How To Make Cake Pops

Cake pops are probably one of my favorite treats since I first started making them in 2012 (when I originally published this tutorial). They are the perfect little bite-sized indulgence!

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white cake pops with fake butterflies on top

If you’ve never made cake pops before (or it’s been a while), I’m going to share a step-by-step guide to make them with a cake mix and frosting.

These are a classic—no special equipment or molds needed, but I’ll share a few tips and supplies that can be helpful.

someone holding 3 white cake pops with fake butterflies on top

What’s the trick to making cake pops?

You can use any flavor cake mix: chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, yellow, etc. Be sure to check your cake mix to ensure you have whatever other cake ingredients the mix recommends for baking.

You will also need one container of store-bought frosting. I like to use anything with a simple texture like vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry.

I would avoid things like German chocolate (which has a texture to it since it contains coconut flakes).

photo 1 - red velvet cake in a square cake pan, photo 2 -cut up red velvet cake and white frosting in a red mixing bowl, phot 3 - someone mixing together red velvet cake and rosting in red mixing bowl with their hands, and phot 4 - someone holding  rolled up bowl of the mixed red velvet cake and white frosting1.

1. Bake the cake according to the package instructions and allow to fully cool.

2. Spoon the baked cake into a large mixing bowl. Add 2/3 of the container of frosting.

In my experience, using the full container makes the cake pops a bit too soft and harder to work with once we dip them in chocolate. But, this is how you get cake pops to stick together—with frosting.

3. Use your (clean) hands to mix together the frosting and cake. The cake pop batter is going to be pretty soft, but moldable.

4. Form your cake pop batter into small balls (about 3-4 tablespoons each). You don’t want them to be too big, just so they easily fit in the palm of your hand.

photo 1 - 11 rolled up red velvet cake balls on a white plate, photo 2 - a measuring cup of white frosting, a styrofoam bloack, white sticks, a bowl of sprinkles, and a plate of red velvet rolled up balls, photo 3 - someone sticking the white stick into the measuring cup of white frosting, photo 4 - the white stick being put into the rolled up red velvet ball, photo 5 - someone dipping the red velvet ball on a stick into the frosting, and photo 6 - a covered red velvet ball on a stick in white frosting

Once you have formed all your pops (a standard size cake will make around 35-40 cake pops), put them in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or the freezer for half an hour.

5. Get your candy melts and any other supplies ready like cake pop sticks, sprinkles or other edible decorations (like these butterflies) you want to use.

I think candy melts work best for cake pops, but you can also use chocolate chips instead.

The mixture will be a little thicker and slightly harder to work with (but still OK). And, the shell around the cake pops will be thicker once the chocolate sets.

I usually melt candy melts in the microwave in 30-second increments. You could also use a double boiler or a chocolate melter like the one in the photo below.

If you need to thin your candy melts, you can stir in a teaspoon of canola or vegetable oil once melted.

a jar of green candy melts and a measuring cup of melted green candy melts

6. Dip the cake pop stick in the melted chocolate.

7. Push the stick 2/3 through a cold cake pop.

8. Dip the pop in the melted chocolate.

someone holding up a half eaten cake pop

9. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off the pop. Then, store the cake pop upright while it sets (unless you don’t mind a flat bottomed cake pop).

You can do this a number of ways, but I like to stick the pops into a container that is filled with granulated white sugar.

You can decorate your cake pops all sorts of ways! I like to drizzle on a bit more chocolate after I’ve dipped all the pops, just to add some texture.

Or I will add sprinkles or other edible decorations, like these edible butterflies. Once the chocolate is set, these are ready to eat.

white cake pops with fake butterflies on top

I tend to keep cake pops pretty simple as far as the decorating goes. But if you want to make more elaborate shapes or different cake pop looks, then I recommend checking out the Bakerella site. Angie is the queen of cake pops!

white cake pops with fake butterflies on top
a college of cake pop must-haves and accessories

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13

If you like cake pops, try making Cakesicles as well!

How To Make Cake Pops

a step-by-step guide to make cake pops from cake mix and frosting
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake pops
Servings 40 cake pops
Calories 96kcal
Author Emma Chapman


  • 1 box cake mix any flavor
  • 1 container frosting store-bought


  • Bake a cake from a cake mix (any flavor). Allow to fully cool.
  • Spoon the cake into a large mixing bowl and add 2/3 a container of frosting.
  • Use your clean hands to mix together the frosting and cake.
  • Form your cake pop batter into small balls, about 3-4 tablespoons each. You don’t want them to be too big, just so they easily fit in the palm of your hand.
  • Once you have formed all your pops (a standard size cake will make around 35-40 pops), put them in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or the freezer for half an hour.
  • While those are in the refrigerator, melt the candy melts and get your other supplies ready.
  • Dip the end of cake pop stick in the melted chocolate.
  • Push the stick 2/3 through a cold cake pop.
  • Dip the pop in the melted chocolate.
  •  Allow any excess chocolate to drip off the pop.


