Put ½ lb of strawberries in a blender or food processor and make a puree, making about a ½ cup or a little over. Simmer this in a pot over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes OR until you are left with about ¼ cup of puree left. Remove this from the heat and let cool completely. I put mine in the fridge/freezer to speed up the process. You can make this the day before to ensure that it cools completley in the fridge overnight.
Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9x9 round cake pan with non stick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl cream together the room temperature butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add in the egg white and beat on high speed until combined (about 2 minutes). Add in the vanilla and greek yogurt, mixing until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Slowly pour the milk in while your mixer is on low speed, just until it's combined. Be careful not to overmix! Mix in the completely cooled ¼ cup of strawberry puree until just incorporated. You can add a few drops of red or pink food coloring here as well if you would like to have a more pink cake.
Pour batter into the greased cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you notice your cake starting to brown a bit too much on top, you can cover it with tinfoil while baking.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire cooling rack.
Make the frosting
Using a blender or food processor, blend the freeze-dried strawberries into a powder. You should have about a ¼ cup. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, strawberry powder, 2 tsp of milk, and vanilla. Mix on medium-high for about 2-3 mintues, until smooth and creamy. If needed, add another 1-2 tsp of milk to get the right consistency.
Make the cake pops
Once your cake is completely cooled, crumble the entire cake into the bowl of frosting, making sure there are no large lumps. If you had any hard/burnt pieces of cake, feel free to discard them. Turn the mixer on low until the cake and frosting combine.
Measure 1 tbsp of cake mix and roll into a ball, then place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or the fridge for an hour. Cake pops come together easier when the cake balls are very cold.
Once they are chilled, melt the chocolate melts or chips in a deep measuring cup (I use a 2-cup one linked above). If using chocolate chips: reminder to use ½ tbsp oil for each cup of chocolate melted.
Coat the cake pops
Take your cake balls out of the freezer. Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the chocolate and press into the center of the cake ball, inserting about halfway through. Repeat for all the cake balls and place back into the freezer for another 10-15 minutes.
Taking about 3-4 cake pops out of the freezer at a time, dunk the cake pop into the chocolate coating fully, making sure to get all the way to the lollipop stick. Gently tap the stick on the side of the measuring cup to remove excess coating. Place your cake pop either upright in a styrofoam board or a box (see pictures above) or you could always place them down on another parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Decorate each one immediately as they dry pretty quickly since they are cold. Cake pops should be completely dried within an hour. I like to keep mine in the fridge before serving.
Your cake pops are best if stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
Cake pops are a long process. To make things easier, you cake prep and make the strawberry puree, cake, and icing the night before and assemble the cake pops the next day.
To ensure that your cake pop doesn't fall off while dipping it, dip your lollipop stick in chocolate first, insert it into the cake ball, and then stick it back in the freezer for a bit so they harden.
Cake pops are best if dipped when super cold!! I keep mine in the freezer and only take out a few at a time in order to make sure that each one is chilled when dipping into the melted chocolate.
This 2 cup glass measuring cup is my favorite to use when dipping cake pops. I've tried using bowls and other things before, but this measuring cup is the perfect size to dunk your cake pop all the way in.
Best ways to dry your cake pops: I've used styrofoam boards at a craft store before to hold my cake pops up to dry. Since everyone has boxes laying around, you could always use one of those (like the picture above) and poke tiny holes in it! So easy and cheap. Another option is to place the cake pops stick-side-up onto a baking sheet and decorate the other side as you can see in my pictures.