apple cake popsWhether you're mourning the passing of summer or sighing with relief as the kids (finally!) walk out the door, everyone can use a little back-to-school treat. And they don't get any cuter than these apple cake pops.

Seriously, how adorable are they? They're delicious too. They make a perfect gift for a new teacher, a fun party treat, or just a great surprise for the kids when they come home from school. The best part -- they're easy too! This recipe from Skip to My Lou provides simple, step-by-step directions (you can click through for pictures of the steps too) that can have anyone looking all crafty. Kids will love to help make them too.

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Apple Cake Pops

1 box cake mix (any flavor), prepared according to package directions

1 can prepared frosting (any flavor)

Red candy coating (1 pound dips 35 to 40 balls)

Sucker sticks

Pretzels sticks

Green tic tacs (you could also use green frosting)

Bake your favorite cake in a 9″ X 13″ pan. Trim outside edges and the top and bottom to remove any dark, dry pieces of cake.

Cut cake into squares. Rub two squares of cake together crumbling the cake into a bowl. Mix about a half to 3/4 of a can of pre-made frosting into the crumbled cake, a couple tablespoons at a time. The mixture should stick together when pressed together in your hand, but not be sticky. Be careful to not overmix the crumbled caked or it will take on the consistency of raw cookie dough.

Using a cookie scoop, measure out uniform balls. Gently roll mixture into smooth uniform shapes. Refrigerate balls overnight (at least a couple of hours), or 20 minutes in the freezer. (Don’t leave the cake balls in the freezer too long because the candy coating will crack as it dries once they are dipped.) This will make 35-40 balls.

Melt candy coating in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring each time. Be careful not to get the candy coating too hot because it will get thick. Remove only a few balls from the refrigerator at a time. Dip sucker stick into the candy coating and then stick into the ball. The stick can be placed just past the center of the ball. Sometimes the cake balls get flat on the bottom while cooling. Place the stick in that location.

Allow candy coating to dry.

Dip cake pop into the red candy coating. Do not stir or twirl! Rock the cake pop back and forth.

Tap to remove excess candy coating.

Before the candy coating dries add a broken piece of pretzel for the stem and a green tic tac (or green frosting) for the leaf.

Place sticks in styrofoam or a pre-drilled wood block and allow cake pops to dry.