A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Make Cake Pops

Updated: October 4, 2023


If you find yourself indulging in the delightful experience of savoring cake pops from your local coffee shop or the convenience of your neighborhood grocery store, you’re certainly not alone. Over the past decade, cake pops have risen to remarkable popularity. Yet, have you ever pondered over the possibility of crafting these delectable treats in the comfort of your own kitchen?

Perhaps you’ve hesitated, uncertain of the endeavor, but rest assured, it’s a venture well worth undertaking. Not only does it prove to be more economical than purchasing them premade, but it also grants you the freedom to select your preferred ingredients, ensuring a personalized touch to every bite.

Whether you have an upcoming birthday celebration or simply yearn for a sweet indulgence, cake pops cater to an array of occasions. This is precisely why mastering the art of crafting cake pops at home is a valuable skill. With each attempt, your proficiency will soar, allowing you to relish in the satisfaction of creating these delightful confections. Embrace this delightful journey, for as you delve deeper, the more exquisite your creations will become, resulting in an even greater enjoyment of these beloved treats.

What Are Cake Pops?

For most adults, the concept of cake pops is a relatively recent addition to their culinary memory. Unlike long-standing classics, cake pops emerged into popularity around 2008, marking a more contemporary phenomenon in the realm of desserts. If you’re eager to explore the art of crafting these delightful treats, you’ll find yourself in the company of many enthusiasts keen on mastering this delectable skill.

A Brief History of Cake Pops

The precise origins of cake pops remain somewhat elusive, but we do have some insight into their early incarnation. Bakers initially repurposed leftover cake by transforming it into bite-sized spheres. This rudimentary technique laid the groundwork for what would evolve into the contemporary method of crafting cake pops.

Rather than discarding surplus cake, it was crumbled and blended with icing or a similar binding agent. This not only created a sweeter mixture than the original cake but also facilitated the formation of compact balls. These were then coated to yield the characteristic cake pop.

This inventive approach garnered widespread popularity, prompting bakers to recognize the lucrative potential of these confections as standalone desserts. It was during this period that cake pops transitioned from a kitchen innovation to a commercially viable treat.

Enter Bakerella, often credited with propelling cake pops into the mainstream consciousness. Her influence played a pivotal role in cementing the ubiquity of cake pops as we know them today. The year 2008 marked a significant milestone when cake pops first found their place on store shelves, forever altering the dessert landscape.

How to Make Cake Pops

Discovering how to make cake pops may seem like a more intricate process than you’d expect. While the recipe entails a bit of effort, it’s not as straightforward as some other culinary endeavors. In fact, you’ll need to begin by baking an entire cake before delving into the world of cake pops.

If you’re intrigued by the prospect of mastering this confectionery art, it’s well worth a try. Although it demands more involvement than many other recipes, the final product is bound to be a gratifying reward for your dedication in learning how to create these delectable treats.


To whip up approximately 26 medium-sized cake pops, gather the following:

  • A pre-prepared 9 by 13 cake in your chosen flavor.
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of your preferred frosting.
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of your chosen candy coating.
  • Lollipop sticks.
  • Assorted toppings and decorations as per your preference.

The beauty of crafting cake pops lies in the versatility of ingredients. The array of possibilities and potential flavor combinations is boundless, allowing for a truly personalized creation.

For added convenience, consider utilizing a boxed cake mix instead of preparing the cake from scratch. When it comes to the candy coating, exercise your discretion. Ensure you have enough to effectively dip all your cake pops. This adaptability ensures that your cake pop-making experience is both enjoyable and tailored to your tastes.

Step-by-step Process

Begin by placing the entirety of the cake you intend to use into a spacious bowl. Utilize your hands to finely crumble it until it transforms into a cohesive mass of fine crumbs.

The candy coating and toppings

Next, melt approximately two to four ounces of your chosen chocolate or candy coating in the microwave. Once it reaches a liquid state, dip the tips of the cake pop sticks you’ll be using into the coating and insert them into the cake balls, going about halfway in. Allow the cake pops to firm up by placing them in the freezer for around 20 minutes.

