Chocolate Cake Pops are the perfect way to celebrate any occasion! This easy recipe for cake pops is so chocolatey and delicious, and they are just so adorable.
What’s in this Chocolate Cake Pop Recipe?
Rich chocolate cake + chocolate frosting + chocolate coating = the most indulgent yet simple treat!
- Cake Ingredients: You’ll need the typical cake ingredients, like flour, butter, eggs, baking soda, and more (check the recipe card for the full list.) You can also use a box of cake mix if you prefer.
- Frosting: Using a tub of store-bought frosting is the easiest option, but you could also make your own chocolate frosting.
- Melting Chocolate: Use a bar of melting chocolate, melting wafers, or candy melts to for the coating.
- Sticks: Cake pop or lollipop sticks work best.
- Decorations (optional): Add any sprinkles, hearts, extra chocolate drizzles, etc. that you want to use to decorate.
Pro Tip: Use a cookie scoop to make sure every single cake pop is the exact same size! Trust me, they’re way more impressive to present when they’re all the same shape and size.
Variations on a Chocolate Cake Pop
You can easily change the flavor of these cake pops by using your favorite cake recipe! Try vanilla cake, funfetti cake, red velvet cake, eggnog cake, or spice cake. Use an accompanying frosting, like brown sugar frosting, and whatever kind of chocolate you like!
While you can use any unsweetened cocoa powder you prefer, I like to use natural cocoa powder here because the baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity of natural cocoa powder, letting its rich flavor shine.
If you want to speed up this process and make it even easier, you can start with a boxed cake mix. This just means all your dry ingredients are ready to go, so you can get straight to mixing and baking. A typical box of cake mix will make about half of this recipe, so use only half a tub of frosting (instead of the full tub). You can use two boxes if you want a full 36-40 cake pops.
A drizzle of white chocolate or your favorite rainbow/chocolate sprinkles are always great options. If you’re making these around a holiday, you could always theme your drizzle or sprinkles to that holiday! For example, red and green sprinkles are always cute on these cake pops around Christmas.
Yes! You can make the chocolate cake, bake, and keep it stored at room temp for a few days. You can also make the cake balls, and keep them in the fridge overnight, so they’re ready to assemble. And since the chocolate coating needs to set, it’s best to fully assemble the pops at least a few hours before serving.
If the cake balls are falling off the stick, that means they are simply too heavy. There are a few things you should do to prevent this. First, don’t make the cake balls any larger than 1-1½ inches. Make sure to dip the stick in the melted chocolate before inserting into the cake to help it stick. And finally, fully coat the cake pops, but let any excess chocolate drip off so they don’t get too heavy.
How to Store
In an airtight container at room temperature, these chocolate cake pops will stay fresh for up to 5 days! If you want to extend that time by a lot, place them in the refrigerator in that same container. There, they’ll stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. These are excellent treats to make ahead!
How to Freeze
Remember what I said about making these ahead? Yeah – they’re perfect for freezing! In an airtight container or Ziplock bag, these chocolate treats will stay fresh for up to 6 weeks. When you’re ready to enjoy them, just let them sit in the refrigerator or on the countertop to thaw for a few hours.
Whether they’re decorated with rainbow sprinkles or a simple white chocolate drizzle, these homemade cake pops are sure to be the biggest hit at the party. They’re perfect for birthday parties and holidays.
Chocolate Cake Pops Recipe
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 42 grams
- ⅓ cup boiling or very hot water 76 grams
- ⅔ cup milk 151 grams
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 240 grams
- ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter 227 grams (2 sticks)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar 300 grams
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams
- 3 large eggs 150 grams
For Filling and assembly
- 16 ounces pre-made chocolate frosting 453 grams (1 tub), such as Betty Crocker
- 10 ounces melting chocolate 284 grams (1 bag), Ghirardelli recommended
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13 baking pan with butter, then sprinkle a light dusting of cocoa powder over the butter. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa powder and the boiling water. If the mixture is too thick, add in 1 tablespoon of hot water until it looks like creamy chocolate frosting. Once well combined, allow the mixture to cool for about 2-3 minutes. Once cooled, whisk in the milk until smooth and creamy, then set aside. (The mixture should be similar to very chocolate hot cocoa, or dark chocolate milk. Be sure to whisk until all of the cocoa powder is dissolved.)½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ⅓ cup boiling or very hot water, ⅔ cup milk
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.2 cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar, mixing until it is blended together and looks creamy. Continue mixing and add in the vanilla and the eggs.1 cup unsalted butter, 1½ cups granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 3 large eggs
- Add the cocoa mixture to the sugar mixture, mixing on medium speed until it is all well combined together. Add in the flour mixture in batches, while mixing on low to medium speed. Once the batter is smooth and creamy, pour it into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean or the top of the cake springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Once the cake has cooled, break it into pieces until it is a fine crumble. Stir in the frosting, mixing until the crumble forms into a small ball and sticks together.16 ounces pre-made chocolate frosting
- Scoop into 1½ inch balls and roll into a round shape. Place the shaped balls into a large bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate. Place the pop stick into the chocolate, just covering the top of the stick before inserting into the cake pop this helps hold the cake pop on the stick when you are dipping). Dip the entire ball of cake into the chocolate, until it is completely covered. Tap the middle of the stick onto the edge of the bowl so the excess chocolate drips back into the bowl. Allow the chocolate to set.10 ounces melting chocolate
- You can purchase a cake pop stand, similar to the one in the photos, for under $20. You can also use a block of styrofoam to hold the sticks, or place them top down on a piece of parchment paper. I have used styrofoam blocks and wrapped them in paper or tissue paper for a pretty presentation.
- I place the balls in the refrigerator to help them hold their shape while dipping into the warm chocolate, and the coolness of the cake quickens the setting of the chocolate.
- This recipe makes 36-40 pops. I use an entire tub of pre-made frosting, which is 16 ounces (just under 2 cups of frosting). If you want to make a speedier batch of cake pops with a box cake mix, only use HALF of the tub of frosting.
- Cake mix cakes are half of this recipe. You can also choose different flavors of frosting, and colors to dip. There are so many options!
- When microwaving the chocolate, do so in 30-second intervals. Chocolate can burn pretty quickly in the microwave, so make sure you’re checking on it and stirring often!
- If you’re using sprinkles, toss them on the pops right after they’ve been dipped and the chocolate is still wet. That way, they’ll hold their place on the cake pops.
- Use a cookie portion scoop to make sure every single cake pop is the exact same size! Trust me, they’re way more impressive to present when they’re all the same shape and size.