They’re an American concept that embraces fun, junk food, cuteness, and factory-made components. Think: boxed cake mix, crumbed together with packaged frosting, dipped in artificially-colored, microwave-melted candy buttons!
Yet…they’re compelling, right? They’re charming. And super kid-friendly!
What about a grain-free, refined-sugar-free version good enough to serve to all your kid's friends at a fall birthday party?
Coconut butter makes these morsels both cake-y and moist. (They are also easy to digest and nutrient dense. The cake pops do taste of coconut and have a subtle coconut nub.)
Why make your own coconut butter? The financial savings! While several cups of shredded coconut costs only a couple dollars when purchased in bulk, jars of the manna easily run between $8 and $15. Making your own means this superfood can become a family staple. Use it in baking and cooking, and even as a spread for baked goods!
Snuggling Into The Season
Welcome to fall, by the way! It is here, for those of us in the Western Hemisphere. After a long, hot, lovely summer, I am glad to have flavors like pumpkin and maple to remind me how much I love autumn. May the seasonal nature of this recipe, the frivolity of the cake pop concept, and the whole food ingredients in this recipe inspire a fun event where you can serve this kid-friendly treat!
Maple-Pumpkin Cake Pops
Pumpkin Maple Spice Cake
- 4 eggs, pasture-raised preferred
- 1-1/4 cups coconut butter, room temperature and slightly warm (see how-to)
- 1/2 cup tallow, lard, or ghee, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, or cooked winter squash
- 1/3 cup maple syrup, honey or coconut syrup
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pumpkin Maple Spice Glaze
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter, melted and cooled slightly (source)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 teaspoons canned pumpkin or winter squash puree
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or 1 drop liquid stevia
Makes approximately 50 1-1/4 inch cake pops. Glaze and shell recipes easily doubled.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or preheat your cake pops waffle iron).
Place the following cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl: eggs, coconut butter, fat of choice, pumpkin, maple syrup and spices. Mix together until well blended. In a separate small bowl, sift together coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold in until thoroughly incorporated without over-mixing. Pour batter into bottom half of cake pops (silicone) pan. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for putting on the pan lid. Bake about 13 minutes and then check for doneness, inserting a toothpick into the center of 1 pop. They are done when there is no wet batter adhering.
Make the glaze while the cake pops cool. Combine glaze ingredients in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds to emulsify the fat with the other ingredients. (If they separate a bit during the dipping stage, it is fine and will not affect the outcome. Just use a fork or whisk to remix them slightly.) Pour glaze into a small bowl, preferably one that tapers at the bottom, not a flat bottom one. If needed, place this bowl in a larger bowl of hot water to keep the glaze runny.
To make the chocolate shell, simply whisk together the 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Double or triple this recipe, based on how many chocolate-dipped pops you want.
Decorating Your Cake Pops
When the cake pops are mostly cool, insert a popsicle stick (or these wooden popsicle sticks) 3/4 of the way into each one of them. Place them in mugs or low cups and freeze for 15 minutes. Dip each pop into glaze, tapping the stick against the cup's rim to remove any excess. Swirl the pop around as the glaze dries, to evenly distribute. Place each pop, as it’s completed, into the cup again. You will double dip each pop; so don’t worry if the glaze looks thin.
Working in batches, place pops back into freezer after several have been dipped the first time. Once they refreeze for 5 to 10 minutes, double dip them, repeating the former method.
To decorate with cinnamon or cacao powder, dip the dried, iced pops into a little dish of one of the powders, rolling it around to cover and tapping off any extra. This final garnish gives them a more sophisticated, adult flavor. I recommend this treatment for grown-ups and the glaze or chocolate shell alone for kids.
You can also use the chocolate shell to drizzle chocolate stripes across either icing.
A Few Notes
Use attractive twigs (thin but strong) to create a frugal, autumnal alternative to buying popsicle sticks!
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder to the icing recipe, for a chocolate version of the Pumpkin Maple Spice Glaze. Whisk it in completely and dip pops according to above instructions. You'll only need to dip each pop once with this method.
See this recipe for more information on cocoa butter's nutritional profile and how to use it in cooking.
What do you think? Are Paleo Cake Pops too much of an oxymoron? Have you used coconut butter in baking yet?
What about cocoa butter? Have you discovered how delicious and healthful this traditional fat is?
Looking for more nourishing, gut-healing foods that your family will love to eat?
Be sure to check my cookbook: Eat Beautiful: Grain-Free, Sugar-Free and Loving It (softcover version as well).
It contains all the recipes I've perfected through my family's years on a gut-healing diet.
My eBook and video package is currently 50% off. One of the bonus videos you'll get explains the grain-free baking technique I use to make amazing panini sandwiches for our gut-healing cafe in Eugene, Oregon!
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