Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed Amaretto Cake Pops (on Pretzel Sticks!)

Dear Rebecca Black,

For the record, I think you’re adorable and I want you to be in my 7th grade class. We talked about you a little bit when we were all having fun fun fun fun with your song, and about how mean some folks on the interwebz can be.

My students realized that you were their age (just 13!), and we all felt like if it’d been one of them taking the brunt of jokes and criticism, we’d be sad. So we want you to know that we’re sorry about the meanies, and we hope you’re enjoying all the good-spirited parodies of your song as much as we are.

Oh, but my 7th grade students told me about the “censored” parody of your song — don’t enjoy that one. Don’t even watch it. Cover your ears, young lady! I’ll redirect you to the Sunday school parody instead.

Anyway, your song has brightened up lots of my weekends! Sometimes I blast it at the beginning of class on Fridays and it never fails to produce smiles. And yeah, we break it down — everyone needs a 5 minute dance party now and then.

And you know what? I get it, girl. You so excited about Friday that you’re dropping verbs and everything else, and I want you to know that I understand.

In fact, I’m a little obsessed with your song right now. It just describes so perfectly how I feel about so many things. I’m going out to eat? I-I-I so excited! It’s only 4 weeks until summer vacation? I-I-I so excited! I’m making flippin’ Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed Amaretto Cake Pops on flippin’ pretzel sticks?! I SO EXCITED!

These cake pops started as a bright spark of inspiration from CakeSpy: pops on a pretzel stick! Using an edible, salty vehicle for a sweet treat struck me as absolutely bee’s-knees brilliant. I had to try it immediately.

Then there was this other idea I’d been toying with, too: mixing up no-bake cheesecake filling, freezing it into little pearls, and hiding the pearls in the center of each cake ball. A cheesecake-stuffed cake ball on a pretzel stick? It couldn’t get any better — unless you used an amaretto-spiked version of the best pound cake in the world for your cake!

This cake pop endeavor turned out so easy and so fantastic. I made a video tutorial (located at the bottom of this post) so that you can follow along with the steps as you make them; it’ll show you how to pipe your cheesecake centers, form the cake balls around them, insert the pretzel sticks, and dip and decorate the pops.

But the cake pop tutorial isn’t the only video I made.

What can I say, Rebecca? These cake pops just made me wanna sing! So here’s my tone-deaf tribute to plucky middle schoolers, cake pops, and YOU. Thanks for the fun!

P.S. I have a newfound respect for you after trying to sing this song a billion times and realizing I was basically the worst singer on the planet.

Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed Amaretto Cake Pops (on Pretzel Sticks!)



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yields: about 40 cake pops
Print this Recipe

Cream Cheese Pound Cake Ingredients:
3/4 cups butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1.5 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup amaretto
1.5 cups flour
pinch salt

Strawberry “Cheesecake” Ingredients:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup diced strawberries

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Other Ingredients:
2 pounds candy melts (I chose light pink)
about 40 pretzel sticks (I used Snyder’s because they were longer and sturdier than others)
white chocolate or candy melts for drizzling

Directions:
*NOTE: See the cake pop video tutorial below to see many of these steps being completed!

Make the pound cake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat only until yellow disappears. Stir in vanilla and amaretto.

Combine flour and salt and add to creamed mixture beating on low speed of electric mixture just until blended after each addition. Fill a 2-cup ovenproof dish with water and place in oven with cake (keeps it moist!). Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean (check in several areas of the cake to be sure it’s completely done). You may need to cover cake with foil the last 20-30 minutes of baking if it looks like it’s getting too brown on top. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan by inverting it into a bowl. Once cool enough to handle, crumble the cake in the bowl, removing any hard outer crust portions. Let cool completely.

Make the strawberry cheesecake middles: While the cake is baking, mix all the cheesecake ingredients together well. Fill a gallon sized plastic zip bag with the mixture and cut off the corner (big enough so that the diced strawberries won’t get stuck). Pipe the cheesecake mixture into small swirls on a silicone mat or wax paper (see video tutorial below to see this step). Freeze these until firm.

Make frosting: Mix all frosting ingredients together on medium-high speed until combined. When cake is cooled and crumbled, mix frosting into it until you reach a dough-like consistency. I used most of my frosting but not quite all of it.

