Cake Pops – An Introduction
Cake Pops are all the rage right now in the dessert community. Fun little bite-sized pieces of cake that keep you from overdoing it. But those little bite-sized treats really pack a punch. That is why they are starting to be used more for birthdays, weddings, and for fun treats for family get togethers. A few of the great perks to a cake pop is you don’t have to worry about cutting and divvying out slices of cake, giving too much to an already hyped-up three year old, or have to worry about the mess of dishes that inevitably pile up at any gathering of two or more. And the best part about a cake pop is…
They are super easy to make.
How To Make Cake Pops
Making cake pops may have a few more steps to it than just making a cake and decorating it but thankfully those extra steps are pretty simple.
What You Will Need
- Cake Mix – Any flavor packaged cake mix (Be sure to get any eggs, oil, or butter needed to make the cake with)
- 1 Can of Pre-made Frosting – Vanilla, Cream Cheese, or Chocolate work great (I personally prefer Cream Cheese, you can taste the frosting more in the cake pop)
- Lollipop sticks 50ct. – These can be found at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or any store that sells cake baking/decorating materials. The brand does not matter and designs on the stick are strictly by preference.
- 2 pkgs. Candy Melts or 1 pkg. Almond/Chocolate Bark – Candy Melts come in a variety of colors along with Pure White. If color doesn’t matter than Almond Bark is less expensive and you get a lot more, though the color will be an off-white. Chocolate bark will be brown and is the only one that will have the chocolate flavor. In the steps below, I will refer the Candy Melts, Almond Bark and Chocolate Bark simply as chocolate.
- Any Toppings (optional) – Crushed nuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate, pretzels, sprinkles, mini m&m’s
- Cookie Sheet
- Wax Paper
- Cake Pop Stand, Styrofoam Board, or Mini Cupcake Papers – What you use to hold the cake pops while you are making them is entirely up to you. You can purchase an inexpensive cardboard cake pop stand, which you can also get in plastic, or purchase a Styrofoam board to stick the sticks in, or use mini cupcake papers to stick them upside down in if you are doing a topping and shape doesn’t really matter.
- Little Treat Bags With Twist Ties (optional) – Make sure theses bags are big enough to slide a 2 inch or so round ball in it because that is basically the size of the cake pop. These bags can be found at Walmart or Hobby Lobby or any store that sells cake baking/decorating supplies.
Step 1: Mix and Bake cake according to package directions and let cool completely in the pan.
Step 2: Cut the cake into a few pieces to get it all out of the pan. Break it up into smaller pieces and put into your electric mixer. Add about 1/2 of the pre-made frosting to the cake and mix it on medium speed until the cake and frosting resemble a dough. You will only be using about half of the frosting so a little spoonful for yourself is completely fine. 😉
- For a KitchenAide, use the paddle attachment
- For any other mixer, use the regular attachments
- If you don’t have an electric mixer, take two pieces of cake at a time and rub them together to make crumbs
Step 3: On a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, scoop out and roll cake dough into about 1 inch balls. Place cookie sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes or refrigerator for about 20 minutes. In the meantime…
Step 4: While waiting on the cake pops to cool and harden a bit, take the Candy Melts or Bark and place in a microwaveable bowl. (The bark will need to be broken up into the individual squares) Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue to microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each time, until most of the chocolate has melted. Take out of microwave and continue stirring until all the chocolate is smooth. You want it to run off your spoon smoothly. If the chocolate gets too hot it will almost clump and drop off your spoon. In that case, set it aside for a few minutes to cool but stir it every couple minutes. Chocolate can overheat quickly so keep an eye on it and don’t try to COMPLETELY melt it in the microwave.
Very important note: DO NOT try to add food coloring to the chocolate. This will ruin the chocolate because food coloring is water-based and water will bind the chocolate and it will not remelt. Only oil-based or powdered food coloring can be added to chocolate without binding it. These food colorings can be bought at Hobby Lobby or Michaels or other craft stores. Candy Melts come in several colors that you can mix together to find the exact color you are looking for easily.
Step 5: Once the chocolate is melted and the cake balls have hardened a bit, pull the cake balls out of the freezer or refrigerator. Take the lollipop sticks and dip one end into the melted chocolate and stick into the flat bottom of the cake ball. The chocolate will pool around the stick a bit and that is what you want. Place the cake ball with the stick inserted in it back on the cookie sheet. Repeat with all cake balls and place back into the refrigerator for another 15 minutes.
Step 6: Just before you take out the cake balls for a second time, reheat the chocolate in the microwave in 15 second increments until it is smooth again. Then pull out the cake balls and holding by the stick, dip it into the melted chocolate by tipping the bowl sideways a bit and cover all the cake. Do not try to twist the stick around to cover the cake ball but try to rotate the whole ball in the bowl. You can try using a spoon it help cover up near the stick if need be. Carefully pull the cake ball up out of the chocolate and slowly spin, holding it sideways, while the chocolate drips off. You can gently tap the stick against the bowl, or your finger to help the excess chocolate drip off but don’t tap too hard or it will loosen the cake ball. (The tutorial pictures show that I am using a Wilton Chocolate Melter Pot, not a microwave safe bowl but either work.)
Step 7: If using a topping like nuts, m&m’s, sprinkles, or crushed pretzels, sprinkle or roll the cake pop in the topping right after dipping the cake ball in the melted chocolate. Heavier toppings may start to slide down the cake pop so maybe wait for the chocolate to stiffen a little, about 30 seconds or so. Place completed cake pop in the stand or Styrofoam, ball side up.
- If sitting cake pops upside down in a mini cupcake paper, gently roll dipped cake pop in the topping of choice or sprinkle on topping and then place in mini cupcake paper. It is better to liberally cover the cake pop with the topping so most of the chocolate is covered, this way it is easier to get out of the cupcake paper.
- If you are wanting to swirl on another type of chocolate (white coated cake pop with a chocolate swirl or brown coated cake pop with white chocolate swirl), follow Step 5 again with the chocolate chips or white chocolate chips to melt them. Once melted, use a spoon to slowly drizzle on the swirl as you spin the cake pop. Another way to do this is get a sandwich bag or freezer bag and fill it with the melted chocolate. Then snip the corner a little and drizzle the swirl on the cake pop while you spin it.
Step 8: Let cake pops sit and harden on the counter. There is no need to refrigerate them at this time. If you wish to put them in a cute package, use the little treat bags and slide the cake pop into the bag and use the twisty tie to secure the bag closed around the stick.
Step 9: Enjoy!
I hope you all have a great time making these cake pops and feel free to leave me a comment about your experience. Please let me know if you have any questions.