Cake Decorating Blog

Fun Dip: Dipping Cake Pops Tutorial

Cake pops are the perfect treat for any type of occasion, from children’s parties to fancy weddings. We love them for their versatility: They can be cute, elegant or trendy. But, we love them even more because they’re also incredibly sturdy, thanks to the candy coating that wraps around the delicious mixture of cake in the center. Dipping cake pops can be tricky, but don’t fret! Here’s some tips for coating cake pops like a pro.

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What are the basics of coating cake pops?

Learn how to dip cake pops like a seasoned pro in a few easy steps. It’s important to know what the coating is and how it behaves, then how to thin it and finally, dip into it!

Cake pops are coated with candy coating, which is very similar to tempered chocolate but melts at a higher degree. Candy coating has many different nicknames and sold in many different brands depending on your location. It’s commonly called candy melts, chocolate bark or just “chocolate”- when referring to cake pop making. Brands like Mercken’s, Clasen, Make n’ Mold and Wilton offer a rainbow of colors to choose from. They look like little colored discs called wafers and are typically sold in 12-16 ounce bags.

Colorful candy wafers

What is the best way to melt candy wafers?

You will need the following items:

  • Candy melts
  • Bowl
  • Stirrer
  • Microwave

Candy wafers are easy to melt. You don’t need a double boiler, just a small microwavable plastic or silicone bowl that holds a one cup capacity, like the ones pictured below, should do the trick. The deeper the container, the better.

You’ll also need a microwave and a small spoon or some kind of stirrer. A melting pot is also okay to use. However, it is very important to keep a close eye on the pot and stir frequently to avoid scorching the candy coating.

1 cup silicone bowls

Step 1:

Fill the bowl with candy wafers. Microwave for 1 minute at 50% power, then stir. Even if it doesn’t look like anything has happened, stir to move the wafers around to avoid scorching them.

Step 2:

Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power and stir again. Continue microwaving at 30 second intervals at 50% power until the wafers have completely melted. Add more wafers to fill the bowl, if you wish, but don’t forget to stir at every 30 second interval!

Step 3:

Candy coating should always rest about 5 minutes after heating and before dipping cake pops to avoid cracks. The closer to room temperature both the coating and cake pops are, the better.

Paramount crystals

What can be used to thin candy coating?

The paramount crystals pictured above are the best thing to add to candy coating to thin it out into a nice and loose fluid consistency, perfect for cake pop dipping. Paramount crystals are made from the same combination of oils contained in candy wafers. This is the only product that will not alter the integrity of the coating.

Always keep in mind that most colors and brands melt differently, creating a variety of different consistencies. Add a tablespoon of paramount crystals at a time to the candy coating and stir until the paramount crystals melt completely. Add more and stir well each time until the consistency feels similar to stirring a can of paint.

Melted candy coating for cake pops

What is the best method for dipping cake pops?

You will need the following items:

  • Lollipop sticks
  • Cake balls
  • Melted candy coating
  • Toothpicks
  • Cake pop stand or styrofoam block
Inserting lollipop stick

Step 1:

Before adding sticks to the cake balls, make sure they are slightly chilled. It’s best to let them hill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes after rolling/shaping.

Step 2:

Once chilled, you can add sticks to the cake balls. Use the candy coating as the glue to stick the two together, which will help prevent the ball sliding down the stick later.

Note: For simplicity, I’ll just refer to the “dough” as cake balls even though they could be in many different shapes other than a sphere.

Step 3:

Dip about ⅓ inch of the lollipop stick in candy coating and then insert it into a cake ball until it’s about halfway into the ball. Do this for all of the cake balls. On warmer days or in warm commercial kitchens, you may need to stick it in the fridge for a minute or two to help it set.

Dipping cake pop

Step 4:

Now you’re ready to dip! Hold the cake pop upside down and dunk, in one motion, into the candy coating until you see the coating cover the entire ball and meet the stick. Then lift up to remove from the coating. Let the excess coating drip back into the bowl using an up and down motion with your arm. Turn it right side up. Using your fingers on the stick, rotate the cake pop at an angle. This helps the coating even itself out.

Step 5:

Use a toothpick to help guide any excess coating off the cake pop near the stick if needed. You can also use a toothpick to puncture any noticeable air bubbles in the coating. Stick in the stand or Styrofoam block. Now, let it dry and harden completely.

Step 6:

Repeat the process until all cake pops have been coated.

Plain white cake pops

These are the basic steps to dipping cake pops and achieving a nice, even and smooth coating.

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58 Comments

Carolyn Brooks Robertson

I have made cake pops many times, and my candy coating always cracks. I always make sure to check the temp to make sure the candy coating is not too hot or too cold along with my rolled cake balls. Do you have any other tips?