While the cake pops are chilling, gather and prepare all the decorative elements you plan to use, such as sprinkles or mini cookies.

Now, melt the remaining coating material in a large cup. Ensure you have enough to fully submerge the cake balls on sticks.

Retrieve the cake balls from the freezer and immerse them in the coating until thoroughly covered. Allow any excess coating to drip off; you can gently swirl and tap them against the side of the bowl if needed.

Swiftly apply your chosen toppings and decorations while the coating is still wet, as it tends to set quicker than anticipated.

Prepare and enjoy!

With your cake pops beautifully adorned, they’re now ready for your party or any other occasion you have in mind. Encase each one in a treat bag and secure it with a charming ribbon. Arrange them in a visually appealing manner, then present them with pride and savor the delightful experience!

Making the cake balls

Incorporate the frosting gradually, working it in little by little, using your hands. Continue this process until the mixture achieves a moist consistency, allowing you to form it into balls. It should retain a slight crumbly texture.

Shape the entire mixture into balls, each approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, and arrange them on a baking sheet.

Let them set

After adorning your cake pops, insert them into a styrofoam block for the final setting. If you’re in a hurry, you can expedite the process by placing them in the freezer. Once they have completely set, store them in a cool, airtight container until you’re ready to enjoy them.

Cake pops offer a delightful dessert experience for several compelling reasons. They can be enjoyed on a stick, akin to a lollipop, and come in an array of sophisticated flavors, including the classic varieties of traditional cake.

While the concept of crafting cake balls from leftover cake isn’t a recent innovation, it wasn’t until Bakerella, also known as Angie Dudley, breathed new life into them. Dudley not only pioneered the creation of cake pops but also shared her expertise online. Her unique recipe, which involved blending cake crumbs with frosting, quickly gained viral traction, leading to an invitation onto Martha Stewart’s show in the spring of 2008.

Those familiar with the original incarnation of cake balls—comprising of crumbs and icing—can attest that while they’re delicious, their appearance leaves much to be desired. Inspired by a cake decorating class in 2007, Dudley embarked on a journey of experimentation and refinement.

Her innovative approach involved enveloping the cake balls in a candy coating and adorning them with a myriad of decorations. Dudley sparked a trend by introducing the lollipop stick into the equation.

Since then, she has fashioned cake pops in an assortment of shapes and themes, from charming bumblebees to endearing pandas. Dudley chronicled her creations in blogs and even authored a book, solidifying the enduring presence of cake pops in modern culinary culture, owed in no small part to the influence of Bakerella.

Super Secret Option

If you’re facing difficulty in getting those crumbs to adhere just the way you’d like or if you’re curious about an alternative method for crafting cake pops, here’s another option for you.

Instead of forming the ball from leftover cake, consider utilizing a cake pop maker. Resembling a waffle maker in appearance, it functions differently. Inside, you’ll find small circular hollows designed for filling with cake batter. Simply shut the lid and bake. After they’ve cooled, apply icing and decorations, as mentioned earlier. You can find a cake pop maker like this one here.

The Dos and Don’ts of Making Cake Pops

Mastering the art of crafting cake pops is surprisingly straightforward. Nevertheless, to ensure a successful outcome, it’s crucial to bear in mind a few essential do’s and don’ts, as outlined in this helpful guide.

Rolling the cake balls

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Do utilize a cookie scoop or mini ice cream scoop to ensure consistent portion sizes for each cake ball.

Avoid making cake balls that are overly large; this could lead to difficulties when it comes time to dip them.

Candy coating

Here are some essential tips for successfully coating your cake pops:

Do use candy coating specifically designed for dipping. It ensures a smooth melt and complete hardening.

Don’t use regular chocolate as your coating. It may discolor when melted and cooled, and might not harden properly.

Do choose a tall, narrow cup for dipping. This allows you to fully submerge each cake pop.

Don’t roll your cake pops on a plate covered in candy coating. This may result in uneven coverage.

Do use oil-based dyes for coloring your candy coating. Keep in mind that this may slightly alter the flavor, so consider starting with a pre-colored coating.

