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Sweet treats on a stick


Rachel Olding

Trend watch ... Cakes on a stick.

Trend watch ... Cakes on a stick. Photo: edwina pickles

LIKE fashion, food goes in and out of style. Prawn cocktails, truffles and tofu burgers have all had their day and now it's the turn of cake pops.

It started with an American mother and blogger who wanted to do something with leftover cake bits and finished this year as the second-most searched for food and drink item on Google's Australian website.

The novelty sweets are balls of cake made from crumbling a cake, combining it with icing and moulding it to shape. They're decorated in different ways: dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, covered in pastillage icing and dressed up as animals or stuck into three-tiered stands as impressive wedding cakes.

Claimed as the ''it'' cake of the 21st century, the reason for the spread of cake pops around the world seems as inane as their existence.

''I think it's really taken off in Australia because it's a cake on a lollipop stick,'' Andrea Pompey of Toongabbie's FabCakes said, rather intuitively. ''I don't know. I guess it's cute, it's different, people don't really understand when they first see them.''

Iman Kanj, 30, a housewife from Sydney's west, started a cake pops business last year after seeing the trend sweep the US and Canada.

They first appeared on the Bakerella blog before spreading across the internet and quickly finding their way into Starbucks coffee shops and celebrity weddings.

''People are obsessed with anything new,'' Ms Kanj, of Guildford West, said. She started My Cakepops with two jobs a week and is now booked out up to three months in advance. Her standard cake pop is dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles or nuts. Others have asked her to decorate them as reindeer, pirates, baby boys, chickens and cartoon characters, paying upwards of $2.50 each for elaborate designs.

Coffee shops have joined in, too, treating them as convenience items to go with takeaway coffees, said Adrianne Katmadas, founder of the Cake Appreciation Society, a group of cakemakers and lovers. So what's next? ''Push-up cake pops,'' Ms Katmadas said. ''They're going to be huge.''

For the cake (or use packet mix):
185g butter
2tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups castor sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of self-raising flour
2/3 cups cocoa
1 cup of milk
1 packet frosting mix
For the decoration:
Any compound chocolate
Sprinkles, nuts, lollies

Put all the cake ingredients, except the frosting, in a mixer and beat for 4 minutes. Pour into an 18cm round tin and bake at 160°C for 1 to 1 hours.

Once cooled, crumble the cake in a bowl and add enough frosting to keep the mixture together. Create balls using the palms of your hands and place on a lined tray. Place tray in a fridge for 5 minutes so the mixture is firm.

Heat the chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted.

Insert the tips of your lollipop sticks into the chocolate and then into the cake ball (this will ensure that the stick and cake ball is secure enough to start the dipping).

Dip the cake pops into the chocolate in one motion and then decorate. Stick them in a styrofoam block to cool.

Recipe adapted by Andrea Pompey from Bakerella and The Australian Women's Weekly.

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  • They may be sweeping the nation but as far as taste goes, I've never had one that isn't sickly sweet and disgusting. It's all that icing binding the crumbs. I hope this trend disappears soon.

    Date and time
    December 15, 2011, 4:39PM
    • My partner and I own a cake business called cabins and gonz cakes. We were told that cupcakes was a fad and wouldnt last for more than 6 months. 2 years on and cupcakes make over 50% of our business.

      I discounted cupcake popularity back then and though cake pops seem to be a fad to me, I have been told by chef to keep an open mind...:-)

      Date and time
      December 15, 2011, 6:28PM
      • These are rapidly getting banned from school yards and birthday parties as the sticks are a safety hazard. I know this is slightly ridiculous but I think it will hasten their death.

        Date and time
        December 15, 2011, 7:02PM
        • Great! Let's feed the obesity epidemic. Well done.

          Date and time
          December 15, 2011, 7:20PM
          • lol for a country with an obesity epidemic we cant really afford to have these fads.

            Date and time
            December 15, 2011, 9:48PM
            • Ugh

              Bill Hicks
              Date and time
              December 15, 2011, 10:17PM
              • As if we needed more sweets!

                "Deck the halls with boughs of holly
                Fah-la-la-la la-la-la
                'Tis the season to be jolly..."

                And have a body just like Santa Claus, if you eat much of this stuff.

                Ordinary woman
                Date and time
                December 16, 2011, 7:14AM
                • Agree Kirsty, too many recipes do sugar overkill. i'm going to try this recipe but substituting all that sugar + icing with (less) honey.

                  Date and time
                  December 16, 2011, 7:21AM
                  • I also found the idea of the American recipe disgusting. Last week for my work colleagues I made them and they were a huge it. I am always making cakes for work and never got so much positive feedback as this time. My tip - beat cream cheese and a small amount of icing sugar together, add rum (at Christmas) or vanilla then mix into the crumbled cake. While still sweet is not the overpowering sweetness from using that disgusting american icing.

                    Sydney, Australia
                    Date and time
                    December 16, 2011, 7:22AM
                    • @kristy - Yeah! I think maybe just put your regular truffles or rum balls on a stick! After all it's just the novelty of it being on a stick that's sweeping the nation - not the taste.

                      Date and time
                      December 16, 2011, 8:19AM

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