Oh, how I love summer!!! Scarfing down food hot off the grill, chasing down the ice-cream man, playing at the pool and of course, celebrating the 4th of July! The 4th of July is our independence day. Local towns hold parades, festivals with carnival rides and then the day is finished with amazing displays of fireworks!
I have such fond memories of walking down to the local park when I was a kid. There was always live music (mostly I remember an all police officer band, I think they were called Police Beat), lots of carnival food and hanging out with friends until it was time for the fireworks. Parents would light up sparklers for their kids who enjoyed waving them through the air like a magic wand. Little ones would hunt down lighting bugs only to trap them inside jars so that they could gaze upon their splendor up close.
Not much has changed since I was a kid. We still sit in the blazing heat to watch a parade, battle the crowds, and mosquitos, just to taste an elephant ear, and stay up way past bed time so we can chant in unison with the crowd “ewwwwww” and “ahhhhhh” over some extremely loud fireworks. Ok, so I may look upon these events a bit different from when I was a kid, but I still love it all. Plus, I love watching my kids enjoy the same traditions as I did growing up.
So, how do you make a holiday like this one even more special? Well, with cake pops of course! I set out to make Uncle Sam cake pops after seeing them on Pinterest (where else rights?). I totally fell in love with these. How flippin’ cute! The hardest part of these pops, was finding the top hat rings. But after searching two of my favorite cake decorating supply stores I finally found them at the third and final store we visited. Below, I have listed the steps for making these adorable little pops. I hope that you find them as fun to make as they are to eat!
Uncle Sam Cake Pops!
Once you have rolled your cake crumbles into balls, you must allow the balls to firm up in the refrigerator. Most people experience cake-pop disasters because they didn’t allow the balls to firm up in the frig. THIS IS A CRUCIAL PART IN THE CAKE POP PROCESS!
Roll the cake into balls and place on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper
- Place in the refrigerator for about an hour OR in the freezer for no longer than 10 minutes. NOTE: IF you leave them in the freezer for too long, the coating will crack once dipped. This is because when they freeze they actually shrink in size, as they come back to room temperature, they expand thus causing the candy coating to crack. It’s Science baby!
- Once they come out of the refrigerator/freezer, dip the end of a candy sucker stick into the melted chocolate. Then insert the dipped end into the top of a cake ball. Repeat this until you have placed sticks in all balls. Then place them back into the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to one hour OR the freezer for 10 minutes. The melted chocolate acts as a glue to hold the stick inside the ball.
- When ready, dip the balls into flesh-colored melted chocolate/candy. Tap the side of the stick on the side of a bowl, glass or chocolate melting pot to remove excess melted candy. NOTE: Follow the instructions for melting the candy melts. Do NOT throw a bunch in a bowl, turn the microwave on and walk away. If these get too hot, they will become burnt and no good. There are some who add corn syrup to them in hopes of bringing them back to life but I have never tried it. I personally have the Wilton Chocolate Melting pot (shown above). I love this thing. I can put my candy melts in there, turn it on and watch them melt beautifully. Never burns the candy melts.
- Then set the covered balls on the parchment covered cookie sheet to set.
- Once these have completely set, it’s time to pipe the hair of Uncle Sam. I used white buttercream and Wilton tip 18.
- Pipe pull out stars around the head for the hair, down the face to form a jaw line and then at the bottom of the face for the beard.
- Then pipe the eyebrows and mustache.
- Next add the eyes using tip 2 or 3 and blue icing.
- Now you are ready to add the hat! Slide the ring over the candy stick so that it rests properly on Uncle Sam’s head. If the ring falls forward, then add a little bit of melted chocolate to the back of the hat and hold it against the stick so that it stays in place.
These are my new favorite pops for the 4th of July!
Happy Independence Day!