Learn how to make cake pops step by step, even if you’re a beginner in the kitchen. This guide will walk you through the entire process, from baking to decorating, ensuring your cake pops turn out fantastic.
Whether you’re preparing them for a baby shower, a birthday bash, a wedding celebration, or any other special event, these charming treats will steal the show.
What are cake pops?
Cake pops, also called cake balls, are tiny balls of cake covered in chocolate or candy coating and made extra cute with sprinkles on top.
A famous blogger named Angie Dudley, who runs the Bakerella blog was said to have come up with these yummy treats. She showed them off on the Martha Stewart TV show, and everyone fell in love with them.
Now, these little cake pops are super popular and so tempting. Kids love making them too, because they’re a bunch of fun.
The best part is you can get super creative with decorating them. You can make them look like all sorts of things – like Christmas trees, Easter bells, or even little shapes for birthdays or weddings. You can even use special moulds to shape them like cupcakes or ice cream cones. And here’s the cool thing: You don’t need to be a baking expert to make awesome cake pops at home.
All you need are some simple things like cake mix or vanilla cake, frosting like cream cheese or buttercream, candy coating, sticks to hold them, and cute sugar decorations. With these basic things, you’re ready to make your batch of these tasty treats.
Ingredients and Substitutes
Here are some ingredients you will need to make your cake pop and some substitutes:
Cake Base: If you happen to have leftover sponge cake from a layer cake, a boxed cake mix, or even if you make my easy vanilla buttermilk cake recipe, you’re good to go.
This cake is wonderfully soft and moist, which is just right for creating cake pops. You can use different types of sponge cakes for cake pops, like chocolate cake, red velvet cake, or cakes with various flavours and colours.
If you prefer, you can swap out the sponge cake and use crumbled cookies, such as Oreos or Biscoff cookies. This works especially well for recipes like Oreo cake pops.
Frosting: To hold the cake crumbs together, any type of frosting will do. The classic choice is cream cheese frosting (like Philadelphia), but you can also use alternatives like mascarpone cheese, vanilla buttercream frosting, chocolate frosting, or even spreads like Nutella or Biscoff spread.
Candy Coating: Those little chocolate wafers that come in a rainbow of colours, called candy melts, are just right for making cake pops. They aren’t exactly chocolate, but they work perfectly.
If you prefer, you can switch out the candy melts for regular dark chocolate, white chocolate, or milk chocolate.
Decorative Toppings: Get creative with your cake pops by adding fun decorations like sprinkles, edible glitter, chocolate strands, sugar pearls, coconut, and more. The options are endless.
How to Make a Pop Cake
Making your cake pop is easy. Simply follow this step-by-step guide:
Crumbling the Cake
Start by making the vanilla cake and letting it cool down completely. Once cooled, break the cake into large pieces and place them in a big bowl.
Then, use your fingers to crumble the cake until you have very fine crumbs. Make sure to avoid large cake chunks, as they can make it tricky to shape smooth cake balls.
Adding the Frosting
Gradually add small portions of frosting to the cake crumbs. Mix them using your hands until you achieve a smooth, slightly sticky batter that’s well combined.
If the mixture seems too dry to form into balls, just add a bit more frosting to the mix.
- Pro Tip: If you want an easier route, you can replace the homemade frosting with store-bought frosting, Nutella, or even cookie butter.
- Shaping the Cake Balls:
Take a small amount of the mixture and roll it between your hands to create a round cake ball.
To ensure uniform sizes, you can use an ice cream scoop. Put the cake balls on a flat dish or plate, and then let them rest in the fridge for around 20 minutes or in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This helps the balls firm up.
- Quick Tip: The mixture can be a bit sticky initially, but after chilling, it becomes easier to shape into nicely round cake balls.
- Inserting the Cake Pop Sticks:
Warm up some candy melt using a microwave or a double boiler, following the instructions on the packaging.
Dip the end of a cake pop stick into the melted candy melt, then gently push it into the centre of each cake ball. Before the candy melt hardens, use your finger to smooth it around the stick.
Decorating Your Cake Pops
Melt more candy melt and place it in a deep bowl or glass that’s large enough to dip the cake pops. Submerge each cake ball into the melted candy melt, covering it entirely, and then shake off the extra chocolate.
Before the candy melt cools, add sprinkles and other sugar decorations to give your cake pops a fun and festive look.
After decorating, put your cake pops onto a special cake pop stand and allow them to cool down completely.
- Pro Tip: If you prefer a thinner candy melt or chocolate coating, you can add a small amount of Crisco, coconut oil, candy wafers, cocoa butter, or vegetable oil to achieve the desired consistency.
By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to make beautiful and delicious cake pops that are sure to impress your friends and family.
Tips for making cake pop
- Crumble the Cake Finely: Start by crumbling the cooled cake into very fine crumbs. The finer the crumbs, the smoother and rounder your cake pops will turn out. Aim for a texture that’s easy to work with.
- Mind the Frosting Amount: Pay attention to the frosting quantity you’re adding. The batter should be soft and manageable. If you skimp on frosting, it might become difficult to roll the cake pops properly.
- Chill in the Fridge: After mixing the cake and frosting, let the mixture chill in the fridge. This helps it firm up, making it simpler to shape the cake pops later.
- Cold Cake Pops for Sticks: Before inserting the candy sticks, ensure that the cake pops are cold. This coldness helps the chocolate around the stick solidify, keeping the stick securely attached to the cake pop.
- Use a Stand or Alternative: To hold the cake pops while they are set, use a stand designed for cake pops, a piece of styrofoam, or a cardboard box with holes. This ensures they remain steady and maintain their shape as they cool and solidify.
Why Do Cake Pops Crack?
Cake pops can crack if they experience a sudden change in temperature. To avoid this, allow your cake pops to sit at room temperature for a little while before dipping them in the candy melts.
Can I Swap Candy Melts?
Certainly! Instead of candy melts, you can use melted chocolate. Whether it’s dark, milk, or white chocolate, the choice is yours.
How Can I Make Cake Pops Stand Up?
For displaying your cake pops, there are a few options. You can use a dedicated cake pop stand, a Styrofoam block, or even a cardboard box with holes poked in it. These methods help the cake pops stay upright while they set and cool.