Homemade Starbucks Cake Pops

24 Cake Pops
1 hr

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Starbucks cake pops are the perfect-sized treat any time of the day. But next time you have a craving, try homemade scratch cake pops. They are fast and easy to make. I like to make it a family activity where everyone can create their own style!

Equipment

Consistent Size - Aim to always have the cake balls uniform. I recommend using a cookie scoop, kitchen scale, or a tablespoon. Anything works, as long as the size is consistent and the cake small enough to stay on a lollipop stick.

Cake Pop Stick - Purchase on Amazon, Walmart, or a hobby store. I used these reusable sticks I purchased on Amazon.

Microwave or Double Boiler - Use either a microwave or double boiler to melt chocolate.

Baking Sheet - Baking sheets are ideal for placing the cake balls to set in the refrigerator.

Styrofoam or Cardboard Box - After being dipped in melted chocolate, the cake pops will need to be upright to dry. I recommend using a large styrofoam block or cardboard box with tiny holes pre-poked.

Ingredients

Cake

Most Starbucks cake pops use vanilla or chocolate cake, but not all. Below I have listed 20 cake pops and the flavor of cake used. If the cake is particular, like peppermint chocolate, you might want to modify the recipe and use chocolate cake with peppermint frosting to bind it together. That modification is an easy workaround to complex flavors.

I recommend making the cake type you are most comfortable with (store-bought, a standard box cake mix, homemade or leftover cake). In the recipe card are instructions for a basic homemade vanilla cake.


Frosting

The frosting is needed to bond the cake crumbles together. Use either store-bought or homemade frosting. I make a simple vanilla frosting with confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and a touch of milk.

A general rule, use two tablespoons of frosting for one box of cake crumbles (the equivalent of a 13x9 baking sheet). Adjust the amount of frosting according to the cake crumbles you are using. In the recipe card are instructions for an easy-to-make frosting.

Expert Tip - Use only a tiny amount of frosting. Too much frosting will make your cake pop greasy. To avoid that, start with a little and work it into the cake crumbles. It usually takes a minute or two of work before the cake crumbs bind together.

Coating

There are four shell types you can use. I have used all of these methods in the past, and they have their merits. When coating the pop, I always add 1 - 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. This thins out the chocolate making for a better shell.


  • Candy Coating - Purchased melts are easy to work with and come in various candy colors.
  • Chocolate Melts - Ghiradelli chocolate melts come in white, milk, and dark chocolate and are available at most grocery stores. Ghiradelli melts are made with cocoa butter and have a shine similar to tempering, which makes them my favorite chocolate to use.
  • Ganache - Creates a sinfully rich coating. Click here for my ganache recipe.
  • Homemade shell - Create a hardshell from scratch by combining 2 cups of baking chips and ⅔rds cup coconut oil (lower to ½ cup if using white chocolate). Microwave at 50% power in 30-second intervals. Stir between each interval. Repeat until smooth.

Assembly

Time needed: 30 minutes.

How to Make Cake Pops

  1. Prepare the CakeStart with a baked cake or cake scrapes. Using a large bowl, break the cake into fine cake crumbs using your hands or a mixer. Add two tablespoons of frosting and mix well until the cake becomes a ball. Note: This recipe assumes two tablespoons of frosting to one box of cake. If using a different amount of cake, adjust the frosting accordingly.
  2. Shape BallLine a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a tablespoon to measure each portion, then roll it into a truffle-like ball. Melt a small amount of chocolate or candy coating. Dip a cake pop or lollipop stick in the melted chocolate/coating and insert it into the center of the cake ball. Place the cake ball on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. CoatingPrepare the stylophone block or cardboard box by poking small holes in the top. Melt the remaining coating in a measuring cup or another cup large enough to fully submerge the cake pop. Add a tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil and mix.
  4. Remove 2-3 balls out of the refrigerator at a time. Dip the cake ball in the melted chocolate or candy coating. Move the pop front to back and side to side, but do not swirl.
  5. Slightly lift the pop hold downwards at a 45-degree angle. Allow the coating to drip off gently. Gently tap the cake pop on the edge of a measuring cup or glass to remove excess chocolate.
  6. SprinklesAdd the sprinkles while the coating is still wet. Place upright into a styrofoam block or cardboard box. The coating will set in about an hour.


