Starbucks Birthday Cake Pops Copycat Recipe

If you’re a Starbucks birthday cake pops fan, you’re in luck! This easy copycat recipe is the perfect way to enjoy your favorite treat at home. With just a few simple ingredients and a little time, you can create delicious Starbucks birthday cake pops that are just as good as the real thing.

Chocolate and pink Homemade Starubucks Birthday Cake pops

I’ve been all about recreating my favorite Starbucks recipes at home lately, and one of my favorites is the Starbucks birthday cake pop. When I was at Starbucks with my grandson recently, he wanted one, and of course, I obliged. But then, later that day, we decided to recreate his favorite flavor at home, strawberry!

He loved the cake pops so much that I know he made them and stored them in the freezer so he could have them anytime. From time to time we also make cakesicles, which are larger cake pops!

Equipment

  • Cookie scoop, kitchen scale, or tablespoon: Use a consistent-sized tool to scoop the batter so that your cake balls are uniform. Small balls are easier to keep on lollipop sticks.
  • Lollipop sticks: Purchase reusable or disposable lollipop sticks from a craft store, online, or grocery store.
  • Microwave or double boiler: Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler, depending on your preference.
  • Baking sheet: Place the cake balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to chill them in the refrigerator before dipping them in chocolate.
  • Styrofoam block or cardboard box: After dipping the cake pops in chocolate, place them upright to dry in a styrofoam block or cardboard box with small holes poked in it.

Ingredients

Cake

  • Starbucks uses vanilla or chocolate cake for their birthday cake pops.
  • You can use any cake, either made or store-bought. You do not need anything fancy for this recipe.

Frosting

  • The frosting is needed to bind the crumbs together. You can use store-bought frosting or make your own. I recommend making a simple vanilla frosting with confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and milk.
  • Generally, you will need 2 tablespoons of frosting for 1 box of cake crumbles (the equivalent of a 13×9 baking sheet). 

Expert Tip: Chill the cake crumbs for 30 minutes before adding the frosting. Then, work with a small amount of frosting into the crumbs until they bind together. This usually takes a minute or two. Avoid using too much frosting, as this will make your pops greasy, and the coating will not adhere.

Ingredients used in making this recipe.  Cake crumbs, frosting, sprinkles and candy melts.

Coating

You can use three main coatings for cake pops: candy coating, chocolate melts, and a homemade shell.

  • Candy coating: Purchased candy melts are easy to work with and come in various colors. To thin out the candy coating and make it easier to dip, add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  • Chocolate melts: Ghiradelli chocolate melts are a good choice because they are made with cocoa butter and shine, similar to tempering. They come in white, milk, and dark chocolate and are available at most grocery stores.
  • Homemade shell: To create a homemade shell, combine 2 cups of baking chips and 2/3 cup of coconut oil (or 1/2 cup of white chocolate). Microwave at 50% power in 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals until the mixture is smooth.

Expert tip: Before dipping your cake pops in the coating, chill them for at least 30 minutes. This will help the coating to adhere and prevent the pops from falling off the sticks.

Assembly

Step One: Prep

  1. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut small holes into a styrofoam block or cardboard box for a drying station.

Step Two: Prepare the Crumbs

Two hands holding cake crumbs.
  1. Start with a baked cake or cake scraps. Using a large bowl, break them into fine crumbs using your hands or a mixer.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of frosting to the crumbs and mix well until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.

Step Three: Shape the Cake Balls

Hand holding a cake ball.
  1. Use a tablespoon to measure out each portion of batter, then roll it into a truffle-like ball, making sure to roll it tightly.
  2. Repeat until all the balls have been formed.

Step Four: Inserting the Stick

Inserting a stick with chocolate on the end into the cake ball.
  1. Melt a small amount of chocolate or candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler.
  2. Dip the stick into the melted chocolate or coating and insert it into the center of the ball.
  3. Place the cake pop on the prepared baking sheet, with the stick straight up.
  4. Repeat steps 2-5 until all of the cake pops have been shaped and dipped in chocolate.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until they are firm.

Step Five: Set the Exterior Coating

  1. Melt the remaining coating in a container large enough to full submerge the cake pops.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil to the melted coating and mix well.
  3. Remove 2-3 cake pops from the refrigerator at a time. Dip each one into the melted chocolate or candy coating, moving it front to back and side to side to coat evenly.
  4. Lift the cake pop out of the coating at a 45-degree angle and allow the excess coating to drip off.
  5. Gently tap on the edge of the measuring cup or container to remove any excess coating.

Step Six: Add Sprinkles

  1. Add sprinkles while the chocolate coating is still wet.
  2. Place the cake pops upright in the styrofoam block or cardboard box to dry.
  3. Let the chocolate coating harden completely before eating.

Special Occasion Decoration Ideas

This recipe is perfect for any occasion, from a birthday party to a holiday gathering. You can customize your cake pops with different flavors of candy melts, sprinkles, and other toppings to create a truly unique treat.

