These homemade cake pops are easy to customize to suit any holiday and are made using homemade vanilla cake and buttercream. It’s impossible to eat just one! 

Six birthday cake pops resting on top of each other on a small white plate. Sprinkles in a measuring cup rest in the background.

These cake pops are dense, rich, and packed with pure vanilla flavor. I couldn’t resist rolling them in sprinkles for that extra cute factor!

This is a great recipe to tuck up your sleeve for any upcoming birthdays or holidays you’ll be celebrating. You can add a few drops of food coloring to the white chocolate coating to create themed cake pops, plus you can change up the type of sprinkles you use to suit any occasion. 

Cake pops can also be assembled days in advance, and they keep well in the fridge. As a bonus, this recipe makes about 3 dozen so there will be plenty for everyone to have seconds!

Overhead view of the ingredients needed to make homemade cake pops.

Recipe Ingredients 

This is a vanilla cake pop recipe made with homemade vanilla cake, buttercream frosting, and a white chocolate coating. Let’s quickly go over a few specific ingredients you’ll need for making cake pops: 

  • Cake flour: Contains less protein than regular all-purpose flour, which results in a lighter, fluffier cake. If you don’t keep cake flour in your pantry, you can always make your own substitute
  • Buttermilk: Makes for an ultra moist and tender cake. In a pinch, you can make your own buttermilk substitute in about five minutes. 
  • White Chocolate: I like to use white chocolate for this recipe, but you can use any kind that you prefer! Some other great options would be semi-sweet or dark chocolate. You can even add a drop or two of food coloring to the white chocolate to add a pop of color to the outside of the cake pops.
  • Coconut oil: I like to add a little coconut oil to the melted white chocolate, but it is completely optional. A little coconut oil helps to prevent your chocolate from seizing in the microwave and makes it easier to dip the cake pops.
  • Sprinkles: These are optional, but I love to add some. You can use different colored sprinkles to suit the occasion. 

A baked vanilla cake cooling in its pan on top of a cooling rack.

How to Make Cake Pops 

This DIY cake pop recipe uses my homemade vanilla cake recipe for the base, but it’s scaled down to make only one layer. Here’s a simple breakdown for how to make the cake layer:

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients: Combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and oil: This will be added later.
  • Cream the butter & sugar together: I recommend beating the butter until smooth, slowly adding the sugar, then mixing the two together for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the eggs: It’s best to mix these in one at a time. Be sure to scrape around the bottom and sides of your bowl to ensure everything is well combined.
  • Mix in the dry and wet ingredients: I recommend mixing in half of the dry ingredients, the buttermilk mixture, then the rest of your dry ingredients. This will prevent you from over mixing your cake batter.
  • Bake the cake: Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely
  • Peel the outer layer and edges of the cake: Once the cake has cooled completely, I suggest using a knife to carefully peel off the outer layer and edges of the cake. This will help ensure that the inside of the cake pops are smooth and beautiful!

After the cake has been baked and prepared, you can make the buttercream frosting and then assemble the cake pops.

  • Make the frosting: Mix some butter and powdered sugar together, then mix in some heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  • Crumble the cake: Crumble the cake into small pieces in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix together the cake and frosting: Once you mix the crumbled cake and frosting together, the dough should resemble cookie dough. If needed, use a rubber spatula to help work the mixture together.
  • Roll into balls: Roll the cake pop mixture into 1-tablespoon sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Freeze the balls: I recommend freezing them for at least 1 hour, this will make it much easier to dip them.
  • Make the white chocolate coating: Add the chopped white chocolate and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until completely melted and smooth.
  • Assemble your dipping station: Transfer some of the melted chocolate into a tall cup that is wide enough to dunk a cake pop into. (You will refill this cup with chocolate as you work.)

A vanilla cake pop being dunked into a glass of melted white chocolate.

  • Dip the cake balls in chocolate: When dipping the cake pops in chocolate, start by dipping the end of the stick into the chocolate first, then into the cake pop. This will help to ensure that your cake pops stay on the stick. Then, press the stick into the cake pop ball, and coat in chocolate.
  • Add sprinkles: If adding sprinkles, be sure to sprinkle them on top right after the cake pop is dunked in the chocolate and the excess chocolate is tapped off. 
  • Repeat: Repeat the dipping process with the cake balls, taking only a few out of the freezer at a time to prevent them from defrosting too quickly. 
  • Let the cake pops rest: Stick the finished cake pops into a styrofoam block and allow to set for at least 30 minutes.

An overhead view of birthday cake pops on a small speckled plate. One cake pop has a bite missing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do cake pops last? 

If stored in a Ziplock bag or an airtight container, the cake pops will last up to one week in the fridge. 

