OK so they’re not actually pumpkin flavour! But these gluten free cake pops are shaped like adorable little pumpkins and taste like chocolate orange, so that’s even better right? As much as I love pumpkin flavour on a cold day, not everyone actually likes pumpkin, so chocolate orange is a safer bet.
I didn’t make mine vegan this time but the recipe easily translates, so I’ll add adjustments in case you want to make yours vegan.
Recipe yields 12 pumpkin pops.
You will need:
- Stand or hand held mixer
- 8 inch round cake tin (preferably 2)
- Baking paper
- Fondant rolling pin
- Round biscuit cutter (9cm)
- Leaf & bone modelling tools (optional)
- Sharp knife
- Cake paint brush (optional)
- 1 egg or 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed & 3 tbsp water
- 40g (3 tbsp) butter or hard vegetable shortening
- 140g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 100g (1 cup) plain gluten free flour
- 20g (3 tbsp) extra dark cocoa powder check if yours is vegan if needed
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of xantham gum (optional)
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 120ml whole milk or coconut milk
- ¼ tsp orange extract
- 75g (5 tbsp) butter or hard vegetable shortening
- 225g (2¼ cups) powdered icing sugar
- 30g (4 tbsp) cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp orange extract
- 250g orange ready to roll fondant icing
- 20g green ready to roll fondant icing
- 1 tsp white spirit (I used gin)
Bit of an odd way to do it, but let’s skip to the fun bit, since you may have your own cake recipe you would rather use. You can find the instructions for my cake recipe further down, below the decorations.
Lightly dust a clean surface with powdered icing sugar. Roll out a piece of the orange ready to roll fondant to between 2mm and 4mm thick, then cut out a 9cm wide circle with a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife.
I made mine pretty thin as I prefer the flavour of the cake to the icing, but a thicker layer of fondant will cover the pops with a smoother surface.
Thicker icing is more forgiving, so if you’ve never covered a spherical shape before I’d opt for a thicker layer.
Place a cake pop in the centre of the fondant and ease the sides around the ball. Gently stretch the icing as you smooth each bit down, lifting where folds are created to ease them down. Press all the folds together on the bottom of the cake pop.
Snip off any excess icing at the bottom and smooth together any creases from the folds. Flip over to hide the joining underneath the cake pop.
Using a leaf tool score lines across the pop to make the pumpkin shape. If you don’t have modelling tools then lightly run a cocktail stick on the fondant, using the body of the stick rather than the point.
Repeat on all of the pumpkins.
Roll a small piece of green fondant into a tube and cut into pieces up to 1.5cm long. Lightly bend one end of each piece into a hook. Dab the thickest end with a white spirit to make it more pliable, then place that end on to the pumpkin.
Using a bone tool sweep the stalk down the pumpkin to blend the stalk into it and add stability. If you don’t have modelling tools you can do this with your fingers.
Repeat until all pumpkin pops have stalks.
As promised the recipe I used for the cake pops to save you looking around for another recipe, if you don’t already have a favourite.
If you’re making yours vegan mix the ground flaxseed with cold water and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to form a gloopy egg like consistency.
If you’re not making it vegan then skip this step.
Preheat the oven to 170°C
325°F, gas mark 3
Grease the baking tins and line with baking paper, then set aside while you prepare the batter.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly beat in the sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and xantham gum if you’re using it. Rub together with your hands until the mixture forms a sandy consistency.
In a separate jug whisk together the milk, egg (or flaxseed mixture) and orange extract. Pour half the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until combined, scraping down the sides.
Finally add the rest of the liquids to the dry ingredients a bit at a time, beating between additions. When the liquids have all been incorporated, beat at a high speed for a few minutes.
Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
Beat the butter with a stand or hand held mixer, then scrape down the sides.
Add the powdered icing sugar, cocoa, milk and orange extract. Blend slowly until incorporated then turn up to full speed and beat for 5 minutes.
Crumble the cake into a large bowl and add two thirds of the buttercream then mix. You can speed this process up by using a food processor, but it’s not necessary. Check the consistency and add the remaining buttercream if the mix crumbles when pressed together with your hands.
How much buttercream you add depends on your preference once it has enough to stick together.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts. Roll the balls in your hands to form balls that are about 5cm wide. Slightly squash the balls so they are flatter than a sphere.
Your cake pops are now ready to decorate as described above.