Momma Told Me: Let's Make A Cake: Polka Dot Cake Recipe Tutorial

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Let's Make A Cake: Polka Dot Cake Recipe Tutorial

Polka Dot Cake Recipe with Cake Pop Dots- This fun and colorful cake is simple to make with some easy boxed mix modifications and a cake pop pan. Twice baked cake pops stay moist and colorful when made with pudding mix. This is a great cake for graduation, a baby show, birthdays and more!
Momma Told Me: I'll let you lick the spoon.

We've come a long way from boxed mixes, Toto. I still remember standing on my Little Tikes step-stool and peering over the kitchen counter as Momma calmly counted out egg whites into a mixing bowl. Baking Saturdays were especially exciting in my household because they meant the promise of sweet things to come. And, every now and then, Momma would open a box of 'just add water' brownie mix and I'd even get to lick the spatula of gooey chocolately goodness. It was pure heaven, and the only time it got any better was when I had the chance to plop those little drops of liquid color into the batter and turn our boring white cupcakes into tie-dyed perfection.
By now you know that I like to make unique cakes. I don't bake them often, in fact, I bake on average 3 cakes a year for very specific occasions; but when I do, I like to go all out. My friends and family, they think I'm a baking genius- I am far from a Cake Boss folks. I do, however, spend a year planning these cakes and even doing test runs in my small condo kitchen. Not everything comes out 'picture perfect,' so please, don't be intimidated by anything you see on this site.

This year I got the brilliant idea to do a 'Polka Dot Cake,' after seeing a viral post on Pinterest from a blog that specialized in baked goods. With a little further research I found that this style of cake isn't really delved into on too many websites. The concept seemed easy enough, bake cake pops into individual cake layers, so why weren't there more people posting their proud pics on Pinterest? Well, as it turns out, while boxed mixes are included in the process, the recipes can be far from 'boxed.' A little patience and some scientific finagling is required.
Bake Pop Cake Pop Pan
Cake pop tops
Colorful Cake Pops for a Polka Dot Cake
Colorful Cake Pop Tops
You'll want to start with a cake pop pan similar to the Bake Pop Pan, which can be ordered fairly cheap on Amazon. Most people who would ever attempt this type of recipe already have one laying around from the great Cake Pop Fad of the early 2000's. Next you will need boxed cake mix, pudding mixes, sour cream, and a handful of other ingredients (found below.) If you desire to go rogue and use your own cake pop recipe keep in mind that you are double baking the cake pop balls, so a more moist recipe, and a little under baking will yield the best result. You should also expect some 'bake-over,' which is always a nice treat when you're slaving your way through an all day cake event.
Polka Dot Cake Recipe with Cake Pop Dots- This fun and colorful cake is simple to make with some easy boxed mix modifications and a cake pop pan. Twice baked cake pops stay moist and colorful when made with pudding mix. This is a great cake for graduation, a baby show, birthdays and more!
It's my suggestion to let all stages of the Polka Dot Cake cool before integrating them with the next. Placing your cake pops in the freezer for a few hours before baking them into the layers of cake will cause them to contract a little and consequently fluff up to bind with the surrounding cake mix while baking later. I've seen others have some success with room temperature cake pop balls, while others have noticed separating. Expect your cake pop balls to want to rise to the top of the batter while your layers bake. Don't worry about this, as you should be able to apply moderate pressure and a flat surface (IE the bottom of another pan) to help even out the top surface of your layers. Remember, you will be frosting these layers so don't worry if the surface is uneven.
The icing on the cake.

If you want different size polka dots when you cut into your cake be sure to stagger the rows of dot layers so they are not all lined up when layered. The polka-dot effect will be most effective in three layer cakes, but can be easily achieved with 3 or less colors in a two-layer cake as well. My biggest tip is to make extra cake-layer batter, as you never quite know how well your batter will rise to cover the cake pop balls. When in doubt, more is always better. For my cake I used a chocolate frosting between layers; keep in mind that your frosting will want to smear the 'polka dot' effect when cutting and be sure to keep your knife clean between slices for the most picturesque effect.

What Daughter Says: Life's too short to bake boring cakes.


Polka Dot Cake Recipe with Cake Pop Dots- This fun and colorful cake is simple to make with some easy boxed mix modifications and a cake pop pan. Twice baked cake pops stay moist and colorful when made with pudding mix. This is a great cake for graduation, a baby show, birthdays and more!

Polka Dot Cake Recipe with Cake Pop Dots- This fun and colorful cake is simple to make with some easy boxed mix modifications and a cake pop pan. Twice baked cake pops stay moist and colorful when made with pudding mix. This is a great cake for graduation, a baby show, birthdays and more!
 Polka Dot Cake
***Click here for printable Polka Dot Cake recipe.

