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How To Make Cake Pops – Everything You Need To Know

Have you tried cake pops? These marvelous treats become so popular recently that you can see them everywhere; TV commercials, stores, shows… You name it.

I mean, how couldn’t they? They taste great, look attractive, they are practical to eat, they are fun and delight for the whole family. Especially when you get creative and start creating some goofy cute balls and decorate them perfectly for everyone.

They are perfect for hanging out, events like birthdays, and delicious. Making them doesn’t take much time and energy, and they make a perfect surprise for your kids, even the big ones. Still, there are some things to pay attention to, and master them to avoid problems, and create the perfect cake pops every time.

Isn’t that what we all want?

No matter whether you have a sweet tooth or addicted to the bitter taste of like coffee lovers, we all love cake pops, and we love to make them. A ton of options, ways, and tips available for the savvy cook might confuse you or be too overwhelming to cope with. That’s why we’re here today.

Today you’ll learn how to create perfect cake pops, a bit about their history, their popularity, solutions to possible problems and even some tips from professional bakers.

Heads up: this one is quite long, so we separated it into chapters and provided links for you to have easier browsing through this guide.

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What Are Cake Pops?

A bite to grab and enjoy, created from cake leftovers and frosting, stuck on a small stick creating the look we all are familiar with. Easy to make, depending on your creativity the most for the delight and experience they bring.

They can be made from various ingredients, using different methods; we’ll cover that later.

Who Invented Cake Pops?

2008 is the year when the witty, creative baker blogger Angie Dudley (more known as Bakerella) made the first plate of cake pops. The invention was really simple, yet so eye-catchy and tasty that Angie didn’t expect they will go so well.

It all started when Martha Stewart (or some from her crew) discovered Angie’s viral recipe for treats on a stick and invited her to the show. Today we have thousands of variations and cake pops recipes and craving fans all over the world.

From professional bakeries and restaurants to everyday homes, cake pops have taken over the world. Eight long years have passed, and cake pops are now more interesting and delightful than ever.

Popularization of Cake Pops

Cake pops created ripples and waves throughout the baking industry, turning Angie into an overnight success. She quickly became a New York Times best-selling author – over 500.000 copies of her book sold. She created a book to answer the flood of questions that she received; people went crazy about a simple treat made from cake and frosting.

Sometimes it takes a creativity and some luck, and that’s it. It wasn’t rocket science, yet it made a revolution bigger than cupcakes. A pure example of innovation, that made millions crazy. We’re so happy for Bakerella and her discovery, as we continue to enjoy it daily.

You can have them in any size, shape, and taste – your creativity is the only thing that matters. People from all over the world started making them, and so far many amazing pieces of cake pops were praised and enjoyed on.

Often poured with sprinkles and designed to look like cupcakes, all geometric shapes, heads of animals, people, fictional characters, emblems, and much more, cake pops are served to provoke and inspire fun.

Starbucks started selling cake pops soon, making them one of the most popular small treats that accompany coffee. The industry recognized the potential of this treat; soon a plethora of tools and merchandise appeared on the markets, enabling people to create professional-looking cake pops. Companies started producing and selling cake pops at retailers stores as well.

Who would have thought that a treat this small will have so much attention and success?

Homemade or Bought Cake Pops?

Like everything in the food industry today, cake pops can be bought and be at your table with no hustle. On the other hand, you can set your creativity free and create some amazing cake pops at your own home with a bit of effort.

With dozens of tips and advice on how to make cake pops, you can be sure that you’re in for an adventure – your homemade cake pops will be the reward.

Which option is better? Do you make your homemade cake pops, or you buy them?

Let’s separate the two possibilities here, and state the pros & cons of each one. That’s how we’ll address them both, and you can compare them thoroughly.

Buying Cake Pops - Pros

This is a perfect solution for those who work too much, are on the constant move, or just simply doesn’t like cooking that much.

There are those who tried to make cake pops, and they didn’t turn out as expected – getting a professional do it for you will remove all the hustle from the process of getting cake pops, and you can enjoy their taste and looks straight away.

