and proceed as above.

Store pops uncovered in the refrigerator up to 3 days if you are not eating them right away.  Enjoy!

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