It’s only two weeks until Thanksgiving and my head is fluttering with new recipe ideas. After a week of holiday themed Cooking Channel and browsing through about twenty holiday inspired magazines, I couldn’t wait any longer to get started.
I decided to venture out and try making cake pops infused with holiday flavors like nutmeg, cinnamon, chai and pumpkin. I did take the time to create my cake batter from scratch since I wasn’t in a hurry (for once), but any store bought cake mix will also work for these delicious treats.
While I gathered all my ingredients and planned my assortment, the kids and my husband investigated my choices to see what was in store. After 20 minutes of inspecting and sniffing every bag and box they nodded their approval and left me to myself, knowing they would be rewarded with an assortment of sweets when they returned. As I stood looking at my collection of nearly every possible baking ingredient I wondered why I don’t bake more often. I decided to give my new Aroma Rice Cooker. It comes complete with a cake mode. Yes, cake in your rice cooker with a push of a button… genius! Maybe this will help me bake more…
HOLIDAY SPICE CAKE POPS
Makes approx. 24 cake pops
For the cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
3 cups self rising flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
non-stick cooking spray to coat inner pot of rice maker
For the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
For the coating:
1 bag of white chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup assorted nuts, finely chopped
1 tblsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Optional: raw sugar granules
To make the cake: Cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 min. Add sugar and continue to mix until thoroughly combined. Mix in eggs one at a time. Mix in 1 cup flour then approx. 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, repeat until all flour and pumpkin have been added. Add vanilla and spices and mix until incorporated.
Pour half the mixture in the greased inner pot of your Aroma Rice Cooker. Close the lid and press the Cake function. (Note: If you rice cooker does not have a Cake function press the White Rice or Cook function.) Once the cycle ends test your cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cake, it should come out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove the cake from the pan. Repeat Cake function with remaining batter.
To make the frosting: Mix cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer. Slowly add in powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Set aside.
When the cake has cooled, crumble it into a bowl, creating fine crumbs. Add frosting a spoonful at a time until the mixture resembles coarse sand and sticks together when squeezed. Form into ping pong sized balls, place on a cookie sheet and freeze for one hour. Remove from freezer and insert your cake sticks almost all the way through the balls and set aside.
To make the coating: Mix together nuts, orange zest and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. Put 2 cups of water in your rice cooker and press the Steam function. Place a heat proof bowl over your rice cooker and add the chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Stir occasionally until fully melted.
Dip the cake pops into the melted chocolate, coating the entire ball. Sprinkle with the nut-spice mixture or raw sugar. Place your steam tray upside down on a counter and insert the cake pops into the steam holes to set up.
TIP: This batter also makes delicious cupcakes.
To make cupcakes:
Fill silicon cupcake molds 3/4 full and place in the steam tray over the inner pot filled with water to level 2 . Press Steam function for 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes and let them cool. Frost with the cream cheese frosting and top with nut mixture or raw cane sugar. Makes approx. 20 regular cupcakes.