Gel food coloring(teal, purple, pink, orange…whatever you like!)
For the decorations:
Small candy eyes
Thin licorice strings
Black sprinkles(jimmies work great!)
Black decorating icing with small tip
Green decorating icing with small tip
Optional: Candy bones(see notes on decorating Frankenstein pops)
24popsicle or lollipop sticks
Wax paper and/or Styrofoam block or ball
Spoon for drizzling melted candy bark
I recommend reading the directions for the coating and decorating portion before you begin. That way you have all your supplies ready, and can decorate as needed before the candy bark hardens.
For the cake:
Set oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 baking pan with floured cooking spray and set aside.
Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup measuring cup, and mix with fork until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer on low speed. Add butter and continue mixing on low speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1½ minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and mix an additional 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and then mix 20 seconds more.
Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely. Remove the first section and crumble into a large bowl so that there are no large pieces remaining, only cake crumbs.
For the frosting:
In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.
Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
For the cake pops:
Place a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet and set aside.
With a spatula, scoop the frosting into the bowl of cake crumbs, and mix well.
Use a medium cookie scoop or tablespoon to portion out 24 balls (if you want you can make 8 of them more rectangular, for the Frankensteins, but that is totally optional!) As you scoop them, roll each one between your hands to form a smooth ball, then lay onto the prepared baking sheet. Once you have shaped all 24 balls, put the cookie sheet into the refrigerator for 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes) to firm them up. If you put them in the freezer, be sure you don’t allow them to freeze!!
For coating the cake pops:
In 4 separate bowls, deep enough to get a cake ball all the way into the melted candy bark, melt the candy bark according to the package instructions – but do this one bowl at a time.
Depending on what color you want for each of your Halloween characters, squeeze a few drops of food coloring into the melted chocolate and stir until smooth and even color throughout. (What I used: no color needed for the mummies, orange for the pumpkin, green or teal for Frankenstein, and purple for the spiders.)
When ready, remove the cookie sheet from the refrigerator or freezer.
Stick 1/2 inch of the lollipop stick into the melted candy, then place the stick into the bottom of the cake ball no more than half-way through. In one motion, fully submerge the cake ball into the melted candy. Remove and allow excess candy to drip back into the bowl. You can either place the cake pop cake-side down onto the wax paper, or push the stick into a Styrofoam ball or block to decorate and then firm up.
For decorating the cake pops:
For the Mummy Cake Pops
Before coating dries, stick two candy eyes on the front of each pop. Use a spoon to drizzle coating across the cake pop to make “mummy bandages” careful to avoid going over the eyes.
Set aside and allow the coating to dry and harden while you work on your next batch!
For the Pumpkin Cake Pops
Once the coating has dried, use green decorating icing to draw on some leaves or vines, starting from the stick and going to the sides/front and use the black decorating icing to draw on triangle eyes and mouth.
For the Frankenstein Cake Pops
Before coating dries, dip cake pop into a bowl of black jimmies to give him some hair! Then place 2 candy eyes (white side facing out) or candy bones, one on either side, for the bolts. Then place 2 candy eyes on the face, and another black jimmies sprinkle for the mouth. You can also use black decorating icing for the mouth, once the coating has dried, if you prefer. You can also draw eyebrows or stitches if you’d like!
For the Spider Cake Pops
Before coating dries, place two candy eyes, and 3 or 4 licorice straws (no more than an inch long) on either side for legs. Once coating has dried, use black decorating icing to draw on a mouth. (Or use jimmies before coating dries.)
*For the spiders make sure you do these one at a time, because the coating can dry before you get all the legs on!
Note: if you don’t want to make the cake and frosting from scratch, you can certainly use a box of cake mix (follow instructions on box to make the cake) and canned frosting! Then just follow the rest of the directions to make the cake pops!