Polka Dot Cake - Tips

I can't really call this a tutorial as the original idea was not my own. But I'm here to offer a few tips on how I did my own, as well as link to the original inspiration.

It all started when I saw this floating around facebook:

Someone mentioned it was done with cake pops and I thought, "Hey! I could do that I bet!" 
When I got more serious about making my cake I found this tutorial from Once Upon a Pedestal to be very helpful picture wise.

I was never really on the cake pop bandwagon. I mean, don't get me wrong, they are adorable! But they were also so much work for something that I didn't think was that tasty, but rather a lump of sugar. So I was a bit behind the times and hadn't seen the pans for making them without icing mixed in. 

The "As Seen on TV" pan is supposedly decent, but I wanted my pops to be a bit smaller so I could fit more than one layer of them into my cake layers. I also wanted a pan that was a little more affordable, and one that didn't need clamps to hold it closed. The answer for me was a smaller Nordic Ware pan. In retrospect, I would definitely buy two of them however, because waiting for each batch to bake when I made so many took an hour or more. 

Once I had my cake pop pan in hand, I realized that none of the cake pans I owned were going to be deep enough for what I wanted to do. Way to think ahead, I know. So with some quick research I came upon the Fat Daddio brand. Let me just say, amazing! I chose to go with 8 x 4 inch pans.

Now for those promised tips...

You could make your own cake for this, but I opted to go store bought since I was already putting a lot of time into the prep work and making. It took four white cake mixes and a whole lot of egg whites! I went with pillsbury's super moist because it was both cheap and dense.

I did not find that I needed to do anything fancy with pudding mix in the cake or anything like that as some people have done when making these. I simply beat the mix by hand (no electric mixer or kitchen aid) and it was very dense and moist.

I'd never really baked with deep pans before, so that was the toughest thing for me to master and figure out.
For my 8 x 4's I set the oven to 275°F and both the test cake and final product baked for about an hour and forty five minutes. Depending on your oven and your pan size you may want to adjust the time, but the nice low baking temp will keep the cakes from drying out.

Some tutorials suggest using cake towels around the sides and other such things. Again, I didn't bother with that and turned out just fine!

I used two of the cake mixes on the pops alone. Just to make enough balls to really fill up the cake pans with lots of layers. Because of this each pan then took an entire additional cake mix to be sure there was enough batter to cover the balls. I only put a thin layer in the pan to begin with to start setting them on then let the rest trickle between them all.

These cakes turned out so heavy that they flattened themselves out on the cooling racks and I didn't even need to use my wire to smooth them. 

Oh, one last tip! Invest in Pam baking spray, the one with the flour. I had to wipe out my cake pop pan and respray before each batch. It's easy for the little buggers to want to stick.

If you want your cake to look super smooth you can use fondant, but honestly I cannot stand the taste of it. And taste was more important than appearance (at least on the outside) to me. So I used a basic cream cheese frosting. The polka dots were simply Wilton Candy Melts that I turned "bottoms out" and pressed into the frosting. Wilton also makes some really big confetti pieces that would be cute. 

I also saved the trimmings from smoothing out the cake balls and keep them frozen, and they work really great for homemade "funfetti" inside a white mix! 

The best thing about cakes like this, at least to me, is people's reactions. They don't expect things on the inside. So have fun with it! I want to try making dots of different flavors sometime myself .

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Welcome to my little corner of the crazy. I can't promise I will always have something intelligent to say. Or that my wit will always leave you laughing. But I can say this much...what you see is what you get. I am me...and I'm going to endeavor to share that uncensored. So, pull up a seat. Enjoy yourself and if I perhaps entertain you feel free to...

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