All Occasion Cakes

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.

Smoothly Dipped Cake Pops in a Cake Pop Holder

Photos via Wendy Woo Cakes

Get Pro Tips for Making Perfect Cake Pops!

Creative Cake Pops Craftsy Class

Learn how to decorate cake pops that can’t be topped with lifetime access to this FREE online class from Wilton decorator Valerie Pradhan.Enroll FREE Now ยป

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!

Get Pro Tips for Making Perfect Cake Pops!

Creative Cake Pops Craftsy Class

Learn how to decorate cake pops that can’t be topped with lifetime access to this FREE online class from Wilton decorator Valerie Pradhan.Enroll FREE Now ยป



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!


I make a lot of candy and chocolate covered things. I melt my chocolate on low in the crock pot and when the chocolate is almost melted all the way I turn it down to warm. I have been able to use the chocolate for hours. It takes longer to melt but so worth it!! I don’t have to worry about microwave mishaps or double boilers this way and end with an even melt. Works for white and regular chocolate

Emma Tierney

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Mary Bennett

More often than not i have problems with the pops sliding down the sticks while leaving to set. The balls are not to big,and chocolate seems runny enough. Have done all that was asked in making them, but still keep happening. So need help badly as have got daughters wedding injuly and reLly wanted to do some. And the cost of buying some will be to expensive.

Joshua West

If you dip the sticks in chocolate or candy melt right before you stick them into the balls you shouldn’t have a sliding problem. Just make sure to let them set before you dip them again!


You may also want to try putting less frosting into the crumbs, I usually only use about 1-2 TBS of frosting for a lot of crumbs (sorry I’m not the measuring type so I can’t give you exact measures) until the ball holds its shape. I hope they turn out well for your daughter’s wedding ๐Ÿ™‚


Or instead of using frosting use ganache. The end resulting pop is much firmer than just with frosting.

candy And Chocolate

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June Calluses

I had a terrible exprerience when i tried your method of cake pop making. I must’ve missread some steps; sorry. When I have ice cream scooped the cake pops, they did not turn into cute small balls i have expected. Instead, really tall fluffs of cake pilling up amd crumbs everywhere! After i *tried* to put them into the ball shape(only three of them looked good, the rest were crumbling down), i set them out to cool down for at least 3 hours. When i tried to make the candy melt, it was not runny at all. Since it was my lack of shprtening, that was the main problem. After melting the candy melt, i tried to coat the cake pops but the whole thing would either crumble in the melt or it would fall off and break in half. Personally, cake pops are my enemy and this is not one way I should be doing! Please reply for advice or tips, if not thank you!!!

Ellen Berger

If your cake balls are too large or too dry they will be to heavybor crumbly to stay on the stick while dipping. The size should be between a quarter and a walnut. The candy melting process takes patience. I melt the initial bag for 1 minute, full power. After that 30 second intervals at 50% power until it stirs and drips from the stirrer- but not runny. I found a product called Paramount Crystals ( it is food grade wax) and add that in very small amounts to help make a nice smooth consistency to the dipping process and eliminates unnecessary tapping. Hope this helps.


Sounds to me that your cake ball dough is not moist enough. You need to add more frosting or ganache. I prefer ganache because it hardens up very nicely when cooled. Watch a couple of youtube videos about cake pops and you will see what the right consistency should be for the cake “ball”


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Lina Ezzeddine

I made some cake pop yesterday , this is my second time doing cake pop , everytime I have the same problem , they don’t come out smooth and most of them fell from the stick . I read your advice and followed . My chocolate were runny and smooth , I’ve put them in the fridge before putting the stick and before dipping them in chocolate but everytime I dip one either it falls or it cone out crumbly . I also added crisco to the chocolate but instead it came out cracked and not smooth . I really like cake pop and I have my son’s BDay coming . Would like done advice please .


I bake my cake a day before. I have the outside, sides and bottom cut off. I mix mine with 2 tablespoons of frosting. Be sure the cake and frosting look like a tootsie roll texture. Roll the balls, put in the refrigerator for 15 min. Poke holes then dip stick in melts and place in the cake pops. Do not go all the way in the cake pop or they will fall off when you dip the whole cake pop.


I make my cake balls in a baby cakes maker. Just put the batter in the forms and bake for about 5 min. After they cool down, I dip the stick in chocolate, put it in the cake balls and in the refrigerator to cool. Then I dip and decorate. Come out fabulous.


I just used my Baby Cake Maker yesterday and they turned out great and the candy melts in the double boiler worked great too! I am not a fan of melting chocolates in the microwave.

Hi :)

Looking forward to trying this ๐Ÿ˜‰


I am dipping frozen cake eggs for Easter. I have thinned the candy melts but when I dip them they become wrinkled – elephant skin and look ugly. What am I doing wrong?


Suzanne, your cake pops are cracking because they are way too cold. Chocolate is very temperamental, & frozen pops are too much of a temperature shock for the chocolate to handle so they are screaming foul by cracking. Next time make sure they are room temperature before dipping. I always add a tablespoon or two of shortening, such as Crisco, to the chocolate to thin it down & I always dip them twice for a nice smooth coating.


Is there a way to prevent the chocolate from condensation?


I made these for the very first time yesterday for my sister in law’s bridal shower next week and they turned out pretty darn good. I followed the instructions to a “t”. EXCEPT for the second set I did I forgot to let them come back up to room temp and they started cracking, but I think it’ll be fine and forgiven. Thanks for the tutorial.


Can someone help me please….I’m making cake pops using cake pop mould , which I baked the cake balls straight in the mould and let them cool before taking them out…I tried to dip them into melted white chocolate and the cake ball just slip eventhough I dip the stick in white chocolate before dipping all in it. The whole cake ball fall off the stick and there are crumbs left in my white chocolate and I am finding a very hard time to give my cake pops a smooth finish…sigh….I wish the internet can present its power! I’m so desperate in need of your help!…hopefully my angle is here somewhere…๐Ÿ˜•


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