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If you’ve ever wondered how to make cake pops, you might be surprised to discover how easy the process actually is. They usually consist of mixing crumbled cake with a frosting, inserting treat sticks, then coating them in icing and finally decorating to give them that finishing touch.

We’ve got the frosting part covered for you here! This recipe for homemade cake pop frosting and coating is simple and straightforward. It uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

This recipe teaches you how to create frosting and coating options, without candy melts, that are deliciously smooth.

Cake Pop Coating drizzled from a spatula into a bowl.

You may not require the entire amount of frosting; just use what the recipe you are following calls for. The serving size can easily be adjusted to your needs or you can store the extra amount in the fridge or freezer.

Cream Cheese Frosting for Cake Pops in a bowl with lime zest on top.

Your finished made-from-scratch cake pops can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a week, though we’re pretty sure they won’t last that long! Be sure to keep them covered so the cake won’t dry out. Storing them in the refrigerator or freezer is also possible.

Once you’ve mastered this basic recipe, you may want to consider some alternative flavors and substitute ingredients that can make your cake pops unique. For the powdered sugar-based coating you may consider using a different extract than the basic vanilla.

Cake Pop Coating in a bowl with spatula.

You can add peppermint or almond extract to add flavor to the icing. You can also adjust the thickness by adding more milk or icing sugar. Try experimenting with different kinds of cake.

Red velvet is a common favorite! If you’re feeling confident with the frosting you can also try making colorful pops by adding food coloring to the mix.

Cream Cheese Frosting for Cake Pops in a bowl with lime zest on top and a spatula.
Cream Cheese Frosting for Cake Pops and Cake Pop Coating in bowls.

Are you ready to make some cake pops? Pull out your favorite mixing bowl and all the ingredients you’ll need to follow these instructions and get started!

Cream Cheese Frosting for Cake Pops and Cake Pop Coating in bowls.

Cake Pop Frosting and Coating

Joss D
This recipe for homemade cake pop frosting and coating is simple and straightforward. It uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. It teaches you how to create frosting and coating options, without candy melts, that are deliciously smooth.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18
Calories 198 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Cake Pop Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 package) - softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lime - optional

Cake Pop Icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla - optional*

Instructions
 

For the Cake Pop Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Melt the unsalted butter.
  • Mix cream cheese, icing sugar, unsalted butter and vanilla extract until smooth with a hand mixer.
  • Add the lime zest and mix well. This frosting will be mixed with a crumbled cake to form the cake pop balls.**

For the Cake Pop Icing:

  • Mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. This icing/glaze is to be used as the cake pop coating. If you would like it to be thicker, simply mix in more powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. If you'd like a thinner coating, add some more milk, little by little.
  • After dipping the cake pops in the coating, you can dry them at room temperature or in the fridge if you are in a rush. It will take about 30 minutes or more.

Equipment

Electric hand mixer

Notes

Nutrition information is for the frosting/coating combined, per serving.
This recipe makes about 2 cups frosting and 1 cup icing, which should be enough for approximately 18 cake pops.
*Do not use the vanilla if you would like a whiter coating.
**Use as much frosting as your cake pop recipe calls for. If there is left-over frosting, it can be frozen for later use.

Nutrition

Calories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 1gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 44mgPotassium: 26mgSugar: 27gVitamin A: 333IUCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

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Recipe Rating




  1. hi i always made cake pops eith tempered chocolate. i would like to try it with the glaze recipe u gave but wouldnt it be too sweet?
    to me it sound very sweet.

    also what can i replace for milk on the glaze? i want it to be non dairy.

    1. Hi Alexandra, thanks for the questions. It’s not too sweet for me but that will depend on your taste. I really like using the glaze as an alternative to candy melts or chocolate sometimes. The coating will harden, but I wouldn’t consider it to be as ‘crunchy’ and it’s a bit thinner than chocolate, although it can be thickened by adding more icing sugar. As for the milk substitute, you can use any plant-based ‘milk’ or even juice or water if you like.

    1. Hi Kasey, regular frosting will be too thick to use as a coating. Besides a glaze, you can use candy melts or melted chocolate. Hope that helps!

  2. How do i get the coating to stop falling off the cake pop ? i try to thicken it but it just makes it heavier and still falls off the cake pop

    1. Hi Isabella, I will try to help you but I’m not sure I completely understand what is going on, as the cake pop coating doesn’t ‘fall off’ for me. It is a glaze, so it is more transparent than a chocolate or candy melt coating. Adding more icing sugar does make it less transparent and thicker, but I’ve never experienced it falling off by making it thicker either. Are you letting the cake pops cool completely before frosting them?

    1. I did end up testing the melted white chocolate with the glaze. I’m not sure what texture you were looking for, but I used a ratio of 1:1. You need to mix it very well to make it smooth. It ended up being thicker than the glaze, less translucent and it dried fairly quickly. So to answer your question: yes, it is definitely possible to mix melted white chocolate with the glaze. Hope that helps Joyce!

    1. Hi Asi, thanks for the question. Yes, the glaze does set as it dries and will no longer be wet, after about 30 minutes or more.

      1. after you dip the pops in the glaze you just let them air dry for 30 minutes? or do we put back in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden? it doesn’t say about what you do with them after you dip in glaze. thanks!!

        1. Hi Debbie, you can harden them at room temperature or put them in the fridge if you want them to harden faster. I can’t say exactly how long it will take, but about 30 minutes in the fridge should be good.

    1. Hi Madi, the amount of frosting will depend on how much cake you use and how moist it is. You may not need to use all of the frosting, it is just a base recipe that can be used with cake pop recipes that call for frosting. So let’s say you had 3 cups of crumbled cake, you would start with a couple tablespoons and work your way up from there until you can just so form the mixture into balls with your hands and you don’t see cracks. You don’t want to add too much frosting or the cake pop will become heavy and greasy. Hope that helps!

    1. Candy melts are a popular choice, but there are definitely more options out there if you want to be adventurous! Thanks for the comment Terri. 🙂

      1. Can you still do color decorating using the icing glaze approach? I’d like to avoid using chocolate, but want to have a red coating on the pops so I can add a fondant or royal icing frozen leaf to the top and make it look like an apple. Would I just add red food coloring to the glaze or will it be too translucent? Also, is there a non-dairy substitute for the milk in the glaze that works well? Thanks!

        1. Hi Rachel! Good question. You can add food coloring to the glaze, but yes it will still be somewhat translucent. I would recommend using a gel color and if you add more icing sugar to the glaze it will thicken up and become less translucent. I would also avoid adding the vanilla if you are coloring the glaze. You could definitely use a non-dairy substitute like almond milk. Hope that helps. Good luck with your apple cake pops!

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