These rich chocolate cake pops are perfectly fudgy and moist, and are surprisingly easy to make at home! Made with a mix of rich, fudgy chocolate cake, sweetened condensed milk, and silky chocolate frosting – roll this mixture into balls, dip into chocolate, and dig in!
Thanks to Eagle Brand for sponsoring this recipe! All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Blue Bowl possible.
The calendar gifted us something fun this year – National Cake Pop Day and the Super Bowl fall on the SAME DAY. It’s the only two food holidays we really need, right? Right. To celebrate, we’re making the best ever homemade cake pops! Spoiler – they’re easier to make than you might think.
How to Make Homemade Chocolate Cake Pops:
First up, we’re baking the most fudgy chocolate cake! This recipe makes enough cake for two 9-inch round pans, and yields about 56 cake pops. You can, of course, cut this in half if you don’t want that many cake pops. You could also make the entire recipe, and freeze half of the cake pop balls (without dipping them in the chocolate) for later. Then, whenever you want a cake pop or two – you can make a couple! Or, you can make the rest of the batch for a celebration/birthday party/etc. down the road. This is what I like to do with this recipe!
Here’s the fun part – you get to tear up that chocolate cake! Crumble it! Rip it apart! Stress relief! Then, pour in some sweetened condensed milk – it keeps the cake balls super moist and gives a super smooth texture. Using part sweetened condensed milk and part frosting gives just the right texture and amount of sticky-ness for the cake balls – they’re not too dry, and not too sticky! Game-changer right here.
Use your electric mixer to beat in the sweetened condensed milk and the chocolate frosting, then we get to make fun shapes! To make the football shapes, roll a ball, and then pinch and pull the ends out until it looks like a sort of rounded diamond. Since Valentine’s Day is also coming up, I made a few hearts as well! To make a heart, roll a ball, then flatten it a bit and shape it into a triangle with the point at the bottom. Use your finger or knuckle to make the indent in the top of the heart. You can also watch a short video clip of me making each shape below!
Next, chill the balls in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to dip, get your chocolate melted, using a 1-cup glass measuring cup.
Take a cake pop stick and dip the tip into the melted chocolate, to help the cake ball stick. Then, dip the cake ball! Tap gently against the side of the measuring cup to tap off the excess. For round cake pops, use an upside down cardboard box with small holes poked in it to stand the cake pops up in so they dry without getting a flat spot on the back. For the hearts or footballs, you could do the same, or lay them on a wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet or counter top, since they’re things that are flat to begin with.
The Best Chocolate for Homemade Cake Pops:
Make sure to use a high-quality baking bar or melting wafers for your cake pops. I do not recommend using chocolate chips. They have stabilizers that keep them from melting in the same way and you won’t get the same smooth + shiny finish on your cake pops. You can dip your cake pops in white, milk, or semi sweet chocolate. I used semi sweet for the footballs, and used some white and some semi sweet for the hearts and balls. I did have to dip the white chocolate cake pops an extra time or two to get a thick enough coating so the chocolate cake wasn’t showing through.
How to Decorate Your Cake Pops:
Add sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet for a fun, simple flair on your cake pops. To make the football cake pops, use a little tube of white decorating/writing gel. Draw a line across the length of the football, then draw three short lines intersecting that line for the laces. Easy peasy! I’m not a fancy cake decorator type, and even I could pull that off.
Fun Variations for Other Holidays:
Like I mentioned earlier, I made some heart-shaped cake pops for Valentine’s, and dipped them in white and semi-sweet chocolate, and decorated them with some drizzled chocolate.
For a birthday or any other type of celebration, use your favorite type of chocolate and sprinkles for a celebratory look!
Anyway you decorate them, these are sure to be the hit of any celebration or party! Rich chocolate cake bites, coated in chocolate, in the perfect bite-sized package? ALWAYS a win.
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment below!