See post for additional notes and ideas for decorating cake pops. 


Serving: 1cake pop | Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 13g | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 0.3mg
  • AMAZING! mouth-watering recipe. I will definitely try this recipe for my sister. I’m sure she would like it.

  • Tried these at work a couple of times, they are amazing indeed. Perfect lighter version of the good old cupcake!

  • My 9 year old daughter is starting a neighborhood bake club, and this is the first recipe they’re making today! They are having a blast. Didn’t realize how easy these were to make!

  • I am going to make these cake pops for my sons 3 year old bday party and I am going to attempt to make the characters of the show yo gabba gabba. I do have a question, what kind of sticks are you using? I really like yours cause they have a base to them.

  • I just tried making these and the cake pop has a horrible consistency, it almost tastes like its raw. The chocolate never melted to enough of a consistency where you could actually dip them. This recipe definitely needs some tweaking!

  • better yet…replace the oil in the cake mix with butter…replace the water with milk and add a box of instant pudding mix..makes the cake denser and more brownie like…, crumble….now, to mix it easier, melt your can of frosting..pour it in..then shape…also, to make your sticks stay in place better…put a little bit of the melted candy chocolate on the tip if the stick when you put it in.
    NEVER freeze your cake pops before dipping in, later on it will thaw, and crack your decorated pop…

  • Do you use 2 cups of frosting for half of the cake mixture shown, or 2 cups for entire cake mixture?

  • thanks! these look delicious. I’m thinking about getting some white cake with red and blue food coloring and making patriotic cake pops tomorrow. =)

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  • I’m making these tonight with one of my girlfriend

    I’m super stoked.

  • I just got a chocolate/candy melter because last time I made cake pops it was a disaster due to the chocolate I used. I tried it out last night and it seemed like the pops were too soft and the chocolate wasn’t dippable. Needless to say it was another disaster. Can anyone help me out? /:

  • So “unmessy” Looking for kids. The taste is out of this world.

  • There is a cute place where you can buy cake pops and get some decorating ideas. It is called, Trendy Treats!

  • i’ve never known how to make them but after reading your super easy instructions i went straight out got some supplies and tried making them, it is very messy but also very fun!!! so simple and thy taste great, easy to follow pics too! thanks a ton!

  • can you post amounts? like how much frosting per how much cake. thnx!! xo, mr

  • could you just use normal icing instead of candy melts? like melt the icing then dip the cake pops in it?

  • Yeah! Really nice delicious )) All my sons like it so mach! )) I collect cake balls recipes and make it every week )))

  • I tried these and LOVED them! cant wait to try lots of different flavor/colour combos!

    Thank you!

  • I followed all the directions step by step and mine came out AMAZING! this was seriously so useful

  • Does anyone know how long you can store these? Store in freezer or fridge?

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  • These look great but adding canola oil? I made them and used coverture chocolate (the only fat in coverture is cocoa butter, not vegetable gum or vegetable oil) so they don’t have that ‘waxy’ taste that comes with compound chocolates. They taste so silky and delicious and are just as easy to make.

  • I’ve found that if you spray your hands with cooking spray before you mix the cake and the frosting it won’t stick to your fingers as much. I spray my hands as needed while mixing and also when I’m making the cake balls. A lot easier that way!

  • Thank your for these photos. I made my first cake pops with pink (white!) chocolate coating and they are lovely!

  • I have always wanted to try to make cake pops. Didn’t realize they were so easy!

  • Fell in love with this post quite some time ago and decided to feature it in my friday favorites post! Hope you don’t mind:) Check it out if you wish!

    <3 Leney

  • I tried these yesterday- they came out AMAZING!

    Here’s where I blogged about them:

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • After you make your cake pops how should u store them, I am trying to make them ahead of time(today is wed and party is fri), should I refrigerate, freeze or cover and leave out? Looking forward to trying them!

  • This are so good! I made them with yellow cake and chocolate icing… For making them into balls, try putting flour on your hands so they don’t stick!

  • I love cake pops! I had my own cakepop adventure and they turned out awesome! So then I tried mini cupcake shaped cake balls too…AMAZING!

    Check out my blog post about them:

    Nicole aka Dainty Girl

  • i made this for one homework project that i have in my school, totally a success 🙂

  • So do u use 2 cups of frosting for a WHOLE cake or for just half the cake?? I’m kinda confused. I tried these (using a different recipe off a different blog) for my sister in laws bday and when I went to dip them in the candy melts, they fell apart!! It was an epic fail!!

