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Your gang will feel treated, but here’s the trick: These sweets are made with applesauce (to cut fat) and almonds (to rev energy)!
For cake balls:
1 box (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
1/3 cup applesauce
1 cup finely ground almonds
1 (16 oz.) can vanilla frosting
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Neufchâtel cheese, at room temp.
16 oz. dark chocolate candy melts, like Wilton, divided
1 (12 oz.) bag white candy melts
6 tsp. vegetable shortening, like Crisco, divided
1 (12 oz.) bag orange candy melts
10 (1") pieces green sour candy straws or green licorice
1 (12 oz.) bag green candy melts
1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles
40 flat round white sprinkles
20 mini chocolate chips
Black decorating sugar
20 small orange triangle sprinkles
10 purple gummy fruit candy slices, halved
1. Shape pops: Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix as package directs, replacing oil with applesauce. Pour batter into greased 13" x 9" baking dish. Bake 24 min. or until done. Let cool; crumble. In mixer, beat cake and next 3 ingredients until blended; roll half into 20 balls. Shape other half into 10 bells and 10 squares. Place pieces on lined baking sheet. Freeze 20 min.
*2. Add sticks: *Melt 4 oz. chocolate candy melts as package directs. Dip 1⁄2" of lollipop sticks in chocolate; insert into cake pieces. Chill 5 min. on lined baking sheet. Reserve excess melted chocolate for decorating pops.
3. Coat ghosts: Melt white candy melts and 11⁄2 tsp. shortening as package directs. Dip bell pops in mixture to coat. Let sit or chill upright until set.
4. Prepare pumpkins: Melt orange candy melts and 11⁄2 tsp. shortening. Coat 10 round pops in mixture; insert green straw for stems. Let set.
5. Make Frankensteins: Melt green candy melts and 11⁄2 tsp. shortening. Coat square pops in mixture, pressing tops into chocolate sprinkles for hair. Add white sprinkles for eyes and chocolate chips as bolts. Let set.
*6. Assemble bats: *Melt remaining chocolate melts and 11⁄2 tsp. shortening. Coat remaining round pops in mixture, immediately rolling in black sugar to cover. Add triangle ears and white sprinkle eyes. Add wings, using toothpick halves to secure. Let set.
7. Decorate pops: Reheat reserved chocolate candy melts; pipe faces. Chill until ready to serve. Serve pops in candy-filled cauldron, if desired.
Active time: 2 1/2 hrs.
Total time: 3 1/2 hrs.