Make any occasion POP! with these amazing Copycat Starbucks Cake Pops. These little bite-sized vanilla cake pops are just like the ones you’ll find at the coffee shop but made with just a handful of ingredients for a fraction of the price.
Copycat Starbucks Cake Pop Recipe
If you’ve been to Starbucks in the past few years, you’ve likely seen these pink birthday cake pops in the display case. Each time I go, they call my name and after caving once, I can say, they’re quite the treat! But at $2 a pop? Not something I’ll be picking up for a crowd.
That’s why I made these Copycat Starbucks Cake Pops. They look and taste just like the ones at the coffee shop but are made for just a fraction of the cost. To keep things simple, I start with a store-bought cake mix and frosting, which means these require just a handful of ingredients.
I love serving these for vanilla cake pops for events like birthdays and baby showers because they’re the perfect size for guests (especially when there are several dessert options!) and there’s no need for plates or silverware. Plus, they’re super cute and festive. You can also easily customize the color to make them appropriate for all occasions too.
What You’ll Need
These Starbucks vanilla cake pops require just a handful of ingredients since we’re starting with storebought frosting and cake mix. Scroll down to the recipe box for measurements.
- White Cake Mix: I prefer to use Betty Crocker White Cake for my pops, but any type works. You can also take a look at some of my favorite cake recipes for more ideas.
- Vanilla Frosting: This can be store-bought or made right at home. Homemade frosting is super simple to make. You can follow this easy Homemade Frosting Recipe.
- Candy Melts: Use Wilton Pale Pink Candy Melts for the perfect blush pink cake pops. You can use other colors as well if you desire.
- Crisco Shortening: When melted together with the Candy melts, it will give a smoother consistency to dip the cake pops in for an even outer layer.
- White Nonpareils: You can use these to decorate the cake pops. They can be found HERE.
- Popsicle Sticks: You can also use white sticks for suckers.
How To Make Copycat Starbucks Birthday Cake Pops
Here’s how to make Starbucks cake pops. It’s easier than you may think – and surprisingly fun!
- Prepare the cake. Bake the cake according to the instructions on the back of the box. Allow to cool completely.
- Make the cake pop mixture. Once the cake has cooled completely, break the cake into small crumbs with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and break into small crumbs. Mix in a can of frosting with your hands, until you have a well-mixed, gooey mixture.
- Form the cake pops. Roll the cake mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Add the sticks. Melt half of the candy melts. Dip the end of the popsicle sticks into the melted chocolate, then immediately into one of the cake balls.
- Chill. Freeze the cake pops for 30 minutes.
- Dip in the melted chocolate. Melt the remainder of the candy melts and stir in the Criso. Holding the cake pops by the stick, dip into the melted chocolate. Place in a large piece of styrofoam and sprinkle with nonpareils.
- Enjoy. Allow the vanilla cake pops to sit for an hour until the outside hardens. Enjoy!
Tips for Making Cake Pops
Ready to make your copycat Starbucks cake pops? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Avoid crispy cake edges. While it’s good to include the cooked edges and bottom of the cake, if there are any particularly crispy edges, leave them out of the cake pop mixture. Too many crispy or hard cake pieces can cause the cake balls to fall apart.
- Add in the frosting slowly. In most cases, you’ll need the entire can of frosting. However, if your cake is particularly moist, you may not need all of it. You don’t want the cake pop mixture to be too wet as it won’t hold its shape when you try to form the balls.
- Why do I need to add the Crisco? I add Crisco to the melted chocolate because it adds a smooth finish that makes a texture perfect for dipping, plus adds a little shine once it’s set.
- Use styrofoam for the cake pops. A good, sturdy piece of styrofoam is the best thing to hold the cake pops while they cool. While you may want to transfer them to a jar for display later, styrofoam keeps them from touching each other as the chocolate sets.
Starbucks Cake Pops Variations
Not a big fan of vanilla or maybe you want to make cake pops for a celebration that’s NOT a birthday? No worries. There are endless flavor combinations for making these cake pops!
- Strawberry Cake Pops. Use strawberry cake mix and keep the frosting the same or use red candy melts.
- Christmas Cake Pops. For a festive twist, you can keep the vanilla cake as-is or add some red or green food coloring. Then have fun and mix up the candy melts and sprinkles with red and green as desired.
- Chocolate Cake Pops. Dip chocolate cake pops into melted chocolate candy melts and drizzle with even more chocolate for the ultimate chocolate-lover’s treat.
- Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops. Use your favorite pumpkin cake recipe then dip the cake pops into vanilla chocolate or find some orange candy melts for a Halloween twist.
- Red Velvet Cake Pops. Red velvet cake + red candy melts = the perfect Valentine’s Day cake pops!
- Your favorite cake mix + candy melts. Once you have this basic cake pops recipe down, get creative and experiment using your favorite cake mix, any color of candy melts, and desired sprinkles for a custom creation.
How to Store
I recommend storing these vanilla cake pops in the fridge, though I know others who store them at room temperature. They’ll keep in an airtight container for about a week.
Can I Freeze Cake Pops?
Yes, these vanilla cake pops can be frozen. Allow the chocolate to harden completely, then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge.
More Copycat Starbucks Recipes:
- White Chocolate Mocha (Starbucks Copycat)
- Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat)
- Caramel Macchiato – Starbucks Copycat
- Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf Recipe
Starbucks Cake Pops
- 1 White Cake Mix – I used Betty Crocker
- 1 can Vanilla Frosting
- 1 bag Wilton Pale Pink Candy Melts
- 1 teaspoon Crisco Shortening
- White Nonpareils to sprinkle on top
- Popsicle Sticks
- Prepare the Cake Mix according to the directions on the back of the box. Grease a 9 X 13 dish, and pour the Cake Batter into the dish. Bake the cake at 350 degrees, for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the dish from the Oven, and set it on a wire rack to cool.
- When the Cake is Completely Cool, use a fork and break up the cake into small crumbs, scraping the bottom of the dish, and sides. Place the Cake Crumbs in a large bowl, and continue breaking up the Cake until fine Crumbs form. Add the Can of Frosting to the Cake Crumbs, and using your hands, mix the crumbs and Frosting until you have a well-mixed gooey mound of Cake mixture.
- Place a large piece of Parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and place it close to the bowl on the counter. Roll the cake mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches, place on the Parchment paper, and continue until you’ve used all the Cake mixture.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, place about half of the delicate Pink color Candy Melts, and melt them at 10-second intervals, until you can stir them smooth.
- Using the Popsicle sticks, dip the Popsicle sticks into the melted Candy Melts, and immediately into one of the Cake Balls. Repeat until all the Cake Balls have a stick.
- Place the Cookie Sheet in the Freezer for 30 minutes to make sure the sticks adhere to the Cake Pops. After 30 minutes, remove the Cake Pops from the freezer, place the remainder of the Candy Melts in the melted Candy Melts bowl, and melt in the Microwave. When you remove the melted Candy Melts, stir in about 1/2 a teaspoon of Crisco, and stir well to blend.
- Holding the sticks, Dip the Cake Pops into the Pink Candy Melts, place the Cake Pops, with the stick, into a large piece of Styrofoam, and Sprinkle the Nonpareils on top of the Cake Pops. Repeat until all Cake Pops have been Dipped, and Sprinkled. Allow the Cake Pops to sit for 1 hour, while the Candy Coating sets or hardens. Place in an airtight container, and keep refrigerated for best results. Serve, and Enjoy!
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