Cakeball Pops and the Secret to dipping anything in Chocolate

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Cake Pops

 The Secret to dipping  Anything in Chocolate

How to dip cake pops or cake balls in chocolate.

On May 1st  we celebrated my granddaughter Addison’s first birthday. It was a beautiful party and the house was packed with about 35 friends and family. My daughter did an awesome job on the garden fairy decorationsOne of my contributions to the party was Cake Ball Pops. 
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How to dip cake pops

 This was my second attempt at dipping cake balls in chocolate. The first attempt was two Christmas’s ago. It didn’t go very well. I had a hard time with the dipping chocolate. It didn’t melt in the microwave correctly. I am sure it was the temp of the microwave but it went from not being melted to burnt. I gave up on the microwave and the cake balls for a little while after that.
Then a few months later I dipped some marshmallows in chocolate and that went much better. I figured out the secret to dipping things in chocolate. After the marshmallows turned out so well I decided to attempt cake pops once again.

I am sure most of you know by now how to make cake pops so I will hit the highlights for you.

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Garden Fairy Cake Pops

How to make Cake Pops

You will need
  • a box cake mix
  • a container of frosting
  • Wilton Candy Melts or chocolate chips
  • sprinkles of choice
  • lollipop sticks
  • lollipop wrappers

You bake a box cake mix as directed. Let the cake cool and then crumble it into fine little crumbs.
Mix about half to 3/4 of the container of frosting into the cake crumbs. Add more frosting if needed. You want enough frosting to moisten and hold the cake crumbs together but not so much that it turns into a big glob of mostly frosting.
Sorry I didn’t get any pics!
You want the cake and frosting mixture to hold the shape of a little ball when you roll them. I used a teaspoon as a measure and tried to get the cake balls to be almost the same size. If the balls fall apart and start to crumble as your forming them add another tablespoon of frosting and mix it in. Keep adjusting until the dough ball will hold it’s shape.
Once you’ve rolled all the balls place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet to firm them up. You can also store the formed cake balls in the freezer  in a ziplock bag for about a week before dipping in chocolate. That’s what I did and it worked out just fine.

Take the cake balls out of the freezer about 5 minutes before you plan to dip them. If they are frozen when you dip them in the warm chocolate or candy melts the candy coating may crack from the change of temperatures.

Once you’re ready to dip your cake balls in chocolate you need to melt the chocolate. You can use Wilton Candy Melts or  a bag of chocolate chips. Place 3/4 of the bag of candy melts or the entire 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Now here is the trick and secret ingredient to getting the chocolate to the perfect consistency to dip the cake balls in it. 

Solid Crisco 

Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of solid shortening to the candy melts or chocolate chips. Stir as the chocolate begins to melt. Once the chocolate and Crisco has melted completely check to see if you have the correct consistency. You want it runny enough so that it will drip just a bit from your cake balls after you dip them so they have a smooth coating on the cake balls.
If you melted the chocolate/candy melts in a large bowl transfer some of the melted chocolate coating to a small bowl that will be deep enough that you can plunge the entire cake ball in up to the stick. Twirl it carefully to get the coating on the entire cake ball and the area where the lollipop stick is inserted into the cake ball. Decorate with sprinkles immediately after dipping each pop.

You can stand the cake ball pops up in a block of styrofoam until the chocolate is completely hardened. I stuck the dipped cake ball pops in the freezer for a few minutes as I made them. Don’t leave them in there more than five minutes. If you do they will get a layer of condensation on them. 

Once the candy coating hardened I then wrapped them in Wilton lollipop bags. 

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  1. Anonymous says

    Thank you for this. I googled how to make my chocolate more runny for cake pops and found this posting. It helped me out greatly and allowed for me to make cake pops for my sons birthday yesterday. You saved the day!

    Laura D

  2. Kendra says

    I have to make a huge batch of "Princess" cake pops next week and I was so worried! They haven't turned out so good in the past, but now I am excited to try this! Thank you!!! :-)

  3. Andrea says

    Does the Crisco change the flavor, color or drying time? Do you keep the bowl of choclate over the simmering water while dipping the cake pops or do you remove it? If you remove it, do you heat it back up over the water or in the microwave? Thank you!

    • says


      The crisco does not change the flavor or drying time. I leave the bowl over the hot water while I am dipping. I have never had luck trying to remelt the chocolate a second time if using chocolate chips. The candy melts are more forgiving and you can remelt them if you are very careful and don’t over heat them because they will seize just like chocolate.