Ingredients:

*3 White (Not Vanilla) Cake Mix Boxes
*3 Whole Eggs (For Cake Balls)
*6 Egg Whites (For Cake Layers)
*2/3 Vegetable Oil (Divided 1/3, 1/3)
*1C Sour Cream
*1C Milk
*3 Small Boxes Of Instant Vanilla Pudding
*Non-Stick Baking Spray (w/Flour Preferred)
*Gel Food Colors of Choice

Directions:

CAKE BALLS:

1.) Preheat oven to 350F. Pretreat Cake Pop Pan with nonstick flour baking spray or nonstick spray and a light flour dusting. Spray the top of the cake ball pan (outside near vents) to prevent sticking of spillover batter.
2.) Prepare 1 white cake mix box adding a box of instant vanilla pudding and substituting milk for water in recipe. Do not increase or decrease amount of eggs required in box instructions.
3.) Divide batter equally into bowls matching number of colors desired. Add about 1/2 tsp of food color to each portion and mix thoroughly.
4.) Portion cake ball mix to just below edge of bottom pan cavities. Close pan layers with provided silicone seals or clamps and bake at 350F for 13 minutes until bake-over tops are springy but not yet browned.
5.) Allow to cool. Remove the spillover caps before opening the pan. Trim the seams of cake pop balls to round them out if desired. (I did minor adjustments of big seems and was happy with the turnout.)
6.) Place cake pop balls in a large gallon size Ziploc bag and freeze 1-2 hours.

CAKE LAYERS:

1.) Preheat oven to 350F, treat pans with baking spray.
2.) Prepare remaining 2 cake boxes as directed on the box, using the all-white method, with egg whites. Double check that your cake mix does NOT have pudding mix already added to it. Add both remaining boxes of instant pudding, 1/2C milk, and 1/3 C vegetable oil.
3.) Place just enough batter to cover the bottom of your pans. Gently place cake pop balls on top in desired arrangement.
4.) Pour the batter evenly around the balls, saving a portion to gently spoon over the tops and cover the balls. The batter will be mounded but will bake up around the balls.
5.) Bake the layers about 30-35 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull from the side of the pan and springs back when touched. 
6.) If your layers have risen unevenly, or have bumps where the cake pop balls have floated, place a damp paper towel on top and gently press down with the bottom of  cake pan.
7.) Cool all layers in the refrigerator 2 hours prior to frosting, enjoy! 

17 comments:

  1. That cake makes me laugh! It must be such a surprise when people cut in. Did the cake pop dots get dry or overly moist? It doesn't look like it but I was wondering.

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  2. Shelley, I use a high moisture recipe for the pops that features pudding mix, and slightly under-bake them. They were just as moist as the cake, but a teeny bit more dense!

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  3. Rather like cake truffles, eh? You did a beautiful job. I'll bet it was a lot of fun when it was cut open. I love surprises.

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  4. I love polka dots, and this cake is so fun and lighthearted. I don't know if I would have the patience or skills to pull this off. You are so talented and creative!

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  5. Wow this must have taken you forever to do. I'm not sure I have that much patience LOL. Nice job.

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  6. Totally crazy creative! May have to try to tackle this for daughter's birthday. She loves polka dots.

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  7. So festive - I love the creativity. So cool!

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  8. What a beautiful cake! I love it wish I had a cake pop pan.

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  9. I love this!! It is so creative! I want to bake a cake soon now that you have inspired me!! Rita Spratlen rjspratlen@gmail.com

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  10. Looks like an awesome cake! I bet it was yummy, too.

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  11. My toddler is really into polka dots right now, and when she saw this cake she just had to have it. I guess I know what we'll be doing for her birthday cake!

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  12. Wow, what a cool idea. So fun and different.

    Do the cake ball get dried out since they have been baked twice?

    This recipe is a pin for me.

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  13. Those look adorable! Glad you posted the bit on using a cakeball with pudding base - I was worried about them being dry, but it looks amazing! Yum!

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  14. This is a fun cake! It would be perfect for a party! Thanks for posting it.
    Jana Brantley
    janaluvsdaisies@gmail.com

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  15. i've never seen anything like this and i'm so intrigued! i'm not much of a baking/cooking person, but i may just have to try this. or maybe have my mom try and then one day i'll do it haha. it looks pretty simple enough - just looks like you have to have patience.

    adoruhs(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. What a fantastic looking cake to make. It definitely will be a surprise for everyone when the cake is cut. It looks quite delicious too.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

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  17. This is such a fantastic and fun cake, but it does seem like a lot of work. Well, at least for me. :-)
    I can just see hot pink dots for a little girl's cake!

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