A detail of the red team's creation for Santa's Mega Challenge: Ultimate Christmas Lights, depicting a town center featuring a broccoli Christmas tree decorated with sugar ornaments and rice crispy treat town buildings, as seen on Food Network's Cake Wars, Christmas Special.
Recipe courtesy of Melodie Walenius

French Toast Cake Pop

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 5 min (includes cooling, chilling and setting times)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 24 servings
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Cake Pop:

Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream:


Special equipment:
24 cake pop sticks or 4-milliliter pipettes
  1. For the cake pop: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. 
  3. Mix the cake flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat another 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition. Start adding the flour mixture 1 cup at a time, alternating with the milk and ending with the flour mixture, and beat to combine. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake until a knife inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and cool to room temperature (or chill in the refrigerator).
  5. For the cinnamon Swiss meringue buttercream: Beat the powdered sugar and egg whites in a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the butter and beat on medium speed for 10 minutes, scraping the sides of the mixer bowl as needed. Add the cinnamon and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. To make the pops: Break the cooled cakes into handful-size chunks and place in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. On low speed, mix until the cake is in crumbs. Add the buttercream to the cake crumbs 1/4 cup at a time, just until the mixture becomes a ball of dough that is moldable but not wet or sticky to the touch; you will not need much buttercream for this process. Form the dough into 1-inch balls using a cake pop roller, cookie dough scoop or tablespoon. Let the balls chill for a few minutes or sit at room temperature while you prepare the melting wafers. 
  7. Heat the melting wafers in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave at half power for 1 minute and then stir. Continue heating in the microwave at half power for 30-second increments until melted and only a few solid pieces remain. Stir until smooth. The warmth of the melting wafers will help melt the remaining pieces. 
  8. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. If using the pipettes and whiskey, fill the pipettes with whisky and wipe clean with a damp paper towel. Dip the pipette tips or cake pop stick tips about 1/2 inch into the melting wafers and then poke them into the tops of each cake ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. 
  9. Melt the remaining buttercream in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave at half power in 30-second increments until soft. You want this to be a similar consistency to the melting wafers without being greasy. Dip the cake pops into the buttercream and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Return the melting wafers to the microwave if needed at half power in 30-second increments. Dip the cake pops into the melting wafers, submerging them completely to the stick, making sure there are no holes where the cake is exposed. Place the dipped cake pops onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheets to set. Decorate as desired.

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