Easy Cake Pops Recipe

Cake Pops without a Cake Pop Pan

Cake pops are fun and easy to make!

Kids love these mini desserts, which can be even more fun to make than cupcakes or sugar cookies. My 9-year old son loved helping me get all the decorations organized for our cake pop making afternoon. We were inspired by my 12-year old, who recently made these in his cooking class at middle school.

The best thing about this cake pops recipe is that you don't need to have a special cake pop pan. Nor do you need to bake the cakes from scratch. Just use your favorite cake mix and prepare it in a sheet cake pan.

From there, you can create easy cake pops that you can decorate as desired, using melted chocolate (white, colored or milk chocolate), then sprinkles, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar or powdered cocoa.

Easy Cake Pops on display
Easy Cake Pops on display | Source

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 1 hour 25 min
  • Cook time: 35 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours
  • Yields: 12 Cake Pops

Rate these Cake Pops

5 stars from 3 ratings of Easy Cake Pops Recipe

Ingredients for Easy Cake Pops Recipe

  • 1 box favorite cake recipe
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup prepared frosting, chocolate for chocolate cake, vanilla for all other cake flavors
  • 1 cup baking chocolate, white or semi-sweet
  • cookie/cake decorations, as desired
  • parchment paper
  • 12 cake pop sticks

Step by Step Photographic Instructions for Cake Pops

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Crumbled cake for cake popsUse 1/2 prepared 13X8 inch sheet cake for cake popsCake pops rolled from mixture of crumbled cake and 1/3 cup frostingDecorating options for cake popsCake pops with sticks inserted, ready to freeze
Crumbled cake for cake pops
Crumbled cake for cake pops | Source
Use 1/2 prepared 13X8 inch sheet cake for cake pops
Use 1/2 prepared 13X8 inch sheet cake for cake pops | Source
Cake pops rolled from mixture of crumbled cake and 1/3 cup frosting
Cake pops rolled from mixture of crumbled cake and 1/3 cup frosting | Source
Decorating options for cake pops
Decorating options for cake pops | Source
Cake pops with sticks inserted, ready to freeze
Cake pops with sticks inserted, ready to freeze | Source

How to Make Cake Pops

  1. Select your favorite boxed cake mix (yes, you can make your own cake from scratch, but this is an easy cake pop recipe!)
  2. Prepare cake batter as directed on the box - we used a Pillsbury "Confetti" cake mix, which requires 3 eggs, 1 cup water and 1/3 cup oil
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or as otherwise directed on the cake mix box); Lightly spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray
  4. Pour cake batter into pan and bake for time required (our cake mix required 32 minutes at 350 degrees)
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes
  6. Slice sheet cake in half (if desired, wrap tightly in saran and then foil and freeze for the future); crumble cake into a medium-sized bowl with your hands until crumbs are fine
  7. Add 1/3 cup frosting to crumbled cake and mix thoroughly with hands, working through and incorporating all crumbs
  8. Melt 1/3 of the chocolate or white chocolate and stir until smooth, being careful not to burn or scorch
  9. With your hands, create 2-inch sized balls of cake. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  10. Dip one end of the cake pop sticks into the melted chocolate and gently press into balls of cake
  11. Place cake pops into the freezer for 20-30 minutes until firm
  12. With about 5 minutes remaining before removing cake pops from the freezer, melt the remaining 2/3 of the chocolate
  13. Prepare method for "drying" cake pops, using styrofoam cups or, as we found effective - a silverware insert from our dishwasher. Pops will have to be placed stick-end down after covering in chocolate and decorations
  14. Remove cake pops from freezer and work quickly to gently swirl in melted chocolate then add sprinkles, nuts, sugar, etc.; Place cake pops upright, separately, to dry, approximately 20 minutes
  15. Display your cake pops in a stand, a vase, or individually wrap with cellophane and tie with a ribbon. Enjoy!

How to Make Cake Pops: Instructional Video

My 9-year old son helped make and decorate these cake pops
My 9-year old son helped make and decorate these cake pops | Source

Tips and Ideas for Making Cake Pops

Making cake pops without a pan can actually yield better results than when cooking individual round cakes. This is because you can adjust the consistency of the cake pop with frosting, which can lead to more firm and less crumbly desserts. Also, the sticks may adhere better to the cake balls mixed with frosting.

Homemade cake pops made without a pan also allow you to shape the mini treats into rectangles or squares, for specialized creations.

My 11-year old helped me and my 9-year old making these cake pops. The results were delicious and very cute. However, for a more professional result, keep the kitchen to yourself!

