The Best Chocolate for Cake Pops – A Dipping, Taste & Price Comparison

Compare 6 chocolate brands based on ease of use, taste, and price to find the best chocolate for dipping your cake pops.“I will never make cake pops again.”

If those words have ever passed through your lips, it was probably due to a discouraging experience dipping your cake pops. Today you will get to take a close look at six popular dipping chocolates that were evaluated based on their consistency, ease of use, and taste. With additional information about their availability and cost, you’ll be able to determine which brand is the best for your cake popping experience.

***As a special bonus, I have a coupon code to share with you for a discount on my favorite dipping chocolate for cake pops. So make sure you scroll through to the end of the blog post to take advantage of the limited time offer before it’s too late!***

What Is Compound Chocolate?

If you think the best kind of chocolate for coating cake pops is real (or couverture) chocolate, it’s time for you to learn about an easier alternative called compound chocolate.

The main ingredients of real chocolate are chocolate liquor and cocoa butter, which require a special melting process called tempering. In compound chocolate, the chocolate liquor is replaced with cocoa powder and the cocoa butter with oil. As a result, the compound chocolate can be melted easily in the microwave. If you choose the right compound chocolate, your coating will be delicious and you will not feel like you are sacrificing taste for convenience.

 Are your cake pops lumpy? Do they taste bad? The problem is your chocolate! Compare 6 brands based on ease of use, taste, and price to find the best chocolate for dipping your cake pops.

Chocolate Dipping Comparison

Much like the consistency of your royal icing determines how much trouble you have decorating sugar cookies, the thickness of dipping chocolate is a major contributor to your success when making cake pops.

To ensure that the dipping comparison between our six compound chocolates was fair, each was heated using the same process. A 14 oz. glass was filled to the top with chocolate wafers or cubes (depending on how the chocolate is packaged). Each glass of chocolate was heated in the microwave for 30 seconds on regular power, stirred, and then reheated in 15-second intervals at 50% power until melted, stirring in between each interval.

Helpful Hint: It is important not to overheat your chocolate. Doing so will result in chunks forming in your chocolate making it unusable. Keeping the coating warm throughout the entire dipping process is key to having a smooth coating on your cake pops. To avoid having to repeatedly reheat your coating, a chocolate melting pot is a great tool!

Are your cake pops lumpy? Do they taste bad? The problem is your chocolate! Compare 6 brands based on ease of use, taste, and price to find the best chocolate for dipping your cake pops.

Chocolate #1 – Wilton Candy Melts

The Wilton Candy Melts took a total of 75 seconds to melt completely. It was obvious before I even dipped my first cake pop that the coating was way too thick. The thickness weighed down the cake pops, resulting in a number of them falling off the sticks. When I attempted to tap the excess coating off of the cake pops, the thick coating clung to the cake pops instead of dripping off. I had to use a fork to wipe the excess off of the pop. In the end, my cake pops dipped in Wilton Candy Melts dried with a lumpy coating. This brand definitely requires an additive for thinning if it is going to be used to coat cake pops.

In addition to the issues I had dipping my cake pops, I ran into some troubles when trying to get the temperature of the Wilton Candy Melts right. They cooled and started to thicken sooner than the other coatings so they required more frequent reheating. I also found them to be a little to easy to overheat. I burnt one batch and had to restart from scratch.

In a side-by-side chocolate dipping comparision, Wilton was rated an F.On a scale of 1 to 10 for dipping consistency, I give Wilton Candy Melts a 4 when unaltered.

Helpful Hint: Since one of the goal’s of this comparison was to find the easiest dipping chocolates to use for coating cake pops, nothing was added to the chocolates to alter their consistency. However, when making your own cake pops, if you find your coating is too thick, you can thin it using paramount crystals, Wilton Candy Melts EZ Thin, vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil.

Out of curiosity, I added 3 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the Wilton coating to thin it and found the consistency much improved. More experimenting would likely yield even better results. Little Miss Cake Pops is an amazing cake popper who uses Wilton Candy Melts, proving that the coating can be made to work. However, I highly recommend that beginners (or anyone who has had trouble making cake pops) consider using an alternative.

The below picture shows a cake pop dipped in unaltered Wilton coating (on the left) next to a cake pop dipped in Wilton coating mixed with vegetable oil (on the right).

Comparison of Wilton Coating That is Unaltered vs. Thinned with Vegetable OilChocolate #2 – Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers

The Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers also took a total of 75 seconds to melt completely. The resulting coating was not as thick as Wilton’s but was still too thick for cake pop perfection. An improvement, none of the cake pops I dipped in the Make ‘n Mold coating fell off the sticks. However, I did have to tap them rather aggressively to get the excess coating off. My end result were cake pops with a slightly lumpy look.

