Learn how to make cake pops with the perfect texture. Use leftover cake and frosting of any flavor to make fun pops.
I’ll be honest. I’ve never really had a problem using up leftover cake. If I happened to not finish up cake by snacking on it over a period of 24 hours or so, I’d throw it in the freezer. And the only thing better than cake? Frozen cake. So yes…leftover cake is not an issue.
Cake pops are a delicious treat. So use leftover cake or make a whole cake for the purpose of turning them into cake pops. Here’s how to do it.
What You’ll Need to Make Cake Pops
- Cake. Make a homemade cake or use a store bought cake mix. Either one works!
- Frosting: You won’t need much frosting. You can use canned frosting from the store or use a homemade buttercream.
- Melting Chocolates or Wafers: These can be any color you’d like! I highly suggest using Ghirardelli melting wafers. They work great and melt smoothly. If your chocolate ends up being super thick, add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil or shortening to thin it out.
- Cake Pop Sticks. Get long sticks or short sticks. You should be able to find candy sticks at a store like Walmart or Hobby Lobby.
- Sprinkles. This is optional, but sprinkles always make cake pops so cute. You can also use a coordinating color of melting wafers for drizzling over the cake pops.
An optional tool is a cake pop stand. This will help the cake pops set in a perfect shape without having to lay them down.
And a cake pop idea book is a great option if you need inspiration.
Do you need cake pop molds? From what I can see, cake pop molds are for baking a cake in ball shapes. This is not what this recipe is for. This recipe makes a thick, truffle like piece of candy. Not a ball of fluffy cake.
How to Make Cake Pops
Making cake pops can be a little messy, but if you walk through the steps carefully, you’ll end up with a beautiful result!
- Prepare. If your leftover cake has a lot of frosting on it, go ahead and scrape that off first. Set it aside so that you can control how much frosting you need after mixing for the perfect texture. Then put your cake in a mixing bowl (plan to use a stand mixer or hand mixer).
- Mix the cake. Use a mixer to mix the cake really well. It should be in crumbs and might even be starting to stick together (depending on how moist the cake was).
- Add the frosting. Add just a spoonful of frosting a time and mix. Then add more if needed. You want the cake ball to stick together as you roll them, but also not be too soft. If you add the frosting slowly, you shouldn’t have an issue getting the perfect texture.
- Shape the cake balls. Roll the cake dough into balls and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. If you want to avoid flat sides of your cake pops, put the sticks in immediately and place right side up in a cup or something with holes that can hold the sticks upright and have enough space in between the pops that they aren’t touching.
- Freeze. Place in freezer for approximately an hour.
- Melt the chocolate. I find it easiest to melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds, then stir. Then continue to heat in short increments and stir until the chocolate is smooth. Candy wafers, Ghirardelli melting wafers, bar chocolate or regular chocolate chips work well for this. If you find that the chocolate is too thick, you can add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil or shortening to thin it slightly.
- Dip the cake balls. There are two ways to coat the balls. You can spoon the chocolate over the cake balls, or you can dip the ball into the chocolate. Either way, you’ll want to allow any excess chocolate to drip off.
- Sprinkle and set. If you want to add sprinkles, do this right after dipping before the chocolate sets. Also be prepared with a place to allow the cake pops to set. If you don’t care if they have a flat edge, laying them down on parchment paper is the easiest. But you can also put them in a cake pop stand, poke them into styrofoam or put them in glasses. Make sure they are not touching so they don’t stick together.
Scroll down to under the post to troubleshoot and for frequently asked questions.
How to Make Cake Pops
- cake with a soft icing (at least two cups)
- white melting chocolate or chocolate chips (exact amount depends on the amount of cake you have)
- coconut oil (about 1 teaspoon per one cup of chocolate)
- cake pop sticks
- sprinkles (if desired)
- Scrape the icing off of the cake with a spatula and place it in a mixing bowl.
- Put the cake (in pieces) into another mixing bowl. Break it up into crumbs with a spatula or with your hands.
- Once the cake is broken up, add the icing. Add small amounts at a time until the cake easily sticks together like a dough, but isn’t super sticky.
- Roll the cake dough into balls and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
- If you want to avoid flat sides of your cake pops, put the sticks in immediately and place right side up in a cup or something with holes that can hold the sticks upright and have enough space in between the pops that they aren’t touching.
- Place in freezer for approximately an hour.
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil (or small amount of shortening) in microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each interval.
- Once chocolate is fully melted and smooth, take cake pops out of the freezer and pour chocolate onto the cake pops spoonfuls at a time until fully covered. Hold the cake pop over a bowl until excess chocolate has dripped off. OR you can dip the cake ball into a small bowl of chocolate, then pull up and let the excess chocolate drip off.
- Sprinkle tops with sprinkles if you like, then place the pops in a cake pop stand or lay them flat on the parchment paper. Leave to set for 15-30 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cake pops will last in the refrigerator for one week.
Store the cake pops in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They are best served within one week.
Yes! You can freeze cake pops for up to 6 weeks. You can also freeze the undipped cake pops, then allow them to defrost and dip in chocolate.
If the cake is extra moist, it may not need any frosting for a binder. If you feel like it does need something, try a small amount of cream cheese or even a touch of heavy cream. Just don’t add too much or it will get mushy.
This really depends on how big you roll the balls. I usually get between 24-30 cake balls because I roll the balls a nice size. If you roll them smaller, you make it 3-4 dozen.
Cracks in the cake ball happen most often because the chocolate is too hot and the cake ball is too cold. The large temperature difference can cause cracking. To fix this issue, allow the melted chocolate to sit for a bit before dipping. And make sure the cake balls aren’t frozen solid…just chill them enough so that they don’t fall off the stick.
You can make roll the cake balls two days in advance. Then dip the cake balls and serve within 24-48 hours after dipping.