At first, I thought I would just make mini cupcakes and layer them with frosting. In an attempt to save time, I decided to make a thin cake and then use the push pops as a sort of cookie cutter to cut the cake with. This ended up being pretty easy and I think looked better because the cake went all the way to the edge of the container. I made red velvet (and blue velvet) cake using this trusty recipe from Ms. Paula Deen (who doesn't love her!). I added a little extra cocoa powder and vanilla just to make the flavor a little stronger. Instead of a regular cake pan, I used a jelly roll pan so the bake came out about 1 inch thick. I kind of guessed at how long it would take to bake, but I think it ended up being around 10 minutes. Once the cake was cooled, I cut out the pieces and layered them with the cream cheese frosting and topped with some red and blue sprinkles.
They were definitely a hit at my family's big 4th of July shindig (complete with a full on scavenger hunt and an intense game of water polo!). I was worried the cake would not push-up, but it worked fine and everyone loved them - especially the kids.