Cake pops are an extremely popular dessert and the reasons are clear- they are versatile, delicious and actually quite easy to make.
You may have seen cake pop molds in stores that help you make perfect cake pops. However, do you really need to buy a cake pop mold? Absolutely not!
There are plenty of ways to make cake pops without a mold and the process is easier than you may have thought. So hold off on buying that cake pop mold and take a look at this article first!
What is a Cake Pop?
Before getting into the details on how to make cake pops without a mold, let’s look at what a cake pop is. If you have yet to have one of these little tasty treats, you definitely need to try them now, especially if you are a big fan of cake, frosting and chocolate as that is exactly what cake pops are comprised of.
Cake pops are usually a mix of cake and frosting that has been placed on a stick and dipped in chocolate. Any flavor cake can be used as well as any flavor frosting. This is one reason why people absolutely love cake pops since they can be almost any flavor imaginable.
Love chocolate? Make chocolate cake pops! Are you a big fan of strawberry cake? Well mix it with some vanilla frosting and make strawberry vanilla cake pops. Cheesecake? Yup, you can make cheesecake pops too!
The type of chocolate on the outside of the cake pops is also flexible. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate will all work. Many people opt to use colored chocolate melts to dip the cake pops into, giving a pretty, colorful appearance to the dessert.
You can then add any colored sprinkles or deco to the outside of the cake pops to make them fit into your dessert décor. Sounds pretty great right? Now, back to those cake pop molds….
Making Cake Pops With a Mold
The biggest benefit to using a cake pop mold is that your cake pops are almost guaranteed to be perfectly round and uniform in size.
Most cake pop molds require you to scoop the cake batter into the mold, bake and remove the mold to reveal beautiful round balls of cake. Some cake pop mold will even bake the cake (cake pop “makers”) so you do not even need to turn on your oven.
Cake pops are traditionally a mix of frosting and cake in the center of chocolate. When you bake the cake in a cake pop mold, you no longer need the frosting to help the cake pop hold it’s shape.
This can be nice as you need one less ingredient but the overall texture and flavor is different than an old fashioned cake pop. Keep this in mind when you are using a mold as the end result may be different than what you are use to when you bite into a cake pop.
Once you have your round balls of baked cake, all you need to do is add a stick and dip the cake pops in chocolate. Seems easy and straight forward. But as mentioned before, this extra piece of kitchen equipment is not necessary.
Sure it helps make perfect cake pops but you can do that with your own two hands! Take a look.
How to Make Cake Pops Without a Mold
1 – Use an Ice Cream Scoop
You can make cake pops using a small ice cream scoop quite easily. Start by making the center of your cake pops by mixing baked cake with a tiny amount of frosting (choose whatever flavors you’d like!).
Mash up the baked cake and frosting until it is well blended and holds it’s shape. Then, use a small ice cream scoop to portion the cake pops. Line up the cake pop scoops on a clean sheet tray or dish.
Once you have scooped all the cake pop mix, use your hands to roll it into round balls. Make the balls as smooth as possible. If your hands get too warm, the frosting may start to melt, making it difficult to roll the balls.
If this happens, take a break and rinse your hands under cold water, then continue rolling!
After all the cake pop centers are nice and round, place a lollipop stick in each one and dip in the melted chocolate of your choice. No cake pop mold needed!
2 – Use Your Hands
One benefit of making the cake pops by hand rather than using a cake pop mold is that you can shape them however you’d like. While cake pops are typically round, you can easily form them into any shape you want.
Using the same method as above (mashing baked cake with frosting to create the cake pop centers), use your hands to make square cake centers, roll ovals or even stack circles to make snowmen- you options are limitless!
You can’t get creative when you are stuck baking the cake pops in round molds.
3 – Use Cookie Cutters
If you are interested in shaped cake pops, another method you can use is to cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Make the cake and frosting mix as mentioned before then place all of the mix on a parchment lined sheet tray.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the mix and flatten it with a rolling pin. Make the dough about ½ of an inch thick.
Place the pan in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the frosting is nice and hard. Peel the plastic wrap off the surface of the cake pop mix and then cut out the shapes you’d like using cookie cutters.
Since the cake pop mix is nice and firm, they will hold their shape nicely when cut with a cookie cutter.
Add the sticks to the cake pop shapes then dip in melted chocolate. When using this method, be sure to use appropriately sized cookie cutters.
Think about the size of a normal, round cake pop (about one inch) and look for cookie cutters that are the same size. While these pops will be two dimensional, the awesome shapes will be worth the effort!
As you can see, it can be quite beneficial to make cake pops without a mold. The molds are restrictive and only let you create round cake pops. Sure, they may look perfectly round but you can get the same effect using an ice cream scoop and your hands.
You can then let your imagination take over and make any shape cake pop you’d like. Goodbye cake pop mold, you are not needed!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.