The first time you dive into the world of cake pops, you quickly realize that these bite-sized treats present a number of challenges. To create pretty pops, you have to simultaneously manage temperature, timing, and technique. The good news is that starting out with the proper ingredients and tools goes a long way towards success!
After much trial and error, I have found a handful of items that I just cannot do without when I make cake pops. Today I want to share with you my essential cake pop tools and ingredients so you too can have near perfect cake pops every time!
After you’ve checked out the list, don’t miss your chance to win an amazing Cake Pop Making Prize Pack! One lucky random winner will receive 3 Cake Pop Stand Co. cake pop stands, a full set of My Little Cupcake cake pop molds, 6 lbs. of CandiQuik coating, a dozen LorAnn Oils flavoring, 4 packs of Aardvark Straws cake pop sticks, and a Captain Leisure baking t-shirt or apron!
Essential Ingredients for Perfect Cake Pops Every Time
Without a doubt, the most important ingredient in cake pops is the cake. While making cake from scratch is certainly an option, you can keep things simple by using a box cake mix. Simply modify the cake mix recipe by using half the amount of oil called for. Pillsbury Moist Supreme and Duncan Hines Classic cake mixes have both made great cake pop “dough” for me. For a wide variety of creative cake pop recipes that start with a box cake mix, check out 101 Gourmet Cake Bites.
#2: Frosting or Coffee Creamer
Turning a baked cake into a cake pop requires the addition of a wet ingredient. Typically frosting is used. Again, you have the option to either make it from scratch or use the ready-made stuff from a can. The introduction of Frosting Creations by Duncan Hines opened up a whole new world of frosting flavor options. For a delicious cake pop recipe using Frosting Creations, check out Strawberry Banana Cake Pops.
Looking for an alternative to frosting in your cake pops? The easiest way to create unique flavors is to substitute coffee creamer for icing. Just take a look in the dairy case the next time you’re grocery shopping, the flavor possibilities are endless! To learn step-by-step how to use coffee creamer in your cake pop recipes, check out my cheesecake flavored cake pops in How To Make Cake Pops with Unique Flavors.
#3: Candy Coating
When it comes to covering cake pops, not all coatings are created equal. The right consistency is key to getting a smooth finish and some coatings are just too runny or too thick. For a perfect coating every time, Chocoley, Guittard, and CandiQuik coatings are my favorite chocolates. For full reviews of six different brands of chocolate, check out The Best Chocolate for Cake Pops – A Dipping, Taste & Price Comparison.
Want to give CandiQuik coatings a try for free? Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win 3 lbs. of vanilla coating and 3 lbs. of chocolate coating. The giveaway winner will also receive 3 cake pop stands, a full set of cake pop molds, a dozen drams of super-strength flavoring, 4 packs of colorful cake pop sticks, and a baking t-shirt/apron!
#4: Candy Coloring
Just because your favorite coating comes in limited colors, doesn’t mean you can’t create cake pops in every color of the rainbow! Simply add some oil candy coloring to your coating to create any color your heart desires. Make sure the coloring that you use is oil based or your coating will seize up and become lumpy.
#5 Cake Pop Flavoring
Getting creative with your cake pop flavors isn’t just limited to your filling. After you’ve colored your coating to perfection, add a few drops of LorAnn Oils‘ super-strength flavoring for a punch of flavor. “A little goes a long way” with these concentrated flavorings. Extracts, and flavors that contain water will ruin your coating, but don’t worry, this doesn’t limit your flavor options. LorAnn offers many super strength flavors such as key lime and watermelon that are ideal for use in your coating. Please refer to the LorAnn Oils website to determine which of their flavors are appropriate for use in chocolate and candy coating.
Looking for even more flavor options for your cake pops? ALL of LorAnn’s flavorings can be used to flavor your cake or frosting. From bubble gum to root beer, the possibilities are endless!
Want to give LorAnn Oils a try for free? Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a dozen 1 dram bottles of flavoring. The giveaway winner will also receive 3 cake pop stands, a full set of cake pop molds, 6 lbs. of candy coating, 4 packs of colorful cake pop sticks, and a baking t-shirt/apron!