  • I am going to have to make these with my daughter. She loves cake pops! It is so sweet of you to share your recipes. We have made your resee peanut butter cupcake recipe a few times and we absolutely love it!

  • I have to make a TON for a baby shower… wonders if I can make the balls ahead of time and freeze them and then coat them when it is time???

  • Thanks for this post Elsie – I tried them today and was very pleased with the results.

  • These look so amazingly delish! I didn’t know they were so easy to make! Mind if i try making them? ~

  • These were perfect! So perfect that I had to post onto my Pinterest account. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I made these using a day old store bought cake. It was an Oreo cake already iced. I used my stand mixer to mix it up and it turned out just like these. Then I finished them with the candy coating like you did. It’s much faster since you don’t have to bake and cool a cake first. They were great!

  • Will definitely be making these! I have made apple pie pops (totally delicious), but not cake pops!

  • this is perfect now i know what i’m making for my daughter’s class for valentine’s day… i was getting tired of making (although they are incredibly good) brownies and cupcakes.

  • I had meant to do a cake pop post later in the week, but now I don’t know what more I could add. Very helpful- Thanks 😉


    Check out also my recipe (without baking :-)) ).

  • I’ve always wanted to try making cake pops. I’m so excited to try this!

  • Hello, i just found your blog. it is so inspirational. anywhere i look here there are new ideas, colors and flavours and photos.:) i love it 🙂 also cake pops are so cute, thank you for posting this tutorial.

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  • Very cute! I love the surprise pop of red in the middle!

    I made some back in December that were Starbucks themed: peppermint mocha and gingerbread latte. See them here:

  • Awesome, I just did a post about Cake Pops too as I recently made some for my friends – their sons had their first birthday parties. They were a huge hit 🙂

  • Great post, make it all look so easy. When I tried I ended up with a horrible lumpy mess, but I am inspired to give it another shot 🙂 xx

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  • Thank you so much for blogging this sweet how to. I love red velvet its one of my favorite sugar treats.

  • I gotta say, I’ve seen dozens of cake pop tutorials on the Web, but this was by far THE BEST ONE–hands down!

    Well done! Thanks, ladies. You rock. Like truly truly rock!

  • wow these seem delicious! They seem like lollipops but instead of licking you bite and then….. the bliss!!!

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  • I got so excited when I saw this post!I can not wait to try this. I love cake pops 🙂 Thanks for the fun post.


  • I’ve checked out Bakerella’s website a few times but never actually read through a recipe. Now I’ve seen how easy (well, relatively) they are to make, I shall have to have a go some day.

  • Love these. I followed Emma’s recipe after she blogged about them. So easy and so fun. Thanks!

  • I really really have to give these a try! They look so good!

  • Aha! So that’s how it’s made 😀 I’m going to try making these on a rainy day, lots of them.

  • Yummy yummy! Can’t wait to try!

    Stephanie May*

  • Oh,these are cute!I would love to try them out,but I nearly set fire to the kitchen cooking toast!

  • These look great! Do you know how long they’ll stay fresh in the fridge if you make them ahead of time?

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  • I love that you posted these using a red velvet cake…my favorite!!!



    XOXO <3

  • Thank you for posting! I am going to save so much money as I won’t have to spend all of it at Starbucks (their cake pops are delish! and addicting).

    Sincerely ALWAYS,


  • Love cakepops, my daughter asks for them all the time!

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  • These look so yummy! I’ve had a bit of an obsession with cake pops lately so this is just perfect!

  • Helena, YES! Thank you for your kind reminder that I forgot to credit Bakerella! I have been reading her blog for years and love her cake pop creations so much. I’m going to add that in to the body of the post now. Thank you! xo. Emma

  • This is perfect! I have been craving for red velvet cake pops and I was thinking of making it this week in preparation for Valentine’s day. 🙂


  • Love your step by step, especially with the pictures! I have tried making cake pops a few times, I always have an issue when I’m trying to coat them in the chocolate–they want to come off the stick! I have tried dipping the stick in a bit of the melted chocolate first–any other advice? Have you ever experienced this, or am I the only inept one?!! 😉

  • I’m so glad you put this up, it’s fate! I have said that I will make cake pop’s for my friends wedding in the summer… this has given me plenty of inspiration! Thanks!

    Flic x

  • good thing I just picked up a red velvet cake mix! These are going to be EASY and delicious! Thanks, Elsie!

  • I’ve been meaning to make these forever!Thanks for sharing!I love the colour you’ve used!


  • Wow! So THIS is how it is done? I’ve been under the impression one had to master the dark arts of pastry before one could create sinfully tasty cake pops. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this DIY.
    Where can I find a red velvet cake recipe?
    Can I make cup cakes as well of the recipe?

