Pops: Cake or Ice?

As long as I could remember, “pops” were something you bought off a truck–some kind of unnaturally-colored ice on a stick you didn’t know whether to lick or bite, but ate anyway after a swim on a hot day.

Then, I married into a Midwestern family and got used to hearing “pop” in places where I was used to hearing “soda,” as in “I’ll pick up some pop at the Meijer on my way home”.

In recent years my understanding of “pops” has transitioned from something you buy to something you make – with whatever juice you have around when it’s 95 degrees and the kids are wilting, along came “cake pops”.  Because I have small kids, I have a box of 1,000 popsicle sticks in the cupboard.  Because I have popsicle sticks, I bought a popsicle maker.  And because it has always been my experience that once you have the equipment, the food itself inevitably follows, sooner or later (see: pasta machine, cookie stencils, Benriner slicer, K-cup maker), I now make popsicles in the summer.

I feel pretty solid about my relationship with pops these days.  Or at least I did till cake pops came along, in 2010.  I was certain they were a fad that would come and go (I thought that about cupcakes too).  Yet here we are, some 20 cookbooks later, and cake pops are still going strong.

But for me, cake pops are a line in the sand.  If I’m going to bother with the effort and time demanded by cake, it’s going to be a big one that serves at least 8.  I’m not immune to the charms of the cute and crafty (especially when it comes to cookies), but this is one place I do not go. 

How about you?  have you fallen for cake pops?  are you ice pops all the way?  Or do you traffic in both?  

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  • Jane  on  June 11, 2012

    I'm with you, Susie. Brit cookbook author Shirley Conran once said "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom" and I feel the same way about cake pops. Ice pops are easy (and quick if you have a Zoku instant pop maker, as I do) and healthy – fruit ices with no added sugar, fat-free yogurt ices, etc. Cake pops are generally unhealthy, not very tasty and VERY time consuming. Cute looking yes but just not worth it in my book. When I make cake I want it to taste as good as it looks.

  • cougargal  on  June 16, 2012

    I agree in some ways. Cake pops are VERY time consuming, don't taste as good as a homemade cake, but the thing I like about cake pops is they do make a nice small dessert for an event. One cake mix box will make 50 cake pops.
    As for ice pops, I haven't made them since my older daughter was little but I've bought an ice pops booklet and I'm ready to make them this summer. Just wish I had a Zoku! I like that ice pops can be as healthy as you want to make them and still taste good.

  • Queezle_Sister  on  June 24, 2012

    Made cake pops once, meh, don't understand the appeal.
    But I've gone from dixie cup pops in my youth to this week, when I'm preparing grapefruit paletas! So low tech, simple, and absolutely satisfying. I only wish my el cheapo popsicle maker came with an extra four handles!

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