cake pops

10 Secrets to the Perfect Cake Pops

cake pops

Cake pops are super popular right now and fun to make and eat.  

Today, I’m going to share with 10 Secrets to the Perfect Cake Pop….and I have a Guest Baker to help!  

Cake Pops

Meet Rosebud, of Rosebud Bakery.  She’s a talented baker and cake decorator, sweet young lady and friend.

When my daughter requested Cake Pops for her Graduation Reception I knew right away who I needed to call. Rosebud’s Cake Pops are moist, delicious AND they look amazing!  She makes her own sugar sprinkles so I was able to request Cake Pops to match our party colors….have I mentioned how much I LOVE food that matches a color scheme?!  

Making Cake Pops requires several steps and it can be a little time-consuming.  Having a friend or family member to help would be a great activity and time saver.  But, if you’re making them by yourself there’s good news….they can be done over two or three days. Bake the cakes one day, make them into balls the next and dip and decorate on the third day.  The candy coating seals them and keeps them moist so as long as they’re covered they will keep a couple of days before serving.  

Rosebud’s Secrets to the Perfect Cake Pops are very helpful and will insure success!

Here’s the Recipe:  

  • 1 box cake mix (any flavor)
  • Ingredients to prepare cake mix (usually oil or butter, eggs and water)
  • tub frosting in a flavor to complement the cake – NOT whipped (only 1/2 can is needed)
  • cake pop sticks
  • candy coating (recommended instead of baking chips, we used Candyquik)
  • Cake Pop holder or Styrofoam board for holding upright while they dry 
  • Optional: Sprinkles for decorating

***For this post we made Red Velvet and Carrot Cake.  With the Red Velvet we used white cream cheese frosting and dipped in chocolate candy coating.  For the Carrot we also used white cream cheese frosting but dipped in white candy coating.  In this post you’ll see photos from both.***

cake pops

Bake cake according to package directions

(Any shape or pan is fine)

Cool completely

cake pops

In a large bowl, crumble cake with hands

cake pops

Crumbs should be very fine.  This is best done by rolling between hands

cake pops

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #1Crumbs are fine enough when cake sticks together and forms a ball when squeezed in hand

cake pops

Begin adding icing, one scoop at a time

cake pops

Mix with hands until fully incorporated

*It may get messy, but it’s worth it!*

Continue to add more icing and mix completely, checking after each addition

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #2:  You only need about 1/2 the can of frosting

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #3: Getting mixture the right consistency….

cake pops

Roll a small amount of mixture into a ball

cake pops

Holding ball between thumb and fingers, gently squeeze the back of the ball

IF cracks appear in the front of the ball IT’S NOT READY…this one is NOT ready

cake pops

Add more icing a little at a time, mix and repeat until…

NO cracks appear when squeezed….This one IS perfect!

cake pops

Using a 2 inch cookie scoop, form mixture into about 30 cake balls

Place on a cookie sheet and into refrigerator for about 4 hrs

At this point you can continue on with dipping the Cake Pops or cover and freeze until ready to dip

*They can be kept in the freezer a couple of days, however,  

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #4:  DO NOT DIP  straight out of freezer.  

They will be too cold and candy coating will crack when it hardens.  If freezing, remove from freezer and place in refrigerator for at least two hours before dipping*

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #5: Keep balls in refrigerator until ready to dip, taking out only a few at a time.  It’s important for them to stay cool.  If they get too warm they will fall off the stick when dipped.

cake pops

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #6: Use Candyquik instead of regular chocolate or almond bark

Melt candy coating in microwave, according to directions on package

cake pops

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #7:  Seal the tip of the stick before adding Cake Ball

Dip each cake pop stick about 3/4 in. in the melted Candyquik

Allow extra to drip off then place cake pop stand

*This is done to seal the sticks and keeps oils from cake pops from running down the stick and causing it to yellow*

Allow to dry about 10 minutes

cake pops

The side of the cake ball that was on the cookie sheet will be flat, that’s the side you want to put the stick in

When sticks are ready take out a few cake balls and begin to dip

Dip sticks again in Candyquik then immediately into flat side of cake ball

**Best done holding hand flat and placing cake ball in palm.  Insert stick about 1/2 in into ball**

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #8:  Gently tap ball in hand to spread the chocolate out and form a seal

**We used chocolate and vanilla Candyquik.  Although the pictures show different flavors, keep flavor consistent when dipping***

cake pops

Place back into cake pop stand to dry

At this point, take a moment to gently reshape any balls that have become slightly misshapen

Allow to sit about 10 minutes  

If cake balls seem to be getting too warm, put back in refrigerator to chill before dipping

cake pops

One at a time, dip cake pops into melted Candyquik, and swirl to coat

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #9:  Do not cover all the way to the stick, being very careful NOT to cover the seal completely.  If the seal is covered the warm coating will cause it to melt and pop can fall off the stick

