Healthy Cake Pops?! Is that even possible? Are they actually any good? I was on a quest to find out... and it turns out that you can, in fact, make cake pops that are not only healthy and nutritious for you, but delicious too!
I initially decided to make these for our superbowl party with my friend Gina's son in mind. He has food allergies and I wanted him to be able to eat the dessert that all of the other kids were eating too. He can't have gluten or dairy and I also wanted to make them sugar free, without the use of any "fake sugars" or highly processed alternatives either. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but I figured there had to be a way.
My sister makes traditional cake pops often and they are always a huge hit. All she does is make a boxed cake, crumble it up, mix in icing with the already baked cake, roll into balls and coat them with different flavors of candy coating. They are yummy and everyone raves about them. Plus, they are super cute to boot!
I wanted to try to take that idea and make it healthy and safe for my gluten-free, dairy-free little friend. Ofcourse, there are no recipes out there for this, that I could find. So I had to kinda wing it. I might make some adjustments in the future to play around with it a little more, but I was pretty happy with the results and everyone who tried them at the party really like them as well. No one could believe they were actually good for you!
I started by making a chocolate cake with almond flour, some baking soda, sea salt, eggs, vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened apple sauce and a little pure stevia extract powder. I was pretty excited when it came out of the oven actually resembling a chocolate cake! You can see some tiny apple chunks in it. I only had chunky applesauce on hand, which I tried to mash up further but obviously not enough. Next time I would definitely use a more creamy applesauce. It was a last minute decision to add it in, and I had to work with what I had.
After I took the first pic, my camera flaked out on me. It started (sorta) working again the next day. So the rest of the pics are taken with my blackberry. Sorry for the crappiness! I am working on getting a new camera for Valentine's Day. I have been drooling over a particular one and am long overdue.... wish me luck!
After I baked the cake and let it cool completely, I added in some rasberry fruit spread (instead of the icing my sister usually uses) and mashed it all around. I got this idea from a recipe from Elana's Pantry. I also used her chocolate cake recipe for inspiration, but she uses agave nectar, which is actually worse for you then high fructose corn syrup, so I had to change things up quite a bit. If you have been using this in an attempt to be healthy, please do some research and consider another alternative. Agave nectar is really no good for you at all.
I love the Trader Joe brand fruit spreads. They are delicious and are only sweetened with fruit juice. I love them in the morning with breakfast on some toast or a muffin!
Once the fruit spread was mixed throughout, I rolled little 1" balls in my hands and placed them on parchment paper to cool in the freezer for a couple of hours while I ran some errands.
After I got back, I melted down a chocolate baking bar and added a little vanilla and stevia. I used a Sunspire organic unsweetened baking bar that I found at Whole Foods. There was nothing icky added to this bad boy when it was made, nothing but pure unsweetened chocolate. I then stuck the lollipop sticks into the balls and dipped them into the melted chocolate. I stuck each one in a styrofoam block to cool. They didn't take long, as the frozen cake balls cooled the melted chocolate pretty quickly.
Here are the lollipop sticks and treat bags I used to assemble the cake pops.
After they cooled, I pulled a treat bag over the top and tied it with a ribbon. I think strings would work better, but I already had the ribbons on hand.
Here is the full recipe. If you try them out, please let me know!
Healthy Chocolate Cake Pops
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free
Makes about 50 Cake Pops
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free
Makes about 50 Cake Pops
Special Equipment Needed:
Small Treat bags
Ribbon or String
For Chocolate Cake Insides:
- 4 cups almond flour (not almond meal)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1.5 cup applesauce
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder
- 1 C Raspberry Fruit Spread, no sugar added (for after the cake is baked)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grease a 13x9-inch cake pan with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and stevia with a large whisk.
- In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract with large whisk.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry until thoroughly combined.
- Pour Batter into cake pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely before moving on to the next step.
- Crumble cake in large bowl and mix/mash in raspberry fruit spread until well combine.
- Roll mixture into 1" balls and place on a tray covered in parchment paper.
- Set cake balls in Freezer for atleast 1 hour.
Chocolate Candy Coating
- 2 (4oz) unsweetened 100% Cacao chocolate baking bar
- pure stevia extract powder, to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Melt Chocolate in a small sauce pan over very low heat.
- Add in vanilla extract and stevia to taste. Start with a very small amount of stevia, taste, then add more if needed.
- Once melted and mixed together, insert lollipop sticks into cake balls and dip into melted chocolate.
- Insert into a styrofoam block until cooled.
Once the cake pops have cooled completely and candy coating has hardened, place a treat bag over each pop and tie with a ribbon. Store them in the refrigerater until ready to serve.
I have added this recipe to the Monday Mania Carnival. You can check out lots of other whole foods recipes there too.