Puppy Love

Oh Shih Tzu! How cute are these puppies?! I made these for my mom’s birthday this week. She’s been wanting me to turn her little puppy pie into a cake pop and I finally attempted them this past weekend. Surprisingly, they ended up being way easier than I thought they would be.

But first I needed reference so I made a quick pencil sketch of the sweet little baby face in question.

And because I wanted to get as close to her likeness as possible, I worked the sizing out on the computer starting with different size circles. I took a picture of my sketch and emailed to myself to lay over the circles in a graphics program called Indesign. The faces are slightly larger than the circles to allow for the size increase when the round cake balls are dipped in candy coating. Once I had all the sizes, I picked the one that would work best with the sprinkles I had on hand.

In this case, black sugar pearls for eyes, brown rainbow chip sprinkles for noses and pink confetti sprinkles for tongues.

Now to make the cake pops. First mix crumbled cake and frosting together and then roll into balls based on the size you need.

Here are my basic cake pop instructions if you need them.

Once I had the starting size, I used the puppy drawing as a guide to hand shape the puppy heads. Just lay a sheet of wax paper over your reference and shape the cake ball to fit. I also used a lollipop stick to press holes into the shaped cake balls where the eyes would be. I did this for reference after they are dipped.

The slight impression helps me know where to quickly place the sugar pearls for eyes because you want to do this while the candy coating is still wet.

Then place the rainbow chip sprinkle in position for the nose and the confetti sprinkle in position for the tongue. (You could do these two steps after the candy coating sets by attaching them with a dot of melted coating, but the eyes look better if they are inset into the coating slightly as opposed to sitting on top of the surface if that makes sense.)

Holy Shih Tzu. The before and after. Now let me show you how easy it is to go from one to the other.

This is all done with toothpicks and a little time. Start with the mustache and eyebrows area and dip your toothpick in coating and draw on the pop to build up dimension. Do all your pops and let them dry before layering on more as needed. Fill in around the nose and overlap the top of the confetti sprinkle. Then just keep drawing on lines of coating with the toothpick. Once you’ve built the face up to look like your pup, then apply more coating with a toothpick on the sides for floppy ears. Let dry.

And if you have a little Maltese, you could stop right here. : )

But my mom’s Shih Tzu has black markings like a little mask. This is the fun part.

All you need is a black edible ink pen. Maybe two if you are making a bunch. Just use the pen to draw on top of the pop mimicking your dog’s markings as much as possible.

(These are Americolor Gourmet Writers and you can get them in brown if you need them, too.)

Usually when I use these pens I recommend drawing on the surface very lightly like use a paint brush, because when you press down too hard, the candy coating can start to clog the pen.

But for these pups, I like how it looks when the pen is not solid black. It helps give the illusion of different shades of black hair. So I wasn’t as worried about the pen clogging up.

And if draw too much on, you can use a toothpick to gently scrape some of it away.

Look at these little baby boos. To finish the look, just dot the eyes with more of the melted white candy coating.

I’m so happy with how cute they turned out.

And … they’re puppy approved! Sweet little Sugar Pie loved them. And my mom did, too!