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! If you liked this post, please: -Subscribe to Willow Bird Baking -Follow Willow Bird Baking on Twitter -Follow Willow Bird Baking on Facebook -Give this post a thumbs up on StumbleUpon ShareOther ways to share this post with friends!

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

  1. ovenhaven
    May 12, 2011 at 6:32 am (4 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    May 12, 2011 at 6:55 am (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  3. Finny
    May 12, 2011 at 7:34 am (4 years ago)

    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?

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      May 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi, Finny! I don’t drink at all, but the alcohol cooks out of this. Nevertheless, if you don’t do alcohol-flavorings, you can just leave it out! No substitutes needed :)

      Reply
  4. Kaitlin
    May 12, 2011 at 8:38 am (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  5. Adah
    May 12, 2011 at 9:10 am (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  6. Vanessa
    May 12, 2011 at 9:23 am (4 years ago)

    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.

    Reply
  7. Ayisha
    May 12, 2011 at 9:56 am (4 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
  8. Jodie
    May 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm (4 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
  9. Joanne
    May 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  10. Mindy
    May 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      May 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm (4 years ago)

      I knowwwww, Mindy, this is the first time I’ve cooked with it, and I love it! Thanks :)

      Reply
  11. June g.
    May 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm (4 years ago)

    Uh oh, I’m in trouble:)

    Reply
  12. Judy
    May 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm (4 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
  13. Denise
    May 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  14. julialikesred
    May 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm (4 years ago)

    WOMAN stop TEMPTING me.

    These are gorgeous.

    Reply
  15. Meagan
    May 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm (4 years ago)

    Loving your video!

    Reply
  16. sandra
    May 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  17. Maggie
    May 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  18. Abby
    May 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm (4 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      May 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm (4 years ago)

      LOLLL Abby, I’m so glad I’m not the only one. There’s just something in me that loves picking at my students JUST a tiny bit ;)

      Reply
  19. barbariantable
    May 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  20. cathy/ShowFoodChef
    May 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  21. Taylor
    May 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  22. Megan
    May 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  23. Suzy
    May 16, 2011 at 10:49 am (4 years ago)

    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…

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      May 16, 2011 at 10:55 am (4 years ago)

      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! :)

      Reply
  24. DessertForTwo
    May 17, 2011 at 1:08 am (4 years ago)

    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!!

    Reply
  25. Lorena
    June 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
  26. Jackie
    August 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm (4 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      August 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm (4 years ago)

      Not silly at all, Jackie! Yes, that’s the right pan! Hope you love them!

      P.S. My cake came out a little wonky-shaped, but don’t worry about that — you’ll be tearing it up soon anyhow :)

      Reply
  27. leigh
    October 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm (4 years ago)

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

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      October 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm (4 years ago)

      Leigh, you could try it — if it did make it too runny, you could use powdered sugar to firm it up. Just taste here and there to be sure you’re not getting it too sweet.

      Reply
  28. leigh
    October 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm (4 years ago)

    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

    Reply
  29. Leigh
    October 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm (4 years ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      October 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm (4 years ago)

      Yay, so glad it’s going well! I LOVE that cake — it’s my very favorite pound cake ;)

      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!

      Reply
      • leigh
        October 24, 2011 at 11:49 am (4 years ago)

        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!!

        Reply
        • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
          October 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm (4 years ago)

          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 ;)

          Reply
  30. Jennie
    April 2, 2012 at 6:10 am (3 years ago)

    OMG! I just made the cream cheese pound cake and it is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!! Mine turned out super moist – so moist that I don’t even need frosting to keep it stuck together for the cake pops. Everything is cooked – well at least I hope it is. I poked numerous wholes and my toothpick came out squeeky clean each time. Anyways, just wanted to let you know that your recipe is absolutely amazing!! THANKS!!!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      April 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m so glad you love the pound cake, Jennie — it is TOTALLY my favorite pound cake in the universe!! :) Good to know that you didn’t need the frosting — it IS super moist.

      Reply
  31. Haya
    May 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm (3 years ago)

    They look yum!!
    Do they freeze well? I need to make tons- would be easier to make in advance..

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      May 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm (3 years ago)

      I don’t think they would when covered — I feel like there’d be a lot of condensation once they thawed. Maybe you could freeze them all in advance undipped, then refrigerate overnight to thaw before you dipped them?

      Then again, I’m not SURE that they wouldn’t do well when dipped. Wish I could help more!

      Reply
  32. kim
    June 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm (3 years ago)

    can’t wait to try these! one question! do you ever have any problems with your cake pops cracking after dipping them in the candy melts? any ideas on why that happens if so?
    thanks!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      June 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s happened to me before and I can think of two reasons: (1) the cake recipe may have a lot of oil in it, or (2) the temperature of the cake ball compared to the temperature of the hot chocolate melts is too different.

      What I do when this is happening to me is IMMEDIATELY stick dipped cake pops into the fridge to cool and dry (i.e. I have my little drying stand in the fridge). It usually helps!

      Candiquik also has a great cake pop resource here: http://blog.candiquik.com/?p=3020

      Good luck!

      Reply
  33. Ally
    July 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm (3 years ago)

    so i was wrapping the cake around the “cheesecake” and the cheesecake was melting. how do i prevent this?

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 3, 2012 at 8:48 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Ally! Is your cake fully cooled? Make sure the cake mixture is room temp. Then, only take a couple of cheesecake middles out to pack cake around at a time — I keep them all in the freezer on a baking sheet and pull out 2 or 3 at a time to assemble. Then I put them onto a baking sheet in the fridge. Hope that helps!!

      Reply
  34. georgi
    July 26, 2012 at 3:47 am (3 years ago)

    Great ideas…so much fun! Think I would have to leave the amaretto out on the cake pops though.

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 26, 2012 at 3:59 am (3 years ago)

      You can also just use almond extract (or imitation almond extract), Georgi! Enjoy!

      Reply
  35. Karla
    January 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Would these need to be refrigerated if not eaten promptly? I want to display them at my daughter’s party but don’t want them to go bad.

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      January 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm (2 years ago)

      They are sealed like a truffle so I think they will be fine, especially just for the party. I’d just refrigerate them beforehand, set them out for the party, and then refrigerate after a few hours.

      Reply

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