How Make a Cake Pop Assembly Line
Cake pops are always a fun treat, and it can even be a fun bonding activity with children or with friends. And having a good table to use will make the activity all the more fun, efficient, and rewarding. You can make sure that everyone gets involved by creating an assembly line where one person will be in charge of a specific task in their station or section of the table.
The most tedious part of making cake pops is the cake base itself. You can either make this at home or buy premade cake from a store. Even the homemade cake part has 2 options: do it from scratch, or simply follow the instructions from a box of instant cake. Now, let’s say you decide to make a premade cake. Here’s what you can do:
Set up the table sections to the following:
Stick Prep Station
If you have fewer than five people available, that’s ok, you can just double tasks or have everyone there do a cake pop following the whole assembly line – like a cafeteria line.
The Mashing Station
Here, the person in charge needs to mash the cake (with the frosting) together inside a large bowl. Bare hands would be ideal so you can feel if there are any other chunks of cake that haven't been crumbled. But a potato masher or fork will do just as well. Although, getting your hands a little dirty makes the process a little more fun. The mixture must be well incorporated with no clumps left of the cake. The key here is to make sure that all the cake gets evenly coated with the frosting that when you scoop a spoonful, it resembles fudge. Pro tip: make sure the cake is cold so it doesn’t end up too moist when it’s rolled. Otherwise, it might fall apart.
The Rolling Station
This is where the cake pops take its round form. The person in this section of the table will need to scoop out a bit of the mixture and roll it into balls. It would be wise to use a standard spoon or small ice cream scoop to make sure each cake pop will be roughly the same size. This can get a little messy because you’ll need to use your hands to achieve the best formed cake balls. Don’t worry though, if the cake was properly mashed and is still cold, it won’t stick on your fingers when you roll them into balls.
Stick Prep Station
This is just as important to do to achieve the full experience of a cake pop when you’re done. Each rounded cake ball needs to be skewered by a stick—but not all the way through. It should just be midway, otherwise, the cake ball might end up looking more like a kebab than a sweet treat. Whoever will be in charge of this task should make sure to start at the middle of the ball and not towards the side. This will ensure the stick will have better hold of the cake ball and not risk cracking it when it’s held at full weight. Pro tip: dip the tip of the stick in some frosting to create a “glue” that will easily bond it better with the cake ball when you push the stick in.
To mix things up, prepare several flavors and colors of frosting. This will give you more variety in (and color) for your finished products. Set them up in several containers that are evenly spaced in the designated section of the table. The person who’ll be manning this area will need to hold each cake pop by the stick and individually dunk it in the prepared frosting. It should be evenly coated – but not too much so it doesn’t drip down the stick. Fun idea: use candy coating instead of chocolate-based frosting for the cake pops. You’ll end up with candied cake pops like candied apples with a fun crunchy coat.
This is more of a decoration station that is not limited to just sprinkles. This part of the whole assembly line must be done as quickly as possible before the frosting starts to settle and harden. To make this a little more fun, you can use several kinds of toppers such as colored sugar, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, or anything else you can think of. As simple as this last step seems, there might be a couple of techniques that you can employ to improve efficiency with less mess.
If you're planning to add sprinkles on top of the cake pop, you can keep a mess tray where all the excess can fall off so you won’t need to clean up extra mess later on. But a good tip here is to put some sprinkles on a small saucer or cup and just slightly dip the top of the cake pop and it will be instantly coated with the sprinkles. The same technique will apply to using colored sugar.
If you’re planning on drizzling some sauce on it, use the mess tray to catch all the excess. You can mix up the drizzle colors and flavors to create a new combination that is not only visually appealing, but is also a great chance of coming up with new flavor profiles.
If you’re doing this activity with children, it would be advisable to let them try every single step. It will give them more enjoyment while they learn the whole process. And best of all, this will encourage them to develop their motor skills further.
The last part of the whole activity is to let the cake pops sit until the frosting has fully dried. It would be best to stick these on half a cabbage head or a Styrofoam ball. These typically dries in an hour or less – unless you over soaked the frosting coating. While you’re waiting, you can start clearing the table and leave the cake pops in the middle like your centerpiece. And when you’re done, all that’s left is to enjoy the cake pops.