How to Make Cake Pops – Silicone Mold Versus Rolling By Hand

Yesterday I set out to attempt a baking CRAFT that I have been wanting to try for awhile now – CAKE POPS.

Cake Pops (term and assembly method credited mainly to Bakerella) have taken the country by storm.  And what’s not to love?  Cake – icing – toppings – chocolate… all on a STICK.  I bought a set of 2 silicone cake pop molds and spent a few minutes on Google trying to find tips on how to use them.  I didn’t find much.

Instead, I found a post from Love from the Oven – all about making cake pops by hand.  Hmm.  I hadn’t even considered doing that.  I had always figured it was too much work.  But her post convinced me that it was worth a try because they were a little bigger, looked a bit tastier and gave me so many more flavor possibilities.

So let’s start with the silicone mold because I made the pops both ways.  Making the batter was simple – I used Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix because it’s what I had on hand.  I prepared it according to the directions on the box, but I added one extra egg and instead of 1 cup of water, I used 1/2 cup of milk.  (That was a suggestion that came with the silicone mold directions.)

The directions did not say whether or not I should grease the molds, so I did just in case (using non-stick cooking spray).  I filled each of the two bottom molds almost completely.  Then I placed the top molds over the bottom, securing them into place.  (I put the cake pop molds on a baking tray to keep everything a little more sturdy.)

I baked these guys for 16 minutes at 350 degrees.  After they came out of the oven they sat (in the molds) on a cooling rack for a half hour or so before I popped them out and onto a plate.

I had some batter left over from the molds…  that’s what gave me the inspiration to try making cake pops “by hand” as well.  I dumped the rest of the batter into a baking dish and when the molds came out of the oven, this dish went in for about 20 minutes.

After cooling for at least an hour, I was ready to get down and dirty with the cake.  I scored the cake into squares to break it up a bit.

Then I scooped each piece out of the dish, two or three at a time.  I crumbled them by hand into a bowl.  (You could use a food processor to crumble the cake, but honestly, it went so quickly by hand – a food processor might not be worth the hassle.)

Crumbled!

Add 1/2 to 3/4 can of frosting to your cake crumbles.  I used cream cheese frosting – again, because it’s what I had on hand.  Next time I try this I want to make the cake and frosting from scratch!

Mix your frosting and cake crumbles together.

Now you need to chill your mixture.  You can do this by placing the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.  By the time I got around to crumbling and mixing, it was later at night, so I left my bowl in the fridge overnight.

Chilling the mixture makes it much easier to work with when you are rolling it into balls.

Working with chilled “dough,” I rolled it all into equal sized balls and placed the balls on wax paper.

I pulled the silicone mold cake pops out of their container and placed them next to each other.  The difference is pretty obvious – not just the size (because I could have hand rolled mine to be smaller) but the cake pops from the molds will be straight up cake.  They are lighter and fluffier and well, more cake-like.  The pops that I hand rolled are dense, moist and pre-mixed with frosting.

I filled my Wilton Chocolate Melter with white chocolate melts while I set up my workspace on the dining room table.

Helpful tip – sometimes the candy stick has trouble staying in the cake pop – especially when you are dipping it into the thick melted chocolate.  What worked best for me, was to poke a hole into each cake pop with the stick  Then I dipped the stick into the melted chocolate and put the stick back into the cake pop.  I let the pop sit for a few minutes before attempting to dip in the chocolate – letting the stick set a bit.

Now it’s time for some dipping!

I held the cake pops over a small bowl and shook various sprinkles over the entire pop.  I placed them standing up in small holes covering the top of a cardboard box.  (A piece of styrofoam would work great for this.)

Now, there were definitely a few OOPS moments along the way – several pops collapsed because I accidentally shoved the sticks in too far.

The carnage:

Several pops that threatened to join the carnage pile were saved because I placed them top down on wax paper before they could fall apart.

With the smaller (silicone molded) pops, I tried something else – I left the stick off and just covered them in chocolate.  Then I placed them on wax paper and sprinkled.

I have to say – first attempt – I’m totally pleased.  I am glad that I got over my intimidation and just made them.  I can’t wait to make more!!

And how did I like the molds vs. the by-hand method?  If I was pressed for time, the molds would be AWESOME – they are a total time saver and SO simple to use!  I enjoyed the taste of the hand-made pops way more than the cake that popped out of the molds – so if flavor was my goal, I would go the more labor-intensive route.

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  • Nicholear

    The baby cakes cake pop machine is even faster compared to the molds. Love mine! I do get what your saying about the hand rolled, but both are pretty good. I think the key is chocolate covered cake is way better.

