The Best Memories are Created in the Kitchen

We like to think that we as parents are the best influences on our children, the ones that make the biggest impact on their lives.  In most cases this is true. We set the examples to nurture, show devotion and live responsibly.  Apparently part of my responsibility and my passion of cooking and baking is growing on my boys.

My oldest son has seen me blogging and creating healthy dishes.  This one is his idea!  He told me the other day, “Mom I have the best idea for your writing cooking thing that you do on the computer!  I want you to make a frozen cupcake, then dip it in chocolate and then banana pudding and freeze it!  Then put little bananas on top.” I thought, ‘we could make that idea work.’  So we came up with frozen banana pudding cake pops.  And yes, we made them-gasp-healthy!
Frozen Banana Pudding Cake Pops
1 box French vanilla cake mix
1 cup water
3 eggs
2 ripe bananas
1 large box banana pudding mix
1 2/3 cups milk
Chocolate Coating:
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 Tb coconut oil
Colored Sugar, Jimmies, Nonpareils or Chopped Nuts
About 60 lollipop sticks
Preheat oven as directed on cake box, depending on cake pan used (350F or 375F).
Combine cake mix eggs, water and ripe banana in stand mixer and mix well.  *Note I did not add vegetable oil.  Pour into greased cake pan and bake as directed, as my sous chef is doing below.

Meanwhile prepare pudding according to pie filling directions.
When cake is done, cool slightly. Break baked cake into pieces in large mixing bowl.  Measure 1 1/2 cups prepared banana pudding (save the remaining pudding for your kids’ school lunches) and spread over cake pieces.  Mix well.  It will resemble a soft cookie dough.  I dare you not to taste it!
On a foil lined cookie sheet, scoop out dough with cookie scooper or rounded tablespoons evenly spaced. Mine made 58.  Refrigerate about 15 minutes. 

Prepare chocolate coating by measuring 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips into a 2 cup microwave safe bowl. Add 2 Tb coconut oil and another 1 cup chips. Microwave at 60% power for 2 minutes, stirring once. Remove from microwave and stir well until smooth and glossy. 

Remove cake balls from refrigerator and roll into smoother balls.  Dip ends of lollipop sticks into chocolate coating and stick upright into center of cake balls.  This will ensure the sticks stay put.  Refrigerate 15 more minutes. 
Remove cake balls from refrigerator and dip each one into the chocolate coating, rolling to cover completely and letting excess drip off.  You will likely run out of coating about halfway through the batch of pops. Prepare the remaining chocolate coating ingredients as before and dip remaining cake balls.  Sprinkle desired toppings and refrigerate for one hour. Pops may be frozen at this point as well. 
I made these pops especially good for you, as I used banana in place of oil in the cake mix. And I added banana pudding full of calcium instead of the traditional unhealthy canned frosting.  Semi-sweet chocolate is also used in place of chocolate baking pieces, as semi-sweet chocolate is full of healthy fats (MUFAs). The coconut oil I added gives the chocolate a nice sheen and candy appeal, and is also full of MCT oil, a highly digestible oil that goes straight to the body’s liver and jump starts the metabolism. 
What I love about these pops is the versatility. Straight from the fridge they taste like a banana truffle on a stick, but frozen they a like bite-sized frozen bananas-delicious!

And the very best thing about these frozen banana pudding cake pops?  We made them together. Don’t forget to lick the batter!

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