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sory

i have tried this and it seems to work, put them in the freezer for 15 minutes and then down in the fidge for the rest of the time until ready to dip into candy melts it has work for me

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ashley

My title sister 16th bday party is In three I have the silicone molds ND I need to make perfect Betty crocker super moist butter chocolate cake pops ND philsbury funfetti cake pops I need to make them perfect please help

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Victoria Waite

Let the cake balls sit for a few minutes after you take them out of the fridge before you dip them, and they shouldn’t crack.

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Alicia

I’ve found that you should not chill the cake pops more than 4-5 minutes because If the cake pop is to cold it causes the candy coating to crack. So I roll, chill 4 minutes then add the stick then chill 5 minutes and finally add the coating. Hope this helps.

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Doreen Hatch DeJesus

Thanks!

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Doreen Hatch DeJesus

Thanks!

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Désirée Mattes

Which brand you use? 🙂

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Lucia Mendoza

Hello what brand or were. Do i buy the chocolate. O coat the cake pops

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Doreen Hatch DeJesus

Thanks!

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karen medlin

Help! I am having a horrible time with dipping these. No matter what I do half of them fall off the stick, into the chocolate. I have tried making them smaller. I have dippied the lollipop sticks in chocolate then into the cake ball and put back in fridge to set up. I have thinned the chocolate with a little crisco to make it thinner. I just don’t know what I am doing wrong. Please help.

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sory

make sure to le some of the coating run down the stick when you dip them,that way the hard chocolate will prevent them from falling once the cake goes soft again

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Anna

You may need to adjust the cakeball mixture. For a cakemix, I only use bettycrocker frosting. It’s less oily. Only use a little over half the jar. Also when dipping. Don’t overtap to remove excess. Good luck.

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Ashiel jones

Try freezing them then dipping them while frozen

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cb.cakebaker

Consider using less frosting in the cake. The frosting make the balls/ dough really moist which may cause them to fall a apart

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Jennie

Try using a cookie scooper to make the balls uniform then put them in the freezer for 15 mins, take them out and dip the stick in the chocolate (unthinned) and place into ball then pop into fridge for another 15 mins. During this time thin your chocolate using coconut oil instead of crisco. You only want a thin chocolate having thicker chocolate will weight it down causing it to fall off. Oh and a tip to keep the chocolate the perfect temp. Melt in mason jars in the micro once melted and stirred place in pan of water on very low heat. You won’t have to worry about it getting hard again.

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Bonny

I use chocolate Ganache instead frosting my pops. Not so sweet and they together better

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Tracy

Add more icing until it is like play doh and holds together on its own!

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Terri

Does anyone ever double dip?

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Tay J

I have once and while the result was pretty, everyone who tried it said there was too much chocolate to bite through. However I didn’t use the thinners that time so it might not be bad to double dip as long as you use the thinners.

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Sandra Gonzalez

hi i wonder what about glow neon cakepop ? how i make glow bright flash on cakepop??

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Kelly

Hi there, I’ve had a few attempts at making cake pops but I am still working on getting them right. I made some recently and the coating did not crack when you bite into the cake pop, like I thought they should and similarly to chocolate. I did use oil to thin the candy melts so will try the paramount crystals…but any other ideas why this might be the case? Thanks in advance

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Kris Galicia Brown

Hi Kelly, are you dipping them more than once? You should only need one layer of coating. If the shell is too thick, you’ll have trouble biting through like you mentioned.

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Margaret H

Thanks for this great tutorial! My question is, what is the trick to making the cake balls so beautifully shiny? I think I’ve got the doing technique down, and they taste fine, but the coating dries to a dull finish.

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Teresap

I have always found the candy melts turn dull when dry so bought the Wilton spray color mist in pearl and they came out with a lovely shimmer.

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Stacey S.

Question: Wilton’s Candy Melts work best for me. When decorating with different colors on each pop, is it better to let 1 color harden, then apply the 2nd color? Or is it possible to do the “base color” and apply the 2nd color soon after?

I’ve made a gazillion pops in the past, but usually coat with 1 color and add sprinkles. I’m pressed for time (and ingredients) for this project (boss’s baby shower), so I literally have 1 shot to get it right!

Thanks!

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Becky

When I make cake pops, I have used the “BabyCakes Cake Pop maker” and let me tell you. Excellent 98% results, sure a few balls don’t come out quite right, but for the most part, works great. So I work in small batches at a time for dipping and placement of the sticks by using small trays in the freezer, By the way the Wilton Cookie Sticks works better than the Lollipop sticks, more surface area for sticking with the candy melt inside the cake pop.

