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How to Make Cake Pops: Easy Recipe Without Candy Melts

Wondering how to make cake pops without candy melts? In this blog post,  I’ll show you the best way to make cake pops using almond bark instead of the traditional candy coating. 

how to make cake pops without candy melts

I’ve been making and selling cake pops for years, and I have come to realize that a great cake pop comes from a great cake. Here are my favorite recipes for making flavored cake pops with Red Velvet Cake and Chocolate Cake.

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How to make cake pops without candy melts

Homemade cake pops using almond bark are a delicious alternative to cake pops made the traditional way with candy melts.  I love using almond bark because it’s easy to find in most grocery stores, and I can add any color I want. Click here to learn more about coloring dipping chocolate. 

how to make cake pops without candy melts

What You’ll Need:

  • Cake crumbs from a baked cake (either from scratch or from a boxed cake mix)
  • Vanilla frosting or cream cheese frosting
  • Almond bark in milk chocolate, dark chocolate or vanilla
  • Coconut oil or Vegetable shortening
  • Cake pop sticks
  • Styrofoam block for drying

Just toss the scraps into a freezer-safe zip-lock bag until you have enough to make a batch of cake pops.

Let the cake pieces fully defrost before preparing the cake pop dough. 

How to use almond bark instead of candy melts for cake pops

Almond bark is great for dipping cake pops because it melts so nicely. You can substitute almond bark for melted candy melts in all your dipped treats like dipped pretzels, dipped Oreos, and dipped strawberries.

 How to Melt Dipping Chocolate: Two Foolproof Methods

Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or a baking pro, melting dipping chocolate can be tricky! The good news? You can use either a double boiler or a microwave to get that silky-smooth texture.

Just be cautious: water is chocolate’s enemy, so always use dry utensils and bowls. Here’s how you can melt your dipping chocolate- two different ways. 

Melting dipping chocolate in the microwave

Pop your chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it at 50% power for 30-second intervals. Stir well after each interval to ensure even melting. Keep an eye on it—you can’t always tell when it’s got hot spots in the middle and starting to burn. 

Melting dipping chocolate in a double boiler

Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add your chocolate to the bowl and stir occasionally until melted. For a thinner consistency, feel free to add a touch of vegetable or coconut oil.

how to make cake pops without candy melts

Prepare the Cake Crumbs

Start by crumbling your baked cake into small pieces. A food processor works wonders for this, but you can also do it manually in a large bowl. The key is to get the cake to a crumbly texture, almost like sand. I find that a slightly stale cake works better than a freshly baked cake. 

Make the Cake Pop Dough

In a separate bowl, mix the crumbled cake and vanilla frosting together. This is where a stand mixer with a paddle attachment comes in handy. If the mixture feels too dry, add a little more frosting to reach the desired consistency.  You may need to adjust the mixture based on the cake you use. Add a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency. 

The ratio that works best for me is about 6 parts cake to 1 part frosting.

  • 2/3 cup frosting
  • 4 cups cake crumbs

Remember, you can always add more frosting, but you can’t take it back after you add it. The ideal thickness is cake pop dough with a play dough consistency. 

how to make cake pops without candy melts

Shape the cake pops

Form the cake mixture into golf ball-sized balls about 1 ounce each. You can use cake pop scoops to help get consistently sized balls.  As you form them, place them on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate these for about 30 minutes to firm up. 

Melt the almond bark

To melt almond bark, cut the block into 1-inch chunks and place the amount you need in a microwave save medium bowl. Microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval. 

Dip and Decorate

When it’s time to dip and decorate, it helps to prepare your work area. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cake pop sticks
  • chilled cake balls
  • melted chocolate
  • Toppings
  • Styrofoam holder
  • Paper towels

The first step is to attach the stick to the cake ball. To do this dip about 1/2 inch of the stick into the melted chocolate. Push the cake pop into the cooled cake balls. As you work through the cake balls, the dipped sticks will firm up and be ready to dip. 

Next, you want to start dipping the cake pops. Have your toppings ready because the chocolate will set up quickly. You’ll want to dip and decorate one cake pop at a time. 

Insert the end of a lollipop stick into each cake ball. Dip the cake pops into the melted chocolate, ensuring excess coating drips off. Stick the cake pops into a Styrofoam block to dry.

Storage Tips

Store your cake pops in an airtight container to keep them fresh. If you want to refrigerate them to keep the chocolate shell firm, I recommend you package them in cellophane first and then store in an airtight container. This helps to absorb some of the condensation caused by refrigerating cake pops.

Recommended Tools

making cake pops is much easier when you have a few handy tools.

I like using a cake pop baller because it helps portion the dough into uniform sizes.

This cake pop stand is great for holding the cake pops after you dip them (and also great or displaying your cake pops).

This kit has enough sticks, wrappers, and twist ties to make 100 cake pops. The heavy duty cellophane bags are perfect for attaching logo or ingredient stickers.

Click the links below to shop these supplies on Amazon

Related Recipes from My Blog

Want to add more flavor to your cake pops? Try using one of these cake recipes. They make delicious cake pop fillings.

Red Velvet Cake

Carrot Cake

Chocolate Cupcakes

Now You Know how to make cake pops without candy melts

Now you have a fantastic, easy recipe for making delicious cake pops without using candy melts. For those special occasions, be it a baby shower or a birthday, this cake pop recipe is perfect.

If you tried this cake pop recipe and loved the end result, please consider giving it a 5-star review.