These delectable Cake Pops are a fun and satisfying twist on ordinary cake and frosting. Made easily with yellow cake mix and candy melts, they’re moist, light, and flavorful – a sweet dessert that everyone will love!
Sweet and Simple Homemade Cake Pops
Cake pops are a versatile treat, and in recent years they’ve taken the world by storm! Little lollipops of ultra-rich, ultra-buttery cake are dipped in soft melted candy, and then sprinkled with all kinds of pretty toppings. Who (especially the kids) could resist such a fun dessert?
Usually, these are found at surprisingly high prices at bakeries – Starbucks has all my money because my kids loooove their Birthday Cake Pops 😬. Then, there’s the cake pops at our local grocery store that are out of this world, so they take more of my money!
But really, homemade cake pops are simply the best. They are less expensive this way, and as a bonus, you can create any flavors and designs that you want!
Why Are Cake Pops So Moist?
The best thing about cake pops (in my opinion) is the moist, tender texture of the cake mixture inside. It’s like a candy truffle combined with cake! And fortunately, it’s easy to make. The secret to the moist texture is the frosting mixed right into the cake, giving it a velvety richness.
What You’ll Need
My simple cake pop recipe starts with a boxed cake mix for an extra-easy process. But, if you’d rather bake completely from scratch, that’s great, too! Just grab my recipe for the BEST-EST homemade Chocolate Cake!
For the Cake
- Yellow Cake Mix: You can use any brand of cake mix that you like for this recipe.
- Vegetable Oil: If you’d like to substitute, any mild-flavored oil is fine.
- Eggs: Go for large, whole eggs for the best flavor and texture.
For the Frosting
- Butter: I use unsalted butter, but you can use salted if you prefer. You’ll want to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe, in that case. The butter should be softened to room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar: Make sure to use powdered sugar, also known as confectioners sugar. Granulated and other sugars won’t dissolve properly.
- Whipping Cream: A little heavy whipping cream brings it all together.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract or a scraped vanilla bean is my go-to. Vanilla flavoring will work in a pinch.
- Candy Melts: I use white, but you could use any color. If you use colored candy melts, you won’t need any food coloring.
- Food Coloring and Sprinkles: These are totally optional, for decorating, but they are fun, and add a nice finishing touch.
- Lollipop Sticks: These are usually found on the baking aisle of the grocery store, but you can order them online, too.
- Styrofoam Block: To hold the cake pops while decorating.
Let’s Make Cake Pops!
There are only a few basic steps to making this recipe, but I think the process is a lot of fun. It’s a great project to have the kiddos help with, too!
- Prepare the Cake. First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Mix it well, and then pour the batter into a greased cake pan. Bake the cake according to the package directions, cool completely, and then crumble it up, using your hands, into a large bowl. Set the crumbled cake aside while you make the frosting.
- Prepare Your Frosting. To make the frosting, start by beating the butter on medium speed in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer for this. When the butter is light and fluffy, add in your powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat this mixture to make a lovely, smooth frosting.
- Make the Balls of Cake. Now it’s time to make the cake pop mixture. Add a small amount of frosting to the cake crumbles, and stir it around until it’s evenly incorporated. Repeat this until you have a soft, moldable dough-like mixture. Roll this into balls, about 2 tablespoons each, and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray or plate as you go. Finally, freeze the cake pop balls for at least an hour before you decorate them, so they stay firm.
- Prep the Candy Melts. When you’re ready to make the cake pops, melt the candy melts according to the package directions, and pour them into a deep, tall container. A jar or a big glass will work for this. If you want, stir some food coloring into the candy melts, to make this your desired color.
- Assemble the Cake Pops. Take the cake pop balls out of the freezer, and insert a lollipop stick into each one. Hold the stick, and dip the pops into the melted candy, gently rotating them to coat, and then lifting out slowly to allow the excess melted candy to drip off, back into your jar or cup. If you like, you can now add the sprinkles on top before the candy melt sets. Push the lollipop stick of each finished cake pop into a styrofoam block to set, and continue with the others.
Tips and Tricks
So there you have it – a simple, festive, sweet treat that anyone can make! You’ll feel like you just bought a fancy bakery goodie, but it’s actually about as simple as it gets. Want to know more? Here are a few helpful tips:
- Secure the Lollipop Sticks: If you’re concerned that the cake balls won’t stay put on the sticks, dip the stick in candy melt before inserting. Then let it set, before you continue dipping and decorating the cake pops. When you do dip the cake pops, dip them all the way up to the stick so that they become more securely attached.
- Styrofoam Replacements: If you don’t have any styrofoam on hand, feel free to use something else. A colander or upside-down egg carton works perfectly!
- Keep It Light: Make sure your cake balls aren’t too big – if they’re too heavy, they won’t stay on the sticks very well.
Cake pops are so versatile! There are infinite ways to customize or change them, but here are a few ideas that I really love.
- Cake: Although I use yellow cake in this recipe, it’s not the only cake you can use! White cake, chocolate cake, lemon cake… anything will work, depending on your tastes. I like yellow cake for its rich, “custardy” flavor.
- Toppings: Sprinkles are common, but feel free to use whatever you like! Crushed peppermint or pretzels do nicely, as well as a drizzle of chocolate or caramel.
- Frosting Shortcut: I like the richness of homemade frosting in this recipe, but you can definitely use pre-made frosting in a can, for an even easier cake pop recipe.
How to Store Extra Cake Pops
- To store these cake pops, lay them in an airtight container with a piece of parchment or wax paper in the bottom, to prevent sticking.
- They will stay fresh for a few days in the refrigerator.
Can I Freeze This?
- Definitely! To freeze your cake pops, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and then put them in a plastic freezer bag.
- They will keep for up to 6 months.
Easy Cake Pops
For the Cake
- 1 box (16 ounces) yellow cake mix
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
For the Frosting
Make the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs.
- Pour into a greased 13×9 cake pan and bake according to package directions.
- Allow the cake to cool completely. Crumble the cake into a large bowl and set aside.
Make the Frosting
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Add in the powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the prepared frosting to the crumbled cake and mix until evenly incorporated into a soft, moldable dough.
Assemble the Cake Pops
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of cake mixture and roll into balls, and place on a parchment-lined baking tray or plate. Continue until all dough is used. Place in the freezer for at least one hour.
- Right before removing the cake balls from the freezer, melt the candy melts according to package directions and pour them into a deep, tall container. A tall glass works well.
- Optionally, stir food coloring into the candy melt.
- Remove cake balls from the freezer.To assemble, dip the tip of a stick into the candy melt and insert halfway into the cake ball. Dip the cake ball into the candy melt, ensuring the part where the stick is inserted into the cake ball is covered in chocolate. This helps secure the cake ball onto the stick. Rotate the cake ball and allow any excess candy melt to drip back into the cup.
- Optionally, add sprinkles before the candy melt coating sets.
- Place the stick upright into a styrofoam block.
- Continue until all cake balls are coated.