Learn how to make cake pops right at home! This easy and fool-proof cake pop recipe is guaranteed to come out perfect every time! These delicious candy-coated cake balls make a great party favor for just about any gathering.
How to make cake pops
Here is a quick rundown on how to make these addictive and delicious treats. You can find the full detailed recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Bake the boxed cake, let it cool and trim off the dry outer layer. Then discard those pieces or set them aside to munch on later.
- Crumble the cake into very fine crumbs and mix it with the vanilla frosting. Then shape the mixture into balls using your hands or a cake pop former.
- Insert the cake pop sticks into the cake balls– You’ll need to dip the ends of the sticks into some melted candy melts before inserting them. Then freeze for 15 minutes.
- Dip the cake balls into the candy melts– Once the candy melts are nicely melted and thinned out with shortening or dipping aid chips, you can dip the cake balls and let them sit upright in a styrofoam block.
Supplies you need to make cake pops
For cake balls– When making cake balls all you really need is a baked cake made with cake mix, frosting, and candy melts to coat the outside of the balls. You can shape the cake balls with your hands or use a meatballer to get the perfect shape and size each time.
Melting the candy melts
Overheat– When melting candy melts, you can to be careful and make sure you do NOT overheat the candy coating. If this happens it will harden up too much.
Thin it out– In order to get smooth candy coating that will ensure that your cake balls have a gorgeous outer shell you need to thin it out. You can mix in Crisco shortening, coconut oil, or EZ-thin dipping aid for a runnier consistency.
Keeping the cake balls on the stick
The best way to prevent the cake balls from falling off the stick is by making sure you added enough frosting to the cake balls and thinning out the candy coating. If the chocolate coating is too thick it will be heavy and way down on the cake balls.
What are cake pops made of?
Cake pops are very simple to make because they only require only a few ingredients like baked boxed cake mix, vanilla frosting, and of course they are dipped in melted candy melts (the kind you can pour into molds).
No-bake cake pop recipe
If you’re looking into a super fast and easy version of my original vanilla cake pops, you have to try my no-bake oreo cake pops (VIDEO). All you need is Oreos, cream cheese, and candy melts. That’s it!
What can I use instead of candy melts
The only substitute for candy melts would be chocolate. If you set out to make cake balls without candy melts, you will need to mix 1 tbsp vegetable oil for every 1 cup chocolate chips.
Frequently asked questions
Why are my cake pops cracking?
There are usually two reasons why they can crack. Before dipping the balls you want to set the stick by placing the cake pops in the freezer for 15 minutes. If you dip them and the candy melts are too hot, they will crack because of the sudden temperature change. Or the cake balls were too cold if you kept them in the freezer for over 15 minutes. Again, the drastic temperature change can cause the cracking effect here as well.
How far in advance can I make cake pops
I make them a few days ahead of time and then keep them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Storing cake pops
- Room temperature– You can store them already dipped at room temp for up to a week.
- Fridge– Keep the undipped cake balls in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days
- Freezer– or you can store the undipped cake balls in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Don’t forget to thaw them in the fridge though.
How to Make Cake Pops (fool-proof)
- 24 cake pop sticks
- cake pop former 11/4 inch in diameter or small cookie scoop
- white nonpareils (optional)
- Styrofoam block (to set the dipped cake pops)
For the cake balls
Bake the cake and mix with frosting
- Bake the cake as instructed on the boxed cake mix and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
- Now trim off the outer golden layer because it tends to be too dry to form the cake pop.
- In a large bowl, crumble the cake into fine crumbs using your hands. Add 2 tbsp of vanilla frosting and mix with a spoon or your hands.
Shape the cake balls
- Shape the cake into balls and place them into the cake pop former. Make sure the cake ball is a little bit bigger than the size of the press. Once the cake ball is pressed tightly, remove the extra cake from the sides and roll the ball with your hands to smooth any imperfections. This step is optional. You can always just round it out with your hands alone.
Insert the sticks and freeze for 20 mins
- Melt 1/4 cup of candy melts in a small bowl. Heat in 30-second intervals to prevent the candy from overheating.
- Dip the tip of each cake pop stick into the melted candy and insert it into the cake ball about halfway through. Place each cake pop onto a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for about 15- 20 minutes. Don’t keep them there too long or they will become too cold and cause the hot melted candy to crack after you dip them.
Thin out the candy melts before dipping
- Meanwhile, melt the rest of the candy in a bowl. Make sure you melt them in 30-second intervals with mixing in between. Once it's melted well, add 1 1/2 tsp Crisco shortening or melting aid chips (preferably) and mix well with a whisk. Then pour the melted candy into a tall narrow cup.
Dip the cake pops and set upright in a styrofoam block
- Now remove the cake balls from the freezer and dip each into the cup and tilt to the sides slowly to make sure the entire cake pop is covered. Then slowly pull up the cake pop. (Don't swirl the cake pop) Hold the cake pop in one hand and tap your wrist so that all the extra melted candy drips off.
- Now decorate the dipped cake pops with sprinkles or nonpareils while the candy coating is still wet. That way the sprinkles adhere well.
- Place in a Styrofoam block and let it stand for about an hour. Store at room temperature.
Can I Make them ahead of time?Yes, I like to make cake pops a few days ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Thinning out candy meltsI highly recommend using dipping aid chips to get a smooth and thinner consistency on the melted candy melts.
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