Can cake pops be frozen? 

Yes, you may freeze them after the cake-frosting mixture has been rolled into balls for 2 to 3 months, then dip them into white chocolate when you’re ready to make them. 

You may also freeze the dipped cake pops for up to 3 months and thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.

Can boxed cake mix be used? 

Of course! A box of cake mix will usually make two 9-inch cake layers, but for this recipe you will only need one. You can either freeze the second layer or double the frosting and white chocolate coating to make more cake pops.

Can I make different flavors with this recipe?

Yes, you can easily use a boxed cake mix as mentioned above or another cake recipe like my red velvet cakecarrot cake, or strawberry cake. Keep in mind that my cake recipes typically make two 9-inch layers and you will only need one for this recipe. However, most of my cake recipes can easily be cut in half to just make one layer.

A close up view of vanilla cake pops topped with sprinkles. One cake pop has a bite missing.

Baking Tips 

  • I prefer to use 4-inch sticks for this recipe because they’re the perfect size. 
  • To get each cake pop perfectly coated, rotate the stick as you’re tapping off the excess chocolate.
  • If you’re adding sprinkles, be sure to add these immediately after you dip the cake pops. The chocolate will start to harden within a matter of seconds!
  • The outer chocolate coating will soften some at room temperature, so I recommend storing these in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy them.

More Easy Cake Recipes to Make! 

Recipe Video

Homemade Cake Pops

Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Cooling Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time: 4 hrs 10 mins
These homemade cake pops are easy to customize to suit any holiday and are made using homemade vanilla cake and buttercream. It's impossible to eat just one! 

Ingredients

Servings: 36 cake pops

For the vanilla cake:

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour spooned & leveled (175 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk at room temperature (120 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (30 ml)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened (1 stick; 115 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

For the buttercream frosting:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened (½ stick; 60 grams)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (90 grams)
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream or milk
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate coating:

  • 16 ounces white chocolate roughly chopped (I used four 4oz Ghirardelli white chocolate bars)
  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (14 grams) optional
  • Optional: sprinkles as decoration

Instructions
 

  • To make the vanilla cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray one 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract together until well combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, then slowly mix in the granulated sugar.
  • Once all of the sugar is added, increase to medium speed and continue mixing for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to stop and scrape around the bottom and sides of the bowl after each egg.
  • Add the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture (begin and end with the dry ingredients) on low speed. Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.
  • Use a rubber spatula to scrape around the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it around into one even layer.
  • Bake for 28 to 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Slide a knife around the outside of the cake, then carefully remove the cake from the pan, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the buttercream frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed at first, then increase to medium speed and continue mixing for 1 to 2 minutes or until fully combined.
  • Add the heavy cream (start with ½ tablespoon of heavy cream) and vanilla extract and continue mixing on medium speed until everything is well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • To make and assemble the cake pops: To begin making the cake pops, remove the crisp outer edges (top & bottom) and sides of the cake. You can use a paring knife to carefully peel the outer layer with ease.
  • Crumble the cake into small pieces in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the buttercream frosting and mix with a handheld mixer or stand mixer until fully combined, the mixture should resemble cookie dough.
  • Roll the cake-pop mixture into 1 tablespoon sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour.
  • Add the chopped white chocolate and coconut oil to a large microwave safe bowl. Transfer to the microwave and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each increment, until completely melted and smooth.
  • Transfer some of the melted chocolate into a tall cup that is wide enough to dunk a cake pop into. You will refill this cup with chocolate as you work. Allow melted chocolate to cool for about 10 minutes before proceeding.
  • Remove 4 to 5 cake balls from the freezer at a time, to prevent them from defrosting before dipping in the chocolate.
  • Dip the end of a lollipop stick about ½-inch into the melted chocolate (I used 4-inch sticks), then into the center of a cake ball so it’s ¾ of the way in. Then, dip the cake pop into the melted chocolate, so the entire cake pop is covered in chocolate (not the stick). Gently tap the stick a few times and rotate it to remove excess chocolate. If adding sprinkles, add right after the cake pop is dunked in the chocolate and the excess chocolate is tapped off. Stick into a styrofoam block and allow to set.
  • Repeat with the remaining 3 to 4 cake balls that are out of the freezer. Then slowly take out more cake balls as needed until all of the cake pop balls are coated in chocolate.
  • Allow chocolate-covered cake pops to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Notes

Store the coated cake pops in a ziplock bag or container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freezing Instructions: You may freeze the cake-frosting mixture has been rolled into balls for 2 to 3 months, then dip them into white chocolate when you're ready to make them. 
Dipped cake pops will freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle
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