Cake Pops 101: Learn how to make homemade cake pops with step-by-step instructions, tricks, and troubleshooting tips.
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Cake Pops

Learn how to make cake pops with step-by-step instructions, tricks, and troubleshooting tips.
Prep Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 20 cake pops

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cake any flavor
  • 1/3 cup frosting homemade or store bought
  • approximately 20 cake pop sticks
  • 1-12 oz bag of candy melts any color*
  • sprinkles optional

Instructions

PREPARE THE CAKE

  • Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, crumble your cake (any flavor) into tiny pieces. I usually use my hands, but I've also used my stand mixer. Either way, you want this crumb to be very fine.
  • Add your frosting. This can be homemade or store-bought, and any flavor you like. If you would like to add zest, add it now. This is also where you would add spices if you wanted to (add 1 teaspoon of spice, taste, and add more as necessary). I added the whole 1/3 cup of frosting because my cake was very dry. If you have a moist cake, add 3 Tablespoons of frosting and go from there.
  • Work the frosting into the cake (preferably with your hands) by squeezing and pushing until everything is uniform in texture. You're looking for a texture that you can roll into a sturdy ball (meaning the ball should have a bit of give when you push on it but not squish completely).

ROLL INTO BALLS

  • Roll all of the cake into balls approximately 1 Tablespoon in size. Use a Tablespoon measure if you are unsure how big this is. Try to keep the cake balls on the small side. If they are too big, they will be too heavy, and you will definitely lose them in the dipping step. Place your cake balls onto one of your prepared baking sheets.

INSERT STICKS

  • Place your candy melts in a glass or ceramic bowl. I typically use 1/2 to 3/4 of a 12oz bag per 3 cups of cake. Heat on MEDIUM (50%) power for 30 seconds, stirring after each session in the microwave. It may seem silly to stir the melts the first couple times since they won't seem to have melted at all, but trust me, the ones on the outside are hotter. It usually takes me about 5-6 sessions of 30 seconds at MEDIUM power to achieve the texture I want. As the candy melts start getting more smooth, stir them vigorously to continue the melting process outside of the microwave. You do not want to scorch your candy melts. It is possible to overheat them, and they will turn to a crumbly, dry mess. Stirring will help distribute the heat.
  • Working with one cake pop stick at a time, dip one end of the stick into your melted candy (about 1/2 an inch). Push this stick into a cake ball about halfway. You don't want to push it the whole way through, because it will poke out of the top of the ball. The melted candy will form a little mound. This is just fine and what you want to happen. Repeat until all cake balls have sticks, and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

DIP THE CAKE POPS

  • Once your cake balls have set up, they are ready to dip. You may have to reheat your candy melts a little bit (start with 20 seconds on MEDIUM power), but do not work with super hot melts. The temperature differences will be too drastic and you'll end up with cracks in your coating. As long as you are able to stir your melts and they seem to still be in a fairly viscous state, reheating is not necessary.
  • Working with one ball at a time, submerge the cake ball into the melts, making sure to cover the candy mound you created. I like to tilt my bowl, but this is just the way I prefer to do it and find it makes things easier. Work quickly, as leaving the cake ball in the melts too long is a good way to lose it from the stick.
  • Lift the cake ball out of the melts and slowly twirl the stick to allow the excess to drip off. I also tap my stick LIGHTLY on the side of the bowl to help some of the coating drip off.
  • Pull the cake pop to the edge of the bowl and allow the bowl to scrape the excess from where the stick meets the pop.
  • While the coating is still wet, decorate with sprinkles.

ALLOW CAKE POPS TO SET

  • You may place your finished cake pops on your second baking sheet (which will make their tops a bit flat) OR you may rest them in a tall glass and allow them to cool right side up. You could also use a large styrofoam block which is a super easy way to allow several cake pops to dry at once.
  • Once the pops are completely cool, they're ready to enjoy. Package them up in plastic goodie bags or serve them as is on a plate or platter. Cake pops stay fresh at room temperature up to 2 weeks. In the fridge, they will stay fresh for 3 weeks.

Notes

*You may also use quality baking chocolate. Add a teaspoon of shortening per 8oz of chocolate. White chocolate will not take well to food or gel coloring, so if you would like colored cake pops, its' best to use candy melts.