Don’t use non-oil-based dyes to color your candy coating. They can affect the texture and make it unusable.

Do ensure that both your cake balls and candy coating are close to room temperature. Allow the cake balls to warm slightly after removing them from the freezer, and let the candy coating cool as needed.

Don’t dip cold cake balls into hot candy coating. This could lead to cracks in the coating.

Following these do’s and don’ts will help you achieve the best results when coating your cake pops.


Feel free to enhance your cake pops with sprinkles or nonpareils for added flair.

Exercise caution when using decorations like candies. Test them beforehand by placing them in the freezer, then observe how they respond to the process of warming up to room temperature


Ensure to refrigerate your cake pops in airtight containers or wrap them individually. This prevents condensation from forming directly on the cake pop when you remove them from the freezer.

Avoid leaving your cake pops uncovered during storage. Doing so may lead to unsightly condensation forming on the surface.

It’s a Piece of Cake!

Embarking on the journey of crafting cake pops can be a rewarding yet slightly challenging endeavor. While it may require some practice and patience, the end results are undeniably worth the effort.

The beauty of making cake pops lies in its boundless potential for creativity. You have the freedom to choose any cake flavor, coating, and decorations, turning it into not just a baking project, but an artistic one as well.

Mastering the art of making cake pops is a gratifying pursuit. It offers a creative outlet and the promise of a delightful dessert for your future gatherings. Even if your initial attempts aren’t flawless, persistence will grant you a valuable skill to cherish and share with friends.

We’re curious to hear your thoughts on our insights into making cake pops. Please feel free to share your feedback by leaving a comment!

What are cake pops?

Cake pops are small, bite-sized confections made by combining crumbled cake with a binding agent (such as frosting) and forming them into small, round shapes, which are then typically coated in chocolate or candy melts.

What ingredients do I need to make cake pops?

The basic ingredients for cake pops include baked cake, frosting, and coating (chocolate or candy melts). Additional ingredients for flavor and decoration can be added based on preference.

Can I use any type of cake for making cake pops?

Yes, you can use a variety of cake flavors for making cake pops, including chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, and more. It’s a great way to customize the flavor to your liking.

How do I achieve the right consistency for the cake pop mixture?

The consistency should be similar to that of cookie dough. It should hold its shape when rolled into balls without being too crumbly or too sticky. Adjust the amount of frosting if needed.

What’s the best way to dip cake pops in chocolate or candy coating?

Use a deep, narrow container to ensure the cake pop can be fully immersed. Dip straight down and then gently tap off excess coating. Allow any excess to drip off before placing on a parchment-lined tray.

How do I prevent cake pops from falling off the sticks?

Make sure the cake pops are well-chilled before inserting the sticks. Dip the stick in melted coating before inserting it into the cake pop to provide extra adhesion.

Can I decorate cake pops with sprinkles or other toppings?

After dipping the cake pops in coating, add your preferred decorations while the coating is still wet. This allows them to adhere nicely.

How should I store cake pops?

Once they’re fully assembled and decorated, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. If you’re not serving them right away, you can refrigerate them for up to a week.


Mastering the art of making cake pops opens up a world of sweet possibilities. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, these bite-sized delights offer a creative and customizable treat for various occasions.

By understanding the fundamentals of cake pop creation, from choosing the right ingredients to achieving the perfect consistency, you embark on a journey of culinary exploration. Embrace the process of dipping and decorating, adding your personal touch to each creation.

As you gain confidence and skill, you’ll find joy in the delightful transformation of basic cake and frosting into these charming confections. Remember, practice and patience are your allies in this endeavor. With each attempt, you’ll refine your technique and discover the nuances that suit your taste.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell

I'm Jeff Campbell, a seasoned leader with an extensive background at Whole Foods Market spanning over two decades. Throughout my career, I had the privilege of working in nine different stores across four states, not to mention my contributions to numerous other stores in various capacities. Recognized as a Global All-Star and a recipient of the prestigious Gold Pen Award, I also had the honor of winning the highly coveted Top-10 Store title three times on a company-wide level. Additionally, I achieved the distinction of Best New Store across the entire company.

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