Cake pops are a popular item to have at events, not only because they are delicious but also because they are customizable and bite-sized.
You can make these desserts to fit the theme of any party. They are also small enough for adults to snack on and for kids to not get a sugar rush off of.
But the process of making them might seem daunting or unnecessary. Why buy a mold for just cake pops, especially if you will only be making them once?
That is why this article will teach you how to make cake pops without a mold and give you some useful related tips.
How Do Cake Pop Molds Work?
There are two types of cake pop molds out there. The first is a mold, which you can pour your cake batter into and then bake that in the oven. When you take it out of the mold once it has cooled down, you will have uniform balls of baked cake, which you can then dip into frosting or chocolate.
The second kind is an actual cake pop maker, which will not only shape your cakes to be round but will also bake them for you without the need for an oven. However, both these tools/devices will give you spherical cakes, but not really traditional cake pops.
Cake pops, as most people know them, are a mixture of baked cake and frosting rolled up into balls and dipped in chocolate, ganache, or frosting. So cake pops made using molds will be less dense and not as moist or flavorful as traditional ones.
That is why, even though molds can be bought, some people prefer to make cake pops the classic way.
Making Cake Pops without a Mold
Cake pops are one of those food items where it tastes best when made in the traditional and handmade way. A traditional cake pop is a mixture of cake bits and frosting mixed together until they are combined and can be made into shapes, usually balls.
These balls of cake and frosting are then pierced with one stick each, dipped into melted chocolate, and garnished. You can put them in the fridge for the chocolate to set and take them out when it is time to serve them.
Now, there are a number of creative ways in which you can make cake pops without using a mold, and the most common ones are detailed below.
1. Handmade Cake Pops
As mentioned before, cake pops are made using a mixture of baked cake and frosting. In a traditional cake pop, the frosting helps the cake bits stay together and also adds flavor.
Start by tearing up your baked cake into tiny bits. Mix frosting into the cake bits until the two are almost completely combined. You can easily tell when that is because the cake will not be crumbly anymore, and the frosting will have been absorbed into the cake.
Spray your hands with cooking spray so that the mixture won’t stick to them. Pick up some of the mixture and roll it up into a round ball using both hands. This should not take long, and you can have a good number of cake pop balls made in under half an hour.
Next, put one stick halfway through into each of these cake balls, holding them firmly but not with too much pressure. You can use the stick to dip the cake pops into your chosen icing (melted chocolate, ganache, frosting, etc.).
Finish up your cake pops by garnishing them with sprinkles, bits of candied peel, or anything else you want. Pop these in the fridge to set and take them out when they are going to be served.
2. Uniform Cake Pops
If you think you are too much of an amateur to freehand these cake pops, or if you just want your cake pops to all be the same size, then you can use a small ice cream scoop to ensure that.
Again, you will mix together the frosting and cake bits. Once they are fully combined, use an ice cream scoop that is at least 1 inch in diameter, and take out scoops of the mixture. This will guarantee that you are taking out the same amount of the cake pop mixture each time.
Put the scoops of the mixture onto a lined baking pan or tray. Once all the mixture has been scooped up, you can just roll them up into balls using your hands.
Set the balls down onto the lined tray again and put in the cake pop sticks. Dip them in your choice of icing and let them set in the fridge for at least half an hour before eating them.
Using the ice cream scoop just ensures that your cake pops will all be roughly the same size, which is not always possible to do if you are making them with only your hands and are eyeballing how much mixture to pick up each time.
So if your goal is handmade cake pops that are perfectly uniform in shape, a small ice cream scoop is the way to go!
3. Cookie Cutter Cake Pops
If you want to get creative, then you can use cookie cutters to cut out different shapes of cake pops. For instance, you can make star-shaped and moon-shaped cake pops for a starry night-themed event.
Start out with your cake and frosting combination and mix the two together until they come together completely. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the mixture onto it evenly until it all lays down about half an inch thick.
You can lay some plastic wrap on top of it and roll it out to get the mixture to an even thickness.
Next, pop the pan in the fridge (with the plastic wrap on) for half an hour, or until the frosting hardens. Once it is out, you can use your chosen cookie cutters and cut shapes out of the mixture. Add sticks into the shaped cake pops, dip those in ganache, and let them set.
Be sure to use cutters that are at least an inch long or wide on their shortest side; otherwise, the shapes may not really stand out. Of course, you can also add garnishes such as sprinkles or mini chocolate chips, depending on the theme.
Knowing how to make cake pops without a mold is not rocket science, but as you can tell, there are still some things to keep in mind and methods which work better than others. Making cake pops using a mold might be efficient, but it won’t be as yummy.