How to make cake pops

Cake pops are like the smaller, cuter siblings of cupcakes.


Perfect for kids birthdays, Valentine’s Day, morning teas or even weddings, cake pops are great because:

•    They’re fun to make
•    They’re easy to eat (no cutting required!)
•    They provide the maximum possible surface area for icing
•    The small serving size is perfect for the health conscious (…provided you stop at one!)

But how on earth do you get a round ball of cake onto a stick?

Turns out it’s not as difficult as you might expect. Continue reading to find out how to make cake pops from scratch!

Method 1: cake crumbs + icing

This first method seems to be the favourite of food bloggers, including the interminable Bakerella – who has literally written the book on the subject.

You will need:

•    Cooked cake (you can buy ready-made cakes from the Supermarket, or you could make your own from scratch and then wait for it to cool)
•    Butter icing (once again you can either buy this ready-made, or make your own)
•    Lollypop sticks (available from craft shops or cake decorating supply shops – alternatively you can use paddle pop sticks)
•    White chocolate (you can also use dark or milk chocolate, depending on your preference)
•    Food colouring (optional)
•    About half a teaspoon or vegetable oil, to help the chocolate melt
•    Sprinkles
•    A piece of polystyrene
•    A baking tray

Instructions:

1.    Crumble up your cake into fine crumbs. (Hint: a KitchenAid mixer can be used for this).

2.    Add icing to crumb mix (start by adding about ¼ cup, and add more as needed). What you’re looking for is a firm, slightly sticky, dough-like consistency.

3.    Put the dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes (makes the dough easier to work with).

4.    Use an ice cream scoop to form balls of dough. Smooth with your hands and place on a baking tray. Continue until you’ve used up all the dough, like so:

5.    Break up your chocolate and place in a large glass bowl with the oil. Place the bowl carefully over a small pot of boiling water and stir until melted (this technique prevents the chocolate from burning). Alternatively, you can place the chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring frequently.

6.    Dip your lollypop sticks into the melted chocolate, and insert into your dough balls (don’t go further than halfway – otherwise you’ll bite into the stick when you try to eat it). Place on tray and then pop the tray into the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate sets.

7.    Once the sticks are set, remove the tray from the freezer, then carefully dip your cake pops into the melted chocolate. Make sure that the chocolate covers the base of the stick. Now you have the option of dipping the cake pop into a bowl of sprinkles, or you can just leave them plain.

8.    Insert the end of the cake pop into a piece of polystyrene, and leave to set (overnight is best).

Watch Bakerella’s method!

Method 2: bake cake pops in a mould

If you have a custom-designed baking tray, you can bake your own cake pops from scratch in the oven. You can buy cake pop moulds from cake decorating supply shops:

Alternatively, you could buy a Sunbeam Snack Heroes™ Cake Pop Maker – which is basically like a sandwich press, except it makes little ball-shaped cakes:

Using this method, you can skip the steps of crumbling cake and mixing it with icing – but everything else remains the same.

See how it’s done here:

Method 3: cheat by using shop-bought doughnut holes

Want cake pops in a hurry? Easy – just buy a box of doughnut holes from your nearest Doughnut King (or similar) and hey presto! Half the work is already done.

This lady’s a genius, watch her in action here:

Method 4: cheesecake pops

Cheesecake lovers of the world unite! This method requires you to bake a traditional cheesecake, and then wait for it to cool down. After that’s done, you can use an ice cream scoop to make balls of cheesecake, which can then be coated in chocolate and crushed up biscuit crumbs, like so:

Tips for decorating cake pops

There are no hard and fast rules for cake pop decoration – basically your only limit is your imagination.

To get you inspired, here are some ideas:

•    Get yourself some piping bags, and fill with melted chocolate. (White chocolate against dark chocolate looks particularly nice!)

•    Sprinkles are your friend! You can buy sprinkles from your local supermarket, but you can find more exciting variations from cake decorating supply shops.

•    Crushed biscuit crumbs are delicious, as are crushed peanuts.

•    With a small paintbrush, you can draw on the surface of your cake pop (provided you’ve used white chocolate as the base). You can also use a toothbrush dipped in food colouring to create an interesting splatter effect.

•    Gold powder (found at cake decorating supply shops) can give your cake pops a classy, opulent look.

•    Once you’ve made a number of cake pops, you can tie them together with a ribbon to form a bouquet, and place them in a pretty vase!

Here are some of Best Home Chef‘s favourite cake pop ideas:

What not to do

Okay, that just about wraps up our cake pop tutorial for today. But before I go, I’ll leave you with an instructional video from Henry Phillips – a self-taught cook who will show you how to make cake pops for Valentine’s Day, while also dispensing helpful life advice such as: “wear a helmet.”

Essential viewing!

Louise Carter
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Louise Carter

Best Home Chef's resident writer and sweet tooth, Louise once decorated ice cream cakes for a living. Although this job had several health consequences, osteoporosis was not one of them. Louise is also an ex barista whose biggest pet peeve is burnt milk. She loves travelling, and has recently returned from a pasta-eating excursion to Italy. One day she hopes to grow vegetables and make her own cheese and wine. She lives in Sydney. Google+

Leave a Comment

  • very funny!!!!

    Reply

    by Sarah Tauber on 07/05/2014, 04:09
    Sarah Tauber
  • hysterical!!

    Reply

    by Sarah Tauber on 07/05/2014, 04:10
    Sarah Tauber
  • Ive had this cake pop maker before and had some fun times with it. I did notice that it makes cake pops a little dry/ tough on the outer layer (I think because of direct heat?). I have since switched to using a silicone mould. It takes a little longer to make but it makes fluffier pops! So worth the extra effort! :D If you’re keen, I got mine at http://amzn.to/1kKwVkw

    Reply

    by Dudez Go on 17/06/2014, 11:20
    Dudez Go
  • My cake pops fell apart. After I put them in the styrafoam holder, they started to crumble and fall off the stick. There was no way to dip them as they crumbled completely.

    Reply

    by Kay Cummings on 02/12/2014, 14:51
    Kay Cummings