DIY Fail: When your Cake Pops turn out like Vomit Blobs

October 21 | Guest post by Ang

Seems to be that lately every single wedding has a DIY component. It's gotten to the point where you feel like you're doing something wrong if you don't sew/glue/tie/cut/bedazzle some aspect of decor/favors/invites/apparel.

There's a dark seedy price that you have to pay for all that charm. Dude, this crap is HARD, and don't let Martha Stewart or the billions of crafters on Etsy tell you any different.

Many are the brides who've had this realization while curled in the fetal position, glitter smeared on their faces, failed projects in disheveled disarray around them.

Yes, I have had these experiences.

Wanna hear about one?

Enter… The Cake Pops.

I'm sure you've seen them. I've been a fan of Bakerella from way back, you know, when she started in 2007 which is like 400 in online years & ADORE her. Her cake pops were adorable and SO easy! How hard could it be? [Insert Doom Song]

About 6 months pre wedding day
I sent my mom the website. We ooo'ed and aww'ed appropriately, bought all the supplies, and prepared for a day of bonding.

Here are the cake making supplies, in case you didn't realize what they looked like.

Candy Melts, Molds, and USELESS PIECE OF SHIT BOTTLE.

After we got into the actual process of making said cake bites, the picture taking stopped. First the bowl was too small. So we got a bigger bowl. Then the frosting was sticking everywhere EXCEPT the cake dust, so I had to use my hands, which isn't THAT big of a deal, but Bakerella did not tell me how totally adhesive this crap is. I don't know HOW, but it ended up on the ceiling, inside the drawers, inside my cleavage, and in my hair. But I persevered, I was domestic gumption personified, and eventually I had a thoroughly mixed bowl of quasi viscous cake goo. (Not to be confused with quasi vicious cake goo, although at this point they both would apply)

I dimly remembered something about "don't handle the cake too much or your body heat will blah blah," but the OCD in me must have perfectly round cake balls. No sooner did I victoriously set down a perfect sphere of moist delectable cake, then it'd crack in half. Sometimes they'd hold together for a whopping 10 seconds before they'd crumble from the stress of having another one placed next to it. They had become defiant little black sawdust balls of death.
Evil Black Cake Balls-Perverts

Keep in mind that you're supposed to get forty-five to fifty cake balls out of this. Between the kamikaze cake splooge and the ones that weren't structurally sound. I got this many.
Stage 3

You can count them if you want. There's thirty-eight. "That's not too bad" you might be thinking, but about six of them decided they couldn't handle life on the inside, and promptly disintegrated in the freezer.

Ignorant of this, I had moved on to the candy melts. The orange candy melts are day glo radioactive orange, not the rustic pumpkin inspired thing I was going for, I figured, "Hey, add some brown, get a nice earth toned orange." Right?

No. It goes more like this:

  1. Put mostly orange and a little brown.
  2. Get radioactive orange.
  3. Add more brown.
  4. Get slightly less radioactive orange.
  5. Add half bag of brown, realize the bowl is too small, transfer melted chocolate and gooey partially melted chocolate to bigger bowl.
  6. Have light brown chocolate.
  7. Commence minor freak out.
  8. Add more orange.
  9. Wonder why clear liquid seems to be leaking out the top.
  10. Wish you paid attention in Chemistry.
  11. Wonder if this has anything to do with Chemistry.
  12. Notice bag says "Don't melt too much or candy melts will separate".
  13. Attempt to throw out melted chocolate.
    Everyone was too traumatized to take a pic of me parking my ass in a puddle of chocolate with a giant red burn blister on my arm, so I illustrated it for you.
  14. Burn self and spill chocolate, making sure to cover all areas not already encrusted with dried cake splooge.
  15. Sit on floor (in puddle of chocolate) and cry.
  16. Try to fill useless candy bottle with brown chocolate by use of careful pouring.
  17. Make huge mess.
  18. Scrape spilled chocolate back into bowl because your stupid parents live in the middle of nowhere and you have no more candy melts.
  19. Fill bottle ½ inch.
  20. Use bottle to fill 1 ½ candy molds before bottle becomes blocked.
  21. Throw bottle away in fit of rage.
  22. Throw other innocent unused bottle away before it has the opportunity to insult you.
  23. Use spoons to fill rest of candy molds, making sure to drip everywhere so mold resembles solid mass of chocolate.

By the time the cake balls came out of the freezer, I had gotten to the numbness point. The last stage before drooling, cackling wildly, running up and down the street naked, then being driven away in a soft comfy van driven by large friendly men who would give me a pretty jacket.

