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Easy Cake Pop Recipe

Easy homemade cake pops covered in a sweet chocolate coating. The perfect bite-sized party treat or favor for any occasion! 

This recipe reminds me of my sugar cookie truffles, but with a delicious cake base instead. Moist and crumbly cake is mixed with rich buttercream frosting, then dipped in a sweet chocolate coating. Not only do these cake pops taste incredible, but they look amazing too!

cake pops laying on parchment paper
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Perfect Bite Sized Dessert

There’s just something about eating a decorative, bite-sized dessert on a stick that is so fun. My kids love these! These homemade cake pops are the perfect treat for birthdays, baby showers, wedding showers, holidays or when hosting a dinner party. You can even wrap them up individually and give them to guests as party favors!

This recipe is perfect for beginners, with an easy step by step tutorial included. It’s a great way to use up any leftover cake and frosting. I love the classic white cake + buttercream combo, but there are so many other yummy variations you can make too. They are so fun to decorate and can be served at literally any occasion!

How To Make Cake Pops

Mix and roll. Crumble the cooled cake in a large bowl. Then add a few spoonful’s of frosting and use your hands to combine. The dough should hold together if squeezed. If it’s still crumbly, stir in a little more frosting. Then scoop out the mixture with a medium cookie scoop and roll into a ball. Repeat until you’ve used all of the mixture.

mixing cake pop batter in bowl

Add cake pop stick. Melt a few of the dark and white chocolate wafers in two separate bowls. Then dip the end of the cake pop stick into the melted chocolate and push that same end into the cake ball. The melted chocolate helps “glue” the stick to the cake ball. Once each ball has a stick, place them in the freezer to harden for about 20 minutes.

dipping sticks in chocolate for cake pops

Coat in chocolate. Melt the remaining dark and white chocolate in separate bowls. Dip the cake balls into the melted chocolate, making sure it’s fully coated. Gently tap the stick on the side of the dish to remove any excess chocolate.

Add decorations. Add sprinkles or jimmies while the chocolate is still wet. If decorating with a chocolate drizzle, let the chocolate coating harden first, then drizzle more chocolate on top. Then let them set for about an hour before serving.

dipping cake pop in chocolate

Decorations

There are so many ways to decorate cake pops! Really the sky is the limit when decorating them. Below are a few easy and adorable ideas:

  • Add sprinkles or jimmies
  • Drizzle with more melted chocolate
  • Use colored candy melts
  • Dye the cake batter with food coloring for a fun surprise when biting into them
  • Make them into a cake pop bouquet for a fun gift or centerpiece

Flavor Variations

I used white cake for this recipe, but you can really use any flavor of box cake mix (or make your favorite recipe from scratch).

A classic buttercream is also my favorite type of frosting for cake pops, but feel free to use others like chocolate buttercream, cream cheese frosting or strawberry buttercream.

Below are a few different flavor combinations that would taste delicious:

  • White cake + classic buttercream
  • Chocolate cake + classic buttercream
  • Red velvet cake  + cream cheese frosting
  • Birthday cake (funfetti) + classic buttercream
  • Lemon cake + lemon frosting
  • Carrot cake + cream cheese frosting
  • Strawberry cake + strawberry frosting
cake pops standing in cup with rice

Baking Tips

  • Half batch of frosting – I made a half batch of my buttercream frosting and used only half of that amount. How much frosting you need will depend largely on how moist the cake is. Mine was VERY moist, so I didn’t need that much. If you have leftover frosting, you can easily store it in an air sealed zip top bag in the freezer.
  • Add enough frosting – Make sure to add enough frosting or else they will crack and fall apart after freezing. Add the frosting in gradually though, because including too much could cause them to be soggy.
  • Chill in freezer – It is very important that they are cold. They will not hold form or hang onto the stick if they aren’t cold enough, especially when you start dipping and covering with the melted chocolate. Sometimes I freeze mine for closer to 45 minutes to ensure they’re cool enough. I also take half of the batch out at a time, so the other half doesn’t soften up while I’m coating in chocolate.
  • Melting the chocolate – If the chocolate hardens up while in the bowls, you may need to reheat and melt again. Make sure to only heat the chocolate for 30 second increments. Any longer can burn the chocolate.
  • Dipping method – You can either dip the cake ball into a deep, 2 cup measuring cup filled with melted chocolate or spoon the chocolate over in a shallow dish. A few of the cake balls fell off of the stick when dipping into a measuring cup, so the spoon method worked better for me. It is important to note that they will look a little misshapen at first, but as the chocolate cools, it smoothes out. Any decorations will hide imperfections.
  • Decorating tips – While decorating, have an empty plate or bowl below to help catch the excess decorations that don’t stick.
  • Holding upright – Use a glass filled with rice or sprinkles (above), or a styrofoam block to hold the cake pop upright.

