If you hear the phrase “death by chocolate” and think to yourself, “Sounds like a good way to go!”, this easy chocolate cake pop recipe is for you. It’s dark, it’s decadent, and it’s guaranteed to satisfy even the most ravenous chocolate craving.
Before gathering the ingredients for your chocolate cake pops, keep in mind that not all chocolate is created equal! Sometimes you can get away with using a lower quality chocolate to coat your cake pops, but since chocolate is the focus of this recipe, you want to use a chocolate that is highly rated for taste.
To keep things simple, I used compound chocolate instead of real chocolate so no tempering was required. Choose the right brand of chocolate, and your compound chocolate will taste as decadent as real chocolate. For help choosing the best chocolate, see The Best Chocolate for Cake Pops – A Dipping, Taste & Price Comparison.
Tools and Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Cake Pops
– 16.5-ounce box of chocolate cake mix
– 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
– 3 eggs, room temperature
– 1 cup of water
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
– 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 1 cup of dark chocolate wafers (plus about 1 lb. for dipping)
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– Food processor
– Cake dough scooper
– Chocolate melting pot (optional)
– Lollipop sticks or colorful paper straws
– Cake pop stand
How To Make Dark Chocolate Cake Pops
Start by whisking together your cake mix and espresso powder in a large bowl. My personal favorites are this cake mix and this espresso powder. If you’re not a fan of coffee, don’t worry. The taste of coffee will not come through in your cake pop recipe. The small amount of espresso powder simply enhances the chocolate flavor. Mix in the eggs, water, vanilla bean paste, and oil.
Bake your chocolate cake in a 13-inch by 9-inch pan at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. Set your baked cake aside to cool completely.
Using a simple ganache as the binding agent for this cake pop recipe takes it to a drool-worthy level! Chop up your dark chocolate wafers into small equal-sized chunks and put them in a medium bowl. My favorite chocolate to use is Chocoley’s Bada Bing Bada Boom Dipping & Coating Formula in dark chocolate.
Heat your cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it bubbles around the edges. Then, pour the heated cream over your chocolate chunks and let the mixture sit for five minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir to mix. If all the chocolate is not melted, heat it in the microwave in 30-second intervals at 50 percent power. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill it in the fridge. Bring your chocolate mixture to room temperature before using.
Break your cooled cake in half and pulse each half in a food processor until it is reduced to crumbs. Put the chocolate cake crumbs in a large bowl and mix in 7 tablespoons of your dark chocolate mixture. Use your hands to thoroughly combine the crumbled cake and chocolate, creating your cake pop dough.
Put the dough in a plastic storage bag and knead it until the consistency resembles Play-Doh. Put your cake pop dough in the refrigerator until chilled (or in the freezer if you are in a rush). When you’re ready to roll your cake pops, bring your dough to slightly cooler than room temperature.
Use a medium cookie scooper to portion out your cake pop dough so all of your cake pops are the same size. Roll each portion of dough in the palm of your hands to create round cake balls.
Helpful Hint: Keep in mind that making cake pops is a temperature sensitive process. If your cake balls are too cold when you dip them, they will expand as the come to room temperature and crack your chocolate coating.
Melt your dark chocolate wafers in the microwave in 30-second intervals at 50 percent power, stirring in between each interval. Dip a lollipop stick or paper straw about 1/4″ into the melted chocolate and then insert it half way into a cake ball. Repeat this process with all of your cake balls, then, set them in a cake pop stand until the chocolate hardens.
Dip each cake pop straight down into your chocolate coating, completely covering it. (For help with common problems when dipping cake pops, see 5 Tricks to Stop Cake Pops From Falling Off Sticks.) Pull the cake pop straight up and out of the coating, gently tapping it to remove any excess chocolate.
Helpful Hint: Keeping your chocolate the right temperature 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. If you prefer to heat your chocolate in resealable jars, set the jars on a heating pad to keep your chocolate warm.
As you finish dipping, set each cake pop in your cake pop stand until the coating has hardened. Or while the coating is still wet, use sprinkles, candies, or sugars to decorate your cake pops. I decorated my dark chocolate cake pops with homemade chocolate sprinkles. To learn how to make your own chocolate sprinkles, see How To Make Sprinkles At Home, and use your favorite dipping chocolate instead of royal icing.
- 16.5-ounce box chocolate cake mix
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup dark chocolate wafers
- ½ cup heavy cream
- In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix and espresso powder.
- Mix in the eggs, water, vanilla bean paste, and oil. Stir until combined.
- Bake mixture in a 13-inch by 9-inch pan at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let baked cake cool completely.
- Chop up chocolate wafers into smaller relatively equal-sized pieces and put them in a medium bowl.
- Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it bubbles around the edges.
- Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let the mixture sit for five minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir to mix. If all the chocolate is not completely melted, heat it in the microwave in 30-second intervals at 50 percent power.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill it in the fridge.
- Bring to room temperature before using.
- Break cooled cake in half and pulse each half in a food processor until it turns to crumbs.
- Put the cake crumbs in a large bowl and mix in 7 tablespoons of chocolate mixture.
- Mix with hands thoroughly to create cake pop dough.
- Put the dough in a plastic storage bag and knead until it is the consistency of Play-Doh.
- Put your cake pop dough in the refrigerator until chilled (or in the freezer if you are in a rush). Dough should be slightly cooler than room temperature to begin rolling.