The official start of Summer is just around the corner and I don’t know about you lovelies, but I am definitely in the mood to celebrate the new season.  So, when Andi Mans Photography & Design sent along this sweet nautical inspiration shoot (complete with DIY cake pops!), well… I literally jumped right out of my seat.  It’s everything (and I mean everything) you need for that perfect sunny get-together – bright pops of color, bundles of maritime accents and watermelon aplenty.  Yep, the party planning starts right here.right now in the full gallery… and then stay tuned for a yummy cake pop tutorial below!

Click here for the full gallery of images!

From Andi Mans Photography & Design… Hello there! Oh it sure is heating up over here in Florida! What does that mean for me? Well, watermelon is in full effect for purchasing (yum) and so is the beach love! I love nautical decor, simple with a fresh essence of a summer time vibe. I put together an inspirational tablescape to portray just that! These ideas are super easy for anyone to create and are perfect for a backyard event, wedding or any type of celebration! Make sure to scroll down to learn how to bake my “Dulce De Leche” recipe for cake pops as seen in this shoot, they sure do pack a punch of deliciousness! Smooth sailing ahead!

Photography, Styling & Cake Pops: Andi Mans Photography & Design / Invitations & Paper Goods: Andi Mans via Etsy

Cake Pop Supplies

Vanilla Food Cake Mix {and ingredients listed on box}
1/2 Cup of Cream Cheese Frosting
2 tbsp. Cup Dulce De Leche {Nestle}
White Chocolate Candy Melts {2 bags from Michael’s}
Candy sticks {from Michael’s}
Styrofoam
Gel Food Coloring Blue {NOT liquid}
Foil
Vegetable Oil Spray
Shortening {large spoon full}
Sprinkles {optional}

Instructions

1. Line a large cake pan with non-stick spray.

2. Follow the recipe on your cake mix and bake your cake as directed. Allow the cake to cool at room temp.

3. Put your baked cake in a large mixing bowl.

4. Use your hands to crumble the entire cake.

5. Add about 1/2 of the package of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of dulce de leche frosting to the crumbled cake (watch for consistency). Use your hands to mix the frosting evenly throughout the crumbled cake mix until the cake mix is well moistened. Your cake mix should be moist enough to shape into a large mound and keep its shape.

6. Roll your cake mix into 1 inch balls using the palms of your hands. You should be able to get 35-40 cake balls from a single batch of cake mix. To keep your cake pops from falling off the stick when you try to cover them in icing! After you shape the cake into little balls, put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes so they are super chilled. Then continue with the recipe. They will be “more solid” and therefor hold onto the stick better.

7. Pour one entire package of white chocolate candy melts into a microwave safe bowl. Follow the melting instructions on the package. Pull out your melted white chocolate and stir thoroughly with a spoon until totally smooth. Once smooth, add a large spoon full of shortening {Crisco} to the white chocolate to thin out the consistency a bit. Stir thoroughly again.

8. Take a cake pop stick and dip into the white chocolate about 1 inch. And then place it into the center of your cake ball. Then place your cake pop in the Styrofoam to harden.

9. Continue with the remaining cake pops.

10. Now coat the balls with the candy coating. The key is to place the pop in the chocolate at a sideways angle with one hand. Using the other hand, spoon the chocolate mixture all around the pop. Try to do this as quickly as possible before the chocolate begins to harden and get lumpy. Once you have evenly coated the pop, gently tap the stick on the side of the bowl to get off any excess chocolate that would drip.

11. Use the remainder of your white chocolate for the drizzle. If you run out, make more following the steps above. Add the GEL food coloring of your choice until you receive your desired color.

12. Now let your cake pops dry and then you are done! Refrigerate until ready to devour!

So, there you have it.  A sweet guide to your next summertime soiree.  Thanks for all of the inspiration, Andi!  You are awesome. xoxo