    • devon

      Oh! I love the idea of those machines- I’ll bet they are a lot of fun! :)

    • Anonymous

      I have seen those machines – they look great, especially if you are pressed for time.

  • Siobhantwohig86

    I only made them once and I did it by hand, I used the rainbow chips icing- yum! I think they got more tasty as the days (ahem 2days) went by. I just used a cookie scoop and it was simple enough, its the dipping in chocolate thats annoying. i just poured the chocolate on them, then when it harded flipped them over and covered the other side.I called them cake balls and not pops, just because I avoided the sticks :)

    • Anonymous

      LOL that’s what I did with my wreckage – the ones that fell off the sticks! :)

  • Katiebug1174

    Great tips – I’ve been trying to figure out whether I even needed the molds. Now I see that I really don’t. Thank you!

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome – have fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tnchocolatier Sharon Chocolate-Partys Chocol

    I have got the Molds But I also think by hand is the best way to do them, I do like to use real cocoa butter Chocolates versus the melts or frosting’s as it does not seem to be so sweet that it over takes the flavors..

    • Anonymous

      Mmmm.. that sounds good too!

  • http://www.eatcookcode.com/ Sas

    Thanks for this post. I bought the molds and wasn’t sure if they were for baking or molding. I wonder if you could press the hand made mixture into the molds and then sandwich them together afterwards with some more candy melts so you get the best of both worlds – moist, frosting full cake balls with a nice round shape.

    • Anonymous

      That would probably work!

    • Eileen

      Hi there, I am wondering if you actually tried this method and how well did it work. I really don’t like molding the cake by hand, especially because it gets way to messy and I am a bit OCD. Thanks.

  • Rhino350

    Thank you so much for your step by step guide.I’m going to make these for a baby shower so i will have a trial run before then.
    thank s again.

    • Anonymous

      Hope they turned out great!

  • Tsakasha

    thanks for this post – very helpful and inspiring

    • Anonymous

      I’m so glad it was helpful!

  • Rodica 86

    Wish I saw this before I brought the molds lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/resant Renata Santoso

    I’m glad I found this post. Can I ask you a question? For 1 mould, you only fill in one side. After came out of the oven, did it come out as a ball shape or just half-round shape and then you stick it with other half-round shape to make a ball?

    • Anonymous

      Sure thing – just fill the one side. Then pop the empty side on top and put the whole thing in the oven. When the batter bakes and rises in the oven, it will fill the top (empty) mold and the end result will be round cake balls. :)

  • Jan Lim

    If I may ask, where did you purchase the cake pop mould?
    Thank you! :)

    • Anonymous

      I got mine via Groupon a few months ago – but I’m sure you could find it almost anywhere – stores like Bed Bath and Beyond or online in stores like Amazon.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657403585 Christine Wickham

      Scoopon have them today, a set of 2 for $15 including postage!

    • Anonymous

      I live in Australia and i purchased my mould kit from Big W. and I also have an electric one you just pluginto the wall from Woolworths (safeway)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500498007 Jenni Keleske-Rugg

    Great post! I am in the process of making the handmade pops for the first time and was doing a second glimpse online to be sure the constancy was correct! I had to laugh because I just used what I had on hand as well….funfetti cake and cream cheese frosting! Must be a good “on hand” flavor combo! Thanks again!

  • dre

    Thank you for the side by side comparison of making cake pops two different ways. Making cake pops is new to me, but I thought I would make a few for the holidays for fun. I was debating for a long time whether to make the cake pops the traditional method or to use the silicon molds. Thanks for the tips along the way such as leaving the cakes in the mold for a bit instead of just popping them open once they are done.

  • Christine

    Have you tried making the mixture as per the hand-rolled method and then squishing into the dough into the silicone molds and refrigerating? Just an idea I had

  • Lafayette Mom

    I make these for our school bake sales all the time. what has worked best for me is crumbling cake, mixing in icing, then shaping. I put them on a long tray in fridge with plastic wrap until they firm up. I’ve tried freezing them for 10 mins, I’ve had more cracked cake pops doing it that way. I sometimes just let them sit over nite and dip the next morning Good luck

  • Rikasu89

    Hi I was wondering since I have silicone molds that came with no instructions at all so can you possibly tell me the proper way to bake cake pops? Thank you so much

  • cesstable

    Thanks that was very helpful

    • Devon

      You’re welcome!

  • tracy & ems

    Bought cake pop mould for daughters xmas pressie she is only 8yrs and loves doing a bit of baking. Just got them out the mould but unfortunately I used a ready cake mix and followed the instructions according to the packet. But now I after reading your blog I will add a second egg and hope our second attempt is more successful. Many thanks

    • Devon

      You’re welcome – good luck! :)