Makes 30 (1-inch) balls

Kelly Skelly originated this recipe while making pop cakes for her daughter's birthday. The amount made varies with the cake and the icing. We made our own cake and icing, but store-bought cake and icing will work.

If using a cake mix, avoid chiffon and light cakes. A substantive cake is necessary to hold the balls together. After a practice run or two, other designs work well, from yellow ducks to faces. Your imagination takes hold. There are many good websites giving ideas (under cake pops), and a book is coming out shortly.

We purchased supplies from AC Moore in North Charleston. They had an entire aisle of items dedicated to cake pops, including Styrofoam, Popsicle sticks, books and decorations.

Ingredients

1 sheet pan white or yellow cake

12 ounces store-bought icing or homemade icing or butter cream

1 cup melted white or semisweet chocolate, bark, etc., or favorite glaze

Sprinkles or other little decorative pieces (optional)

Directions

Crumble cake with hands in a large bowl. Add 1 large dollop icing and work into a portion of the crumbs to create a mixture that holds together. Using a melon baller or fingers, shape into 1-inch balls, making sure to pack them tightly, with no little ridges. (Larger balls do not stay on the stick as well.) Various greased cookie cutters and molds work as well. Move finished "cake balls" to a plate or cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap. Continue to add icing to the crumbled cake and mix until cake and icing are used up making balls. There may be some left of one or the other. Save for another purpose. Refrigerate balls up to 2 days, uncovered.

Before or after refrigerating, put individual sticks into the icing to help adhere; gently insert into cakes; dip cakes into the glaze or chocolate and gently swirl until coated. Let excess drip off. Add decorative touches as desired. Put stick into Styrofoam and refrigerate until needed.

Nathalie Dupree, who lives in Charleston, is the former director of Rich's Cooking School in Atlanta and the author of eight cookbooks. She may be reached at www.nathalie.com.