Special equipment: a candy thermometer
and 12 cake pop sticks
For the cake pop: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 10-inch round cake pans
with nonstick cooking spray, dust
with flour and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
together the all-purpose flour
, cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda
in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix the heavy cream, sour cream, orange zest
and scraped vanilla bean in another bowl and set aside.
Add the sugar and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed until the color lightens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs
1 at a time and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined, then scrape the bowl. Add half of the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Add another one-third of the dry ingredients followed by the remaining wet ingredients, mixing on low after each addition and scraping the bowl. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Divide the batter
between the prepared cake pans and bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cakes
comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the cranberry compote: Cut the apple into small pieces. In a medium saucepan
, add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and juice and apples
. Cook over medium heat until the cranberries start to pop open and the mixture thickens slightly. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool.
For the orange buttercream: Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer
with a whisk
attachment. Mix the sugar and 1/2 cup water together in a medium saucepan, place over high heat with a candy thermometer and heat the mixture to 238 to 240 degrees F. While the mixture is boiling, mix the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. When the boiling sugar reaches 240 degrees F, pour it slowly into the egg whites with the mixer on low. Once all the hot sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to high and whip until thick, glossy and cooled. Reduce the speed and add the butter 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until the buttercream thickens. Whip
in the orange zest.
To assemble the pops: Crumble the cooled cakes into small pieces. Mix in enough buttercream
to hold the cake pops together. Add the desired amount of cranberry compote
; there should be some in every bite. Scoop balls of the cake pop mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Press a cake pop stick into each ball and freeze until firm.
the white chocolate gently over a double boiler
. Dip the frozen cake pops into the white chocolate and place on the parchment to set. (If adding toppings, right after you dip the cake pops in the chocolate, dip them in in the desired toppings such as nuts, sprinkles or chocolate chips.)