How to Make Smooth Cake Pops: A Tutorial
Cake pops are a delicious decorated treat that can bring fun, charm and joy to any gathering. Once you learn how to make cake pops, you can get very creative with their decoration. They can be beautifully detailed, dunked in sprinkles or enjoyed plain and simple.
Whichever way you choose to make them, it’s best to start off with a nice, smooth finish to bring professionalism to every tasty morsel.
Photo via Wendy Woo Cakes
To make smooth cake pops, here is what you will need:
- Your cake pop mixture
- Chocolate, white chocolate or Candy Melts
- A microwave-safe bowl
- A silicone or plastic spatula
- Piece of Styrofoam to stand cake pops upright when drying
Forming the cake pops
I like to use an ice cream scoop so that all of my cake pops are exactly the same size. Once you have scooped them all out, roll each cake pop between your hands to smooth them out and tighten the crumbs. Place them in the refrigerator for atl east 1 hour. This will help them firm up and not fall apart when dipping them. You can also cover them and keep them in the fridge overnight if needed.
Shaping the cake pops
Once your cake pops are chilled, take them out of the fridge and again roll them between your hands to form them into a ball. If you want a different shape, this is a good time to form them. Make sure your cake pops are the shape you want before inserting the sticks.
Insert the sticks
Once they’re the desired shape, insert the sticks gently. I choose not to dip my sticks in chocolate first, but you can choose which method works best for you. After inserting the sticks, place the cake pops back in the fridge for a few more minutes. Remember to take your cake pops out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you are ready to dip them in the candy melts, as this will insure that the cake pops do not expand and crack open once the Candy Melts have dried.
Melt the Candy Melts
See our tutorial on how to melt Candy Melts. Out of everything we have talked about so far, this is the most important part of getting a nice, smooth finish on your cake pops. It’s important that your Candy Melts are the right consistency and temperature in order to get a smooth finish.
Note: It’s best to use fresh Candy Melts or chocolate, because they melt more easily. It is possible to use Candy Melts that are a few months old, but it may take a little longer to get it right. Also, when Candy Melts are too hot, you will get clumping and “elephant skin” as the Candy Melts try to fall off your spatula, as in the pictures below.
It is incredibly easy to overheat your Candy Melts. When using a microwave, never heat the chocolate at over 50% power and only do it in intervals of 30 seconds at a time. Make sure to stir well between each heating.
If your Candy Melts start to melt and then get stiff again, you have gotten them too hot. Let them sit for a few minutes and when they cool off, they will become more runny, which is what we want.
Sometimes it’s best to add a small spoonful of shortening to help thin out your candy melts. This will help you get a perfect consistency.
Dipping the cake pops
Once your Candy Melts flow off your spatula without clumping, you are ready to dip.
Gently dip your cake pop into the melted chocolate, lift up, turn and dip again until the entire surface is coated. Very gently shake the excess chocolate from the top of the cake pop while it is upside down.
Once no more melted chocolate is flowing, turn the cake pop right side up and gently shake while turning it in your fingers, This will help even out the coating on the cake pop.
Place the cake pop in a piece of Styrofoam to dry.
Once they’re finished drying, decorate them any way you like. That’s all there is to it!