Kim's Kitchen

Make these patriotic cake pops

Posted 6/22/22

My father absolutely loved this country.

His name was Jack Simons. He was born in 1932 in Scranton, PA, but ended up graduating from Liberty High School in upstate New York—a village in the …

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Kim's Kitchen

Make these patriotic cake pops


My father absolutely loved this country.

His name was Jack Simons. He was born in 1932 in Scranton, PA, but ended up graduating from Liberty High School in upstate New York—a village in the famous Borscht Belt.

Soon after his graduation, the Korean War broke out. My dad was drafted into the Army and saw action in Korea, where he was seriously wounded. He was sent to Japan for some R&R, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that Jake Hulse—a childhood friend and Liberty graduate—was serving there.

“I gotta track him down,” Jack said. “He owes me 20 bucks!”

Jack and Jake’s war experiences cemented a lifelong friendship. Before being discharged, my dad was awarded a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge.

He worked for years for the U.S. Post Office, then sold insurance for Prudential. But public service was his main purpose in life.

He became very active in the V.F.W., serving a term as New York State commander. He ended up on the national council as well. He was a driving force in getting the Clarence Hoyt V.F.W. Post #9217 up and running.

Jack married my mother, Carol M. Ost, in 1958. She lived in St. Albans, Queens, but liked to hit the Borscht Belt with friends. She met Jack at the Commodore Hotel in Swan Lake, where he was running the bar and the luncheonette for the summer. He later bartended at Duke’s in Liberty, where he served the likes of Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher and Rita Hayworth. He and my mom had five kids, me included.

I can tell you that my dad and mom—and later, I—practically lived at the V.F.W. My dad was a good cook and believed that it was important to show people a good time, particularly military veterans. He was also uncommonly principled, which led to his election as Town of Liberty supervisor.

He belonged to the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was a member of the Volunteer Fire Department Ontario Hose Co. #3. He was a member, and one-time president, of the Greater Liberty Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Liberty Democratic Committee and the Sullivan County Democratic Committee. He was awarded the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award, was named the Veterans of Foreign Wars Citizen of the Year, and was the Greater Liberty Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. My mom was with him every step of the way.

My dad died in 2006. Like most fathers and daughters, we struggled a bit. He was honorable but opinionated, and I’ve never been one to just obey authority without questions. He even tried to discourage me from being an artist, because he figured I would never make a living. But I think he would be proud of what I’ve accomplished.

My happiest days with him as a child were in the kitchen. His love of cooking rubbed off on me, and I want to honor him—and my mom—with these Patriotic Cake Pops. I think he would have enjoyed them. They’re easy to make and delicious as well.

Kim M. Simons is an award-winning artist, cake artist and food artist. She and her team—The Bah Hum Bakers—were the champions of Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” in 2019. Kim was recently seen competing on Food Network’s “Halloween Wars,” which can be streamed on Food Network’s app or on Discovery +. She is also available to teach classes. Visit Kim at

Make these Patriotic Cake Pops


  1. Bake the cake flavor of your choice, or use existing cake scraps.
  2. Crumble up the cake.
  3. Mix buttercream icing with cake crumbs.
  4. Shape into balls. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  5. Temper white chocolate: heat in microwave for 30 seconds, then at 15-second intervals until temperature reaches about 110 degrees Fahrenheit; temper with more white chocolate until temperature drops to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Dip sticks into white chocolate and press into cake balls.
  7. Add red, white and blue edible colors individually to 3 separate batches of tempered white chocolate.
  8. Take a knife and marble the 3 colors into tempered white chocolate lightly.
  9. Dip cake balls into marbled white chocolate.
  10. Decorate with colorful tempered white chocolate, sprinkles and a chocolate star.
Jack Simons, Kim's Kitchen, patriotic cake pops, VFW


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