The Do's and Don'ts of Making Cake Pops, by Someone Who's Been There


If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you're either curious about or obsessed with cake pops . Same here. My list of do's and don'ts will help you strategically tackle these adorable minis.

But first, one piece of general advice: When you're planning your masterpiece-on-a-stick, beginners definitely want to work with basic shapes . Complicated pops are totally cool, but less fun to make when you're a newbie. And if making cake pops isn't fun, what is?

Working With Dough

Don't be afraid to really push and shape the cake-pop dough with your hands. Use those muscles!

Do use a cookie scoop to help you make small, uniform portions.

Don't make your cake balls too big or they may fall apart when you dip them.

Do get into the habit of scooping and forming only a few portions at a time.

Don’t keep the unformed dough exposed to air; it will dry out. Keep the portion you're not working with wrapped in plastic.

Preparing the Coating

Do use candy coating . It’s made specifically for dipping, melts smoothly and hardens completely. Hobby shops, groceries, and cake- and candy-supply stores sell brands like Wilton Candy Melts, Merckens Colors, Clasen Coatings, Ghirardelli Melting Wafers, Guittard A’Peels, Make & Mold and CandiQuik.

You can even use the candy coating, mixed with corn syrup, to make "candy clay" for decorating your pops with ruffles or petals!

Don’t use chocolate bars, chocolate chip morsels, pure chocolate or baker’s chocolate blocks. These chocolates aren't made for use as a coating, and come with a high risk of discoloring once they're melted and cooled, or not hardening completely.

Do use Paramount Crystals and only Paramount Crystals to thin candy coating.

Don’t use oil or butter to thin candy coating, or it will never solidify as it should.

Do use oil-based dyes only for tinting candy coating . Be aware, though, that dyes will slightly change texture and taste. If possible, it's better to buy the color candy coating you want rather than dye it later.

Don’t add anything that is not oil-based to candy coating. This can cause the coating to “seize,” making it unusable. Read the label carefully. If it doesn’t say oil-based, then the dye usually isn’t.

Selecting Tools

Do use small silicone or microwave-safe plastic bowls or cups (one-cup capacity) to melt candy wafers . This is the best way to do this evenly.

Don’t use ceramic or glass containers. Both retain heat too well, preventing the candy coating from heating or cooling at its own natural pace and increasing the risk of cracks.

Do use a microwave (preferred) or a chocolate melting pot to melt the candy coating.

Don't use a double boiler or any other method that might expose the the candy coating to water or steam. This will cause your coating to seize (become lumpy).

Dipping Pops

Do allow refrigerated cake balls to warm up and candy coating to cool down before dipping . The closer to room temperature both are, the better.

Don’t dip cold cake pops into too-warm candy coating or you’ll get cracks.

Do use sprinkles and nonpareils to prettify your pops.

Don’t use candies to decorate pops until you test them! First, place one in the fridge for a few minutes. Then take it out and see how it reacts as it comes to room temperature.

Do explore the many options out there for embellishing your cake pops beyond simple sprinkles! In addition to the candy clay mentioned above, you can use modeling chocolate to turn your pops into roses, peonies or tulips !

Storing Pops

Do refrigerate cake pops in individual packages or in airtight containers (arrange them in flat layers separated by paper towels). When you take everything out of the fridge, condensation will collect on the outside of the package or container, not on the pops.

Don’t store cake pops without wrapping or covering them, or they'll end up dotted with condensation.

Do freeze uncoated cake balls.

Don’t freeze finished cake pops!

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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.
Get started making cake pops that wow at cocktail parties, bridal showers, birthday parties and beyond!
Kris Galicia Brown
Kris Galicia Brown
Just three little details — some slivered almonds, orange jimmies and candy eyes — can transform otherwise plain cake pops into adorable critters that are almost too cute to eat.
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The Do's and Don'ts of Making Cake Pops, by Someone Who's Been There