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Better Than Starbucks Chocolate Cake Pop Recipe

If you’ve ever found yourself daydreaming about the treats at Starbucks, then you’ll love this Starbucks chocolate cake pop recipe!

tarbucks chocolate cake pop recipe

Moist chocolate cake, creamy frosting, and the kind of deliciousness that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to make ultimate chocolate cake pops – and trust me, these are not just your average pops; they’re Better Than Starbucks!

Be sure and check out my vanilla cake pop recipe. It tastes just like Starbucks birthday cake pops. 

How to Make Better Than Starbucks Chocolate Cake Pops

Once you see how easy it is to make this Starbucks chocolate cake pops recipe,  you’ll not only have a batch of delicious cake pops to impress your friends and family but also a newfound baking skill that’ll make you the star of any birthday party or special occasion. Let’s roll up our sleeves and make some bite-sized treats!

To speed up the cake pop-shaping process, this stainless steel dough scoop helps to accurately portion the dough.

Ingredients in Starbucks Chocolate Cake Pops

Let’s kick things off with a quick look at the simple ingredients you’ll need to whip up these delicious cake pops:

  • Moist chocolate cake- I’m sharing my favorite rich chocolate cake recipe, but you can also use a high-quality dark chocolate boxed cake mix. 
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Cake pop sticks (also known as lollipop sticks)
  • Dark chocolate candy melts
  • White Non-Pariel Sprinkles (for that classic Starbucks look)

If you’re just getting started with cake pops, I recommend this all-in-one cake pop kit. It includes all the supplies to make 100 cake pops.

First Things First: Start with a Delicious Cake

This decadent chocolate cake has such a rich chocolate flavor, that it’s almost a sin to crumble it into cake pops! 

chocolate cake for cake pops

The best way to make cake pop crumbs is to use a slightly stale cake, so I recommend baking the cake the night before.

Ingredients for this recipe

The ingredients for this cake are simple and you most likely have most of them on hand already.

  • Buttermilk- you’ll need 1/2 cup
  • Vegetable Oil- Gives the cake extra moisture
  • Dark Cocoa Powder– for that rich dark color and a better-than-Starbucks taste I use Hershey’s Extra Dark Cocoa Powder. 
  • All-Purpose Flour- for the most accurate results, I recommend using a food scale to weigh the flour.
  • Sugar- The recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated sugar. 
  • Eggs– 2 large eggs
  • Vanilla– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Baking soda- for leavening
  • Pectin– An optional ingredient that adds moisture to the cake. Click here to learn more about using pectin to make softer baked goods. 

How to make moist chocolate cake from scratch

This is an easy one-bowl recipe that can be mixed by hand or with an electric mixer. 

  1. Prep the cake pan: Preheat the oven to 350 ° (180°C). Grease a 9×13 cake pan and set aside. 
  2. Make the chocolate cake: First, you’ll whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, followed by the wet, then stir to combine. 
  3. Bake the cake: Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  4. Cool completely: Place the cake on a wire rack to cool. For best results, leave the cake uncovered at room temperature overnight.

The full recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. 

The best way to crumble cake for cake pops

  • Ready to make your cake pops? A food processor is a great way to turn a baked cake into cake pops.
  • Start by breaking the prepared cake into chunks and processing it in 30-second increments. Stop when your cake has turned into fine crumbs. 
  • Transfer the cake crumbs into a bowl and continue to process the remaining cake chunks. 

How to make the chocolate cake pops Starbucks recipe

  • Add a few spoonfuls of chocolate frosting into the cake crumbs and stir to combine. 
  • The mixture should have the consistency of playdough. 
  • Add frosting to bind the cake mixture together
  • Add chocolate frosting to the crumbled cake. Start with a little and gradually add more until the mixture can easily hold its shape.

PRO TIP: Start adding frosting slowly, You can always add more, if needed. If you add too much frosting, the cake pop balls won’t hold their shape. 

