This cake pops recipe is a copycat of Starbucks’ birthday cake pop. If you’ve ever been to Starbucks you most likely saw their famous pink “birthday cake pops” through the glass of sweet goodies or on their official menu. This little treat is a combination of vanilla cake, frosting, and pink candy coating. If you’re planning to make these bite-sized treats for a party, be sure to try my easy red velvet cake pops (VIDEO) or my no-bake oreo cake pops (VIDEO)!
This easy to follow video tutorial will help you learn all the tips and tricks on how to make the best copycat Starbucks Birthday Cake Pops right at home. Or you can always refer to my ultimate cake pop guide for more tips!
This recipe was originally posted on Apr 30, 2015, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then.
How to Make Cake Pop Recipe
- Bake the vanilla cake, let it cool and remove the outer brownish layer with a knife.
- Crumble the cake into small pieces and mix it with the frosting.
- Form the crumbs into cake balls. Dip the end of a cake pop stick into melted candy melts and insert the stick halfway through each cake ball.
- Freeze the vanilla cake pops for 15 minutes.
- Pour melted candy melts into a tall narrow cup and dip each cake pop into the candy melts. Then tap off excess candy and sprinkle with nonpareils.
- Place the finished vanilla cake pops into a block of styrofoam so that it can cool and stiffen.
What is a Cake Pop
- A cake pop is pretty much a baked cake that is crumbled into fine pieces, then it is mixed with frosting. After that, it is compressed into a cake ball. Then it is placed on a stick and dipped in melted candy melts.
TIPS to make perfect Starbucks cake pops
- A good way to know if the frosting and cake crumbs are well combined is by compressing a handful and checking to make sure there’s no more marbled frosting visible.
- Remove and discard the outer layer of the baked cake. It tends to be drier than the rest of the cake, therefore it can cause the cake ball to fall apart.
How to melt Wilton candy melts
- If your candy coating is too thick after melting, add some kind of shortening such as Crisco or coconut oil to thin it out.
TIPS on dipping the cake pops
- When you dip the cake pop into the candy coating, don’t swirl the cake pop around. Instead bring it straight down, dip, and slowly bring it back up, so it doesn’t break apart.
- After the cake pops have been dipped into the melted candy, quickly tap the hand that’s holding the cake pop to help release any excess candy melt.
Ingredients to make cake pops
- white cake mix (requires eggs, water, and oil)
- vanilla frosting
- candy melts
- Crisco shortening
Equipment for cake pops
- cake pop sticks
- cake pop former 11/4 inch in diameter (or small cookie scoop)
How to store cake pops
Store the cake pops at room temperature in an airtight container. Refrigerating will cause condensation to form over the cake pop.
Full Recipe Instructions
Vanilla Cake Pops
- Bake the cake according to the package and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Cut the cake into 4 pieces and peel away the browned outside layer of the cake. I peel off the outer layer because it tends to be too dry to form the cake pop.
- In a large bowl, crumble the cake with your hands. Add 2 tbsp of frosting to the crumbled cake and mix with a spoon or your hands.
- 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 extra cake from the sides and roll the ball with your hands to smooth any imperfections.
- Melt about 1/4 cup of candy melts in a small bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals to avoid overheating the candy.
- Dip the tip of each cake pop stick into the melted candy and poke it into to ball about half way through. Place each cake pop onto a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- 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 and mix well with a whisk or fork. Then pour the melted candy into a tall narrow cup.
- Once the cake pops have been in the freezer for 20 min, 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.
- Sprinkle the pop right away so that the sprinkles stick to it before the candy hardens.
- Place in a Styrofoam block and let it stand for about an hour.
Ps: We’ve updated some of the photos in this recipe, here are some of our old images.