Make cake balls: Once your cake mixture is ready and your cheesecake middles are frozen firm, you’re ready to assemble your cake balls! Take a frozen cheesecake middle and pack some cake around it. Roll it into a ball and place it on a silicone mat or wax paper. Continue until all cake balls are rolled. Chill these in the refrigerator overnight. I don’t freeze mine like some sites suggest, because I find chilling them in the fridge instead reduces cracking after I dip them.

Mount and dip cake balls: After cake balls have chilled overnight, melt your candy melts according to the package directions. I keep my bowl of candy melts situated in a bigger bowl of hot water to keep them warm and fluid, but be careful no water gets into the melts! To mount each cake ball, take a pretzel stick and dip the end in candy melts. Gently but firmly push the end of the pretzel stick into the cake ball. Put these back on their silicone mat or wax paper to chill. Repeat until all cake balls are mounted and chill for about 30 minutes.

After chilling, you’re ready to dip! Dip each cake ball into the candy melts, using a spoon to help coat them. After dipping, hold your cake ball over the bowl and gently bounce to drain the excess off. Turn the pop as you drain. When well-drained, gently place the pop in a foam block to continue drying. I placed mine in the fridge to reduce drying time.

Decorate dried pops: Once your pops are dry, melt some white chocolate according to package directions. Let it cool slightly before spooning it into a small plastic zip bag with the tiniest bit of the corner cut off. With the pops standing in their foam block, quickly and confidently pipe a zigzag design over each one. Let these dry. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

VARIATIONS:
-You can leave the cheesecake middles out of this recipe and roll the cake into a solid ball if you want traditional cake pops.
-You can use any flavor of cake (or even a cake mix) for your cake, but this one is absolutely the best I’ve ever had!
-You can leave the strawberries out of your no-bake cheesecake mixture or even add in other berries, chocolate, etc., to produce different flavors of cheesecake in the center.
-You can use lollipop sticks instead of pretzel sticks, or leave the sticks out altogether and make regular cake balls instead of cake pops.
-You can decorate with sprinkles instead of zigzags.

And just for my lovely Willow Bird Bakers, here’s a tutorial for how to make cheesecake stuffed cake pops. This video would also be useful for making regular cake pops. WBB is all about inspiring kitchen confidence in home cooks by encouraging them to tackle challenges — so if you’ve never made cake pops before, this is your double-triple-dog dare! Get in the kitchen and try it out! Don’t forget to snap some photos of your finished product for us to see!

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64 Comments

Filed under cakes, other

64 responses to “Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed Amaretto Cake Pops (on Pretzel Sticks!)

  1. Everything about this post spells ADORABLE! From the cake pops (which looks perfect, btw), to the thought of a 5-min dance party in class, and definitely to your catchy fun cake song!

    *singing along* Cake-in-a-ball, Cake-in-a-ball, yeah! Cake-in-a-ball, Cake-in-a-ball, wooo!

  2. Love it! You can do no wrong with cheesecake, especially when you stuff it with cake and stick it on a pretzel!

  3. Finny

    I want to make these. I don’t do alcohol or alcohol-flavoured things, though, so I’m wondering if I could leave the amaretto out, or substitute something else for it?

  4. Oh. My. Gosh. Your parody is awesome! Nice work πŸ™‚ The tutorial video is awesome as well. You’ve got such a cute voice!

  5. Adah

    You are a video editing whiz! Your tutorial is perfect!

  6. Ok so this was pretty much the best post ever!! Love your singing video! You’re so cute! And the tutorial video was great too. Love the idea of using the pretzel sticks as the pop stick. I’m a huge fan of the sweet and salty thing.

  7. Agreed! Best post ever! I love it! I love the idea of the cheesecake and the outcome was just so gosh-darn adorable. The singing was….umm….well, it was just awesome! You are quite a brave woman! :o) In conclusion: you rock!

  8. Oh my goodness your post and video absolutely made my day! I am always smiling (and drooling) when I read your blog! Thank you so much!

  9. I just officially fell in love with you…the cake pops. The singing. The video. All of it. Love.

  10. These look incredible, and you had me at “amaretto”!

  11. June g.

    Uh oh, I’m in trouble:)

  12. Loved your video – and you must be a fantastic teacher. Reminds me of how my daughter-in-law would relate to her classroom. I sure wish I’d had some teachers like you guys!

