I had a stereotype about cake pops until very recently. I wondered why anyone would put all that effort into making a little ball of cake and decorating it when it would be instantly consumed in a bite or two. Why not just enjoy a piece of cake? Then I got to thinking that every birthday party I’ve been to in the last 8 years (we have 9 nieces and nephews) all the kids eat is the icing off the cake…and ask for another piece of cake. As the cake and cupcake maker of the family, I’ve sworn many times to my adult relatives that one time I’m just going to serve them all icing as dessert and scrap the cake! Then I got thinking more about cake pops. I have a bit of a blogger crush on Bakerella and her baking is truly an art form! When I actually learned what was in a cake pop and how to make them, I then realized that these would be the perfect dessert to serve at a party or as a treat!
Cake pops are easier to make than you think (well….I’ll explain more on that in a bit!). All you do is bake a box of cake in a 9×13 pan, mix the cooled & baked cake with some frosting, form into balls, chill, and decorate. Cake pops are a mixture of cake and frosting and that is what makes these little treats so appealing to kids. Plus? They’re on a stick.
You will need:
- 1 box of cake mix
- 1 can of frosting (or make your own)
- Lollipop/cake pop sticks
- Chocolate melting wafers
- Decorations like sprinkles, colored sugar
- Heavy styrofoam/floral foam/cake pop stand
Easy-to-follow and printable recipe below, but for a more visual effect…
Bake your cake in a 9×13 pan per instructions on the box. Once the cake is cooled crumble into large mixing bowl by hand, or if you’re lazy like me, use your stand mixer!
You only want to add enough frosting (1/2 – 1/3 cup) to make the mixture clay-like consistency. These were my first batch and I added the whole can of frosting, which was way too much, more on that later! I then used a small cookie scoop to ensure my cake balls were as uniform as possible, and shaped them by hand into round balls, approximately 1 1/4″ in diameter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Next melt some chocolate wafers into a microwave-safe bowl. You only need a little at this time, I’ll explain why in the next step! (Ignore HUGE bowl of melted chocolate!). Melt chocolate at 30 second intervals in the microwave and stir in between. Should be hot and runny.
Once chocolate is melted dip lollipop stick about 1/2″ into chocolate and insert about 1/2 way through cake ball.
Line them up all purty like and set them in your freezer for at least 15 minutes. Since my cake:frosting ratio was way off, I found I had to freeze mine for at least 30 minutes and I could only decorate about 10 at a time or they would start falling off the sticks. Learning lessons here, people! It was too hard to take pictures of the next steps as it was time sensitive, but once your cake pops are chilled nicely, remove from freezer, melt a nice amount of chocolate wafers (I used a drinking glass as it was nice and deep), and dip, dunk, or drench cake pop into chocolate.
DO NOT STIR OR SWIRL CAKE POP IN CHOCOLATE!!!
I repeat: do not stir or else the cake pop will fall off the stick. Just dip and gentle tip stick side to side or back and forth until sufficiently coated. Next, hold cake pop in non-dominant hand over chocolate bowl, tap that hand with your dominant hand to drip excess chocolate off of cake pop. If you’re confused by what I just said, I don’t blame you! If you are a visual person like me, watch Bakerella’s tutorial here.
- 1 box of cake mix (+ water or milk, oil, and eggs to make)
- 1 can of frosting; or make your own
- lollipop sticks
- chocolate melting wafers
- sprinkles, sugar - anything you want for decorating
- Bake cake in 9x13 pan according to instructions on box.
- Cool completely and break into pieces in stand-mixer bowl.
- Add ½ to ⅓ cup of frosting into bowl and mix together. (Can alternately mix by hand).
- Add more frosting if necessary, you want a clay-like consistency.
- Form little balls ~1¼" wide (if they're too big they will fall off the sticks) and set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Melt some chocolate wafers (just a small amount for now) in the microwave at 30 second intervals, mixing in between, until melted.
- Dip ½" of a lollipop into the melted chocolate and insert approximately ½ way through the cake ball.
- Once all cake balls have sticks in them, chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
- Now melt the rest of your chocolate in a tall, deep microwave-safe bowl or a glass cup, using the same technique as before.
- Once chocolate is melted and a nice, runny consistency, take cake balls out of freezer and dip ball into chocolate.
- DO NOT STIR OR SWIRL or ball will fall off stick.
- Coat as evenly as possible, remove from bowl and hold stick in your non-dominant hand over bowl of chocolate and use your dominant hand to tap your other hand which gets rid of the excess chocolate from the cake pop.
- Now is the time to add decorations (sprinkles, colored sugar, etc.) to the cake pop before the chocolate hardens.
- Stick cake pop into thick styrofoam, floral foam, or cake pop stand to set.
- Repeat until finished.
- I freeze my cake pops if making ahead of time.
Since Valentine’s Day is at the end of the week I chose a Valentine’s theme. I bought pink and red chocolate and the sprinkles from Bulk Barn and my friends at Greenmunch sent me the awesome cake pop sticks! I then got some candy bags at Walmart for $1 and put a cake pop in, added Braden’s Valentine’s he chose and tied with red or pink baker’s twine. I hope the kids enjoy their Valentine’s treats!
It sounds easy, but I definitely did NOT nail these off the bat as I originally hoped I would. I did a lot of research after the failures, read some more tutorials and watched YouTube videos and I think I know where I went wrong. Here’s my tips (also see blooper reel below!)
- Some recipes call for a whole can of frosting to one box of cake – I found this is way too much frosting which is the recipe I used originally called for. When my cake balls started falling off my stick when I dipped them in chocolate, I later then found out that I used too much frosting and other recipes recommend 1/2 – 1/3 cup of frosting only to get a clay-like consistency for the cake/frosting mixture.
- Insert sticks into balls and then freeze. Some recipes say to chill the cake balls only for 10 minutes and then insert sticks, dip, and decorate. I found because my cake balls had too much icing, if I put the stick in and then froze them (for 30 mins+) it worked WAY better; obviously this will depend on how much room you have in your freezer!
- Since my cake balls were very temperature sensitive, I could only do about 10 at a time and had to re-freeze. Lessons learned for next time!
- Do not overheat your chocolate! I accidentally overheated one color and it got very lumpy and thick and I couldn’t use it.
My first cake pop was HUGE, but it worked. The second fell apart immediately…and the next…and the next! I did not give up, I did my research and found the tips I just mentioned very helpful! And I give to you, my blooper picture:
I hope when you make these you end up with cake pops and not “cake plops” like my first few were!