This Is How to Make Your Very First Batch of Cake Pops

There are approximately zero reasons not to love cake pops. Not only are they adorably bite-sized, but they're super easy to make. Here's how to whip up a batch without a hitch.

What You Need

Pro Tip

Avoid cake recipes that call for oil, as it can cause cake pops to ooze and turn the sticks yellow. If you're using a box of cake mix, grab one that calls for three eggs, substitute the oil and water with 1 cup of milk and 1 stick (½ cup) of butter, melted.

Instructions

1. Crumble the Cake

Crumble your cake in a bowl, either with your hands or a stand-up mixer. (Use the paddle attachment and a low speed setting.) Set aside about a cup of cake crumbs if you’re not used to this process; they'll come in handy later for troubleshooting if necessary.

2. Make the Dough

Add about 2-3 tablespoons of binder to your cake crumbs. This will “glue” the crumbs together to form a dough that’s pliable and easy to shape.

Pro Tip

For best results, use a tacky frosting like honey buttercream, cream cheese frosting, Swiss meringue buttercream, creamy store-bought frosting or even straight cream cheese.

Mix the binder and cake crumbs with your hands, or use a stand mixer on low for about 3 to 5 minutes. It's tricky to specify an actual measurement of binder since every cake differs, as does each type of binder. Continue to add binder one tablespoon at a time until the dough has the consistency of Play-Doh. It shouldn’t be tacky, and it shouldn’t crumble if you form a ball or give it a squeeze between your fingers.

Pro Tip

If the dough is too dry, add a little more binder. If it’s too wet or tacky, add the crumbs you set aside and incorporate into the dough.

Cover the dough in plastic wrap while doing the next step.

3. Form the Cake Pops

Use a cookie scoop to scoop your dough, then roll into balls using the palms of your hands. Keep the rest of the dough covered in plastic wrap as you take out a few scoops at a time. The balls should hold together well and not have cracks or crumbs.

Place cake balls on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least five minutes. You can chill them longer if you want, just cover the top with paper towels if you do.

4. Melt the Candy Wafers

While the cake balls are setting in the fridge, melt your candy wafers to create a candy coating. Do so by placing the wafers in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute at 50 percent power, then stir. Continue to heat the wafers in the microwave at 30-second intervals and 50 percent power. Make sure to stir between each interval until all the wafers have completely melted.

Pro Tip

There are many brands of candy wafers; each color within those brands will melt into a different consistency. You'll probably see the Wilton brand everywhere, but higher-quality brands like Mercken’s and Clasen are usually only available in specialty-baking or candy-supply stores.

Once the wafers have melted, gauge the consistency and thin out using Paramount crystals if needed. (Paramount is the only product that won't affect the integrity of the coating; find it online or in specialty-baking or candy-supply stores.) Add 1 teaspoon of the crystals at a time while stirring to melt, incorporating completely.

5. Insert the Sticks

Remove the cake balls from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes to take the chill off. If they've been in the fridge for over an hour, they’ll need to sit out a bit longer, about 10 minutes.

Dip about ⅓ of the lollipop stick into the candy coating, then insert the stick into a cake ball about halfway. This adheres the ball to the stick and prevents the ball from sliding down or shifting. Do this for each cake ball. The candy coating should harden and set after a few seconds.

6. Dip the Cake Balls

You’re ready to dip once your sticks are in place, your cake balls don’t feel chilly and your candy coating has cooled down. (Dunk a knuckle into the coating and if it doesn't feel hot, you’re good.)

Hold the cake pop upside down and dip it into the candy coating in one motion, then lift up and gently shake off the excess. Turn it right side up and add your decoration, like sprinkles or a drizzle of another candy melt color, while it's still wet. Place it on a cake pop stand or Styrofoam block to let dry completely. Repeat the process until all the cake pops have been coated.

And there you have it — homemade cake pops!


Find Your Next Project

Once you master the basic cake pop, dress it up and make these eye-catching desserts.

Sure, you could make a ho-hum cake, and nobody would complain (because, you know, it's cake). But if you're after "oohs" and "ahhs" from your crew, take that cake, mash it with some frosting and transform it into the most amazing cake pops in the mythical universe. Don't worry — they're way easier to make than they look.
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This Is How to Make Your Very First Batch of Cake Pops