You may have had a cake pop, but you've never had one this way! This delectable dessert starts with a bourbon-infused chocolate cake base. It's then wrapped in cocoa buttercream and a smooth chocolate ganache before finishing off with a generous sprinkling of coarsely chopped and toasted pecans.
Now, say it with me, everybody: Yuuuuum.
Inspired by Chickpea Magazine
MAKES 45 - 60 SMALL CAKE POPS
Okay, let's begin by baking the cake that you're going to eventually pull apart and roll into cake pop balls. (I just heard someone's mind explode. Did one of you not know that's how cake pops were made?)
Anyway, let's start our cake pop-making journey by preheating the oven to 350F and lightly oiling and flouring a 9x13" baking pan. Set that cake pan aside, and in a large bowl, whisk together all of the cake's dry ingredients - the all-purpose flour, refined sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, stir together the soy yogurt, vanilla extract, water, bourbon, and coconut milk. Once they're well-mixed, slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir them until they're fully combined, then finish off by folding in the lemon juice.
Pour the cake batter into the greased baking pan, and bake it for 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inverted and removed cleanly.
Usually during this step in any oven-reliant recipe, I'm killing the time by watching an old episode of 'Louie' on Netflix. Other times, I'll clean the kitchen or at least begin washing the dishes I'd dirtied during my cake prep. I always wonder what other people do when they're waiting for something to be baked. Do any of you do anything special?
Now that the 25 - 30 minutes are up, it's time to pull the cake out and allow it to cool. While waiting, you can start making the buttercream frosting.
Combine all of the frosting ingredients into a large bowl and mix them together on low-medium speed until fully combined. Check to see if your cake is cool and ready, and when it is, use a fork (or your fingers!) to crumble the entire cake int the smallest crumbs possible. If you come across any crisp edges, remove them from the pile of cake crumbs.
And then eat them. Because chocolate.
Next, place the cake crumbs and frosting in one large bowl and stir it, or use your hands to knead the mixture-like dough. Continue to stir/knead until all of the cake and frosting are fully combined.
Now cover your bowl of cake and frosting with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture is firm, which will take about an hour. You can leave the covered bowl in the refrigerator up to 3 days if you'd like to do this step ahead of time - or if you're like me and want a much more pliable cake material to work with.
Now you can start the ganache. Bring the soy creamer to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once the creamer begins to boil, remove it immediately from the heat. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl, and pour the creamer over the top of the chocolate chips. Stir them together until all of the chocolate has melted, and let the ganache sit, uncovered, at room temperature.
And now for the part we really play with our food. Cover a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper, and remove the cake and frosting mixture from the refrigerator.
Roll the cake into small balls, roughly 1" to 1.5" in diameter. If you want your cake pops to stand upright like a lollipop, keep the balls on the smaller side. If you plan to place the pops cake-side-down, you can roll the cake into larger balls.
Place each cake ball on the parchment paper.
Dip the tip of one lollipop stick in the ganache. Pick up a cake ball, and slide the stick into the cake. The ganache will help keep the cake pop on the stick.
Place the cake pop back on the baking sheet, with the stick facing up (cake pop upside down). Repeat until all of the cake balls have sticks in them.
Now set the cake pops by placing the baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, for one hour. Meanwhile, leave the ganache sitting at room temperature, also uncovered.
Start prepping for the assembly of your cake pops by pouring the pecan pieces in a large bowl or plate.
Dip each cake pop into the ganache, and rotate the cake pop in one hand while using the other hand to sprinkle the pecan pieces. Complete this step as quickly as possible so the pieecs don't slide off of the ganache.
Place the cake pop back on the baking sheet, and repeat each step until all cake pops are complete. Serve immediately, or you can also store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before serving. Enjoooy! (And remember to share.)