Cake Pops – how to make the best ever!

Our entire family loves cake pops, and Chloe loves to make them for her friends. She’s made them for parties, teachers, friends, and classes at school for years. Most of her friends are now baking cake pops themselves, which means she’s also a great teacher! But for this tutorial, we turned to our friend Kim of KC Bakes. We are honored to have her share her tips and awesome photos with us for a set-by-step cake pop tutorial. And we are delighted that we can help you get started with a hobby, a fun day in the kitchen, or turn your baking into a profit-making venture this summer!  And we also have more sweets on a stick with a recipe for a super-simple chocolate lollipop…

Hi everyone, I’m Kim, founder of KC Bakes. A few years ago, I wanted to order a cool custom cake for my husband’s birthday. But after calling around to a few bakeries, I couldn’t afford the high bakery prices for all of that fancy fondant work. One of my favorite shows is Project Runway, so in a true Tim Gunn “make it work” moment, I Googled how to make fondant, baked hubby a really cool cake and started off on an accidental baking journey. Then when cake pops popped onto the baking scene, I had to try those too! In this tutorial, I’ll share my tips and tricks for basic cake pops. They’re easy to do, and really fun to make with a group of friends.

• Baked cake, fully cooled
• Cake frosting
• Two bags of white candy melts
• One bag of red candy melts

• Cake Pop Sticks
• 1.5” cookie scoop (like this)
KC Bakes Cake Pop Stand (or Styrofoam)
• Ziploc sandwich bag

Cut your cooled cake into smaller pieces.

cut cake

For best results, hand-crumble the entire cake. Some bakers like to use a food processor to crumb the cake. While it’s definitely quicker, I’ve found that process limits the amount of cake pops that you can get in one batch. The problem is that it makes the cake crumbs too fine, and when you mix in the frosting, the fine crumbs get absorbed into the frosting, rather than binding together. Your crumbs should look like this…

cake crumbs

Mix in about 1/3 of the can of frosting, and remember these three words: less is more. You can always add more frosting later, but if you add too much up front, you’ll not be able to correct it.

add frosting

A good way to test if your cake mix is moist enough is if it holds its shape when you squeeze it in your hand. Try rolling it into a ball – if it stays together, you are good to go. If it starts to fall apart, mix a little more frosting into the cake mix.

cake pop

Pack the cookie scoop full with the cake mix – similar to how you pack brown sugar into a measuring spoon, smush it in there nice and tight. Using a cookie scoop is a very effective way to get your cake balls to be consistently all the same size.

measuring cake pops

I like to scrape the scooper against the side of the bowl to make sure it’s fully packed. After ejecting the cake ball, you’ll see it’s a little rough-looking. Squeeze it a few times in your hand, then roll it into a smooth ball.


A standard 13”x9” boxed cake will yield about 36-40 cake balls. If the cake is overcooked, the edges can get too hard, and it will limit the amount of fluffy cake to turn into pops.

get ready!

Divide your cake balls onto smaller plates and place them into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or so, just enough to chill them. I leave them in there until I’m done melting the candy melts in the next step, and that timeframe works great. If they are left in there for too long, the cake balls tend to split when the stick is inserted.  Having the cake balls divided onto smaller plates will help you in the dipping process. If you bring all of the cake balls out of the fridge at the same time, they will soften up as they rise to room temperature, and likely fall off of the stick when dipped. Place your candy melts into a microwave-safe bowl and melt according to the package directions.

It’s very important not to overheat your candy melts. The ideal consistency should flow smoothly off of a spoon. If it drops off thick or in clumps, it’s likely been overheated. In this case, try mixing in some cooking oil – again, less is more – add it in little by little, until you reach a good consistency.

candy melt 2candy melts 1

Bring a plate of cake balls out of the fridge. Dip the tip of the lollipop sticks into the melted candy, and insert them into the cake balls. Return that plate to the fridge, and repeat until all of the cake balls are finished.

Bring your first plate back out from the fridge. Holding the pop straight up and down, submerge it into the candy melts.


Lightly tap the stick against the bowl to remove all of the excess chocolate.

cake pop

Place the cake pop into your KC Bakes stand (or Styrofoam) to allow the pop to dry.

cake pop stand

Melt a small amount of candy melts for your drizzle.


For an easy and mess-free way to fill your Ziploc bag, line a small cup with the bag. Pour in the melted candy, get most of the air out of the bag, and seal the zipper.


The temperature of your candy melts is important during this step. If it’s too hot, it will cause your cake pops to split open. Allow it to cool slightly, until its lukewarm.


Snip a very small tip off of the corner of the bag, and drizzle the melted candy in a zig-zag pattern across the pops.

cake pop finished

Ta daaaaaa. Cake pops!