Allow excess coating to drip off by tapping gently on side of bowl,

cake pops

If covering with sprinkles, hold over a small bowl and cover while coating is wet

Then place back in cake pop stand to harden

cake pops

If decorating with stripes, first allow coating to harden completely 

cake pops

Perfect Cake Pop Secret #10:  Decorating with stripes of opposite flavor candy coating

Using the flat end of a wooden skewer, dip in opposite color Candyquik

Holding over bowl of melted Candyquik, turn cake pop and drizzle with opposite color

Replace in stand and allow to harden

cake pops

Or drizzle with the same color coating and sprinkle with sprinkles while wet

cake pops

Beautiful on the outside….

cake pops

Moist and creamy on the inside!

cake pops

Of course, after making them we HAD to have a sample!

Thanks again, Rosebud, for being our guest baker and sharing your 10 Secrets to the Perfect Cake Pops!

For more of Rosebud’s beautiful creations check out Rosebud Bakery on Facebook and let her know you stopped by liking her page!

Perfect Cake Pops
Perfect Cake Pops
Yields 30
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Ingredients
  1. 1 box cake mix (any flavor)
  2. Ingredients to prepare cake mix (usually oil or butter, eggs and water)
  3. tub frosting in a flavor to complement the cake – NOT whipped (only 1/2 can is needed)
  4. cake pop sticks
  5. candy coating (recommended instead of baking chips, we used Candyquik)
  6. Cake Pop holder or Styrofoam board for holding upright while they dry
  7. Optional: Sprinkles for decorating
Instructions
  1. Bake cake according to package directions
  2. (Any shape or pan is fine)
  3. Cool completely
  4. In a large bowl, crumble cake with hands
  5. Crumbs should be very fine. This is best done by rolling between hands (See Secret #1)
  6. Begin adding icing, one scoop at a time
  7. Mix with hands until fully incorporated
  8. Continue to add more icing and mix completely, checking after each addition (See #2 & 3)
  9. Using a 2 inch cookie scoop, form mixture into about 30 cake balls
  10. Place on a cookie sheet and into refrigerator for about 4 hrs
  11. At this point you can continue on with dipping the Cake Pops or cover and freeze until ready to dip (See #4 &5)
  12. Melt candy coating in microwave, according to directions on package (See #6)
  13. Seal the tip of the stick before adding Cake Ball (See #7) by dipping each cake pop stick about 3/4 in. in the melted Candyquik
  14. Allow extra to drip off then place cake pop stand
  15. Allow to dry about 10 minutes
  16. The side of the cake ball that was on the cookie sheet will be flat, that’s the side you want to put the stick in
  17. When sticks are ready take out a few cake balls and begin to dip
  18. Dip sticks again in Candyquik then immediately into flat side of cake ball
  19. Best done holding hand flat and placing cake ball in palm. Insert stick about 1/2 in into ball and gently tap. (See #8)
  20. Place back into cake pop stand to dry
  21. At this point, take a moment to gently reshape any balls that have become slightly misshapen
  22. Allow to sit about 10 minutes
  23. If cake balls seem to be getting too warm, put back in refrigerator to chill before dipping
  24. One at a time, dip cake pops into melted Candyquik, and swirl to coat
  25. Do not cover all the way to the stick (See #9)
  26. Allow excess coating to drip off by tapping gently on side of bowl
  27. If covering with sprinkles, hold over a small bowl and cover while coating is wet
  28. Then place back in cake pop stand to harden
  29. If decorating with stripes, first allow coating to harden completely (See #10)
10 Secrets to the Perfect Cake Pop
  1. #1: When crumbling cake, crumbs are fine enough when cake sticks together and forms a ball when squeezed in hand
  2. #2: You only need about 1/2 the can of frosting
  3. #3: Getting mixture the right consistency
  4. Roll a small amount of mixture into a ball
  5. Holding ball between thumb and fingers, gently squeeze the back of the ball
  6. IF cracks appear in the front of the ball IT’S NOT READY…this one is NOT ready
  7. Add more icing a little at a time, mix and repeat until…
  8. NO cracks appear when squeezed
  9. #4: DO NOT DIP straight out of freezer. They will be too cold and candy coating will crack when it hardens. If freezing, remove from freezer and place in refrigerator for at least two hours before dipping
  10. #5: Keep balls in refrigerator until ready to dip, taking out only a few at a time. It’s important for them to stay cool. If they get too warm they will fall off the stick when dipped.
  11. #6: Use Candyquik instead of regular chocolate or almond bark
  12. #7: Sealing the tip of the stick is done to keep oils from cake pops from running down the stick and causing it to yellow
  13. #8: Gently tap ball in hand to spread the chocolate out and form a seal. This helps secure the ball to the stick
  14. #9: When dipping Cake Pop DO NOT cover the seal completely. If the seal is covered the warm coating will cause it to melt and pop can fall off the stick
  15. #10: Decorating with stripes of opposite flavor candy coating
  16. Using the flat end of a skewer, dip in opposite color Candyquik
  17. Holding over bowl of melted Candyquik, turn cake pop and drizzle with opposite color
  18. Replace in stand and allow to harden
O Taste and See https://otasteandseeblog.com/

