Cake Pops

7 Min Read

Cake Pops From Scratch

Nearly everyone has made or enjoyed cake pops using a boxed cake mix and icing, but have you ever made them from-scratch? Years ago (before I had the blog), when I first wanted to try out this sweeping internet sensation I was a little frustrated that all of the versions that I could find required store-bought cake mix and icing. It was many years before I finally decided to experiment with a from-scratch version of this popular recipe, and let me just say that it’s been a total game. changer. !

Unlike the semi-homemade version, these 100% homemade cake pops are sweet without being too sweet. They taste like real cake (not chemicals!), and you can easily eat two, three, or four at a time…not that I’ve done that or anything.

My recipe uses one layer of classic yellow cake and just a few tablespoons of buttercream rolled up into fudgy balls. The texture is like a very, very moist cake, similar to a truffle or Oreo ball, and it contrasts so nicely against the smooth, snappy chocolate exterior.

Angie Dudley of Bakerella shared the original cake pops recipe back in 2008 and they took the internet (and Pinterest) by storm. Since then, they’ve only continued to grow in popularity, and for good reason! They’re cute, fun and even though the instructions are a bit lengthy, they’re honestly very easy to make. Plus they’re so much fun to make with kids!

Why try my recipe:

  • 100% from-scratch!
  • Doubles easily to make a lot of pops (great for parties!).
  • Simple–make the cake, crumble it up, add the icing, roll, and dip!
  • Can be made in advance or frozen.
  • Includes a detailed video + in-process photos so you know exactly how yours should look.

What You Need

I know there are quite a few ingredients up there, so I’ll just point out the important ones:

  • Butter. We’ll be using a combination of melted butter and oil in the cake (this adds flavor and moisture) along with softened butter in the frosting. I recommend using unsalted butter for both.
  • Cake flour. I find that cake flour works best here, but if you don’t have any on hand, all-purpose flour will work too. You will need less flour if you use all-purpose; instructions for substituting are in the recipe notes below.
  • Sour cream. If you’ve been following along, you already know that I’ve been sneaking sour cream into my cakes and cupcakes lately for the best possible flavor and texture. It makes for such a tender crumb and works equally well in these cake pops.
  • Melting wafers/almond bark. You can use white chocolate or dark chocolate; I like to use both! Note that you’ll have a bit of leftover chocolate when you’re done; this is necessary so you can dip the pops smoothly (and not ruin them by scraping against the bottom of the glass/bowl). You could also skip the wafers or bark and instead use tempered chocolate or follow my instructions on how to melt chocolate chips in the microwave — just note that you may need to thin the chocolate with a bit of coconut oil or shortening and, if not tempered, you may end up with some white streaks in your chocolate.
  • Sprinkles. These are optional, but they look so pretty! You could also decorate your pops with a chocolate drizzle or cake crumbs (more on this below!).

Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

How to Make Cake Pops

There are quite a few steps, but nothing overly complicated or difficult. Let’s break it down step by step.

Make the Cake

  1. Combine dry ingredients – Whisk together the dry ingredients and sugar in a large bowl, then add the melted butter and oil. Stir until well combined.
  2. Add wet ingredients – Stir in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, then add the milk and stir until smooth.
  3. Bake – Pour the batter into a greased/floured/lined baking pan and bake at 350F for 32-35 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
  4. Cool completely – Let the cake cool in its pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Making the Frosting

  1. Combine butter and sugar – Beat the butter until creamy, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar.
  2. Add the flavorings – Stir in the vanilla, salt, and just 1 tablespoon of cream until smooth. If needed, add the additional cream.

Rolling the Cake Pops

  1. Crumble the cake – Once completely cooled, crumble the cake into a large bowl. Don’t overdo it, you’ll break it up further after you add the frosting, so just focus on breaking it into smallish bits.
  2. Stir in the frosting – Add the frosting and stir with a mixer until the mixture is mostly combined.
  3. Texture check – Check to make sure the dough clings together when pinched between your fingers.
  4. Roll into balls – Roll 1.5 tablespoon scoops into smooth balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.

How to Assemble and Dip

  1. Melt the chocolate – Melt your chocolate and remove your cake balls from the freezer. Dip the end of one stick in chocolate.
  2. Add your stick – Pierce the dipped end of the stick halfway into a cake ball.
  3. Dip – Dip the cake pop in your melted chocolate (make sure to coat the entire cake ball). Let the excess chocolate drip back into the glass/bowl.
  4. Let harden – Pierce the stick end of your cake pop into an upside down egg carton. Add sprinkles while the chocolate is still soft.
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