The final stage was the candy molds I had gotten were way too shallow. If I possessed a dipping spoon things might have been different, but I didn't, so there was a lot of fingers being dipped in chocolate, half assembled cake bites being dropped in chocolate, and hardened chocolate bases melting from being held too tightly. We only had twenty-four survivors, and they weren't pretty.
Poor Buggers

In a last ditch effort to save them, I dipped a spoon in chocolate and flung half hearted decorative swirls all over the countertop, incidentally hitting a few of the cake bites.
Half Hearted Swirls

End result? Epic DIY fail.

One day I might attempt them again, but even if I don't, I'm still awesome, and my wedding was awesome. So even if your 1,000 origami cranes look like a pile of sweaty colorful spit wads, or your felt bouquet resembles the home-ec project of a well-intentioned color-blind ungulate, YOU ARE STILL FUCKING AWESOME.

  1. I just had a somewhat similar experience with what my fiance refers to as "the tiny stupid damn cake thingies."

    It took 2 tries, but I got it…and cake ball goo crusted in my hair, my daughter's hair, the dog, the ceiling, part of the oven (how, I don't know, since none of the steps require the oven) and there's cake spatter across most of the cabinets.

    I feel your pain. Yet also, laughed hysterically :)

  2. Thank you so much for the laugh, i will forward your story to my friends who have tried cake pops :)

  3. this is the best thing i might have ever hoped to read about weddings! kitten farts and all.

  4. LMAO!! I laughed so hard I almost cried!

    I've had many a failed project so I can relate to this soooo well… thank you for posting and yes YOU ARE FUCKING AWESOME!!!

  5. I made some awesome egg shaped cake pops for easter last year,first time. I think you might just want to chalk this up to a bad experience or preparation. Don't get me wrong,i've made some that were not so pretty but I used the bakerella recipe and it didn't involve cupcake trays, squeeze bottle or half of the drama in this post. next time try adding the icing slowly, I did end up using less than required in order to get a firm,moldable batch.

  6. This is why I always practice DIY stuffs first before the day, like if I am doing a cake or something. I too have been 1 hour from leaving for a party not dressed/showered and trying to scrap burnt chocolate coating off a glass bowl.

  7. omg i think i peed myself! this is what it looks like every time i try to do ANYTHING creative, even on the computer! just i couldn't describe it NEARLY that funny! i feel so much better now knowing everything i do DIY is probably gonna end in puddles and crying the first time… and that's okay!

  8. I had a bright idea.. they won't be totally perfect but try using something like http://www.bakingshop.com/bc/img/DS-6.jpg
    I use them for cookies and it makes things a million times easier. They are all uniform, and can be made round with minimal "hand"ling to cut out the body heat ruining. I haven't tried it to know if it would work in this situation, but I don't see why it wouldn't.

  9. oh, Ang! thank you so much for such a good laugh! (i am so glad that i'd never even heard of cake balls before this!) now i need to rethink my dream of making 1000 origami cranes…

  10. Unfortunately allmost all the pics are gone :( but the story was absolutely hilarious and heartbreaking. I hope that if you've tried them again you've had better luck.
    Kinda reminds me of the first cake I tried makeing ( I was 12 or 14) it was a microwave cake (I would suggest NEVER EVER EVER trying one of those) and the frsoting doiii we beat it for hours litterally and had to have poured bags upon bags of powdered sugar into it and it still wouldnt get thicker than a thin iceing like you might use on sugar cookies. I put it on anyways (it was for my moms birthday as a surprise). When it came time for the cake, the 'frosting' had sunk into the cake, and the cake aii yii yii, it litterally tasted like dirt. My dog, who ate everyyything, took one sniff and RAN away from it lol needless to say I didnt try those recepies again (though my next cake came out perfect :D pretty white three layer one… was great right up till i decided to decorate with those lil silver ball shaped sprinkles *cant remember the name of em* )

    • We're seeing all pics loading just fine! What browser are you using?

  11. could not stop laughing nor having flashbacks of my own DIY hell making cake "pops"

    said "pops" having no intention of staying in one piece or on the sticks.

    planning round 2 next April for my own wedding

  12. I still love this post – why? because Sister, I have BEEN THERE but I could not express it in a way that not only conveys the ultimate frustration but does so with grace and humor
    thank you!

  13. This post had me laughing so hard. I have nixed any DIY food projects due to the major epic tantrums from my attempt to make a perfect red velvet wedding cake. All of which left a bloody splotch on my kitchen wall. I feel your pain!

  14. The words 'cake balls' aren't even said around my house after my partner, a few friends and I DIY'd about 90 for my sister's baby shower at my mother's urging. She bought all the supplies, sent us the tutorial and left it to us. It pretty much went exactly how you described. I actually freaked out several times because people kept eating the cake blobs while making them, even though we clearly weren't going to have enough. Actually, it definitely led my friends to be put in some awkward moments where partner and I handled the various calamities in very different ways…. one with humour and the other with angry-ness. From my comment above, it's probably clear who handled the situation which way. Thankfully, we can all laugh about it now and it's kind of become a running joke when we ask one another for favours….

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