Cardinal Lollipop

Modeled after male cardinals, these bright red cake pops are as eye catching as the real thing! And if you are a vanilla fan, this recipe is made for you. I took a big bite of one of the pops and the only flavor was vanilla chocolate and vanilla cake (because we just a white cake base). And while there are technically layers and layers of melted chocolate, it doesn’t taste chocolaty because it’s white chocolate. (Which isn’t a real chocolate.) Needless to say, my brother loved them; but I’m Team Chocolate all the way, so the flavor didn’t do much for me.

Full disclosure time: yes, this recipe is time intensive and yes, it’s kinda intimidating- there are a lot of steps where things can go wrong (and I have not had good luck with chocolate coatings in the past)- but the end result is undeniable. I’m really proud of my cardinal-adjacent cake pops. And I was luck enough to have help, so there were two brains and four hands all working together to make this recipe a success. It’s delicate work, but I if you take your time, you can totally do this. Plus, the end result is absolutely stunning. I’ve made a lot of “adorable desserts” over the last year, but this definitely makes the shortlist.

AuthorMackieDifficultyAdvanced

 ¼ 9 x 13 Cake, baked and cooled
 2 tbsp Frosting
 1 bag red chocolate melting wafters
 1 bag white chocolate melting wafers
 ½ cup shredded Coconut
 Almonds, halved
 Orange sprinkles, either flowers or leaves
 White pearl sprinkles
 Orange pearl sprinkles
 Tube of black decorating gel
 Lollipop sticks

1

Bake your favorite cake recipe in a 9 x 13 pan and allow to cool. Remove ¼ of the cake and place in a large mixing bowl with the frosting. Mix until combined; there should be no large chunks of cake and no streaks of frosting.

2

Scoop out “dough” using a ½ tbsp measuring spoon. Roll the dough into a ball, then roll into a crescent shape. (I rolled my ball into a log and then curled it around. It should look like a heart with the pointed tip cut off.) Place on a cookie sheet and repeat until you have 8 or 9 cardinals. Place the pan in the fridge to harden.

3

On a separate cookie sheet, create 8-9 little mounds with unmelted white chocolate wafers, clustering two or three together (match the number of cake pops you made). These mounds will become the snowy base that your cardinals sit on, so be sure to judge the size of your cardinal pops in order to size the bases accordingly.

4

Melt the rest of the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring frequently. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the chocolate wafer mounds. They don't have to be perfectly smooth, but be sure to cover the wafers. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to harden.

5

Once the chocolate has set, pour a second coat of chocolate on top of the mound and cover ½ to 2/3 of the mound with shredded coconut (the non coconut side will be where the cardinal gets glued to the base). Return to the freezer so the chocolate can set.

6

Melt the red chocolate in the microwave, stirring frequently. Remove the cardinal pops from the fridge and set one on a wire cooling rack. Take a lollipop stick and dip one end in red chocolate. Gently stab into the back of the bird, right in the low spot between the two crescent tips. (TIP: This part goes better with two pairs of hands.)

7

Carefully pour the melted chocolate over the cake pop, rotating the pop using the lollipop stick and using a spoon to get the curves. Don't be stingy with the chocolate. Once the pops are fully covered, carefully tap the wire rack to remove any excess chocolate and to smooth the coating. You might want to take a long bladed knife and run it underneath the wire rack to wipe away any chocolate drips before they adhere to the wire rack.

8

Allow to chocolate to set and repeat with remaining cake pops. I recommend using discretion before you start coating another cake pop on the same wire rack before the first has fully hardened. It can be done, but I worry about them tipping over or breaking.

9

Once all the cake pops have set, use the tube of black decorating gel to draw a heart on the face of the cardinal. Place two white pearl sprinkles for eyes and an orange pearl sprinkle for the beak in the tacky gel. Dab some frosting onto the orange leaves or flower sprinkles for the feet. Place the claws just above where the bird will rest on the snowy mound.

10

Take 8-9 almonds and slice them directly down the middle (there is a natural cleft there, so it shouldn't be too messy) and coat the skin side of the almond halves in leftover melted red chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set, then dip the flat underside in red chocolate and glue one half to either side of the cardinal making wings.

11

After the cardinals have been completely assembled and all the chocolate has set, coat the bottom of the birds in leftover melted white chocolate and adhere to the coconut mounds.

Ingredients

 ¼ 9 x 13 Cake, baked and cooled
 2 tbsp Frosting
 1 bag red chocolate melting wafters
 1 bag white chocolate melting wafers
 ½ cup shredded Coconut
 Almonds, halved
 Orange sprinkles, either flowers or leaves
 White pearl sprinkles
 Orange pearl sprinkles
 Tube of black decorating gel
 Lollipop sticks

Directions

1

Bake your favorite cake recipe in a 9 x 13 pan and allow to cool. Remove ¼ of the cake and place in a large mixing bowl with the frosting. Mix until combined; there should be no large chunks of cake and no streaks of frosting.

2

Scoop out “dough” using a ½ tbsp measuring spoon. Roll the dough into a ball, then roll into a crescent shape. (I rolled my ball into a log and then curled it around. It should look like a heart with the pointed tip cut off.) Place on a cookie sheet and repeat until you have 8 or 9 cardinals. Place the pan in the fridge to harden.

3

On a separate cookie sheet, create 8-9 little mounds with unmelted white chocolate wafers, clustering two or three together (match the number of cake pops you made). These mounds will become the snowy base that your cardinals sit on, so be sure to judge the size of your cardinal pops in order to size the bases accordingly.

4

Melt the rest of the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring frequently. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the chocolate wafer mounds. They don't have to be perfectly smooth, but be sure to cover the wafers. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to harden.

5

Once the chocolate has set, pour a second coat of chocolate on top of the mound and cover ½ to 2/3 of the mound with shredded coconut (the non coconut side will be where the cardinal gets glued to the base). Return to the freezer so the chocolate can set.

6

Melt the red chocolate in the microwave, stirring frequently. Remove the cardinal pops from the fridge and set one on a wire cooling rack. Take a lollipop stick and dip one end in red chocolate. Gently stab into the back of the bird, right in the low spot between the two crescent tips. (TIP: This part goes better with two pairs of hands.)

7

Carefully pour the melted chocolate over the cake pop, rotating the pop using the lollipop stick and using a spoon to get the curves. Don't be stingy with the chocolate. Once the pops are fully covered, carefully tap the wire rack to remove any excess chocolate and to smooth the coating. You might want to take a long bladed knife and run it underneath the wire rack to wipe away any chocolate drips before they adhere to the wire rack.

8

Allow to chocolate to set and repeat with remaining cake pops. I recommend using discretion before you start coating another cake pop on the same wire rack before the first has fully hardened. It can be done, but I worry about them tipping over or breaking.

9

Once all the cake pops have set, use the tube of black decorating gel to draw a heart on the face of the cardinal. Place two white pearl sprinkles for eyes and an orange pearl sprinkle for the beak in the tacky gel. Dab some frosting onto the orange leaves or flower sprinkles for the feet. Place the claws just above where the bird will rest on the snowy mound.

10

Take 8-9 almonds and slice them directly down the middle (there is a natural cleft there, so it shouldn't be too messy) and coat the skin side of the almond halves in leftover melted red chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set, then dip the flat underside in red chocolate and glue one half to either side of the cardinal making wings.

11

After the cardinals have been completely assembled and all the chocolate has set, coat the bottom of the birds in leftover melted white chocolate and adhere to the coconut mounds.

Cardinal Lollipops

Thanks to Better Homes & Gardens for the recipe!

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