The first time I made cake pops, I was pretty convinced that I would never make them again. It seemed to take forever. There are so many steps. To make matters worse, I was making peppermint chocolate cake pops, so after I dipped each one in white chocolate, I waited 30 seconds for it to set before rolling it in crushed candy canes. That added a lot more time than I’d anticipated.
However, if you read this blog regularly, you know that I have actually made cake pops several times since my first attempt. They turned out to be so delicious and popular that I couldn’t help but try making them again. Each time, I discovered a new way to make it easier.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I make cake pops, especially without a cake pop maker. I’m not a huge believer in unitasker kitchen appliances, plus a cake pop maker just shapes cake into balls. In my opinion, a true cake pop is cake and frosting combined into a fudgy, moist truffle. I’m not sure that Bakerella (the creator of cake pops) would want it any other way.
Odds are, you have at least one or more of these tools in your kitchen already. Put them to use and make some cake pops more easily!
(Need some recipe inspiration? I’ve also made snowmen cake pops, heart shaped cake pops, salted caramel cake pops, cheesecake pops and whoopie pie pops. Plus, I’ll be posting a St. Patrick’s Day inspired cake pop (the one pictured below) in a few days!)
1. Crock-Pot Little Dipper
The Little Dipper is a tiny Crock-Pot often used for dips and sauces. It only has 1 setting, warm, and it’s perfect for melting chocolate or candy melts to coat cake pops. I don’t own a microwave, so I usually melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top. This sometimes makes the chocolate or candy melts too hot, which makes the cake pops fall apart when dipped. Even if you have a microwave, the Little Dipper will melt the coating for you with no effort and to the perfect temperature.
It will take around 15-20 minutes to melt. You can stir occasionally or wait until the end to stir. Don’t leave it plugged in if you’re not going to be dipping the pops right away though – it might start burning around the edges.
2. Cookie cutters
Usually when people make shaped cake pops, they shape them each individually by hand. It’s daunting enough to roll round cake pops by hand, and making each into a shape seems even worse. So when I made heart shaped cake pops, I found an easier way: push the cake pop dough into a wide, shallow baking dish and use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. Easy peasy!
3. Food processor (or blender)
I thought everyone knew this one, until I saw someone at a bakery using a cheese grater to break up the cake. Seriously?! You can also use your hands to break up the cake, but it’s so much easier and faster to crumble a cake by putting in a food processor. I know that not everyone owns a food processor, so I tried out this method in my blender too. It works almost as well, you just have to use smaller pieces of cake at a time. There’s no easier way to break up a cake into even crumbs with no chunks.
4. Cookie scoop
I use this medium cookie scoop to make evenly sized cake pops. It’s pretty easy: scoop up the cake pop batter, push off the excess with your finger, and release onto your clean, slightly moistened hands (making your hands a little wet prevents the cake from sticking). Then roll it into a ball. Done!
I saw this idea on Pinterest. Can’t find any styrofoam? Use a colander! Only some of the holes on mine fit the lollipop sticks, but it was a great solution for letting the cake pops dry. I bought some styrofoam at Michael’s (and felt a little silly paying money for something you can get for free) and it was immediately covered in sprinkles and flecks of melted chocolate. This can be easily cleaned if that happens and you probably already have one in your kitchen cabinet.