The summers of my childhood are defined by scorched feet, icy swimming pools, gulps of sweet water from the garden hose, salty potato chips and running for the ice cream truck.
My favorite treat? The push pop: tangy frozen yogurt served in a plastic container.
Today, empty push pop containers are available in the baking aisles of most craft stores. The push pop concept has evolved into something a bit more elegant — but just as fun.
Home bakers fill the adorable (and reusable) contraptions with all kinds of clever desserts: layered fruit and yogurt; pudding and whipped cream. I recently tried small slices of cake and icing.
What you'll need
1 box cake mix
Buttercream icing (recipe below)
10 push pop containers
Icing bag & icing tip
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
One 32 ounce bag of powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk (or more as needed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream butter and shortening. Add sugar, cup by cup, alternating with milk, tablespoon by tablespoon, as needed. Add vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy.
Making cake push pops
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake batter according to the box instructions.
To make the rainbow layers: For each color, put 1 cup of prepared batter into a small bowl and add the desired amount of food coloring. Stir until well blended. Repeat in separate bowls for other desired colors. (The push pop container can hold up to 4 interspersed cake layers.)
Step 2: Place each color of cake batter in its own 8-inch round cake pan and bake for approximately 18 minutes. Cool completely.
Step 3: Using the push pop container like a "cookie" cutter, stamp out your cake layers.
Step 4: Fill an icing bag with the buttercream. Put a small amount of icing in the bottom of the push pop container. Push one layer of cake in the push pop until flush with the bottom of the container.
Step 5: Place a layer of icing atop the cake in the container. Top with another piece of cake. Continue layering the icing and cake until container is filled.
Step 6: When finished, top with the snap-on cap.
Now your push pops are ready to be displayed and devoured.