In a side-by-side chocolate dipping comparision, Make n Mold was rated a C.

On a scale of 1 to 10 for dipping consistency, the Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers scored a 7 when unaltered. Adding paramount crystals, vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil would liking yield much improved results.

Chocolate #3 – Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom, Dipping and Coating Formula

The Chocoley Coating took a total of 45 seconds to melt completely. The wafers were smaller in size than the Wilton and Make ‘n Mold wafers, possibly contributing to the quick melting time. Once melted, the coating was perfectly smooth, dripping right of the fork that I stirred it with. The coating was completely trouble-free and a pleasure to work with. It smoothly and completely coated each cake pop. After removing the cake pops from the coating, minimal tapping was required to get the excess off. One of my favorite things about the Chocoley coating was that it stayed thin even as it started to cool so it required less reheating than any of the other brands. The coating dried to a smooth flawless finish.

In a side-by-side chocolate dipping comparision, Chocoley was rated an A.On a scale of 1 to 10 for dipping consistency, the Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom, Dipping and Coating Formula scored a 10.

Chocolate #4 – Guittard A’Peels

The Guittard A’Peels took a total of 60 seconds to melt completely. The consistency of the melted coating was slightly thicker than the Chocoley. The excess coating did not drip off the cake pops effortlessly but only minimal tapping was required. The Guittard coating dried perfectly smooth. I had no trouble working with it and I think it would be an excellent dipping chocolate for beginners or to use.

In a side-by-side chocolate dipping comparision, Guittard was rated an A.

On a scale of 1 to 10 for dipping consistency, the Guittard A’Peels scored a 9.

Chocolate #5 – CandiQuik Candy Coating

The CandiQuik Candy Coating took a total of 60 seconds to melt completely. It was not as thin and smooth as the Chocoley or Guittard but was no way near as thick as Wilton or Make ‘n Mold. It coated the cake pops well and the excess coating dripped off easily when the cake pops were tapped. The coating dried mostly smooth with a small amount of visible lumps.

In a side-by-side chocolate dipping comparision, CandiQuik was rated a B.On a scale of 1 to 10 for dipping consistency, the CandiQuik Candy Coating scored an 8.

Chocolate #6 – Merckens

The Merckens wafers took a total of 60 seconds to melt completely. The coating was a little thicker than is ideal for dipping. Thinning it with a little bit of paramount crystals, vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil would be beneficial. In the end, the Merckens coating dried perfectly smooth.

In a side-by-side chocolate dipping comparision, Merckens was rated a B.On a scale of 1 to 10 for dipping consistency, the Merckens wafers scored an 8.5.

Chocolate Taste Test

Since taste preferences vary from person to person, please keep in mind that the below taste ratings are simply a matter of opinion. For each chocolate, an average was taken of the scores given by two sweets enthusiasts doing a blind taste test. All of the brands offer at least two different flavors of coating; the chocolate option was used for this taste test.

Taste Test of 6 Different Chocolates to Determine the Best for Dipping Cake Pops

Chocolate #1 – Wilton Candy Melts

The Wilton wafers had a flavor that I would not describe as chocolate. Words used during the taste test, such as “strange” and “unpleasant”, are a strong indicator that this is not my top choice for coating cake pops. On a scale of 1 to 10 for taste, Wilton Candy Melts scored a 6.

Chocolate #2 – Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers

The Make ‘n Mold wafers had an enjoyable chocolate flavor. There were several mutterings of “Mmmmmm…” while enjoying the wafers during the taste test. On a scale of 1 to 10 for taste, Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers scored a 9.

Chocolate #3 – Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom, Dipping and Coating Formula

The Chocoley wafers stood out as having a true chocolate flavor. They dissolved quickly, literally melting in your mouth. On a scale of 1 to 10 for taste, Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom, Dipping and Coating Formula scored an 8.

Taste Test of 6 Different Chocolates to Determine the Best for Dipping Cake Pops

Chocolate #4 – Guittard A’Peels

The Guittard wafers had an enjoyable chocolate flavor that was described as “light”. On a scale of 1 to 10 for taste, Guittard A’Peels scored a 7.5.

Chocolate #5 – CandiQuik Candy Coating

The CandiQuik coating had a sweet enjoyable flavor that unfortunately didn’t taste too much like chocolate. On a scale of 1 to 10 for taste, CandiQuik Candy Coating scored a 7.