You just go to the nearest store or bakery, and buy them. You get to pick from many different flavors and designs, and professionally-made cake pops await you for decent prices. They taste great, and you’ll have them done in no time.

The Lazy Approach: You get to order cake pops online.

Yeah, this is also an option, a legitimate one. There are a number of websites that provide these services locally or even nation-vise. You get to pick from the product line of the company, choose your favorite, and check out. Nothing more. After some time, you’ll have a delivery on your doorstep.

Buying Cake Pops - Cons

The cons are pretty obvious here; you don’t get to see what’s actually in those cake pops you ordered, you don’t have the process of the making, and no special, unique touch.

The ingredients play a significant role in the cons section here, especially if you can’t affect them when you buy from the specific merchant or retailer (the good thing here is to contact a custom-offer cake pops company, which is excellent, but a pricey solution).

Price is also an apparent factor here – for the price of one packaging of cake pops, you can buy ingredients for the nearly triple amount if you’d make them yourself.

The joy of creating beautiful treats – some might find this as a big con while others won’t care that much.

Homemade Cake Pops – Pros

As mentioned just above, the joy of creating some beautiful treats in the kitchen is one of the first reasons we all bake. Next, there is control; when preparing cake pops at your home, you get to pick the ingredients, measure them and make your own recipe (it’s advised to master the basic recipe first).

What’s the con of the one method, is the pro of the other; homemade cake pops will cost you less than bought ones.

Finding advice – there is a vast network of bakers and people who share their experience and recipes of cake pops online. If you’re stuck somewhere or don’t have ideas, you can rely on in-depth knowledge of people who’ve made some amazing cake pops before you.

Trial and error will make you a master in no time. Making cake pops is entertaining, especially when you get to the decorations part. Your kids can participate here, and you can have a beautiful family moment whenever it’s time for something sweet. You’ll be the cool parent who makes its kids create edible toys. Who would say “no” to that?!

There is one mixed section here – you can buy the boxed cake mix and canned frosting, which can speed up the process significantly. All the pros and cons of buying follow these as well.

Homemade Cake Pops – Cons

Basically, there are no cons of this method. Even if your cake pops fail somehow (you’re probably doing something wrong, which can be corrected by following our guide), it will still be a fun time, which will result in you learning (mastering) a new skill.

Making a mess could be another thing worth to mention here, but it really shouldn’t be considered as a flaw.

Making the Cake Pops

Here we’re talking about the process itself. We’ve broken everything down to make it easier for you. As we mentioned in the text above, there are two ways you can make cake pops.

The first way is to make them from scratch, which means making your own buttercream and cake. The second way of making cake pops is easier. Buy the boxed cake mix and canned frosting which makes you already half way done.

Making cake pops does not require you to be a professional chef. They are simple yet delicious treats that make your taste buds always crave for more. Homemade cake pops may take a little more of your time, but they are well worth it.

Ingredients for Cake Pops

Let’s start with what ingredients you will need and step by step guide for the cake ball mix:

Making The Cake Ball Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of unsalted and softened butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 1/4 cups of milk

Equipments

Baking a cake is as simple as it is to utter those words. Measuring the ingredients, mixing them in the right order and making sure you don’t burn will help you conquer this little task.

It takes some careful management not to overdo with ingredients and not to over-bake it, but we will guide you through, and you will soon realize that this is an easy feat.

Have in mind that you can use any other cake recipe you desire, you are not compelled to stick with this one. You can make any type of cake you’d like, choose the flavor that your taste and smell senses enjoy the most. Steps for making the perfect cake are:

1. Preheat the oven.

To save your precious time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to be ready and hot when the mix is ready to be baked.

If you are looking for​ an oven, you can take my advice in 5 Best Countertop Convection Oven.

2. Prepare the pan

It can be any pan you have, such as loaf pans or bundt pans. We recommend that you use 9 inch round pans or 9 x 13 inches square pan as they have the optimal surface for this task.

The second thing you want to do is grease the pan so you could avoid the cake sticking to it. Parchment paper also works well in this case. Cut the paper to fit into the pan on one side, leave the other end of the paper longer to reach over the sides of the pan to easily lift the cake when it’s done.

