It’s April, and Spring is supposed to be here. In fact, according to the calendar Spring runs from March 1-May 1, so we’re actually right in the middle. Yet leave it to Chicago weather to be cold and snowy. Our family has been through a rough time lately and it’s not just the weather as I’ll explain later. We needed a happy treat so I created these sunny little Cake Pops using ZenSweet Baking Vanilla Bean Cake Mix and 70% plus cacao dark chocolate and a homemade white chocolate made with cocoa butter and ZenSweet. These cake pops are Keto, Low Carb, and TOTALLY SUGAR FREE!
Every morning this time of year we are hoping for a warm, sunny, mild day, but sometimes it just goes from freezing to sweltering. Why do we stay in this Midwestern weather!?! We said we’d live here 2-3 years as we “launched” ZenSweet and got the business “off the ground.”
The business is growing and we are gaining traction in the market. It was a bit of a pipe dream to expect our business to fully be churning out bucket loads of cash in 2 years. I’m telling you, the entrepreneur life is tough. It seems so glorified on Shark Tank and reality TV, but it’s a rough road. We have a lot of sleepless nights worrying about all the things we did and did not accomplish during the day while we each work part-time jobs and switch off taking care of our 2 little kids. How will we fund our next big purchase order and keep cash flow steady, planning multiple trade shows across the country, low cost marketing, playing ball with the big corporate companies as a family-run business, and the list goes on.
We have fought staying here, but these days we’ve hunkered down in the Midwest to grow ZenSweet local and deep. And nothing like a turn of events to give you a reality check. About a week and a half ago, our sweet little two year old boy slipped walking down our hallway (wood floor) in his sister’s tap shoes. His calf must have twisted out slightly as he fell on his knee because the minute I heard his cry I knew something was wrong. We rushed off to the emergency room and found out he broke his femur (the largest bone in the body). The spiral break is excruciatingly painful and we spent two long days in the hospital. It was terrible hearing him cry in pain, but I would look across the hall of the pediatric ward to the pediatric oncology area, my heart sinks and I remind myself to count my blessings. I can’t imagine the struggle some parents have gone through with sick kids. I wish all that hardship and pain would disappear.
The last two weeks have been brutal with very little sleep sometimes only an hour or two at night. We have to carry our little guy everywhere because he cannot sit up or walk for up to 6 weeks. It’s not easy keeping a toddler who is used to being on the move chasing his sister happy. And, after the brace-cast finally comes off it will take about 12 weeks for Escher to walk normally again. But again, he will heal, he is healing, and there is an end in sight!
As you can imagine everyone has been a little down and grumpy in our house so I decided to make a dessert that I know would make the kids smile and maybe even Corey….Cake Pops!
This recipe uses ZenSweet Baking Vanilla Bean Cake Mix. The recipe is very quick and easy to make and you do not need a cake pop maker. With a simple, fast frosting and a little work forming cake balls and dipping them in chocolate, you have a delicious, fun treat that will wow kids and adults alike! This recipe is so versatile since you can add other flavors (by adding crushed dehydrated raspberries, blueberries, or unsweetened shredded coconut, etc..) to the baked off cake when you mix together the broken/crushed cake and frosting. You can dip the cake balls in any type of chocolate you like dark, milk, white, or a flavored couverature. I used 70% plus cacao dark chocolate and a homemade white chocolate made with cocoa butter and ZenSweet so that the cake pops are Keto, Low Carb, and TOTALLY SUGAR FREE! If you want to save time simply buy any chocolate coating you’d like.
After I made this recipe, I had some leftover dark chocolate. When you make these Cake Pops you may have leftover dark and/or white chocolate. I found an easy way to use the leftovers. Simply pour the leftover melted chocolate into a shallow ceramic or non-stick dish and top with seeds and dried fruit to make a chocolate bark. I used pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries and instead of wasting the leftover chocolate we had an extra delicious and healthy treat.
I hope you enjoy using ZenSweet Baking Vanilla Bean Cake Mix in this Cake Pop recipe and share your thoughts and experiences. Enjoy!!