We found the following tips helpful:

  1. Add more frosting to the crumbled cake to increase stickiness and moldability
  2. Do not allow crumbled cake to dry out before molding into balls
  3. Make sure your hands are clean and dry (not oily) before molding cake pops
  4. Cool hands work better than warm hands
  5. Lightly flour your hands before working
  6. Do not melt chocolate until you are ready to use it immediately - otherwise it will harden
  7. Hold the cake pop upside down for 15-20 seconds and twirl it, to cover completely without excess running off
  8. Apply sprinkles, nuts, sugar, etc. immediately after dipping into chocolate
  9. Keep cake pops separate and standing up to dry
  10. Allow 20-30 minutes before wrapping in cellophane

Nutrition Information for Easy Cake Pops

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cake pop
Calories 125
Calories from Fat18
% Daily Value *
Fat 2 g3%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Carbohydrates 18 g6%
Sugar 11 g
Protein 1 g2%
Cholesterol 22 mg7%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Have you Ever Made Cake Pops?

  • Never heard of them until now
  • Yes, but they didn't turn out as expected
  • No, I always thought they were too complicated to make
  • Yes, we love these mini desserts!
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Comments 21 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great recipe Steph! I have heard of them but never made them. Anything having to do with cake is a major food group in my mind, so I do believe we will give this a try. Love the tip at the end. Thanks my friend and have a great Sunday!


novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 3 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

Interesting article. I've never seen anything like it before and the floral arrangement isn't only creative, it also looks great. If I had kids I would definitely integrate this into the next birthday party. Voted up!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I have seen these done other places but I thought a special pan was needed. It's good to see a way that does not require anything special. I love the way you displayed them!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Bill - cake (yum)! When my 12 year old came home from school last week with his own homemade cake pop, he was eager to teach me how to make these. We were surprised how easy and fun it was (albeit messy!) :) Enjoy your weekend!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Novascotiamiss - thanks! I put the cake pops in the vase, but they needed something else. You could use silk flowers (as I did) or fragrant real blooms. Best, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Rebecca, I was so pleasantly surprised that you don't need a special pan to make cake pops. Of course, there are pans available, but I believe mixing the frosting into the cake crumbs improves results as you are less likely to have the cake balls crumble or break. Thanks for the comment! Cheers, Steph


mpropp profile image

mpropp 3 years ago from Minnesota

These look really good! I like the idea of being able to make them with my kids. We used to decorate the Christmas cookies eachyear, but they are getting a little older and I think this would be more up their alley. Plus, I bet they are delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe and for the tips to make it easier.


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

Hi, Steph! I keep thinking I will make these one day, but I never get around to doing it! They're so fun, and so yummy, and they're always a hit at parties.

Voted up!!!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

Hello, I have never heard of cake pops. The recipe seems easy enough, and they look very tasty. Thank you. Voted up..


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Melissa - this is a great teenager/preteen activity. Hope you have fun making cake pops. Best, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Exactly, Marcy! I might have continued to wish that I could make cake pops for many more months if my 12-year old hadn't come home from school and showed us how easy it is to make them! Cheers, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Ruby, thank you! They are fun to make and yes, very tasty. All the best, Steph


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

My Grandkids and I love to make CakePops! I invite you to read my Hub on making them. I was so proud of the way they turned out. Yours look really good, too.

Voted this Hub UP, etc.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I have had one, Steph, and it was pretty good. Have to say that making them would probably be a lot less expensive, but the time for me is limited. It does look simple to do with the method you have posted here. Maybe some time I will give it a try. Good post and well done! Voted up.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks teaches - I bought more supplies to make chocolate cake pops weekend. It is an undertaking, but not very complicated. Appreciate the visit and comment. Cheers, Steph


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA

I had never heard of these before until I went to a Farmer's Market a year ago. There was a lady selling them at her stand. I had to try one since I am a sucker for sweets. It's nice to know that they aren't that hard to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe and instructions. I will have to try this out this holiday season.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Yes, cake pops have become very popular in the last year or so. There are many very fancy instructions for making desserts that look too good to eat. However, we love these cute, yet simple and very edible treats. Hope you enjoy the recipe this holiday season. Cheers, Steph


kohuether profile image

kohuether 3 years ago from New Hampshire

Cake pops are such a fun idea! I haven't tried them yet but it looks like a fun way to eat cake. It seems especially good for portion control... maybe ;-) Assuming I can stick to eating just one! lol.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Yes, stopping at one is tough! :)


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

Your hub was very interesting. My aunt once made cookie pops for her son's graduation. They tasted like oreos. Extremely delicious. At least with your recipe, I can sort of make something similar. thanks. I will try this recipe in the future.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Torrilynn,

The recipe is really easier than I thought it would be. Good luck with the cake pops. Let me know how they turn out. Cheers, Steph

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