Essential Tools for Perfect Cake Pops Every Time
#6: Food Processor
It’s true that to create cake pops you can crumble your cake by hand but for perfectly round balls without any lumps, nothing beats a food processor. Simply cut off any hard edges of your cake and throw the rest into the food processor. After a little bit of pulsing you will have crumbled up cake, perfect for turning into cake pop dough. For step-by-step directions for turning a baked cake into cake pops, check out How To Make Cake Pops | A Step-By-Step Tutorial.
#7: Cake Pop Molds
Rolling cake pops to be the same shape and size consistently can be a challenge without the right tools. When rolling round cake balls, the perfect size is about 1.25″ wide. I suggest using a stainless steel coffee spoon or medium cookie scoop to perfectly portion out your cake pop “dough”.
For cake pops that aren’t round, use a cake pop mold. My Little Cupcake makes molds in basic shapes like hearts and cones, as well as fun shapes like cupcakes and snowmen. The molds are simple to use and eliminate the tedious step of hand shaping all of your cake pops. For creative treat ideas using My Little cupcake molds, check out the My Little Cupcake blog.
Want to give My Little Cupcake molds a try for free? Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a full set of cake pops molds. The giveaway winner will also receive 3 cake pop stands, 6 lbs. of candy coating, a dozen drams of super-strength flavoring, 4 packs of colorful cake pop sticks, and a baking t-shirt/apron!
#8: Chocolate Melting Pot
Trying to keep your cake pop coating the perfect temperature can be a daunting task. If you overheat your coating, it will seize up and be ruined. If you dip your pops into coating that is too warm, it will drip right off, yet, if it’s too cool it will be lumpy. A chocolate melting pot is an essential tool that will keep your coating consistently warm while you dip. No more repeatedly reheating in the microwave!
#9: Lollipop Sticks and Paper Straws
Obviously, in order for a cake pop to be a pop, it must be on a stick. Lollipop sticks come in 4″, 6″ and 8″ sizes so you can vary the height of your displayed pops. Using paper straws instead of plain white lollipop sticks is an easy way to make a dazzling presentation. You can coordinate colors with party themes and holidays. Aardvark Straws created the “original” paper straw, which comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and seasonal designs. The straws are made in the USA using only FDA-approved inks. They are biodegradable/compostable and 100% chlorine/lead free.
Want to give Aardvark Straws a try for free? Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win 4 packs of paper straws in a mix of colors and patterns. The giveaway winner will also receive 3 cake pop stands, a full set of cake pop molds, 6 lbs. of candy coating, a dozen drams of super-strength flavoring, and a baking t-shirt/apron!
Helpful Hint: Wondering how you can use paper straws and still display your cake pops in your cake pop stand? Simply insert your lollipop sticks into your cake pop stand holes and then slide your cake pops on paper straws over the lollipop sticks. Easy peasy!
#10: Cake Pop Stands
Don’t spend hours creating beautiful works of art and then display your cake pops in ugly foam blocks! Cake pop stands come in a range of sizes, shapes and colors, making it easy to create an impressive looking display for any occasion. And with stands starting under $10, Cake Pop Stand Co. makes it not only easy but affordable too. The company makes cake pop stands in 5 different sizes, all available in either black or white. As an added bonus, if you need a custom stand made in a special shape or maybe sized for cookie pops instead, they offer a Create Your Own Stand option.
Want to give cake pop stands by Cake Pop Stand Co. a try for free? Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win 1 medium, 1 small, and 1 petite cake pop stand. The giveaway winner will also receive a full set of cake pop molds, 6 lbs. of candy coating, a dozen drams of super-strength flavoring, 4 packs of colorful cake pop sticks, and a baking t-shirt/apron!
Helpful Hint: Cake pop stands are useful for more than just displaying your final works of art. To ensure that you are dipping perfecting chilled cake pops, it is best to work with just a handful at a time, rotating them in and out of the fridge. This is where it comes in handy to have a few petite cake pop stands on hand to move around!
Bonus! #11: Cake Pop Apparel
While it may not be essential to look fabulous while creating your cake pops, it certainly makes things more fun! Just take a glance at their Cakey & Bakey line of t-shirts and aprons, and I think you’ll agree with me that no one makes baking apparel as fun and original as Captain Leisure.
Want to try a Captain Leisure shirt or apron for free? Enter the below giveaway for your chance to win a t-shirt or apron of your choice. The giveaway winner will also receive 3 cake pop stands, a full set of cake pop molds, 6 lbs. of candy coating, a dozen drams of super-strength flavoring, and 4 packs of colorful cake pop sticks!