  4. Diane says

    Thanks so much for this post!! I have had the hardest time with dipping~ it ALWAYS gets hard way too fast! I will for sure try the Crisco trick and the glass bowl (I usually melt it in the microwave).

    p.s. I did learn that you should be very careful NOT to get any water in your chocolate/candy melts or it will seize up~ just another friendly tip :)

  5. SuzJ268 says

    Thank you so much for the tip! I had my first cake pop dipping experience last night; it took forever and just could not get the coating right (they still tasted yummy though). Will be adding this extra ingredient next time.

  6. Dana says

    I tried the trick with Crisco at one point and it did not work out. It made the candymelts taste horrible! I did not add very much and when I added even less it still made them awful! This was a year ago. I’m very iffy on round 2!

    • says


      I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you. Is it possible that the candy melts seized? No amount of crisco will help if the candy melts have been over heated. Candy melts can be tricky. One minute they look like they aren’t melted enough and the next second they are over heated.
      Are you using the microwave or the double boiler method?

      If using the microwave heat at ten second intervals and stir. When it’s almost done most of the candy melts will be melted but there will still be some that hold they’re shape. Instead of heating again keep stirring. The heat from the melted chocolate will melt them the rest of the way.

      If using the double boiler method when most of the melts are melted remove the pot from the heat source but keep the bowl over the hot water and keep stirring.

      Let me know how your second attempt goes. I had trouble the first few times I tried cakeballs myself. It’s practice makes perfect in this case!


  7. samm says

    Thank you so much for the shortening tip! I’m dipping oreos and when my chocolate got to thick I panicked and then found your post. These oreos are for a work party. . You’re a life saver! Those cake pops look awesome by the way :)

  8. says

    How far in advance can you make your pops? Do you keep them in the fridge after making them before the event? If so, do you bag them after you take them out of the fridge for the final time? Thanks!

  9. Erin says

    I use the 9.99 crockpot from Walmart to melt chocolate and maintain an even temp. If you are in a hurry can melt on high but must turn down to low while dipping or chocolate will seize up

  10. salliemcg says

    I never seem to be able to fully cover the cake balls or cake pops with the coating. Does it have to be deeper than the height of the cake ball – or can you sort of swirl it around? It seems like you must need a lot of coating to cover the number of cake balls and/or pops made using a 9×13 sheet cake. Any suggestions on amounts? Also, I don’t own Crisco. Do you think I could use a solid oil like coconut oil to thin the candy coating? Thanks!

    • says

      When I first started making cake pops I would melt my chocolate in a bowl and I would have a hard time coating the entire ball. So then I started using a plastic toddler cup. With three grand daughters I have plenty of them around. If you don’t you could use any small plastic cup. Because the cup is deeper it is easier to dip that cake pop in so the chocolate covers the entire cake ball.

      I usually dip in two different colors so I always buy two bags of candy melts. I have never measured but I have never used 2 entire bags of melts.
      Coconut oil can be used but it will change the flavor of the chocolate. You can also use butter or oil. I am not sure how much liquid oil but start with a small amount- 1 teaspoon or so until the candy melts/chocolate thins.

      • salliemcg says

        THANK YOU so much for your quick response! I was making cake pops and struggling. I took a break, bought another bag of candy melts and used a toddler cup for dipping instead of a bowl- viola! You solved it! Thanks again

  11. Kitty says

    Do you temper your chocolate, or just melt it? And do they maintain a good hard shell or does the chocolate melt? I’m making cake balls except they have a cream cheese/cookie center. I am afraid of making my cake balls, then having them melt as they sit out for the guests. This is my first time making them, and I’m super excited, but nervous!

    • says


      I just melt the Wilton Candy Melts in the microwave with some Crisco. The shell gets hard. As long as your cake ball is firm enough to stay on a stick you shouldn’t have any problems. When I make my cake balls they are very moist and I have never had a problem. As long as the candy coating has firmed up before you are serving them they will not melt. I am in Florida and I have served them during the summer (in the house) and never had the chocolate coating melt off the cake balls.

  12. Sharon says

    I have made cakepops with the machine and dipped in candy melts. I freeze them and then eat them frozen. They are awesome and I have not had a problem with condensation when I take them out of the freezer and let them cool at room temperature. Also, I am wondering how it would work to use parrifin wax in the chocolate chips. I used to make candy balls and it called for parrifin wax which thinned the chocolate and helped them have the candy consistency.

    • says


      The condensation may be a problem here in Florida where the humidity is so high. I have never used the paraffin to thin chocolate but have read about it online and it seems to work well.


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