I like to use these scoops to accurately portion an ounce of cake mixture. Roll the mixture into compact cake balls. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

starbucks chocolate cake pop recipe

What’s the best chocolate for dipping chocolate cake pops?

There are lots of different ways to make dipping chocolate.  If you want the “Better Than Starbucks” results then I recommend you use melted candy melts.  

If you don’t have candy melts, then check out this post where I show you how to use almond bark to dip cake pops. (You can also use melted chocolate chips with a little cocoa butter added.)

starbucks chocolate cake pop recipe

How to melt candy melts for cake pops

Whenever you’re melting chocolate, 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 in 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.

Tips for dipping cake pops

  • Dip the cake pop sticks into the melted chocolate before inserting them into the cake balls. 
  • Dip each cake ball into the melted chocolate, making sure it’s evenly coated. Give it a twirl to let the excess chocolate drip off.

Pro Tip: Use a styrofoam block to hold your cake pops upright while the chocolate sets.

I like to use this cake pop holder to hold my cake pops while the chocolate dries. It also doubles as a cake pop display when you are ready to show off the finished product. 

starbucks chocolate cake pop recipe

Adding the Final Touches

To get that signature Starbucks chocolate cake pop look,  top them off with white sprinkles (non-pariel sprinkles), immediately after dipping. 

Tips for Storing Cake Pops

Allow your chocolate cake pops to set completely before storing them. For the best results, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Packaging Suggestions for Cake Pops

Planning to share these delicious little treats? These are my favorite cellophane bags for cake pops. They are large enough for an ingredient label or a logo sticker. Once they are individually wrapped, place them in a cardboard box lined with parchment paper, creating a safe and protective way to transport them to your friends or customers.  Perfect for birthdays, baby showers, or just because!

starbucks chocolate cake pop recipe

Your Very Own Starbucks Experience

Congratulations, you’ve just mastered the art of making Starbucks-inspired chocolate cake pops. Now, grab your favorite cup of coffee, sit back, and savor the fruits of your labor. These tasty treats are not just for birthdays; they’re perfect for any occasion or simply as a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

tarbucks chocolate cake pop recipe

Better than Starbucks Chocolate Cake Pop Recipe

This made-from-scratch Starbucks chocolate cake pop recipe may be a copycat, but it's even better than the real thing.
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Prep Time: 1 hour
Servings: 36


To make the cake

  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Extra Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Pectin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

For the Frosting

  • 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Confectioner's Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Dark Cocoa Powder

For the dipping chocolate

  • 10 oz. Dark Melting Wafers equals 1 cup when melted.


To make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 ° (180°C). Grease a 9×13 cake pan (or the cake pans of your choice) and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, followed by the wet ingredients, then stir to combine. 
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

To make the frosting

  • Put the softened butter into a mixing bowl. Mix with a handheld mixer until it’s nice and creamy.
  • Add in the cocoa powder, salt, and powdered sugar gradually.
  • Pour in the milk and vanilla. Whip until the frosting is light and fluffy.  
  • Allow the chocolate cake to cool completely.

To make the cake pops

  • 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. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix the crumbled cake and some of the chocolate 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 6 parts cake, to 1 part frosting. 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. 

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. 

To melt the dipping chocolate

  • While the cake balls are chilling, start melting the chocolate. Place 10 oz. chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it 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. 

Dipping the cake pops

  • 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 nonpareil sprinkles in a dish nearby, because the chocolate will set up quickly. You’ll want to dip and decorate one cake pop at a time. 
  • Dip the cake pops into the melted chocolate, ensuring excess coating drips off. Stick the cake pops into a Styrofoam block to dry.
  • 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.

 Your Turn!

Have you tried this copycat Starbucks cake pops recipe? Share your baking thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this Starbucks chocolate cake pop recipe, then you might also like:

How to make cake pops without candy melts

The easy way to make pink chocolate for dipping

How much to charge for a cake pop

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