Chocolate Cake Pops – Inspired by “Hamilton”


Perhaps the most popular musical of all time, the pop culture phenomenon “Hamilton” tells the story of “the 10 dollar founding father,” Alexander Hamilton, from his childhood to his death in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. The unique form of story telling in staging, casting, and musical stylings has made the show insanely popular to both theatre lovers and non-theatre lovers alike. Tickets are almost impossible to get (if you can even afford them), but they are worth it if you can snag them once theatres can safely reopen.

Since you can watch the show anytime on Disney+, I don’t want to spend too much time on talking about the show and it’s history. It really needs to be experienced. So take a few hours, go watch it, and then come back for the recipe. And then watch it again while you’re eating the cake pops.

My Experience

I was raised by lawyers and have always loved U.S. history and government. So it’s no surprise that I love this musical. I have been a huge fan for many years of the original Founding Fathers musical, “1776,” and directed a production of it in the spring of 2019. So when I got the chance to see “Hamilton” on tour in the summer of 2019, I jumped on it. The two shows, though covering some similar historical events, and some of the same characters, are two completely different beasts; to compare them is the musical theatre version of comparing apples to oranges. They are both great shows in their own right, but are absolutely nothing alike.

I was blown away by the touring production I saw – just phenomenal. The show features what I still consider the greatest number in all of musical theatre, “The Battle of Yorktown,” depicting the final battle of the American Revolution and what immediately followed. Though it’s great on the filmed version you can watch on Disney+, nothing compares to seeing it performed live. I could go on and on raving about the show, but let’s be honest, you’re here for the baked goods, so let’s get on with it.

The Inspiration

In the ensemble, there is a track known as “The Bullet.” This actress moves the various “bullets” across the stage through stylized movement. She also serves as an omen of death throughout the show (spoiler alert: a lot of people die – the first act does take place during a war after all). After the Disney+ release, this role got a lot of attention on social media not only because of the cool story-telling function of the track, but because it beautifully highlighted that no actor in a show is truly “just ensemble” – every role is important and crucial to the telling of the story.

I decided to honor her and this role by making bullet cake pops. During the revolution, bullets were round musket balls, often times made by melting down whatever metal one had on hand, so a round cake pop seemed an appropriate tribute. I chose chocolate cake because I just love chocolate. And the décor is inspired by the look of a musket ball – I used a lot of metallics like silver and gold to give a nod to the musket ball. These pops are addictive. I promise after just one, “you’ll be back” for more.

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a square baking pan with baking spray and set aside.

2. Sift together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt and set aside.

3. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.

4. Add dry ingredients and milk alternating beginning and ending with the dry.

5. Fill baking dish with batter and bake for 35 – 40 minutes (this timing is based on an 8″ x 8″ pan, if using a 9″ x 9″ pan bake for 30 – 35 minutes).

6. When a toothpick comes out clean when poking the cake, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

7. To make the frosting, melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Mix butter and confectioners sugar together. Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Add milk 1 Tbs at a time until desired texture is achieved.

8. Mix cake into the frosting taking about 1/4 of the cake at a time until the whole cake is combined (note: the cake does not need to be completely cooled to start this step – just cool enough to handle).

9. Scoop and roll the batter into balls (the size of the balls is personal preference, but no larger than a golf ball, as they may become too heavy for the sticks). Place the balls onto plate or tray lined with wax paper and chill covered for 1 – 2 hours.

10. Combine water and sugar for the shell in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once sugar is dissolved, add in the chocolate chips and stir or whisk in until melted.

11. Dip the tip of the stick into the shell mixture and then take the chocolate end of the stick and insert it into the cake ball. Dip the cake ball into the shell mixture and allow excess to shake and drip off. Place in a cake pop stand or mug that will balance the pops without allowing them to touch the others. Repeat with remainder of the pops. (You made need to take the shell mixture off the heat to keep from scorching and then re-melt the mixture. Also, you may wish to keep the pops that you’re not working with at the moment in the fridge to keep cool and solid.)

12. Before hardening, add desired sprinkles or edible glitter (I used metallics like silver and gold to represent that metal in a musket ball for “The Bullet,” but you can use whatever you’d like).

13. Freeze 30 – 60 minutes and enjoy.

For storage, make sure you store them in a sealed container or bag to keep out any funky fridge flavors from penetrating your cake pops.

Yields approximately 38 cake pops. 171 calories per cake pop.


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