    Love Molly from Germany

  • I have always wanted to know how to make these, I can’t believe how it easy it looks, red vlevet is an amazing choice! Going to give this a go at these next weekend. Thank you for yet another amazing tutorial! xx

  • OH OH Gosh!!! This is such a cool recipe! So good, so yummy and for us with kids… absolutely fun and inspiring for parties! Thanks so much!!!

  • Beautiful!!! Very creative. Perfect for tea parties or parties with tonnes of messy kids :)!!!

  • look great, thanks for the how-to-do-it post, I will use it for my daughters birthday…


  • Love this tutorial Elsie! I’m going to be making cake pops to celebrate the start of a girly holiday!

  • My homegirl Bakerella ( invented the Cakepop! So nice to see others following her genius.

  • I love these! the red and white is perfect for Valentines! Super post!!


  • i was wondering how its done!thank you for sharing!maybe i could make heart shapped ones for valentines?
    mmmm this has got me thinking…

  • For more inspiration, the queen & creator of cake pops and all of her crazy awesome designs are here: Enjoy!

  • cake pops are great and fun to make, I love to use cream cheese instead of frosting, the state is awesome and a bit different.

  • These look amazing! I’ve been contemplating wether or not to try making these but you have me convinced! Great post 🙂

  • I can’t wait to give these recipes a try! xo.

  • Is 2 cups of frosting for half the cake batter (as shown, you have a small square cake) or is 2 cups of frosting for the entire cake mix?

  • DELISH!! Those look perfectly perfect.
    I think they’re officially on the menu for my sister’s baby shower! Thanks for sharing <3

  • You guys always have the PERFECT things to post. So many cake pops over the internet, now I know I DEFINITELY want to do this!

    Jessica | Vixenelle

  • Awsome! I’ve always wondered how to make these, thanks! I might just make some for my birthday 😉

  • these look delicious!!… and you’ve made them look so easy to make!! I want to try this out!

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  • I tried them once, didn’t work, ended up too mushy.
    I think I’ll save them for a treat when I’m out.

  • I am sorry. I mean no offense…but I find cake pops seriously disgusting. Mushed up cake with frosting…mushing up with your hands into a ball and covering with more sugary frosting. YUCK-O-RAMA! I think they are cute to look at. That’s about it. 🙁

  • Pretty! I always wondered how the heck people got sphere shaped cake containers… 😉

  • At the start of every month I make a goal list. February to do: figure out cake pops! Thank you for making my wish come true.

  • I tried to make cake pops a few weeks ago. But when I dipped them into the chocolate, they fell apart. I don’t know what I did wrong. Do you think I used too much frosting? Did anyone have the same problem?

  • I can not tell you how excited I am about this post! My daughter & I were just wondering how it was done! Definitely bookmarking for reference– thank you, thank you, thank you~*

  • Mmmm tasty and cute. I think anything tastes better on a stick!

  • Yum! I have been wanting to make these for my birthday. xo, rv

  • So great, love that idea. My boys enjoy a cake pop from the coffee shop but we will have to try to bake them ourselves. So easy, thanks for the tips.

  • Tried these at work a couple of times, they are amazing indeed. Perfect lighter version of the good old cupcake!

    x L.

  • I think cake pops are the cutest but they look so hard to make! Thanks for the tutorial<3

  • WOW they look extremely delicious!! definitely will love to try them out

    xo katrina

  • My friend has a machine that helps you make them, a bit like a doughnut/taostie maker. It makes them perfectly round and comes with a recipe book but to be honest, although they look great, the recipes tend to be bland. I much prefer the idea of doing it by a hand, a little bit more rustic and baked with more love I feel. Do you have any recipes for lower fat cakes? I’m trying to be healthy at the moment but would love to give these a try.Rx

  • Cake pops are so adorable! I’ve never tried my hand at making them; I really didn’t realize how easy they were to make! I’ll definitely have to try these 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!
    xo Heather

  • I have always wanted to try to make cake pops. Didn’t realize they were so easy!

  • Oh my gosh, these look DELICIOUS!! I’ve always wondered how to hold the cake pops while waiting for the chocolate to dry and you definitely answered my question!

  • I adore cake pops!! They’re so cheerful and versatile. Thanks for the post! Y’all always get me in such a baking/crafting mood.

  • Rachael, we don’t really do low fat desserts (unless of course, it happens to be low fat!). There is a lot that goes into making AMAZING lowfat recipes and we just haven’t branched into that yet. We both believe really strongly in enjoying good food in moderation! We never ever ever eat more than one cake pop in a day… although I can’t say the same for our cute little niece. haha! XO! Elsie

  • I’ve made cake pops many times and I LOVE THEM! They turned out so pretty! Don’t you just love love love them!


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