Learn how to make cake pops with this basic cake pops recipe from baking queen Molly Bakes. Cake pops are a baking trend that is just not going away and if you've avoided making them because you think they're too hard, think again!
Our step-by-step picture guide shows you just how easy it is to make perfect cake pops at home. Perfect for parties, weddings or afternoon tea, cake pops are fun to eat and easy to decorate and adapt to suit the occasion.
You can either make the cake and buttercream from scratch or use slightly stale or shop-bought cake to make cake pops – they’re a great way to use up any leftover cake that might be past its best.
Once you have mastered how to make cake pops, you can adapt the flavours, colours and the designs – the world’s your cake pop oyster! Some people choose to decorate their cake pops just with thick icing or chocolate, but you can make yours exciting by adding sprinkles, piped icing, or edible stickers – whatever you decide!
Make sure you know how you’re decorating your cake pops before you get started. If you’re adding sprinkles, make sure to pop them on before the candy coating has set – however, if you’re piping some icing on, you’ll want to make sure it’s all dried before you start decorating.
Takes: Around 1 hour if making the cake from scratch
Basic cake pops ingredients
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g unrefined caster sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 free range eggs, at room temperature
- 180g self-raising flour
- 4tbsp milk, at room temperature
Vanilla cream cheese frosting:
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 40g cream cheese, softened
- 200g icing sugar, sifted
- 1tsp vanilla extract
You will also need:
- 400g (1 bag) of candy melts – we’ve used white chocolate, but you could use milk or dark chocolate or even coloured candy melts instead!
- Vegetable oil
- Lollipop sticks
Taken from Cake Pops by Molly Bakes (Square Peg; £15)
How to make cake pops:
To make the vanilla cake :
1. Preheat oven to 180C, gas 4.
2. Lightly grease and flour a 25cm round cake tin or a 20cm square cake tin.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until it turns pale and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Mix the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add half the flour and then half the milk and mix until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
5. Pour the mixture into the already prepared tin and bake for 35-45 mins, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once baked, leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.
To make the vanilla cream cheese frosting:
1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together.
2. Gradually add the sugar, then continue to cream until light and fluffy. Finally, mix in the vanilla.
3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.
Crumble the cake thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. It's best to do this by hand as it gives a finer crumb, but you can also use your food processor. You may want to remove the crusts of the cake with a sharp kitchen knife first to avoid any lumps.
Once you have crumbled the cake as finely as possible, take your frosting, a heaped tablespoon at a time, and begin mixing it in with the crumbs.
You may not require all of the frosting, depending on how moist your cake is, so just use a little at a time.
Keep mixing until you have a fudge-like texture. To see if it’s ready, squeeze a little of the mixture in your palm – it shouldn’t crumble and it should be pliable. If you add too much frosting, the mixture will be soggy, sticky and heavy and the cake pops will just fall off the stick when you try to dip them. Wrap the mixture in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour. The mixture should be firm but not too hard when it’s ready to work with.
Break off a small piece of the mixture about the size of a ping-pong ball and roll into a ball with your palms. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Place each ball on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm.
Meanwhile, prepare your candy melts. Place the candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave on medium for 1 minute. Stir thoroughly. They may have just started to melt. Place back in the microwave and melt for a further 30 seconds.
Stir again, making sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Return to the microwave for a final 30 seconds, then give a final stir. Melted candy doesn’t normally achieve the same silky, runny consistency of melted chocolate. To make it easier to work with, you can add 1-2tbsp vegetable oil per 400g bag of candy melts. Work enough oil into the candy to create a silky consistency.
Take a lollipop stick and dip one end about 20cm deep into the melted candy. Immediately insert the stick into the top centre of each cake ball about halfway through. Don’t insert it too deep or too shallow. Place on a tray lined with baking paper to set. It should take 1-2 minutes for the candy to set.
To dip cake pops, make sure the bowl is deep and quite full with candy so you don’t need to tilt it. Hold an undipped cake pop by the stick and dip fully into the candy. When dipping, be sure to cover right to the top of the stick to secure the pop in place. Gently tap the cake pop over the bowl to remove any excess candy.
You can either decorate with sprinkles or sugar decorations before the candy has set or leave the cake pops to dry completely if you’re making a more elaborate design.