OccasionDecoration
Baby ShowerCoat cake ball in pink or blue candy coating, depending on the baby’s gender. Top with white sprinkles for a classic look.
BirthdayCandy coat each cake pop in the birthday person’s favorite color and add funfetti sprinkles for a fun touch.
ChristmasCoat in red or green candy melts. Dip in sprinkles. I like to do half of the cake balls in red and half green!
EasterMelt white chocolate and add pastel gel food coloring to create Easter colors. Dip in the colored chocolate and then in pastel sprinkles.
Fourth of JulyRoll in a white chocolate coat and top with red, white, and blue sprinkles. Add stars or other Fourth of July-themed decorations to the cake pops.
Gender RevealUsing food coloring, make a pink or blue cake. Coat the cake pops in a neutral color but dark enough to hide the color of the cake. Toll in both pink and blue sprinkles. This will create a fun and suspenseful reveal for your guests!
HanukkahUse white chocolate and blue food coloring to create a medium-blue coating. Roll the cake pops in the blue chocolate and then in Hanukkah sprinkles. You can also add dreidels or other Hanukkah-themed decorations.
Valentine’s DayCoat the cake pop in red candy melts. Roll in white sprinkles, hearts, or other Valentine’s Day-themed decorations.
Pink, blue and yellow cake pops in a glass.

Expert Tips


  • Microwaving chocolate/candy melts: Chocolate can quickly go from melted to burned, so it’s important to microwave it carefully. To avoid this, microwave the candy melts at 50% power in 30-second intervals. Stir between each interval until the chocolate is 80% melted. Then, continue to stir until the other 20% melts. The warmth from the chocolate will melt the remaining chocolate.
  • Finely crumble the cake: The finer the crumbs, the smoother your cake pop will be. You can crumble by hand or use a stand-up mixer with a paddle attachment.
  • Use Ghirardelli chocolate melts: Ghirardelli chocolate melts are made with cocoa butter, which results in a tempered-like shine. This chocolate is also very easy to work with.
  • Tap the cake pops on the edge of the bowl to remove excess candy melts: This will help to prevent the candy melts from dripping down the stick.
  • Decorate while the candy melts or chocolate is still wet: This Is necessary for the decoration to stick.
  • Store the cake pops in the refrigerator: Chocolate has a low melting point, so store them in the refrigerator to prevent them from melting.

Make-Ahead Instructions

  • Storing – Store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
  • Freezing -Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid, about an hour. Then, transfer them to an airtight container and freeze them for up to four weeks. To thaw, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Packaging – Starbucks cake pops can be packaged in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas:
  • Clear plastic bags with colorful bow ties
  • Small cellophane bags with twist ties
  • Decorative treat bags
  • Tiered cake pop stand
Chocolate and pink Starbucks cake pops.

Easy Starbucks Birthday Cake Pops Recipe (Copycat)

Save money and make your own Starbucks-inspired birthday cake pops at home! They're easy to make and fun to decorate, so you can create a unique treat for any occasion.
5 from 30 votes
Print Rate
Course: party, Treats
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 pops
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Styrofoam block
  • 24 Lollypop sticks
  • Parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Starbucks style white sprinkles (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 baked cake
  • 2 tablespoons store bought frosting
  • 40 ounces of candy coating or chocolate melts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • sprinkles

Instructions

Step One: Prep

  • Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Cut small holes into a styrofoam block or cardboard box for a drying station.

Step Two: Prepare the Crumbs

  • Start with a baked cake or scraps. Using a large bowl, break into fine crumbs using your hands or a mixer.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of frosting to the crumbs and mix well until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.

Step Three: Shape the Cake Balls

  • Use a tablespoon to measure out each portion of the batter, then roll it into a truffle-like ball, making sure to roll it tightly.
  • Repeat until all the balls have been formed.

Step Four: Set the Sticks

  • Melt a small amount of chocolate or candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl or in a double boiler.
  • Dip a stick into the melted chocolate or coating and insert it into the center of the cake ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Repeat steps 2-5 until all of the cake pops have been shaped and dipped in chocolate.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until they are firm.

Step Five: Set the Outside Coating

  • Melt the remaining coating in a measuring cup or another container that is large enough to submerge fully.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil to the melted coating and mix well.
  • Remove 2-3 pops from the refrigerator at a time. Dip each cake pop into the melted chocolate or candy coating, moving it front to back and side to side to coat evenly.
  • Lift the cake pop out of the coating at a 45-degree angle and allow the excess coating to drip off. Gently tap on the edge of the measuring cup or container to remove any excess coating.

Step Five: Add sprinkles and dry

  • Add sprinkles to the top while the coating is still wet.
  • Place the cake pops upright in the styrofoam block or cardboard box to dry. The coating will set in about 1 hour.

Notes

Frosting:
This recipe assumes two tablespoons of frosting to one box of cake.  If using a different amount of cake, adjust the frosting accordingly.  Note that too much frosting will make the pop greasy.
Make in Advance and Storing:
  • Advance: You can make Starbucks birthday cake pops up to seven days in advance.
  • Storing – Store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
  • Freezing –Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid, about an hour. Then, transfer them to an airtight container and freeze them for up to four weeks. To thaw, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Starbucks Birthday Cake Pops Recipe (Copycat)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
217
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
7
g
11
%
Cholesterol
 
9
mg
3
%
Sodium
 
99
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
36
g
12
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
24
g
27
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    got the kids to help make these as an activity, needless to say they kept eating them too. So enjoyable and yum, thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    These cake pops are a delicious treat! The kids had so much fun making them with me and customizing each one!

    1. Hi Emily, thank you. I love that your kids had fun making the cake pops. We like to make it a family activity in our home.

  3. 5 stars
    thanks for this! now i don’t have to spend $5 every time i go get a coffee and my kid is with me!

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