 

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26 Responses

  1. Thanks for such great instructions!! I always host Thanksgiving, and have been looking for something different and fun for dessert. I think I’ll use these tips to try my hand at pumpkin cake pops. I’m off to the kitchen!!
    ~~Lori

  2. Stepanie

    I plan on making these for a wedding reception. I need to drop off on Friday night but the reception isn’t until Saturday evening. Would they be fine sitting out in the open or refrigerate?

    1. Danita

      Cake Pops are a great reception idea! They keep longer in the refrigerator so if you have room I’d probably do that. However, it’s only one day so if there’s not room they will be fine sitting out. Either way, just make sure they are covered well.
      Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear how it goes.

  3. Kelly

    I love the tutorial, you make this look real easy! This gives me courage to go ahead and try them for my daughters birthday. I was wondering if these can be made ahead of time then frozen. Could they be frozen with the coating or should I coat them after they thaw?

    1. Danita

      Thanks Kelly! They really are pretty easy. Yes, they can be made ahead and frozen, but not with the coating. Just wrap them up good and tight so they won’t get dried out in the freezer. A couple of hours before you’re ready to coat, transfer them to the refrigerator. They’re too cold straight out of the freezer and the chocolate with crack as it cools. Hope they turn out well, I’d love to hear about it if you try them.

    1. Danita

      I would say only about 30 minutes. Just be careful they aren’t too cold or your chocolate will crack as it hardens. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Jennifer

    I have a question about the coating. I am making cake pops and need to get the candy coating a very true bright white color. I typically use candy melts (for the white I normally use Wilton Bright White candy melts) but if I add white coloring the chocolate seizes. This is what happened in my “trial run” a few days ago and I am preparing for a birthday party on February 20th in two weeks. Any advice would be much appreciated. Because I always buy my candy melts in the color that I want to use I have never tried to color them before but I have to assume that the same problem would occur if I tried to color any melts with any coloring so I really need to find a way around it since I would bet money that there will be more instances when I need to alter the color somewhat. TIA!

    1. Danita

      That’s a great question, Jennifer. I haven’t tried coloring the melt, just purchased in the color needed. I did a little research and it seems it’s the water in the regular food coloring that messes up the chocolate. From what I’ve read, Wilton makes a coloring specifically for their candy melts. They look like the paste colors but are made just for the candy melts. They may be in your local store (like Michaels) near the candy melts. I saw them online and they are called Wilton Candy Colors. The difference is, these are oil based so they won’t make the chocolate seize. Hope that helps and everything goes well with your party! Thanks so much for stopping by, I think I’ll add this info into the post! Have a great week!

  5. Michelle

    Oh my gosh, I am so glad to see someone else dip their sticks twice so the sticks don’t discolor! It was a huge AHA moment for me, as I’m sure it was for you! Great post!

    1. Danita

      Yes, it was. One of those….”why didn’t I think of that?!” moments. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Danita

      Good question! And I had to stop and think about it. We don’t usually have very many left around here. While it isn’t necessary to keep them in the refrigerator, you can and it will help them stay fresh longer. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a blessed weekend.

  6. Jamie

    I’m a little confused by tip #7. Do we dry the stick after dipping it and then add the cake ball, or do we put the cake ball atop the candy coating before it dries?

    1. Danita

      Sorry for the confusion Jamie.
      The stick gets dipped twice. The first time, in #7, is to seal the end of the stick. This keeps the oils from the cake pop from seeping into the stick and dicoloring it above the pop. What you want to do is dip about 3/4 of an inch of the tip of your stick into your coating. Put the sticks into a holder to allow them to dry about 10 minutes. Once you’ve done that, dip one stick at a time back into the coating then immediately into the cake pop.
      Hope that clears it up.
      Thanks for stopping by….hope you this helps you make some tasty and beautiful cake pops!

  7. Donna

    I love the step by step directions with pictures! Thank you for that! Quick question; Can I use homemade frosting? I try not to
    buy the canned stuff. And if so, do you have a recipe for one that you think would work well? Thanks again!

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