Cake Pops are the cutest desserts for any celebratory occasions! These pretty cake pops are made with vanilla cake mixed with cream cheese frosting, covered with melted chocolate and festive sprinkles.
There’s a cake for every occasion! If you prefer cakes that fit in the palm of your hands, try these Vanilla Cupcakes. If you want cake for breakfast, make this Banana Coffee Cake. Or if you need a fancy two-layer cake that’s actually really easy to make, you need this Red Velvet Cake Recipe.
Vanilla Cake Pops
And then if you want just a bite or two of cake, you want these delicious vanilla cake pops. I am a sucker for anything mini and cute, and these cake pops certainly made the list. They are made with a simple vanilla cake, straight from my mini vanilla cake recipe.
What you need to make cake pops
The vanilla cake
- All-purpose flour – this is what I use for all of my recipes but cake flour will work as well.
- Salt – a little salt goes a long way to balance the flavor.
- Baking powder – for leavening.
- Eggs – egg acts as a binder and some times for leavening as well when you incorporate air into it.
- Granulated sugar – to sweeten your cake.
- Pure vanilla extract – use pure vanilla extract or a whole vanilla bean since this is the main flavor of the cake.
- Milk – whole milk or 2% milk will work.
- Butter – for that buttery flavor.
- Oil – to keep the cake moist. A flavorless oil like vegetable oil or canola oil is best.
The cream cheese frosting
- Cream cheese – you can’t make cream cheese frosting without cream cheese!
- Unsalted butter – best to use unsalted butter here since the cream cheese already has salt in it.
- Powdered sugar – just enough to sweeten without making it too sweet.
- Pure vanilla extract – for flavoring.
The chocolate coating
I used white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate to cover these cake pops. I prefer the contrast of the semi-sweet chocolate against the light color vanilla cake balls.
You could also use color candy melts for the coating if you want to stay with a color theme or you could dye your white chocolate with some food color.
And then sprinkles are obviously a must to decorate cake pops. Smaller sprinkles work well.
How to make and decorate cake pops
Make the cake
- Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl until light in color and creamy. This will incorporate air into the eggs.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into the beaten egg mixture and stir until incorporated.
- Heat the milk and butter in a heatproof bowl or glass measuring cup, stir in the oil and add the liquid mixture into the cake batter and mix until smooth.
- Bake the cake in an 8” or 9” cake pan and allow to cool completely before making the cake balls.
Form the cake balls
My favorite frosting is a cream cheese base, so that’s what I chose to make these cake pops with. But buttercream frosting will work just as well if you prefer.
- Make the frosting in a mixing bowl.
- Crumble the cake into the mixing bowl with the frosting. Mix until well incorporated.
- Use an ice cream scoop to portion the cake, and roll into balls. Refrigerate for at least an hour before dipping in melted chocolate.
Decorate the cake pops
After the cake balls have rested in the refrigerator, they are ready to get attached to a lollipop stick and dipped in melted chocolate. I prefer melting wafers, but you can also use chocolate chips if that’s what you have on hand.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water.
- Dip one end of a lollipop stick in the melted chocolate then push it in the middle of a cake ball.
- Dip the cake pop in melted chocolate to cover completely, let the excess run off and back into the bowl.
There are two ways you can dry the cake pops, right side up by sticking the end of the stick into a block of foam or something that will hold it straight up. If you’re drying it this way, add sprinkles to the top of the cake pops.
The second way you can dry them is just setting them on a parchment-lined baking tray upside down with the stick standing straight up. For this, add sprinkles near the base with the stick.
Storing cake pops
Cake pops should be stored in the refrigerator since the cake is already mixed with frosting. You can store them in an airtight container or wrap them individually in little baggies, which is super convenient when you’re planning to pass these out as gifts.
Undipped cake balls can be store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or keep frozen for much longer. If you’re planning to make ahead and freeze, don’t dip them, freeze until solid on a baking sheet in one layer, then transfer them to a freezer bag.
Bite-size desserts you’ll love!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large egg room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 2 oz unsalted butter room temperature
- 6 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 oz chocolate melting wafers flavor of your choice
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Butter and line the bottom of an 8” cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together until light and creamy.
Sift together flour and baking powder, stir in the salt and mix with a whisk to distribute evenly. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until incorporated.
Microwave milk and butter in a heatproof bowl or glass measuring cup for 40 - 60 seconds until the butter is completely melted. Add oil and stir to mix. Add the warm liquid to the mixing bowl and stir until completely smooth.
Transfer the cake batter into the cake pan and bake in the middle oven rack for about 32 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
When the cake is completely cool, make the frosting. Add softened cream cheese and butter to a medium mixing bowl and beat with the balloon whip until creamy. Add powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate, then turn the mixer on high speed and beat until the frosting is fluffy.
Crumble up the cake and add it to the frosting. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix until completely incorporated. The mixture should look like cookie dough.
Use a medium cookie scoop to portion the cake mixture and roll into balls. This will make about 24 cake balls. Put the cake balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours.
Melt the chocolate of your choice in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water. Dip one end of a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and push it in the middle of a cake ball. Dip the cake ball into the melted chocolate to cover completely. Allow excess chocolate to run off and back into the bowl.
Add sprinkles over the chocolate coating before it dries completely. Allow the cake pop to dry by sticking the end of the lollipop stick into a foam block or setting the cake pop on a parchment-lined baking sheet.