3. Prepare the batter

Take your mixing bowl and add butter and sugar. Beat the sugar and butter until you have that smooth and light mixture. Creaming these two ingredients takes about 3 to 5 minutes using medium speed.

The experience itself can even be quite fun if you are using a hand mixer in preparing the mix, watching yourself make the ribbons in the batter.

4. Add the eggs

It is quite important to add the eggs one at the time. By doing so, you have a higher chance of creating a smoother mix. Also worth mentioning, the eggs should be at the room temperature which ensures that there won’t be any curdles in the batter.

5. Add the 1 cup of cake flour

  • Stir the combination until there are no visible traces of flour left.

6. Add the milk and vanilla to the dry mixture.

When you add the milk into the dry mix, the milk then gets absorbed in the batter easier, without the need to over-mix it. Pour in the milk and use your hand mixer on low until it is perfectly combined.

7. Add another cup of cake flour

After you’ve finished mixing, add another cup of flour and stir it, so there are no visible traces. You can stir it with your spatula just a few times to ensure none of the flour is left on the bottom of the bowl.

8. Add the mixture to the pan and put it in the oven.

add the mixture to the pan

via cakejournal

  • Let it bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

How to tell if the cake is baked well?

If you already put the effort into making the cake, you don’t want it to be mediocre. If you think that just setting the timer to 30 minutes and leaving the room will make your cake great, you are gravely mistaken.

As all quality work, you need to tend to it until the end. Here are some pointers that can help you recognize that the cake is done:

  • Pull out the cake after 25 minutes of baking, then take a toothpick and stick it in the center. If the toothpick is dry, and with only a few of the crumbs on it then the cake is well baked. If the toothpick is a little moist, put the cake back in the oven and bake for another couple of minutes. If you are unsure, repeat the process.
  • When the cake is well made, the top should slightly bounce back after you pressed it softly with your fingertips (watch yourself, especially if the cake is fresh out of the oven).
  • Look at the sides. When the cake is baked, it will often separate from the sides of the pan. Make sure you don’t let it separate too much, that could mean the cake is over-baked.

When you are done baking, let your cake and pan cool of for about 15 minutes so you can handle them safely.

Making The Balls

When you’ve finished the hardest part of making the cake pops, it is time to shape your cake into the balls. For this stage, you will need a couple of more ingredients and equipment. This is what you will need:

  • Previously baked cake
  • Medium or large bowl
  • Serving spoon
  • Frosting (the one you like the most)
  • Sheet to place the balls and that can fit into your fridge
  • Scoop
  • Parchment paper

1. Once your cake has cooled off, take it and begin to crumble it into the bowl, make sure to continue the process until there are only fine pieces of crumbs left.

If you have children in the house, you can let them contribute by doing this crumbling, as it can be fun and can give children a sense of accomplishment for helping in the creation of their favorite treat.

Note: Use your utility knife to cut the edges of your cake before you begin to crumble it. The crust may create hard lumps which can cause problems to the texture.

2. When there is nothing but crumbs left in your bowl, the time is right to add the frosting. The flavor is entirely up to you, so take the one you like the most. For example, vanilla frosting.

Mix it up with the cake mix and continue the process until the two are completely bind together. For this task, you can use your hands or the back of the spoon.

The amount of frosting you add to the mix depends on the moisture of the cake. If the cake is moist on its own, you should use more frosting and vice versa.

Note: Do not put too much frosting as it can lead to the mixture being too moist. In those cases, cake pops could be too heavy and fall of the sticks.

3. After the mix is blended and ready, take your scoop and grab a chunk of the mixture. Using the scoop ensures that every ball has approximately the same size.

Place the content into your hands and roll it between them until you get the desired shape. Repeat the process as long as there is no mixture left.

Note: When you roll the balls, make sure your hands are clean and slightly wet to help you make a smoother look.

When you have finished making the balls, place them on the sheet and put the sheet into the refrigerator. Cool the balls for about 4 hours to ensure that they will be firm for future use.