FAQs

How do you make cake pops stay together?

It’s all about the frosting! When you mix the frosting in with the cake, the mixture should hold together when squeezed. If the mixture is crumbly, that means it needs more frosting. Make sure to only add in a little at a time so that the cake doesn’t get too soggy. If you have a very moist cake, you may not need much frosting at all.

Why are my cake pops cracking?

If the chocolate coating has cracked, it’s likely due to the difference in temperature between the cake balls and the melted coating chocolate. Don’t freeze the balls for longer than instructed, or else the super cold cake combined with the warm melted chocolate could cause cracking.

The type of chocolate you use can also contribute to whether or not the cake pops crack. Using melted chocolate chips may cause cracking, so I’d suggest using chocolate melting wafers instead. They have a thicker texture once hardened and a smooth finish, which result in a more sturdy exterior.

Can I use canned frosting?

Sure! While I prefer homemade frosting over canned, I’ve never been one to shy away from an easier shortcut! Store-bought frosting usually comes in a 16 ounce can, so you’ll only need half (8 ounces) to make this recipe.

What’s the best type of coating chocolate to use?

I’ve had the most success using chocolate melting wafers because of their super smooth finish (Ghirardelli melting wafers are my favorite). A high quality chocolate bar (such as Ghirardelli or Bakers) would be the next best option.

Are cake pops gluten-free?

They can be! Use your favorite gluten-free cake mix or pick up a premade gluten-free cake from your local grocery or bakery. All other ingredients needed to make this recipe are free from gluten!

How long will they last?

They will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days if stored in an airtight container in a cool place. 

Can you freeze cake pops?

Yes you can freeze them, just make sure they’ve dried completely before freezing. They will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Let thaw at room temperature when ready to serve.

cake pop with a bite taken

More Bite-Sized Party Treats

cake pop with a bite taken

Cake Pop Recipe

4.96 from 25 votes
Easy homemade cake pops covered in a sweet chocolate coating. The perfect bite-sized party treat or favor for any occasion! 
Prep Time: 40 mins
Freeze: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 30

Equipment

  • 20 cake pop sticks

Ingredients 

  • 15 ounce box white cake mix , cook according to package directions in a 9×13" pan
  • 10 ounce package dark chocolate melting wafers
  • 10 ounce package white chocolate melting wafers ,I prefer Ghiradelli

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick salted butter , softened
  • 2-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream or milk

Optional: Sprinkles, jimmies or other desired decorations

    Instructions

    Make Buttercream Frosting

    • In a medium bowl, whip the butter. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add the vanilla and additional powdered sugar, a little at a time. Add 1 Tablespoon of heavy cream or milk to make the frosting thick and creamy. It should hold a point.
      mixing buttercream frosting in glass bowl

    Make Cake Pops

    • In a large bowl, crumble the prepared cake into fine crumbs (make sure it has cooled completely before crumbling). Add 2 spoonfuls of buttercream frosting to the cake. Combine with your hands or a spoon. Gradually add more frosting until the cake holds together if squeezed. You don't want it too crumbly or it won't hold together.
      mixing frosting in cake batter
    • Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out 1 scoop of cake mixture. Roll into a ball and place onto a plate. Repeat until all the cake mixture has been formed into balls. Freeze balls for about 10 minutes.
      scoop of cake pop dough

    Dip in chocolate

    • Right before they are ready to be taken out of the freezer, melt the dark chocolate and the white chocolate in two separate microwave safe bowls. Begin by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Once coated in chocolate, gently tap the stick on the side of the melting dish to let the excess drip off. You can also spin or twirl the cake pop to remove the excess.
      dipping cake pop in chocolate
    • Before the chocolate starts to harden, add sprinkles, jimmies or other decorations. If decorating with more chocolate, let the chocolate covering harden on the cake pop. Then, using a spoon or fork, drizzle with the additional melted chocolate.
    • Push the cake pop stick into a styrofoam block or use a glass filled with rice to hold them upright. The chocolate will be set in about an hour. Store for 3-4 days in an airtight container in a cool place.
      cake pops standing in cup with rice

    Video


    Notes

    You can also use 8 ounces of frosting from the store (half of a 16 ounce can) to make it easier, I just prefer the homemade buttercream. 
    Make sure that you’re only working with about five cake pops at a time. Leave the rest in the freezer so that they don’t soften too much while you work on the others. You want them to be really cold when working with them. 
    After dipping the stick in melted chocolate, let it dry first before sticking into the cake ball. It’s easier to work with this way and is less likely to fall off when dipping the whole cake pop into melted chocolate.
    Discard any brown edges of the cake before crumbling. 

    Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 36mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Calcium: 1mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

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