I don’t exactly remember how or when Molly and I became friends, but over the last few years, she’s become a significant fixture in my life. We text about everything and anything — mostly swapping baking stories/gripes/tips and brainstorming recipe ideas, but also random stuff like whether or not a microterry bodysuit is a good idea, which KitchenAid mixer and Mosser cake stand colors are best, and which of our two remarkably similar cats is more loaf-like. She’s like my summer camp pen pal who would be one of my bestest buds if only we lived in the same city and saw each other more than once or twice a year.
And unless you’ve been living under a rock and/or don’t give a lick about food (in which case, uh, what are you doing on my site exactly…?), you probably know by now that Molly will be premiering her new show, Girl Meets Farm, on The Food Network this coming Sunday, June 24th. Our little SLAMM squad* is so freaking proud of her, we all literally can’t even. Molly talks about it some in her blog post about the show, but it’s been especially exciting to see the TV show unfold behind the scenes! I feel like I was there for the beginning of it all, right from when she was in Portland a few years ago, starting to flex her TV muscles in front of the camera crew following her around (and we all ended up going to a strip club together, AMA) to our more recent text threads during her shoot days when she and Nick were hangry and couldn’t make dinner.
To celebrate Molly’s new show, we each decided to make some snacks for the occasion! The original idea was to develop a Molly-inspired snack recipe for her show’s premiere (so, you know, lots of tahini and sprinkles, no bananas). I was going to make the za’atar monkey bread from her cookbook, Molly on the Range, but since it’s been 90+ degrees in Portland AND it’s Popsicle Week, I decided to make her famous funfetti cake into a cake popsicle! Unlike last year’s Popsicle Week pop, which was strawberry ice cream with solid chunks of yellow funfetti cake, this year’s pop is literally just Molly’s funfetti cake crumbled and molded into these super cute ice cream bar molds. Then, I dipped each funfetti pop in a chocolate tahini magic shell situation that freaking ruled. I know I was supposed to save these pops for Molly’s TV premiere, but they were so good that we busted through our entire batch throughout the week and only have two left for the show itself. OH WELL.
Some baker’s notes:
- Molly’s OG cake recipe makes a double layer, 8-inch cake which I then cut in half to bake in a 8-inch square pan. I waited for the cake to cool, before breaking it down into different crumbs by hand and molding the crumbs into the popsicle molds in the style of Christina Tosi’s funfetti birthday layer cake. If that seems like a lot of work, you can always go Steph’s route and bake the funfetti cake in the popsicle molds themselves — I legit just didn’t have enough molds to pull this off and opted for making the pops in batches throughout the day instead.
- When molding the cake into the popsicle molds, you want to use a LOT of cake per cavity and really smoosh the cake crumbs into the mold to create a dense cake pop. A dense cake pop is easier to work with, and is less likely to fall apart when unmolded. The cream wash is essential to the recipe too — it helps keep the cake moist in the freezer, ensuring that the popsicles are surprisingly soft when eaten.
- For the magic shell, be sure to use refined coconut oil, which is more neutral and flavorless than regular coconut oil. If you can’t find refined coconut oil, regular coconut oil will do, but note that your magic shell will taste more distinctly like coconut than either milk chocolate or tahini.
Funfetti Cake Pops
- Special Equipment: silicone popsicle molds
- a pastry brush
For the Funfetti Cake
- 1 1/4 cups (5.65 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/3 cup (2.65 ounces) whole milk
- 1/4 cup (1.65 ounces) rainbow sprinkles
- 1/3 cup (2.65 ounces) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the Chocolate Tahini Magic Shell
- 3 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) tahini
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) refined coconut oil (see baker's notes)
For the Funfetti Cake
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper; spray the parchment paper as well and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
- In a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the mixer speed to its slowest setting and add 2 large egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients (from the 2nd step) in three batches, alternating with 1/3 cup whole milk in two batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until just combined. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles over the batter and fold in the sprinkles until gently incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared cake pan and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with few crumbs and the top of the cake bounces back when gently poked. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Assembly, Part 1
- Combine 1/3 cup whole milk and 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract in a small bowl, whisking to combine. Set aside.
- Roughly chop the funfetti cake into 1- to 2- inch pieces. Take the pieces and press them into the popsicle mold; don't be afraid to pack each popsicle cavity with a ton of cake, making each one super dense! A dense pop will have a better texture and be easier to work with in the next few steps. After each cavity is filled, use a pastry brush to brush the surface of each popsicle with generous amount of the milk and vanilla mixture, allowing the milk to soak into the cake. Brush with a second layer of milk, allowing the liquid to soak into the cake once more. Press each cake pop down with the palm of your hand to really flatten the upper layer. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
For the Chocolate Tahini Magic Shell
- In a double boiler (or, a glass bowl set on top of a sauce pan with 2-inches of water, making sure that the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl), combine 3 ounces roughly chopped milk chocolate, 1/2 cup tahini, and 1/2 cup refined coconut oil. Cook over medium heat, until the chocolate is fully melted, whisking to combine the ingredients every so often to prevent any scorching. The final mixture should be smooth and homogenous. Transfer to a tall glass and cool slightly.
Assembly, Part 2
- Unmold the frozen cake pops from their popsicle molds. Working quickly, dip in the tall glass of tahini magic shell, holding the pop upside down over the glass to let any excess magic shell drip off. Place on a parchment paper lined plate and sprinkle with extra sprinkles. If the magic shell is taking a long time to set, transfer to the freezer and chill for 5 to 10 minutes.