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

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.

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

  1. I think that with all the other cake pop fails (I don’t feel so alone!) I really need to work on my no fail cake pops.

  2. This was definately a great post, I often don’t start projects for fear of failure and thinking that I alone am inept at such challenges. I like knowing I’m not alone, and that such feats need practice.

  3. Thanks for this. We celebrated our one year anniversary a few months ago. The wedding was good fun and prep was generally light hearted fun. Still, my button bouquet was completely balls. An ocean of my slowly collected vintage buttons were there on very sharp wires looking every shade of pathetic. I cut myself a million times making it. It was not used in the wedding, because people would look at it and politely inquire “WHAT IS THAT?” sounding all concerned like. I recently snipped all the buttons off that hateful wire and moved on. It was a good thing.

  4. Ang, firstly, thank you so much for the laugh… needed it more than you’ll ever know – so great big hugs for that.
    Second, you made me cry…oh you poor sweet love…all that effort, and mess, *and* “war wounds”…All I wanted to do was put some Aloe Vera on your burn, make you a nice hot cup of tea and sit you in a comfy chair while I cleaned up the mess.

    Now, tell us, has the tic stopped? ^_^

    • Thank you sweety! I recovered eventually and while a very strange part of me was hoping for a little scar to add to my collection of stupid scar stories, I healed rather nicely.

      As for the tic, it shows up every once in awhile when I’m especially stressed. It’s like a visual signal of “Ang is about to breath fire out of her nose, remove yourself from the area for your own safety.”

      • We *all* hope for battle scars like that! I don’t know how many times I’ve sliced into myself with a razor-sharp paring knife and thinking “Bugger! That won’t scar at all!” It’s the rebel/freak/strange/outsider in us… that, and they do make for *great* stories!

        Oh, you can breath fire too?? I thought that was only me! But, my warning to everyone is the evil red hair…^_^

  5. HAHAHAHA.

    Sorry, it was funny. I am laughing with you, not at you!

    I hope they tasted good, at least!

    BTW, why was that liquid leaking out? Too much liquid. I found while making truffles that different liqueurs required different amounts and mixing times to properly mix into chocolate. So the Chambord, Grand Marnier and whiskey truffles were all spectacular, but the batter for the Courvoisier truffles had this weird melty oily goo on top. Too high butter/milkfat: Courvoisier ratio. The liqueur just couldn’t be added in that amount, mixed at that temperature etc.. We soldiered on, scraped off most of the goo and made truffles anyway.

    They tasted fantastic, they were just a little less structurally sound than the others.

    (This was for our engagement party so it’s not so bad).

    • Apparently, the liquid was the candy melts separating. If you reheat, cool, reheat, cool, like I was doing, the oils in the chocolate lose their bond and rise to the surface. (I’m sure there’s a real scientific explanation but that’s the conclusion I came to after extended Google time). It’s why pastry chefs are so amazing, what with their chocolate tempering skills. Yet I screw up microwavable chocolate. 😛

      PS. It’s OK to laugh at me. I do all the time!

  6. Non-food fail: I tried to make my own decorative lanterns – the square kind that stand up on a table, not the hangy kind (though I suppose you could hang them).

    I made one, thought it looked fine, though not as elegant as I’d hoped. Showed it to my now-husband. “I didn’t know we were going for a ‘rustic’ aesthetic…?”

    Thanks honey.

    I posted it on OBT and someone said “Your FH is being really nice!”

    Thanks guys. 🙂

    (I appreciated the honesty. It looked like a pre-school project.)

  7. hey nice to see I’m not the only one driven to a nervous break-down by those damn bottles.

  8. I’ve tried the cake balls/pops several times. My first try was with red velvet cake, cream cheese icing and milk chocolate almond bark. The second try I used white candy melts. I had FAR more success with the almond bark. You cannot make the pretty colors but they taste amazing, especially after refrigerating them.

  9. “or your felt bouquet resembles the home ec project of a well intentioned color blind ungulate”

    This seriously made my day.

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