My little family is a family of tradition, that's for sure. We love celebrating different holidays and events throughout the year and we especially love coming up with delicious ways to make them memorable! This year, since Chinese New Year is just around the corner (February 19th!) my daughter and I decided that we should celebrate by making some adorable Chinese Lantern cake pops!
The first thing we did was head to Walmart to grab our cake pop supplies. While we were there we headed down the frozen aisle to the Family Meals section and grabbed a box of Tai Pei® Mini Vegetable Spring rolls and a box of Pork Egg Rolls. We definitely needed some traditional, authentic Chinese foods for our celebration! We totally had an 'ah-ha!' moment and decided that even though the egg rolls and spring rolls come with their own dipping sauce, we should also whip up a couple of new dipping sauces for them (a sweet ginger sauce and a mustard sauce -- See below for recipes!) We love sauces in this house.
Once we were home we started on our cake pops...
Chinese Lantern Cake Pop Tutorial:
- 1 baked 9"x13" yellow cake
- 1 container vanilla frosting
- 3 cups Red Chocolate Melting Disks
- 3 tablespoons Yellow Chocolate Melting Disks
- 1 roll fruity ribbon (the kind you put in your kids' lunches)
- 16 square yellow taffy candies
- Cake pop sticks or wooden skewers
Step 1: Take 12 of the yellow taffy candies and roll them into balls, then flatten slightly. Use a wooden skewer to poke a hole in the center. Basically, you're making a taffy doughnut.
Step 2: Cut a 2" long piece of fruity ribbon, then cut ribbon into thirds (mine already came pre-cut into 3 equal ribbons.)
Step 3: Use a skewer to poke the ends of the fruit ribbon into the center of the taffy candy.
Step 4: Place all finished taffy rounds on a plate or parchment paper so the side facing down will become flat.
Step 5: Cut the remaining 4 taffy candies into thirds, roll into balls and flatten slightly.
Step 6: Place half of the baked cake into a mixing bowl and add 4 tablespoons of vanilla frosting. Mix well until all frosting is incorporated.
Step 7: Divide cake mixture and roll into 1" balls. Dip the end of your cake pop stick or skewer into your melted yellow chocolate and push into the center of each ball. Place in freezer for about 10 minutes, or until balls are slightly firm.
Step 8: Place red melting disks into a microwave-safe mug and melt, stirring every 30 seconds.
Step 9: Dip each chilled cake ball into the melted chocolate.
Step 10: Poke the bottom of each stick into a block of styrofoam or in a cake pop stand to harden.
Step 11: Place remaining red chocolate into a ziptop bag and pipe lines around the pop going from the top of the cake pop all the way down to the stick.
Step 12: Place a squirt of chocolate on the top of the cake pop and add your small round piece of taffy. Place a small amount of chocolate at the base of the cake pop and slide the larger taffy piece (with ribbons dangling down) up to adhere to the base of the cake pop.
Makes 12 Chinese Lantern Cake Pops
Now, sit back and admire your adorable Chinese Lantern Cake Pops!
While we were making our cake pops we talked about the traditions of Chinese New Year and learned a few new things...
This year is the year of the sheep!
Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) is a holiday centered around wishing 'good fortune' to all. Many give 'red envelope' gifts (money) to friends and loved ones.
Did you know that Chinese Lantern Festivals are held around the world to mark the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations? In Hong Kong it's pretty much the equivalent to Valentine's Day!
Also, a lot of the lanterns, nowadays, are much more intricate than they used to be. They have lanterns shaped like animals! You should definitely look online for some pictures and videos as they are super awesome to see!
The next step in our celebration was to heat up our Tai Pei® egg rolls and spring rolls!
Onto the baking sheet you go!
While our snacks were cooking away we whipped up our mustard dipping sauce and our sweet ginger sauce!
It's great being able to have authentic, restaurant-quality egg rolls at home and they really added that special touch to our Chinese New Year celebration!
My hubby loved the mustard dipping sauce and I was head-over-heels for the sweet ginger sauce! Yum.
After we ate our egg rolls we went outside and released our "Chinese lanterns."
And by 'released' I obviously meant 'ate.' We ate them.
For a little extra fun you can use your phone to scan the QR Code on the side of your Tai Pei® snacks and get your very own fortune! Chinese New Year is all about good fortune (luck) so this was a great little surprise!
The Chinese New Year app on Facebook includes a Red Envelope Tab that features coupons for their delicious products (until they run out!) So, make sure to download yours!
You can visit Tai Pei® on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for more delicious Chinese New Year inspiration!
Mustard Dipping Sauce:
- 1/3 cup dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 1 tablespoon hot water
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until sugar has melted. You can serve warm or place in the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve.
Sweet Ginger Sauce:
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon soy
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flake
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium until thickened. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Serve warm.