How to Make Smooth Cake Pops: A Tutorial

Posted by on Oct 13, 2013 in Cake Decorating | Comments

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.

White Cake Pops in a Stand

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

Putting Cake Pop Dough into Pan

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.

Forming Balls with Cake Dough

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.

Cake Dough Balls in Pan with Sucker Sticks in Them

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.

Melted White Chocolate

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.

Melting Candy Melts

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.

Adding Shortening to Candy Melts

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.

Smooth Melted Candy Melts

Dipping the cake pops

Once your Candy Melts flow off your spatula without clumping, you are ready to dip.

Beginning to Dip Cake Pops into Melted Candy Melts

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.

In-Process: Dipping Cake Pop into Melted Candy Melts

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.

Smooth, Dipped Cake POp

Place the cake pop in a piece of Styrofoam to dry.

Smoothly Dipped Cake Pops in a Cake Pop Holder

Once they’re finished drying, decorate them any way you like. That’s all there is to it!


  1. Ann says:

    Just in time! I’m planning to make some cake pops for my friend’s son’s 1st birthday party! I’ve had issues getting the smooth finish on my cake pops before. The melted chocolate bath usually starts to thicken before I’m finished dipping all my pops, or they’re not runny enough. Thanks for the tips, I’ll be sure to try them this time!

  2. Emma Tierney says:

    Hey Ann, I had exactly the same problem. I’m not sure if you are in the uk but I was bought a mini chocolate fondue maker and it is absolutely amazing for melting/keeping candy melts smooth whilst you dip them! It’s been a life saver when it’s come to cakepop dipping!!! They aren’t expensive and are the perfect size :)