Make sure you use plastic wrap and tin foil on the sheet before placing it in the refrigerator to make sure that they keep the moisture and to protect them from freezer burns.

The Finishing Phase: Assembly and Decoration

After waiting for the balls to cool off, it’s time for the fun part – decorating. In this section you can use a variety of decorations; chocolate, candy melts, sprinkles and other ingredients that you would like. The goods you will need for this part are the following:

  • Bowl for chocolate (microwave safe)
  • Styrofoam block covered in tin foil
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Candy melts
  • Sprinkles (optional)

1. First things first, remove the foil from the sheet but keep it in the refrigerator.

2. Get your microwave-safe bowl, place chocolate or candy melts (whichever you prefer) inside and put it into the microwave. Follow the instructions on the chocolate package to determine how long it needs to melt.

3. When the microwave does its job, take the bowl out and dip one of the lollipop sticks into the chocolate 1 inch deep. Take the cake balls from the refrigerator and put them on the dipped end of the sticks one by one.

When you’ve checked that the cake ball is firmly attached to the stick, submerge it into the bowl until the chocolate covers the whole ball.

4. After a short period, pull out the cake pop and let the excess chocolate drip away. First, hold it sideways and then keep it upside down to ensure none of the extra chocolate sticks and ruins the texture. Clean the lollipop stick with your finger for extra aesthetics.

5. For cake pops decorating, prepare coconut, sprinkles (or anything else that would satisfy you) in separate bowls and gently apply them on the freshly dipped cake pop.

finishing phase 7

6. The final step is to place your cake pops into Styrofoam block and let them dry off.

There it is. Your perfectly made cake pops are done! If you follow the steps by this order, there is little to no space for an error. Still, some issues may occur, and we address them all in the section below:

Common Problems in Making of Cake Pops

When we do something, we often make mistakes or the things don’t go exactly as planned. As easy as it is to make cake pops, some issues may occur in the process of making, and some more frequently than the others.

To help those of you who are new in making of this delicious desert, we list the common issues and provide solutions to them.

Cake Balls Not Sticking Properly To The Lollipop During The Making

Cake Pops Don’t Seem Round Enough

The Chocolate Cracking

Cake Balls Are Not Smooth Enough

Cake Pops Leak Cake Filling Or Oil

Chocolate Is Too Thick To Dip In

The Blooming Effect (White Streaks)

5 Best Cake Pops Recipes

As you are very well aware, cake pops are a delicious dessert that can be served in almost any type of setting. But the biggest benefit of cake pops is that they allow for so much creativity and originality.

You can have theme-based cake pops and most of all you can experiment with the tastes of different toppings and icings. We always encourage people to try out different things in their kitchen, but so that you get a couple of starter ideas; we've made a list of 5 best cake pops recipes.

The recipes we featured on our list are mostly based on buying the cake mix, which is simpler, but we feel that you won’t get the right adventure idea. The cake part is equally as important as icing so you might want to check our step by step tutorial before you start preparing these recipes.

Remember that we are only supplying you with ideas, so don't try too hard to make everything by the book. We want you to have fun making this candy while having mind the taste preferences of you and your family.

5. Disco-ball Cake Pops

For number five, we picked out a recipe that is not so difficult to make but ends up looking great. Disco balls are fun on their own so turning them into cake has to be one of the best ideas ever. Albeit having to be upside down to serve their name truthfully, Disco-ball cake pops are certainly delicious.

Mini m&ms were enough to catch our attention but when you add white chocolate and vanilla, superb taste comes kind of naturally. Excellent choice for parties, Disco-ball cake pops are sure to bring aesthetic pleasure to both formal and informal events.

With four out of five stars on taste.com, Disco-ball cake pops are a well-recommended idea you can use to surprise guests and family pleasantly at your next party!

Check this recipe here!​

4. Nutella Cake Pops

We must admit that it was the word Nutella from the title that made us put this recipe on the list. However, Nutella’s almost godly fame on the internet is not without cause.