Chocolate #6 – Merckens

The Merckens wafers had a chocolate flavor that was also described as “light” when compared to others. On a scale of 1 to 10 for taste, Merckens scored a 7.

Taste Test of 6 Different Chocolates to Determine the Best for Dipping Cake Pops

Chocolate Pricing Comparison

The retail prices listed below were collected from my local area and will vary slightly from location to location. Since online purchases include the additional cost of shipping, all website pricing listed below includes estimated shipping charges. Also, please note that not all chocolates are packaged by the same weight. For comparison purposes, the below prices are all calculated at a per pound rate, not a per package rate.

The Best Chocolate For Dipping Cake Pops

Chocolate #1 – Wilton Candy Melts

Wilton Candy Melts are probably the most readily available option for cake pop coating. You can find them at Michael’s in a wide variety of colors. They are packaged in 12 oz. bags, which are 3/4 of a pound. The pricing per pound for Wilton Melts is approximately $3.30 to 4.00.

Chocolate #2 – Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers

Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers are available at Hobby Lobby locations in a variety of colors. They are sold in 14 oz. bags, which are 7/8 of a pound. The price for Make ‘n Mold is approximately $3.40 per pound.

Chocolate #3 – Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom, Dipping and Coating Formula

Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom, Dipping and Coating Formula is available at chocoley.com for approximately $5.70 to $9.75 per pound (including shipping, depending on how much you purchase at once). It comes in white, milk, dark, and extra dark varieties.

***For the next ten days only, you can try Chocoley at 15% off. Simply use the coupon code SUGARKISSED at checkout.***

Are your cake pops lumpy? Do they taste bad? The problem is your chocolate! Compare 6 brands based on ease of use, taste, and price to find the best chocolate for dipping your cake pops.

Chocolate #4 – Guittard A’Peels

Guittard A’Peels is available for purchase online in a handful of colors in addition to chocolate. The best pricing I have found is at gygi.com for $3.00 to $5.00 per pound (including shipping, depending on how much you purchase at once). The website has it available in quantities of 2.5, 5, and 25 pounds. You can also get it online at Stover and Company, Busy Bakers Supplies, and Global Sugar Art. Some cake poppers have also reported that they can get Guittard chocolate at Winco, however, I do not know if it is Guittard real chocolate wafers or the A’Peels compound chocolate.

Chocolate #5 – CandiQuik Candy Coating

CandiQuik Candy Coating is available at Target and some grocery stores, such as Kroger, in either chocolate or vanilla. It comes in 1 lb. packages for approximately $3.75. Each package also comes with a tray that can conveniently be used for heating chocolate and storing melted chocolate. It is worth noting that CandiQuik comes in block form, not wafers.

Chocolate #6 – Merckens

Merckens is available for purchase online in a handful of colors in addition to chocolate. The best pricing I have found is at gygi.com for $3.40 to $5.40 per pound (including shipping, depending on how much you purchase at once). The website has it available in quantities of 2.5 and 50 pounds. Your can also order it online at Busy Bakers Supplies and Global Sugar Art.

Are your cake pops lumpy? Do they taste bad? The problem is your chocolate! Compare 6 brands based on ease of use, taste, and price to find the best chocolate for dipping your cake pops.

The Final Results

Chocolate #1 – Wilton Candy Melts

Dipping Grade: F (much improved when thinned) | Taste Grade: D | Price Range: $ – $$

Chocolate #2 – Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers

Dipping Grade: C | Taste Grade: A | Price Range: $

Chocolate #3 – Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom, Dipping and Coating Formula

Dipping Grade: A | Taste Grade: B | Price Range: $$$$

Chocolate #4 – Guittard A’Peels

Dipping Grade: A | Taste Grade: C | Price Range: $ – $$$

Chocolate #5 – CandiQuik Candy Coating

Dipping Grade: B | Taste Grade: C | Price Range: $

Chocolate #6 – Merckens

Dipping Grade: B | Taste Grade: C | Price Range: $ – $$$

*************************************************************************************************

For the next ten days only, you can try Chocoley at 15% off.

Simply use the coupon code SUGARKISSED at checkout.*

*************************************************************************************************

Are your cake pops lumpy? Do they taste bad? The problem is your chocolate! Compare 6 brands based on ease of use, taste, and price to find the best chocolate for dipping your cake pops.

