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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Cake Pop Insanity!: Troubleshooting Cake Pops

I found this great article on the problems so many people have when making cake pops.  The article was written by Christine - Cake Pop Insanity at

Cake Pop Insanity!: Troubleshooting Cake Pops:
Having a hard time making cake pops?  Cake pop fail completely?  Do you wonder how everyone else ends up with gorgeous, adorable, cute cake pops, and yours look like lumps on a stick (if they don't fall off the stick first!)?  Well, you've ended up in the right place. 

I have found that the most difficult thing about making cake pops is just getting started.  My first cake pop experience was a total disaster.  It took me a few weeks and a lot of research to finally figure out what I was doing wrong.  So, in hopes of saving you time, as well as helping to keep you excited about cake pops (they are really fun!), I have created a troubleshooting guide for cake pops.  

Cake balls won’t hold a ball shape.
You’re using too much frosting.  Either add more cake, or start a new batch.
Cake balls won’t stick together.
You don’t have enough frosting in your cake crumb mix.  Add a little more until your cake balls stick together.
Cake ball falls off the stick.
  • You’ve used too much frosting in your mix, creating a very soft cake ball.  Add more cake, or just start over.  Use less frosting next time.
  • Keep your cake pops small.  They will have a better chance of staying on the stick if they're between 1.25 and 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • You didn't refrigerate your cake balls long enough.  Make sure that they are well-chilled before putting on the stick and dipping.
  • You didn’t dip your stick into melted candy coating before inserting it into the cake ball.  Make sure that this step isn’t overlooked.
My candy coating/ chocolate coating is thick and lumpy.
  • Your temperature that you’re melting your coating with is too hot.  Keep your candy temps less than 100 degrees- use a candy thermometer.
  • You’ve gotten water or something that is water-based in your coatings.  It can’t be salvaged for dipping, but you can use it as glue for decorations on the cake pops.
  • Add an oil-based thinning agent, such as Crisco shortening, or Paramount Crystals. 
The coating on my cake pops has cracked.
  • The cake balls were too cold before dipping.  Don’t work with frozen cake balls.  Allow the cake balls to warm up before dipping.
  • The cake balls were too tightly rolled.  Allow some time after removing from the refrigerator for expansion to occur before dipping.
  • Uneven coating.  Really thin or uncoated areas in the candy coating after dipping will create weak areas on the surface.  As the cake ball expands, this weak spot will be where the crack forms.  Make sure your cake pop is completely well-dipped.
Oil is seeping through the coating on my cake pop.
  • Air bubble holes in the coating.  As the cake expands under the coating, oils in the cake mix will try to escape through any opening they can find!  Pop the air bubbles with a toothpick as the coating is wet (time consuming, and you’ve got to be eagle-eyed to catch every air bubble!). 
  • Try to dam up the hole with a little extra candy coating.  This is a messy option that leaves unprofessional results.
  • Dab-dry the oil as it seeps with a paper towel.  Eventually it will stop, and the hole won’t really be all that visible.
  • My favorite solution is to completely omit the oil when baking the cake mix.  Yes, OMIT it.  It eliminates the oil seepage problem in my experience.  And you’re reducing calories in the process!  

One more tip, but this is about decorating the cake pops. I love using edible ink pens to draw faces or designs on my cake pops. Some people have trouble making edible ink go on nicely on the cake pop. First, make sure you're using a good quality edible ink pen. I use Aetco or Americolor edible ink pens, and I found them on Amazon. They work best if your candy coating is dry and fairly oil-free. If you use a lot of Crisco shortening to thin your candy coating, then your pens won't draw on your cake pops well at all- they make the coating fairly oily. Using Paramount Crystals to thin your coating makes for nice, smooth coating and won't add greasiness, which makes drawing on the pops a breeze.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really glad that you liked my cake pop troubleshooting guide! I had no idea that anyone was actually reading it. Thanks for sharing it with others. I hope it takes some of the frustration out of the process for new 'poppers'.

    BTW, your oreo cake pops are amazing! Great idea, and they look incredible. Nice job!