Homemade Chocolate Cake Pops
For the Chocolate Cake
- 12 TBSP salted butter, softened
- 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP cane or granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Frosting
- 8 TBSP butter, softened 1 stick
- 1 and 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 TBSP milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
Additional Ingredients + Tools:
- 1 cup Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- cake pop sticks linked below
- 40 ounces high-quality chocolate baking bars or melting wafers See note below about NOT using chocolate chips
- sprinkles, for decorating
- Prep: Grease two 9-inch cake pans well with shortening, then dust with flour, tapping the pan to coat completely. Tap out the excess. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the Cake: Cream softened butter in a large mixing bowl with mixer until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add sugars and cream until well combined and creamy/fluffy - another minute or so. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla and mix until just combined. Add the milk - the batter will become super runny but that's ok! Add the dry ingredients next and mix until just combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure no dry pockets are hiding. The batter will be thicker now.
- Bake: Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 25-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs not wet batter. Let cakes cool in pans 10-15 minutes, run a butter knife around the edges, and invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.
- Make the Frosting: Cream softened butter in a medium mixing bowl until light and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and mix until well combined. If it's lumpy, don't fret. Add the milks and vanilla and mix - it should smooth out now! If not, add just a splash more milk. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined.
- Make the Cake Ball Mixture: Break and crumble up the cake layers into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the frosting (measure it - the frosting yields a few spoonfuls more than a cup, just to give you some wiggle room/a tasty snack) and 1 cup of the sweetened condensed milk. Mix with electric mixer until everything is well incorporated and you have a moist - but not super sticky - mixture that rolls easily into balls. Form Shapes: Roll into balls. To form football or heart shapes, see video clips above in the blog post. Start with a ball for either shape. For a football, gently press the edges to form sort of a rounded diamond with four sides. For a heart, flatten the ball a bit and form a triangle with the wide part at the top. Pinch the bottom into a point and make an indent at the top with your knuckle. Place in an airtight container and chill in the fridge 2 hours (or up to overnight) before dipping.
- Dip + Assemble the Cake Pops: Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between. A deep bowl or a glass 1 or 2 cup measuring cup works well here - you want a deep vat of chocolate to dip into. If making round cake pops, get out a cardboard box and poke small holes in it - the cake pops can stand in these holes while the chocolate sets and the backs of the cake pops won't flatten up. If making footballs or hearts, it's fine for the backs to be flat - they can lay on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet or counter to set up. Let 1/4 of the cake pop balls set out for 5 minutes before you begin so they're not SO cold - this will cause the chocolate to crack as you dip them (as you finish that batch, set out the next batch - if you set them all out at once the ones you get to last will be way too warm and soft to dip). Additionally, make sure the chocolate isn't hot to the touch either. It should be completely melted but not hot. Dip a cake pop stick about 1/4" into the chocolate, then stick halfway into the cake ball. Dip into the chocolate, making sure the chocolate covers the cake ball and meets the chocolate that's on the stick. This will help secure the whole thing. Gently tap or swirl the cake pop stick against the side of the glass to remove excess chocolate. Add sprinkles while the chocolate is wet. Stick in the prepared box or place on wax/parchment paper to set up. Drizzle on extra chocolate, if desired. Football Decorations: Once the chocolate is set, pipe on the football laces, using white decorating/writing gel. (If your chocolate cracks a bit on the cake pops, do NOT worry! If you can avoid it, great, if not, it won't affect the taste or outcome at all. It happened on some of mine, too.)
- Serve + Store: Serve immediately once the chocolate is set! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You should also be able to freeze these in an airtight container for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Make Ahead Tips: Cake balls can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for 1-2 months, before dipping them in the chocolate. Thaw in the fridge overnight before dipping. You can portion out a few at a time or make a half or whole batch all at once for any event! I usually freeze half the yield for a later date, since this recipe does make quite a few cake pops. Recipe Yield: You can cut the recipe in half, as well.
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