One of my most rewarding kitchen adventures has been learning how to make cake pops. I always know that if I want to let my baking imagination run wild, I can just start with a cake pop recipe and see where it takes me! The possibilities are endless.
That’s why today I am sharing with you a basic cake pop how to. If cake pops are new to you or you have tried them in the past and never gone back, this cake pop recipe is the perfect place to start.
Cake Pop Supplies
To make cake pops, you will need:
- A box cake mix and ingredients to make the cake
- A can of frosting
- Candy melts
- Lollipop sticks
- A styrofoam block or cake pop stand
How to Make Cake Balls
To create cake pops, you need to start by making cake balls that you will later apply to lollipop sticks. The easiest way to make cake balls is to follow the directions on a box of cake mix. I usually deviate from the directions in one way, I use half the amount of oil. This helps create the right consistency for your cake balls. If you are not a fan of boxed cake mix, you can also bake a homemade cake (more power to you!).
After you bake your cake, let it cool completely and… get ready for destruction! Your goal is to crumble your cake into fine crumbs. You can do this one of two ways:
1) Use your hands. Put chunks of your cake into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to crumble it into a pile of fine crumbs. If you use this method, I suggest cutting off the hard edges of your baked cake.
2) Use a food processor. Put chunks of your cake into a food processor and pulse it into fine crumbs. Move the crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
Add a small amount of frosting to your cake crumbs and thoroughly combine using your hands. Continue to add small amounts of frosting until your crumb mixture becomes the consistency of clay.
Helpful Hint: Some cake pop recipes call for you to add an entire container of frosting. I have found that this is way too much. I generally add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of frosting. A good rule of thumb is to start with a small amount and then add more frosting as needed.
Once you have created your “dough”, you can begin rolling your cake balls. I like to use a stainless steel coffee scoop to portion out my cake mixture so that all my cake balls are the same size, about 1.25″. Roll the mixture in the palm of your hand to create round cake balls.
Set your cake balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet or plate and put them in the freezer or refrigerator. If you have time, keep the cake balls in the fridge for a few hours until chilled. If this just doesn’t fit into your busy schedule, about 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer will do the trick. Do keep in mind that making cake pops is a temperature sensitive process. Putting cake balls in the freezer may make them too cold for dipping, so you will need to let them sit for a few minutes after removing them.
How To Turn Your Cake Balls Into Cake Pops
Helpful Hint: For the next few steps, work with just a handful of cake balls at a time, rotating them in and out of the fridge. This will ensure that you always have chilled cake balls ready to go.
Microwave your candy melts in a bowl on low power for 30-seconds at a time. Stop and stir after each 30-second interval then repeat until the coating is completely melted. Do not overheat the candy melts or your coating will become lumpy. If the coating is too thick, add a small amount of vegetable oil to thin it out.
Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted coating and then into a cake ball, gently pushing until the stick is about half way through the cake ball. Set your cake pops in the fridge to chill for dipping. (You can also turn your cake pop upright and set it in your styrofoam block or cake pop stand.)
Dip each chilled cake pop straight down into the melted coating until the cake ball is completely covered and sealed. If you need to angle the cake pop, gently tilt it in one direction and then another. Resist the temptation to stir the coating with the cake pop. If you do, your cake pop may fall off of the stick into a candy coating abyss.
Remove the cake pop from the melted coating by pulling it straight up. Then, turn the cake pop at an angle and gently tap off any excess coating. Don’t get fancy, keep it simple.