One of my most rewarding kitchen adventures has been learning how to make cake pops. I always know that if I want to let my baking imagination run wild, I can just start with a cake pop recipe and see where it takes me! The possibilities are endless.
That’s why today I am sharing with you a basic cake pop how to. If cake pops are new to you or you have tried them in the past and never gone back, this simple cake pop recipe is the perfect place to start. With a little step-by-step guidance, cake pops can be easy!
Cake Pop Supplies
To make cake pops, you will need:
– 1 box cake mix and ingredients to make the cake
– Up to 1/3 cup of frosting
– Cake pop dough scoop
– Candy melts
– Chocolate melting pot (optional)
– Lollipop sticks or colorful paper straws
– Cake pop stand
How to Make Cake Balls
To create cake pops, you need to start by making cake balls that you will later apply to lollipop sticks. The easiest way to make cake balls is to follow the directions on a box of cake mix and deviate from the directions in one way… use half the amount of oil. This helps create the right consistency for your cake balls. If you are not a fan of boxed cake mix, you can also bake a homemade cake (more power to you!).
After you bake your cake, let it cool completely and… get ready for destruction! Your goal is to crumble your cake into fine crumbs. You can do this one of two ways:
1) Use your hands. Put chunks of your cake into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to crumble it into a pile of fine crumbs. If you use this method, I suggest cutting off the hard edges of your baked cake.
2) Use a food processor. Put chunks of your cake into a food processor and pulse it into fine crumbs. Move the crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
Add a small amount of frosting to your cake crumbs and thoroughly combine using your hands. Continue to add small amounts of frosting until your crumb mixture becomes the consistency of clay.
Helpful Hint: Some cake pop recipes call for you to add an entire container of frosting. I have found that this is way too much. Exactly how much you need depends on the moistness of your cake recipe. I generally add up to 1/3 cup of frosting. A good rule of thumb is to start with a small amount and then add more frosting as needed.
It is easiest to roll cake pops using chilled dough. So, once you have created your “dough”, I recommend sealing it airtight and letting it rest in the refrigerator overnight. If this just doesn’t fit into your busy schedule, a short amount of time in the freezer will do the trick.
I like to use a stainless steel coffee scoop to portion out my chilled cake mixture so that all my cake balls are the same size, about 1.25″. Another popular option is to use a medium cookie scoop for easy measuring. Roll the mixture in the palm of your hand to create round cake balls.
Set your cake balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet or plate until you have completed the entire rolling process. This will give your cake balls time to come close to room temperature before dipping. 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.
How To Turn Your Cake Balls Into Cake Pops
Microwave your candy melts in a bowl on low power for 30-seconds at a time. Stop and stir after each 30-second interval then repeat until the coating is completely melted. Do not overheat the candy melts or your coating will become lumpy. If the coating is too thick, add a small amount of paramount crystals or vegetable oil to thin it out.
Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted coating and then into a cake ball, gently pushing until the stick is about half way through the cake ball. Turn your cake pop upright and set it in your cake pop stand until the coating has hardened.
Dip each cake pop straight down into the melted coating until the cake ball is completely covered and sealed. If you need to angle the cake pop, gently tilt it in one direction and then another. Resist the temptation to stir the coating with the cake pop. If you do, your cake pop may fall off of the stick into a candy coating abyss. (For help with cake pops that fall off the sticks, please see 5 Tricks to Stop Cake Pops From Falling Off Sticks.)
Remove the cake pop from the melted coating by pulling it straight up. Then, turn the cake pop at an angle and gently tap off any excess coating. Don’t get fancy, keep it simple.
Helpful Hint: Keeping the coating warm (but not hot) 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.
Set your cake pops 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.
- A box cake mix and ingredients to make the cake
- Up to ⅓ cup of frosting
- Cake pop dough scoop
- Candy melts
- Chocolate melting pot (optional)
- Lollipop sticks or colorful paper straws
- Cake pop stand
- Follow the directions on a box of cake mix with one exception: use only half the amount of oil.
- Let the baked cake cool completely. Then, crumble the cake into fine crumbs using your hands or a food processor.
- Chill your cake pop dough overnight or quickly in the freezer
- Roll the cake mixture into balls about 1.25" wide.
- Microwave your candy melts in a bowl on low power for 30-seconds at a time. Stop and stir after each 30-second interval then repeat until the coating is completely melted.
- Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted coating and then into a cake ball, gently pushing until the stick is about half way through the cake ball. Turn your cake pop upright and set it in your cake pop stand.
- Dip each cake pop straight down into the melted coating until the cake ball is completely covered and sealed. Remove the cake pop from the melted coating by pulling it straight up. Then, turn the cake pop at an angle and gently tap off any excess coating. Turn the cake pop upright.
If you’re looking for inspiration for how to decorate cake pops, browse through my Cake Pop Gallery.
For endless cake pop recipe ideas, check out How To Make Cake Pops with Unique Flavors.
To show off your stylish cake pops, learn how to take amazing cake pop photos!