When my eldest daughter, Hannah, who is now 13, turned eight — EIGHT! — we celebrated her birthday by hosting a unique cake pop party with three of her friends. At the time, it was my second time executing a cake pop party (and it would turn out to be my last.) Also, I can’t believe it seemed like such a big deal that she was turning eight, as I now stare into the eyes of a full-fledged teenager.Four kids was a really manageable group; much more so than the fifteen or so I had the first time I attempted a party of this kind. We got off to a late start because we waited for one guest who didn’t show; had it not been for that we would have stayed within the two-hour party schedule.
Setting the Stage
First thing’s first. Prepare your work area. Honestly, I should have put a tarp down for all the mashed up cake crumbs and sprinkles that were all over the place, but whatevs. Plastic table cloths from Dollarama work perfectly fine to cover your table. I had put out some cake pops for inspiration, tied together the lollipop sticks and laid out little jars of sprinkles and coloured sugar. Paper towels or wet wipes are handy to have close by.
Each girl received a custom “Cake Pop Princess” tee. I bought the tees at Joe Fresh, designed the decals and ironed them on. Hannah’s younger sister, who happens to be eight, now has the t-shirt. 🙂 Not only were the tees a fun takeaway, they served to protect their outfits.
Have Supplies Ready
If you’ve never made cake pops before, then I would caution against hosting a cake pop party. At the very least, read my how-tos and do a practice run. The big thing I would recommend is to already have the cake crumb/icing mixture mixed and slightly chilled (too cold and it’s hard to scoop.)
Eight year-olds are responsible enough to handle the scooping and rolling; if the kids are much younger, I’d suggest pre-rolling the balls so they can just dip and decorate. If you’ve chilled the cake mix, remove from fridge an hour or so before the party.
Armed with mini scoops (you will want two or three; I have accumulated several over the years) I demonstrated the technique for scooping and rolling. Not that it mattered as each girl had her own style.
Chill Out, Let’s Play
The cake balls need to firm up before dipping. Each girl had a paper plate with her name on it so they would know whose was whose. This is also means waiting. So, while the cake balls were chillin’, I alternated between melting the chocolate wafers and giving the girls a little challenge to keep them occupied. When that fizzled, Hannah opened her gifts.
With a larger group, a game of Apples to Apples would be an awesome distraction. Anything they can play or do independently while you tidy up and get ready for the next stage is ideal. And, if you are both the hostess and the cake pop party coordinator/demonstrator/cleaner-upper, then this part is important.
With this foursome we played a game of memory: put several small household items on a tray, cover with a tea towel; give each party-goer a piece of paper & pencil and when you remove the tea towel, give them about 30 seconds to study the tray before covering it. Then ask them to write down as many items as they can remember. It’s tricky! Then I would take an item away and do it again. They caught on pretty quickly.
I Dip, You Dip, We Dip
Oh, the dipping. The dipping, dripping and dropping. Once the candy wafers were melted, the girls got down to dipping and decorating.
There were some casualties along the way but the thing about cake pops is they taste just as good on, or off, the stick. And also, the girls just had fun with it.
And, oh, the sprinkles! They enjoyed this part a whole lot. This is why: plastic table cloth! You may also want to keep a broom and dustpan or handheld vac handy for crumbly, sprinkly messes!
Let Them Eat Cake!
And then came the cake! I thought this was a perfect put-a-smile-on-your-face kind of cake. Simple and fun. (Doesn’t have to fancy to look and taste good!) The birthday girl had requested vanilla with homemade strawberry cream cheese filling and so Mom obliged. Yum!
Cake Pops To-Go!
The most fun was that while the girls had their dinner and cake, the decorated cake pops had time to harden. The timing was perfect. Each cake pop was individually wrapped and twist-tied and the guests got to take home their creations!
That’s a Wrap!
Voilà! The girls and their finished products! I’m pretty sure they had fun.
(This post was originally published on my former website, egcakes.com on July 28, 2011, but has been given a complete overhaul.)