If you’re feeling adventurous, we have a variety of tutorials on our website to teach you other decorating techniques such as side drizzle pops and cupcake pops:

side drizzle popscupcake pops



@popcosmo on Instagram

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  • lisa

    thanks, some great tips. I appreciate you sharing this. Lisa

  • PopCosmo

    We love sharing easy, fun things to do… especially if it is something that can keep us out of the heat and give us a delicious treat!!!

  • Brenda

    Thank you for the information. Very nice website.

  • PopCosmo

    Thank you for visiting!

  • Guest

    hello i have tried and tried but for some reason my chocolate starts to crack as it cools down and drys do you know why this happen..

  • PopCosmo

    Kim of KC Bakes believes that it is most likely a temperature issue… the cake pops may be too cold or could be dipped in chocolate that is too warm. Does this help?

  • Maria

    How many days to the cake pops keep? And where do you store them – in the fridge or an airtight container?

  • PopCosmo

    They typically last about 3-5 days in a cool location (to keep the coating from melting). We don’t refrigerate ours, but you can freeze them. They would be best in an airtight container if you freeze them.

  • Maria

    Thanks for your response. Do you freeze the cake pops after or prior to them being decorated?

  • Nancy

    I’ve done cakepops several time And they where always too sweet and ugly….. and whit your recipe OMG!! Its the best!! Cakepops are perfect!!! Thank you so much!!

  • PopCosmo

    What a sweet compliment — we are SO glad they turned out well!!!

  • sunako

    how many days does it last the cake pops,

  • PopCosmo

    It depends on how you store them, and where you live (humidity, etc). You can leave them out for a few days, refrigerate, or freeze them. Of course, they will need to be in an airtight container if you freeze them! And if freezing them, we would suggest first moving them to the refrigerator before taking them out so that they don’t get “tacky.” It will be trial and error in your climate – and will change seasonally! Baking is an art… but our best suggestion: bake and eat within a day or two!!

  • Mayra

    I just came across your website & love it!!!!! I want to try it all :). I do cake pops for house events n parties but my chocolate always hardens extremely quick & I don’t get to dip many cake pops in. I was told to ad some coconut oil to make it go on smoother. Is this correct or what else can I do to keep this from happening?

  • PopCosmo

    Thanks Mayra – we love new visitors stopping by and hope you come back for more recipes and inspiration! We haven’t ever added coconut oil, but it’s worth a try if someone told you it would work (maybe not when you are having a party though). We noticed that a lower heat would help. We’ve tried 2 things to help us since we are slow when we dip! 1. Using a double boiler with a very small pan that is more upright than broad so that base is small and there is a lot of dipping room or 2. Using a crockpot. Both options allow for a consistent low heat and, for us, keeping the base smaller seemed to help with it not hardening so quickly. I’d also suggest Bakerella and KC Bakes for their tips!! They have wonderful resources. We are just “bake for fun” gals and not experts by any means!

  • Karen

    Can you get the stand and sticks at Walmart

  • Karen

    You can do it at both times but it is that you have to freeze them before you decorate so the stay hole and then you can freeze them with chocloet so it freeze faster

  • Karen

    Can i get the sticks and the stand from walmart

  • Edeliza

    Hello. I make cakepops and sell it in my daughter’s school canteen. It’s not as good as the way you do. I’m still practicing. I know that practicing will make it better. I lack things to use in making its not available here. It is too costly also to buy through online. I melt chocolate using stove. Boiling water then placing a flan mold with chocolate inside. It cost a lot of time

  • Shannah O’Quin

    Great post and very helpful, as I am beginning to sell them at a local flea market! :)

  • PopCosmo

    So glad we could help and good luck!

  • Laura

    This was awesome! Thanks for sharing the tips.

  • kay

    can i use nestles choc chips instead of candy melts?

  • Sue

    I have a question…I made the Oreo balls (similar to this technique). When I took the cooled balls out of the fridge and dipped them in the melts, the coldness made the melts harden up and the result after a few balls was that the coating was not smooth. How do you avoid this? Thanks….

  • PopCosmo

    You might want to try putting the candy coating in a double boiler to keep it a constant temperature. Just make sure they don’t get too hot!

  • sue

    Has anyone tried this procedure, but used the cake pop molds to set the pops? I have snowmen molds and want to do those!

  • Guest 1

    Yes, definitely what PopCosmo said. I once made some cake pops and thought it’d be better to freeze the pops prior to dipping. No no no… huge mistakes. the whole thing cracked like nuts!
    Perhaps more suited for a earthquake theme party.

  • Guest1

    Definitely can! use the Nestle chocolate buttons, not the small choc chip for cookies kind, though.

  • Rosa Forrest

    I spend all my time in the kitchen, and you make it much more fun!