One of our favorite Christmas gifts this year is a cake pop machine. It’s like a waffle-maker, but it creates little balls of cake. Jason and Jenna love cake pops, but I’ve never liked the overly gooey texture and overly sweetened taste of most cake pops. Since receiving the cake pop machine, I’ve learned that most cake pop recipes involve mashing together cooked cake and frosting in order to make them pliable enough to shape into the little balls. The nice thing about the machine is that you can make cake pops out of cake – no frosting needed. We’ve tried a couple of recipes so far: first, a chocolate cake recipe, next a pound cake recipe and, yesterday, I tried a chocolate variation of the pound cake recipe. Our favorite so far is the vanilla pound cake – the density of this type of cake is well-suited to cake pops. I used a recipe known as Elvis’s favorite pound cake, which resulted in amazingly moist and buttery cake. But since pound cake doesn’t use baking powder or baking soda, the batter didn’t rise enough to form perfectly round balls. So the next day I tried again, this time adding a bit of baking powder and baking soda and substituting cocoa for a small portion of the flour – because we’re a family of chocolate lovers. The result (photos above) tasted good, but didn’t have the richness or moistness of the original Elvis recipe. I may keep playing around with the proportions to see if I can get a better result, but it’s going to be hard to make anything other than the Elvis recipe. My family is hooked.