Just because I have a food blog, doesn’t mean I don’t have food disasters. Thankfully, they are less common now than they were when I first started cooking, but in a world of recipe experimentation and trying out new ideas, they are inevitable, I suppose. Take these delicious cake pops. They were Plan B. Plan A was delicious gluten-, dairy- and egg-free donuts. The recipe worked the first time around, and so I doubled it. Well, doubling the recipe was a disaster! I couldn’t even get them out of the pans without them falling apart. They were for a birthday party for my daughter who just turned 6, and I didn’t want to waste the crumbly donuts as they were not only made with expensive ingredients, but I wasn’t sure I had enough time to make enough donuts for everyone now.


Well, what better way to use delicious crumbs than to make them into cake pops! A quick trip to the store for some jam, cake pop sticks, and bittersweet chocolate, and I had everything I needed to make them. I’ll give you the easy directions below for making them. They were our favorite thing that I baked for the party.


Sometimes our mistakes lead to our biggest successes. I like it when that happens.


(However, let’s not talk about dinner that I made the other night when talking to a friend! Have you ever eaten over-cooked Brussels sprouts and mushy rice? Um, me either (okay, maybe once). Lesson learned, don’t talk to a friend while cooking.)


As I was thinking about my cake pops, I was thinking it was a picture of life — at least my life, in some ways. You have a great Plan A, but somehow Plan A never really pans out the way you expected. Sometimes you are left with a crumbles instead of a finished product. If you have ever felt like your life was crumbling around you, you know what I am talking about. As hard as that moment is, facing that “failure” or life circumstance, it is amazing to me how often that failure ends up being directly related to a real gift in life.


One example: my Dad lost his new job when we had already sold our house and were driving across the state to move when I was little. Friends opened their house to us as my Dad desperately searched for a job in a different area than where we originally were planning to go. Once he found a job, we ended up living in an area that gave us wonderful friends, for me a lovely childhood, and my parents were thankful more then once that he lost that job — as scary as it was in the beginning.


The job my Dad found was a hard one, and he lived a life of very little sleep, but we all were thankful for the blessings we did have. Often, all we can see are the crumbles, and some of my life circumstances still just seem like crumbles to me, but more often than not, eventually, I see the cake pop.


So, if life gives you crumbles, why not make cake pops?


Here’s how to make them in the kitchen.


Simple Cake Pop Directions

Makes about 18

  • 2 cups of crumbs made out of leftover cake, cupcakes, or donuts
  • Jam of choice (I used fruit sweetened raspberry jam, about ¼ cup per 2 cups, though it will depend on how moist the crumbs are)
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips (about 12 ounces)
  • Any sprinkles desired for decorating
  • Cake pop sticks (or lollipop sticks)
  • 2 Styrofoam block

1. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs with enough jam to make them moist, and stick together when you grab a handful and squeeze gently.
2. Once the crumb/jam mixture is finished. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, form 1-inch balls with the crumb mixture and place on sheet.

3. Freeze sheet with cake balls for at least 1 hour, until frozen.
4. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips over low heat until melted.
5. Take out the cake balls and have the sprinkles in bowls, ready to use. Also have the Styrofoam blocks on hand.
6. Dip ½ inch of the cake pop stick into the chocolate, and stick into the middle of a cake ball. Dip the cake ball into the chocolate, making sure you dip some of the base of the stick too, as once it hardens, the chocolate will help keep it on the stick. You can also simply hold the cake ball over the chocolate and spoon the chocolate over it.
7. Twirl gently to remove excess chocolate.
8. Decorate at will.
9. Place in Styrofoam block to harden. Repeat with the rest of the cake pops. Once hardened completely, serve.


Cake pops: Making cake out of life's crumbs
Cake pops are made out of crumbled cakes, cupcakes or even baked donuts — and they're delicious! Is there a life lesson here for us?