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Janeth h

Hi there….
Im having a hard time melting the chocolate, im using wilton. its not melting enough to dip the cake pops, i wasted 3 bags of chocolate and still cant do it. I did 1 min stir and then every 30 sec, I also added vegetable oil to thinner and nothing works. pleeese help!!!

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patricia

start using the butter flavor crisco shorting it works well for candy melts

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Janeth h

how do u make the pops so round?

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Jennie

Try using a cookie scooper to make the balls uniform then put them in the freezer for 15 mins, take them out and dip the stick in the chocolate (unthinned) and place into ball then pop into fridge for another 15 mins. During this time thin your chocolate using coconut oil instead of crisco (you can’t taste the coconut) . You only want a thin chocolate, having a thicker chocolate will weight it down causing it to fall off. When dipping be sure to cover the chocolate on the stick to seal it. Oh and a tip to keep the chocolate the perfect temp. Melt in mason jars in the micro once melted and stirred place in pan of water on very low heat. You won’t have to worry about it getting hard again. I use a combination of wilton discs, ghiradelli wafers and the large bar of chocolate or almond bark (also found in the baking/chocolate/nut section of the grocery store)

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Beverly

Hi, my friend is wanting me to make her some red velvet cake balls and coat them with cream cheese frosting, is there anything I need to get to mix in with cream cheese?

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Saderchick

You can’t coat in frosting — need to use candy melts for that. But you could use cream cheese frosting to make cake balls (crumbled cake + frosting = balls). Then dip in candy melts.

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Tiffany

You can use frosting. I do it all the time. Just microwave it to melt it. Don’t get it too thin but it works just the same as candy melts.

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Lhise Schmitz

Does the frosting get hard like the candy melts once it cools?

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Tanya Williams

Can’t I melt the frosting and dip?

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Yesenia

Im wanna make cake pops for my son’s first birthday. I would like to make them different colors, what would be the best method to color the candy melt?

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Katelyn

Hi there, I just need to know how many pops are made with 1 bag of the 12 oz melts. Thanks!

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Kristi

about 40 depending on the size you make your pops.

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Synthia

Hi all, my cake pops turns out pretty good but I’m not sure how do you store them if you want to make them day or few days ahead ? Do I put them in the fridze or just leave it in a box ?

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Cynthia

I would love to know where I can find these bowls! I am having the hardest time finding deep plastic bowls!

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Myra Molina

I use the empty frosting containers and just toss them after I’m done due to the melts hardening after awhile. There perfect size!

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Rosemary A.

Myra – Don’t throw the melts away because they harden. It’s chocolate, so it will harden; however, you can use it by melting it again.

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Karen

My Wilton’s choclate is dripping off of the cake pop I’ve never had that happen before. Any ideas why this is happening.

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Michele Missakian

how many Wilton 12 oz candy melt bags do you need to make 3 dozen cake pops?

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Kristi

I just dipped 40 pops using 1 bag of candy melts. I do add the paramount crystals for a thinner consistency which I think makes them easier to dip. Hope this helps.

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Alettie

How do you get cake pops so round.

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alanna

can you use coconut oil instead of crystals for thinner consistency?

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Kris Galicia Brown

Hi! Yes! Virgin coconut oil (solid) is a great alternative! 🙂

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Maribel

Hi! , i just want to know how i get the pops shiny, when the chocolate dries is dull, please help!

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Deborah Gonzales

Try hitting the finished pops briefly with a blow dryer set on hot. That’s what The Cake Boss does to get his fondant shiny when a cake is done.

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Amanda

WOW! these are all really great tips, I didnt even need to ask any questions.. I am new to the cake pops. I tried making my first batch the other night. they turned out great. I used a specific cake pop making pans though. I did have a extremely hard time dipping the pops. Now I KNOW i had the icing to thin!!! Thanks for all the comments, really helps me with my sons !st Birthday party this sat!

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Linda

The comments are soo very helpful in learning how to do cake pops……Is the small cookie dough scoop too smallfor cake pops?….mine were coming out all different sizes after i rolled them out in my hand…..what is the best method for uniform size?…my daughter is getting married in Nov so i am doing the desert table and im starting now practicing all different deserts and treats…..thanks for all your help….

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Cookie

I find mixing the cake with the frosting to make cake pops is a terrible texture to me. I feel I am eating raw dough, i made them in a cake pop machine and frosted them in chocolate then just the tops in cream cheese frosting and sprinkles

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katherine martinez

where can I find those scilicone bowls? great idea but I can’t find them :/

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Mindi

Can I freeze cake pops after preparing them? And should I do it before or after decorating?

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Lisa

Are paramount crystals similar to
Paraffin wax? Can I use that instead. I put the parrafin in the chocolate I dip my peanut butter balls and it works great

Reply

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