Visual Steps

Decorations

Starbucks generally keeps the decorations simple with white sprinkles. Being the sprinkle girl I am, I say, why limit yourself to only one kind? I recommend having fun and using sprinkles to match the occasion. Below I describe 20 Starbucks cake pops and my decoration ideas for different occasions.


Starbucks Everyday Menu

Starbucks does rotate the menu. However, birthday and chocolate pops are always on the menu. To recreate the white sprinkles, I used Wilton's white nonpareils that I found on Amazon.


  • Birthday - Bite-sized vanilla cake mixed with vanilla buttercream, dipped in pink chocolaty icing and topped with white sprinkles.
  • Chocolate - Bite-sized chocolate cake mixed with chocolate buttercream, dipped in chocolaty icing and topped with white sprinkles.


Note: Additional descriptions for all Starbucks Pops on the Sinful Kitchen blog.

Homemade Starbucks Cake Pops
Recipe details
  • 24  Cake Pops
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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Ingredients
Cake
  • ▢ 1 and 2/3 cups (209g)  all-purpose flour
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ▢ 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ▢ 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ▢ 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • ▢ 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ▢ 1 cup (240mil) whole milk
Frosting
  • ▢ 2 tablespoons store bought frosting
Coating and Decoration
  • ▢ 40 ounces of candy coating or chocolate melts
  • ▢ sprinkles
Instructions
Cake (If cake is already made, skipped to step 6)
Basic Cake Recipe
Preheat the oven to 350f/175c. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or a quarter baking sheet.
Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside1 and ⅔ cups (209g) of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
Mix Wet Ingredients: Use a large bowl and a mixer on low to medium speed (hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment) to cream the butter and sugar together. About two minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until combined. About two minutes. While mixing, scrape down the sides as needed to ensure all ingredients are fully combined.
Combine Ingredients: Using a spatula or wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients and milk to the wet ingredients. For the best result, the batter should be just barely mixed for a fluffier cake.
Bake: The baking time can vary depending on the size of the pan, generally the cake will bake in 30 - 35 minutes. Remove when golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to fully cool before moving on to step .Note: Oven temperatures can vary, and always keep a close eye on the cake to ensure it does not burn.
Cake Pops
Prepare Cake Crumbs: Start with a baked cake or cake scrapes. Using a large bowl, break the cake into fine cake crumbs using your hands or a mixer. Add two tablespoons of frosting and mix well until the cake becomes a ball. Note: This recipe assumes two tablespoons of frosting to one box of cake. If using a different amount of cake, adjust the frosting accordingly. 2 tablespoons of store-bought frosting
Shape and Set: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a tablespoon to measure each portion, then roll it into a truffle-like ball. Melt a small amount of chocolate or candy coating. Dip a cake pop or lollipop stick in the melted chocolate/coating and insert it into the center of the cake ball. Place the cake ball on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Coat: Prepare the stylophone block or cardboard box by poking small holes in the top. Melt the remaining coating in a measuring cup or another cup large enough to fully submerge the cake pop. Add a tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil and mix. Remove 2-3 set cake balls out of the refrigerator at a time. Dip the cake ball in the melted chocolate or candy coating. Move the pop front to back and side to side, but do not swirl. Slightly lift the pop hold downwards at a 45-degree angle. Allow the coating to drip off gently. Gently tap the cake pop on the edge of a measuring cup or glass to remove excess chocolate. 40 ounces of candy coating or chocolate melts, sprinkles
Sprinkles: Add the sprinkles while the coating is still wet. Place upright into a styrofoam block or cardboard box. The coating will set in about an hour.
Tips
  • Frosting: This recipe assumes two tablespoons of frosting to one box of cake. If using a different amount of cake, adjust the frosting accordingly. Note that too much frosting will make the pop greesey.
  • Make-Ahead Instructions: I recommend making cake pops at least one day in advance. Always plan on making a few extra just in case.
  • Countertop Instructions: Store at room temperature on your countertop for one day.
  • Refrigerator Instructions: Lay flat in an air-tight container and store for seven days.
  • Freezer Instructions: Lay each cake pop flat in the bottom of an airtight container. Place a layer of parchment paper on top of the first layer and then lay a second layer. Continue until the container is full. Then place the lid on and store it in the freezer for four weeks.
  • Packaging: Amazon has clear plastic bags with colorful bow ties.
Sinful Kitchen
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