  13. you are too awesome, as is this recipe! I bet your students just LOVE you!! πŸ™‚

  14. Denise

    That was just what I needed to brighten my day! Your video made me smile and the cake pops…they look so good!

  15. WOMAN stop TEMPTING me.

    These are gorgeous.

  16. Way cool, you and the cake pops. You are one gutsy lady, bet your class rocks!

  17. Maggie

    Ok, I just need to know is Satan your first or second cousin??? Your recipes are decadent beyond words!!! =)

  18. Abby

    Bahahaha! As a fellow middle school teacher, I cannot tell you how hilarious this is! I make it a habit of referencing Rebecca Black as OFTEN as possible with my 8th grade students! We even watched “Friday” to practice making comparisons…comparing it to Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” of course! Now I so excited!

  19. oh my god, this is just too good! i must make. thanks for the awesome and thorough explanation too!
    Leila

  20. Loved your video of how-to, you are completely adorable. Great post!

  21. Love Love Love the video! So creative! Great post!

  22. Your desserts always look so perfect, and these are no exception!

  23. Suzy

    I don’t have any amaretto on hand and don’t really want to buy any (darn budget!)… how would I substitute almond extract? Leaving it out entirely seems to be leaving out a lot of liquid, but I’m not the most experienced baker so I don’t know! I’m thinking of making these for my co-workers this week…

    • Suzy, I actually added it to the original recipe myself. I was worried about ADDING so much liquid, but it worked out perfectly — perhaps for the same reason adding alcohol works out so well in pie crusts — so phew! So you can just ditch it. Alternatively, you can add a teaspoon of almond extract, just because it’s delicious! πŸ™‚

  24. How am I just now discovering that you made a parody of that song for cake pops?! You’re hysterical! I love it!

    Cake in a ball, yeah!
    Cake in a ball, woo!

    You rock my world with this!!

  25. Haha, what an awesome post. Great job on the music video!

  26. Lorena

    Wow, you make it look so easy. I want to try making them now! Yammm

  27. Jackie

    Ok I feel silly for asking this, but is a loaf pan just like a bread loaf pan? I have one that measures 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5, will this work? I feel like it is too little then again I have never made a pound cake before. lol Thanks! I am excited to make these for my sister’s wedding rehersal dinner!

  28. Instead of using strawberries do you think you could use a little bit of strawberry glaze or would it make it to runny?

  29. Okay one more question I promise. I’m going to give these a try tonight but I don’t have a loaf pan. I have your typical round cake pan, bundt pan and 13 X 9 pan. I don’t bake all that often but I’ve got to try these out. So what other kind of pan can I use and how much should I adjust the baking time

  30. So far so good. Im doing them in stages due to having to work during the day. The cake is delicious! (yes I had to sample it). I rolled the balls but I think I made them to big. I got 20 out my bunch. There chilling now so tomorrow I will dip them. Do you think if I use Dove chocolate and melt it using a double boiler and add a little veg.oil to thin it out that it would work ok? I don’t want to risk ruinning them at this point. I’m just not a huge fan of the candy melts but I’ll use them if that’s the best thing to use.

    • Yay, so glad it’s going well! I LOVE that cake — it’s my very favorite pound cake πŸ˜‰

      Regarding the chocolate, it will be trickier because the chocolate will take longer to dry (=more drips, harder to make them look cute). Chocolate also melts on fingertips, unlike candy melts. It might be best to use the candy melts especially with bigger balls (ha ha — okay, sorry, middle school moment) because they’ll be a little more likely to break their pretzel sticks as you hold them to dry longer.

      That being said, chocolate will certainly work! Just stick ’em in the fridge for drying a bit faster.

      Have you tried candiquik? I love the stuff. It’s another candy coating — I find it in the baking aisle. It’s got a great flavor.

      Best wishes! I’d love to see a shot of the finished product!

      • They turned out fantastic. I’d show you a picture but can’t figure out how to upload on here. Anyway, not nearly as pretty as yours but heavenly in taste. In fact, I made these and then purchased three other types of cake balls and everyone liked these the bese!! WOO HOO.
        I’ll definately do them again and soon!!

        • Yayyy, I’m so glad to hear that, Leigh!! I’d love to see a photo — you can send it to juruble ‘at’ gmail ‘dot’ com if you get a chance, and I’ll post it on WBB.

          SO FUN that everyone liked these the best! Awesome! That means you did a fantastic job πŸ˜‰

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