This creamy, sweet wonder has been creating a lot of smiling faces across the globe for many years. Now, think about Nutella in our favorite candy – cake pops.

You got it right - it is magnificent.

The process of making Nutella cake pops is pretty straightforward with the result being a sugary delight. This recipe uses sprinkles as decoration, but you can use whatever you want to make the Nutella cake pops look as good as they taste.

Over two thousand shares on social media indicate that this recipe is very popular (or is that because of Nutella?), and you should definitely try it out.

Check this recipe here!​

3. Mini Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops

With the summer being just around the corner, this is the best time to be talking about ice cream. Of course, our Mini ice cream cone cake pops do not contain actual ice cream but are surely the next best thing.

This recipe uses Chococones in the place of real cones and chocolate cake as the basis. The ice cream cake pops have been further decorated to resemble one of the most favorite summer past times. You can use Candy Melts to make your own ice cream patterns or any other decorative candy for that matter.

As the recipe implies, Mini ice cream cone cake pops are perfect for children birthdays and similar events. Just make it as colorful as you can!

Check this recipe here!​

2. Red Velvet Cake Pops

One of the most praised and shared cake pops recipes online is the Red Velvet cake pops recipe. This could have a lot to do with the fact that people simply love red velvet cake, but we must all agree that the taste is exquisite.

Number one cake pops recipe on many sites (e.g. allwomenstalk.com), red velvet cake pops have seen their share of popularity. It is a usual go-to for party organizers and caterers because of both its genuine look and taste.

Red and white lollipop sticks are a great addition to this recipe because when it comes to desserts, decorating is crucial. It would be great if you shared your decorating experiences in the comment section, who knows, maybe you can even get a brand new idea from someone else.

Check this recipe here!​

1. Sparky Cake Pops

We have to admit that the number one recipe on our list is a bit subjective. We are not sure if it is because we are such big fans of Halloween or the famous director Tim Burton but we simply love cake pops in the shape of Sparky, the dog from the movie Frankenweenie. We have definitely made up our mind for this year’s Halloween.

However, true recognition must go to the amazing chef from bakerella.com. The amount of detail and general creativity is something that should be admired and learned from. We strongly advise you take a tour of her site as you will surely find many interesting ideas.

It is not easy to achieve this level of details. It takes years of practice so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right the first time. Remember that the most important thing about making adorable candy is having fun while you’re doing it.

Check this recipe here!​

Bonus Section: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve wanted to know about the problems that people might have while preparing the cake pops; next, we put effort to address those problems the best possible way. In this section, we will present some bonus questions, which are very common online, and can provide a quality knowledge for you.

1. How To Determine How Many Cake Pops Do I Need?

2. Do I Need To Use Only Chocolate For Dipping?

3. How Much Time Should Pass From Preparing To Serving?

4. How Long Can Cake Pops Last?

5. What Are The Most Popular Cake Pop Flavors?

6. Which Edible Food Pen To Use?

7. Decorating With Edible Pens Problems?

Extra Tips

  • Try to avoid layers of edible coloring – the bottom layers tend to show trough, except the black color is at the top
  • Make sure your pops have dried and hardened before you start applying decorations with edible pens.

Conclusion

Cake pops have taken over the bakery world by storm, and they are here to stay. These amazing sweets make our mouth water, and we are absolutely hooked on making and consuming them.

They are perfect for a cute gift, for catering every possible occasion, or spicing up the lazy afternoon. We love them.

Millions of recipes, variations, combinations, and more; you simply can’t go wrong with them. When you master the basic recipe, the sky is the limit!

What is your favorite cake pop recipe? What is your favorite design?Let us know in the comment section below.

Also, if you have a friend who struggles to create perfect cake pops, share the knowledge!

Dejan
 

Dejan is a traveler knowledge junkie, passionate amateur cook, and productivity enthusiast. He loves pasta and chicken the most, and enjoys discovering new ways of preparing and enjoying them.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Frugal Hausfrau - July 6, 2016

What a great post!! I love it! Seriously you’ve covered just about everything anyone needs to know!

Thanks for sharing with us on Throwback Thursday!

Mollie

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