Birthday cake pops are the funnest and most delicious two-bite treat your party needs.
Birthday Cake Pops are a fun and delicious bite sized treat that will make your celebration so special. See how easy they are to make.
I started making cake pops because I never see gluten free cake pops anywhere and my son Jack always wants a cake pop if they're around. The other day at the grocery store, I saw a box of gluten free Funfetti cake mix and it was like a calling. I had to have them.
How to Make Perfectly Smooth Cake Pops
So, the basics of cake pop making is just combining crumbled baked cake with frosting, rolling them into balls, and then dipping in candy melts so they have an adorable candy shell.
- Wear gloves: wearing gloves really helps to smooth out the cake ball.
- Cake pop consistency: when making the cake and frosting mixture, you're looking for a play-doh like constancy. It should be easy to shape and not so wet that its sticky.
- Temperature of cake and chocolate: the cake pops need to be cool and the candy melts need to be perfectly melted and smooth. You'll see how this goes when you make them, but at some point during the dipping process, the melted candy coating will cool off so much that it won't glide easily over the cake pop and it will harden too quickly. Toss the candy melt mixture back in the microwave for a few seconds to keep it warm.
A word of caution... If the cake pop is too cold the chocolate shell may crack as it sets. The most challenging part of making cake pops is maintaining the right temperature balance so that the candy shell is smooth, but does not crack. See picture below.
The Candy Coating
I have two tried-and-true brands of candy melts: Ghirardelli and Merkens. I made the mistake of using Candy Melts once and it was a disaster. The chocolate needs to melt easily. Both the Ghirardelli and Merkens are so dependable. The Candy Melts brand do not melt completely, have a strange waxy coating, and I don't like the taste. So there! I know there are also other good brands out there that I have read about, but I can only recommend what I have actually used.
Last words about the candy coating... If the chocolate wafers over heat, the sugar can burn and seize up. If/when this happens, you'll find a lump or pile of burnt sugar mess in your bowl, cup, pot, whatever. It happens. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just start over and move on. Using less heat and everything will be fine.
Birthday Cake Pop Recipe
Birthday Cake Pops
- cake pop mold
- cake pop sticks
- a deep and tall cup glass measuring cups are great
- cake pop holder
- 1 cake baked to package directions
- ⅔ cup frosting
- 2 bags candy coating Ghirardelli or Merkens
- nonpareil sprinkles
- Bake cake according to package directions. Let cool completely or overnight if possible.
- Place cooled cake into the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and turn on to the low setting. Let the mixer run until the cake is completely crumbled with no more big pieces.
- Add a half cup of frosting and mix on low again. You may need more frosting depending on the humidity in the air or dryness of the cake. Start with a ½ cup and add more if needed to evenly incorporate all of the cake. Check the consistency of the cake and frosting mixture. It should come together completely without leaving any small dry crumbs in the bowl. Almost a play-doh like consistnecy.
- Chill the cake pop mixture for 30 minutes or overnight. This will make the cake pop balls easier to shape.
Forming Cake pops
- Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, portion out some cake into your palm and give it a few squeezes. Roll the mixture into a ball and make sure it is smooth all the way around. Place the ball in a cake mold or on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Continue until all of the cake mixture is rolled into balls.
- In a microwave safe dish, melt about a ⅓ of a cup of candy wafers. Follow the package directions for melting. Heat in 30 second intervals and stir well after each 30 seconds until the chocolates are smooth.
- Dip ½" of a cake pop stick into the melted chocolate and poke into the cake ball. Continure until all of the cake pops have sticks.
- Chill the cake balls in to fridge for 15-20 minutes.
- After cake pops have set, bring them back out of the fridge for dipping. Melt about a 1 ½ cups of candy wafers in a microwave safe measuring cup, 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between. Once the chocolate has melted evenly and you have a smooth mixture, you are ready to dip the pops.
- Tilt the measuring cup with the chocolate coating on an angle and dip a cake pop, rotating through the coating until it is evenly covered. Use the side of the measuring cup to tap the cake pop stick against until the excess coating has dripped off. Top the cake pop with sprinkles.
- Place cake pop in holder while the shell hardens completely.
- Cover cake pops in small cake pop bags and store in the refridgerator until it's time to eat them.
Did you make this recipe? Tag me on Instagram @fancy_apron 🙂 or leave a comment below.
Cake Pop Supplies
Ghirardelli Melting Wafers - these melting wafers are very easy to work with. When I'm working with colored candy melts, I mix the white or milk chocolate to help smooth out the chocolate. Ghirardelli melts are just a little more expensive than Merkens chocolate or other candy brands. But they taste amazing, and that is most important.
Merkens Chocolate Melts - these are a great price and have a great flavor!
If you need any more sweet treats, especially of the gluten free variety, check out my other goodies here.
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