Thriving in the Dessert: Cactus Cake Pops

Is it desert or dessert? Today these words are related as we teach you how to make cactus cake pops. They have the looks, but aren’t like cacti at all. They won’t prick you, they’re 100% safe around party balloons and even the idlest of hands. They’re also sweet, delicious and really fun to make!

Let’s make a cactus you can hug (and won’t mind eating)!

Cactus Cake Pops

You’ll need

  • Cake pop dough
  • Lime green candy wafers
  • Green candy wafers
  • Dark brown candy wafers, about 10 wafers (optional)
  • Mike & Ike candies
  • Chocolate rocks candies
  • Flower sprinkles (optional)
  • White sprinkles (optional)
  • Paramount crystals
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Wax paper
  • Toothpicks
  • Cake pop stand or styrofoam block

Step 1:

Line your work surface wax paper.

Shaping cake pops are the most important step to getting a smooth finish. Please skim through this tutorial for tips on making the cake pop dough to become familiar with the process.

 Cake pop doughUse a cookie scoop to create even portions. first, scoop and roll the dough into a ball, then form it into a long droplet. Lastly, gently tap the pointed end against your flat work surface. Refrigerate.

Step 2:

Let’s prep our candies and sprinkles.

Mike & Ike candies

Using a sharp knife, cut the Mike & Ikes at a 45-degree angle crosswise. We will use two cut pieces for each cake pop.

rock candy

Chocolate rocks look just like, well, little rocks! I think these candies are just starting to become popular. I’ve seen them online, at Staples stores, at my local natural foods stores, even at Walmart and the Dollar Tree. For these cake pops, I’ll only use the brown and tan ones, but please feel free to use the variety.

Two types of sprinkles

White sprinkles and flower sprinkles are completely optional. I used them to make masculine and feminine cacti, but completely not necessary. I do think that they add a nice touch.

Step 3:

Please refer to our tutorial for handling candy coating and dipping before starting the next step to become familiar with melting candy coating and the dipping process.

Green candy melts in a bowl

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the green wafers. I like to use a combination of light green and green wafers to get the hue I prefer, but feel free to use one shade or the other. I use a 4 to 1 ratio of light green to green. Thin the candy coating using paramount crystals; the candy coating in the photo above still needs to be thinned out. We want the coating on the thinner side so the indentation detail doesn’t get lost.

Step 4:

Remove uncoated cake pops from the fridge. Dip about ⅓ inch of a lollipop stick into the green candy coating and push it into the bottom of the cacti until it’s about halfway through. Do this for all the pieces.

Step 5:

Lets give them some texture.

Adding texture to a cake popUse a toothpick to create 5 vertical indents all the way around the cactus, starting from the top center to the bottom.

Making cactus cake popsMake sure to create a deep indent, enough so that the toothpick is flush against the dough because the candy coating will naturally fill most of the area.

Early stage of a cactus cake pop

It should look like this.

Cactus Cake Pops In ProgressStep 6:

Use a toothpick to dab candy coating on the cake pop, then place a piece of the Mike & Ike or jelly bean candies that we cut earlier. It should set rather quickly since the cake has been chilled. If needed, place in the fridge for a couple of minutes until the added candies have set on the cake pop.

Step 7:

Dip and shake off excess.

Cactus Cake Pop Making Cactus Cake Pops

Push in white sprinkles along the top while the coating is still wet, if desired. Or add a flower sprinkle. Attach chocolate rocks along the bottom also while the coating is still drying.

Cactus Cake Pop

If the coating dries before you’re completely done, that’s OK! Use a toothpick to dab candy coating on the area where you’d like to “glue” more rocks. Place on a cake pop stand to let dry completely.

Cactus Cake Pops Cactus Cake Pops

Step 8:

For the finishing touches, melt dark brown candy coating, place in a ziplock bag and snip the tip with scissors. Pipe eyes and mouth. Add more flower sprinkles on the cactus like on top of the “arms,” if desired. 

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