*Savings is taken off the full retail prices. Excludes insulated cold pack shippers, gift certificates, Swissmar fondue sets, and sale/clearance items. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or special offers. Offer expires 11/19/15.
All opinions contained in this blog post are my own. Chocoley supplied free products to use in recipes shared on sugarkissed.net but no monetary compensation was provided for my review of those products.

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About Janine

Creative sweets made simple. Learn how to easily make decorated treats through recipes and tutorials at sugarkissed.net. Are you ready for sweet inspiration?
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24 Responses to The Best Chocolate for Cake Pops – A Dipping, Taste & Price Comparison

  1. Cammie says:

    I’m so happy you posted this.. I find cake pops are hit or miss. With these tips I will go back to the kitchen. . I have struggled with Merkens and Wilton ..

  2. WOW! what a fantastic post Janine! that was A LOT Of research and time to put together and i SOOO appreciate it! i usually use almond bark mixed with the melts because candy melts alone are a real pain for dipping but bark easily melts and is thin enough for dipping. i like the candy melt colors and unique flavors like s’more or mint which is why i mix the 2 together. but i was always curious about the other chocolate. i gotta try those bada bing ones so i can say BADA BING BADA BOOM when i make some more instead of UGH when the chocolate doesn’t cooperate! LOL :>D thanks SO much for all your hard work in putting this together and for the discount too! :)
    lisa@hooplapalooza recently posted..candy-filled corn favorsMy Profile

    • Janine says:

      I’m so glad you found all the chocolate info helpful, Lisa. I do hope you get the chance to try the Chocoley chocolate because I’m sure you will love it as much as I do!

  3. Andrea says:

    Good post Janine.

  4. Jess says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I will be saving this post on my phone to come back to in the future.

    I absolutely HATE Wilton chocolate. I don’t understand how it’s so popular! I always use the white chocolate almond bark for my cake pops, but have been looking for a milk chocolate option. I think the milk chocolate almond bark at an artificial taste to it. Can’t wait to try these other options. Thanks again!

    • Janine says:

      I’m so glad you found all the chocolate information helpful, Jess. I hope you give some other brands a try so you can find one that you love!

  5. Kara says:

    Please give Ghirardelli dipping chocolate a try. A one taste. Comes in white and dark chocolate only, so you will have to color it. I think you won’t be disappointed.

  6. Pingback: How To Make Easy Teddy Bear Cake Pops

  7. Deb says:

    Great job! I am a Chocoley devotee, and one strategy to vastly improve the flavor – from its already passable level – is to mix in “real” (their is V125) chocolate as no more than 30% or so of the total amount. This seems to prevent the blooming you’d see with more “real” chocolate but lends a truly authentic chocolate flavor.

  8. Denise says:

    This is by far the best thing I’ve read in ages.
    Thank you so much for posting this.
    So much great information!

  9. Elisabeth says:

    This is very informative. Personally I tried merkens for a wedding I was making pops for and I was sorely disappointed. I had read great reviews for them and went 20 miles from home to find locally. I paid 2x as much as make and mold only to have 90% crack. I tried everything and they all cracked. It was horrible. I had to remake them all and went back to my thinned make and mold and I only had 5-10% crackage. I have also used candyquik which is ok too. Wilton are my last resort. I also occasionally use the chocomaker that they sell at Walmart which I find between make n mold and Wilton for ease of use. I always thin with Cisco.

  10. Cathie says:

    Great post. Thanks so much. We used apeels for a long time but our supplier quit selling it to us in #25 boxes and found it too expensive by the pound. We don’t have too much trouble with Wilton but I am concerned about the taste. Although our customers haven’t complained. Will try these others. Thanks again.

  11. Johnna S says:

    Very helpful information. Thank you!

  12. shelly says:

    I loved the test and am trying to make 1000 for a school function and was wondering how many pounds I should pre buy? Any help with equation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Janine says:

      Hi, Shelly. I have never in my life made that many cake pops! :) I wish I could be more helpful but I do not know the answer to your question. I hope your cake pop project turns out great!

  13. Silvia says:

    I tried the market pantry target brand white morsels and it worked better than the Wilson’s brand

  14. Gabriele says:

    Have you ever tried Bakers dipping chocolate? Ive never used them on cake pops, however I have used them on strawberries and its goes on beautifully and tastes very good. Also like the choice of dark and milk chocolate.
    Thank you for your research Janine! …I’d like to try the Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Booms and see how they compare to Bakers.

  15. Betty West says:

    Thank you so much for this comparison post.It really will save and time and money as where I live I have to order everything and without some guidance I would have to buy all to find out what works. Now I have a plan and will try cake pops again.
    Aloha, Betty

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