Do you like making cake pops at home in your kitchen? Do you wonder how the professionals achieve that silky smooth perfect look?
Well, I’m here to share the secret formula of the Perfect Cake Pop. It is so much simpler than you think and the results are amazing! I will walk you through each step and break it down so you at home can achieve that Perfect Cake Pop you see everywhere.
It All Starts With The Cake
Every cake pop starts with a really good cake. This step is obviously very important but I have a way to cut some time out of the process.
Some bakers use sphere molds to bake the cake mixture in so it’s already in a ball shape. I don’t prefer this way since the cake pops ends up being dry inside.
When I bake cakes for clients’ orders, typically the cake puffs up and to level the cake out I would then cut the top of the cake to make it even. Most would throw away that cake or eat it up right away but for me, I save that precious cake.
By repurposing the top of the cake, I can keep my cost low but also make awesome goodies like cake pops or what I call “cake truffles.”
I put the tops of the cake into a bowl and mix with frosting like I’ll show you soon then I freeze it in a Ziploc bag so I always have awesome cake pops in my freezer at all times.
For a simple cake recipe, go to my foolproof cake here. It’s super easy and you can change the flavors even easier.
Bake according to the directions of the recipe. Note: the shape and size of the cake don’t matter, it will all get crumbled up soon enough.
Once the cake has been baked and has cooled down, remove the cake from the pan and place into a large bowl. Begin to crumble the cake into small pieces.
Cake & Frosting
Once the cake has been crumbled up now add your favorite frosting like this Vanilla Buttercream or Swiss Meringue Buttercream. If you are using chocolate cake add chocolate ganache to make it rich and decadent.
The ratio for the cake to buttercream (or ganache) is 1.5 lbs (24 oz.) to a ¼ cup to 1/3 cup of buttercream frosting. This is an approximate recipe because depending on the moisture of the cake is how much frosting you add.
Mix together by hands in a large bowl or place into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment till it comes together; for the first few times, I suggest mixing by hand till you feel the right consistency.
Scoop and Roll, Scoop and Roll
The goal here is to make a consistency of a meatball. You are looking for it to hold together while being compacted but not so moist that it just totally falls apart once the cake pop stick gets inserted.
This might take practice but by slowing adding the frosting you have a much higher chance of nailing it on the first try. Note: if cake pop mixture is too wet like it’s falling apart then add more cake crumbs to offset the frosting being added.
Before making small cake balls, start melting down the chocolate candy melts in the microwave. Place the majority of the candy melts (save the remaining to the side, I’ll explain in a second) into a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave the chocolate in 30-second increments until melted, stirring after each time.
If the chocolate is too thick and is warm enough then add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening to the chocolate candy melts.
This will loosen the chocolate and make it much easier for dipping. Continue to add the shortening until the chocolate is thin enough to dip but not so thin it’s like water. We are looking for a molasses consistency.
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Who Ready For Chocolate?
While the chocolate is melting, start rolling the cake into balls. Place the rolled balls onto a parchment or wax paper lined cookie tray or sheet pan.
The easiest way to make all the same sizes is to use an ice cream scooper. I used a size 50, you can find that here as a reference. You can also use a heaping tablespoon to scoop the cake.
Then scoop and roll each ball into shape. You will get approximately 36-48 depending on the size of each cake ball.
Continue to tightly roll each cake ball.
Now once the chocolate is melted start dipping the end of each cake pop stick into the cake ball. Push the stick through the center and down to the end of the ball but not through it.
This is an important step since the chocolate helps secure the stick to the cake and prevents the stick from falling into the chocolate.
*Some bakers tell you to place the cake balls into the fridge or freezer to firm up but what I have found is no matter what I do if the cake balls are too cold like frozen the second I dip the chocolate the cake pops dries and then almost immediately cracks. To prevent this from happening to make sure your mixture is at room temperature and your consistency is good, remember like a meatball.
After each stick has been secured in each cake ball, it’s now time to dip each cake pop in the chocolate. Make sure the chocolate is nice and melted or else the chocolate will just rip your cake pop apart, trust me it will taste good but totally ruin your nice clean chocolate.
After dipping the cake pop into the chocolate gently tap the stick on the side of the bowl, this gets any excess chocolate off the pop and makes it much more even and enjoyable to eat.
Remember that chocolate candy melts I had you set aside well this is where we use them. To create a clean crisp bottom to each pop, place 1 round candy melt on your sheet of parchment or wax paper.
Now place your freshly dipped cake pop right on top of the candy melt (making sure it is still melted not dried). Let the chocolate ooze over the candy melt blending it into the rest of the chocolate. You might have to maneuver and hold the stick is standing straight up and down for a clean and consistent look until it starts to dry. Then continue the process.
This is an easy way to have clean cake pops where you won’t see the cake from the inside. You can see by my pics below how simple and clean it really is. It also gives each cake pop a little platform to stand on.
Dip and Decorate
When every cake pop is dipped and drying now you can decorate. You can place my chocolate into a piping bag or plastic bag to create the stripes you see in the picture below and then put sprinkles on shortly after for an even better look.
There are so many ways to decorate cake pops but it will be so much easier once you have established a perfect base in the cake pop.
To create that Perfect Cake Pop, it all starts with the cake. By building that solid foundation with the ratio of cake to frosting you can easily create beautiful pops in no time!
P.S. Now that you have learned the solid foundation for Cake Pops, head over to How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Cake Pops get that step by step guide and recipe!
Perfect Cake Pops
- 1 Foolproof Vanilla Cake Recipe
- 1/4 cup prepared buttercream frosting plus more for mixing, if needed
- 2 (12 oz.) bags chocolate candy melts save 50 pieces or so of candy melts, set aside
- 48 cake pop sticks
- Optional Vegetable Shortening to thin out chocolate candy melts
Bake the cake according to the recipe. Quickly cool down the cake.
Once cooled completely mix together the cake and buttercream frosting in a large bowl. Mix until the consistency is like a meatball. When squeezed together it should stay together but not be so moist that it will fall off the stick when being dipped in the chocolate.
Before melting the chocolate, remove 50 or so candy melts from the bag and set aside for the decorating stage. Begin melting the chocolate in a microwavable bowl or container. Melting in 30-second increments; stir after each time to make sure the chocolate isn’t burning.
Start scooping the cake mixture into a larger tablespoon size balls. Scoop each cake ball onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. Roll each ball till smooth.
Once the chocolate has melted completely, dip the tip of each stick into the chocolate and then into the formed cake ball.
Then dip each cake ball into the chocolate, gently tap the edge of the bowl of the container with the stick to remove the excess of the chocolate off the cake pop.
Before placing the cake pop right onto the parchment or wax paper, place the round candy melt on the paper and then place the dipped cake pop onto the candy melt. Hold the stick straight up and hold for a minute to make sure the pop has adhered to the candy melt.
Continue to dip each cake pop into the chocolate and place onto the candy melts. This step is so important for achieving a clean bottom of the cake pop.
Once all the pops have been dipped, now you can decorate! They are now ready to eat!
Notes: If the chocolate is too thick and is warm enough then add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening to the chocolate candy melts. This will loosen the chocolate and make it much easier for dipping. Continue to add the shortening until the chocolate is thin enough to dip but not so thin it’s like water. We are looking for a molasses consistency. For easy decorating, dip the cake pops like instructed above. Once the cake pop has been dipped and placed on to the candy melt add sprinkles to the wet chocolate before they dry. This is the easiest way to create fun and colorful cake pops.
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