Starbucks Cake Pops (Copycat Recipe)

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Starbucks Cake Pops are incredibly easy to make at home with minimal ingredients! Best of all, you don’t need any special equipment to make them, contrary to what you may think. Plus, you can easily customize my Starbucks cake pops recipe with your favorite flavors! Perfect for parties, holidays, bake sales, and more.

Titled Image: Starbucks Cake Pops Copycat Recipe


Starbucks Cake Pops

It’s no secret that I love Starbucks! And what do we do here at the Slow Roasted Italian when we find a restaurant or coffee shop that we love?

We create our own copycat recipes, of course!!

Some of my favorite Starbucks copycats include their banana bread, blueberry muffins, iced cinnamon dolce latte, cranberry bliss bars, peppermint mocha coffee… the list goes on!

I’ve always loved Starbucks cake pops (Munchkin too), and I finally tried my hand at making them myself.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled with the results! When I first saw them at my local shop, I figured I would need some special mold to make them, but I’m happy to report I was wrong.

All you need is a cookie scoop, your freezer, and some lollipop sticks and you’re good to go. 

I whipped these up the last time my daughter had a sleepover, and her friends were so impressed. Now, I’m going to teach you how to do it too!

ingredients for copycat starbucks cake pops recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Vanilla Cake Mix – I’m using boxed vanilla cake mix for these cake pops Starbucks copycats.

    Again, feel free to switch it up and use your favorite! Chocolate or even red velvet would both be delicious.
  • Vanilla Frosting – These are vanilla-flavored cake pops which is why I’m using vanilla frosting.

    Just like with the cake mix, you can definitely use you’re preference. And, if you’re feeling ambitious, use homemade!
  • Lollipop Sticks – This wouldn’t be a Starbucks cake pops recipe without the lollipop sticks!

    You should be able to find them at the grocery store, otherwise look online.
  • Candy Melts – I’m opting for pink vanilla-flavored candy melts. I love the idea of making these for Valentine’s Day!

    That said you can experiment with different flavors.
  • Sugar Pearl Sprinkles – To get the look of actual Starbucks cake pops, I’m using white sugar pearl sprinkles as a garnish!
crumbling baked cake with a fork

Tips and Tricks to Make Perfect Cake Pops like Starbucks

  • Hacks for creating the cake ball mixture.

The key to making perfect Starbucks cake pops begins with the cake balls!

First things first, you need to be patient and allow the cake to cool completely before you start working with it. If it’s too warm, the mixture will be way too sticky.

To make rolling easier, I recommend that you dampen your hands with water or with a bit of cooking spray.

This will keep the mixture from sticking to your hands as you go!

Finally, if the cake mixture feels a bit too dry, feel free to add more frosting. Introduce a tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you’re looking for.

  • Ample chilling time.

I know it can be hard to be patient with recipes that require chilling time. But, you absolutely need to let the cake balls chill and set to hold their shape. 

If you’re really in a hurry, use your freezer instead of the fridge. 30 minutes is all you need when you opt for the freezer!

  • Prevent the Starbucks cake pops from sliding with this easy trick.

As you assemble your cake pops by Starbucks recipe, you may notice that the cake balls have a tendency to slide down the lollipop sticks. 

You can easily keep this from happening by dipping the tip of each stick into the melted candy before you add the cake balls. A little bit goes a long way!

adding icing to crumbled cake

Prep Ahead

  • Bake the cake
  • Melt the candy melts as the cake balls set
  • Dip each lollipop stick in the melted candy

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Large Bowl – This one is my go-to!
  • A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too! 
  • Cookie Scoops – Great for cake pops, cookies, ice cream, and portioning out leftovers. I’ve had this set for years and use them all the time.
  • Baking Sheets lined with parchment paper – Used for anything from cookies to roasting, a good baking pan will last for years.
  • Microwave-Safe Bowl – Not only does it make melting candy easier, but you can use it to quickly steam vegetables too!
rolling cake mixture into balls for cake pops

Serving Suggestions

This copycat cake pops Starbucks recipe is perfect for parties!

I love the idea of creating a spread alongside some other fun desserts like red velvet poke cake, brownie cupcakes with strawberry frosting, and cosmic brownie cookies!

You can easily customize this recipe for any holiday.

Consider red and green sprinkles for Christmas, pink, yellow, and blue for Easter, or make this spooky version of cake pops for Halloween

dipping cake pop into candy melts

How to Store Leftover Cake Pops

It’s unlikely you’ll have any leftovers (they’re that tasty!), but if you do, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Or, to extend their shelf life up to 1 extra week, keep them in the fridge.

You can also make a double batch to freeze! Once the cake pops are fully set, place them in an airtight container or vacuum seal them in a bag.

They will keep for 2-3 months. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge before serving! 

Starbucks Cake Pops Recipe FAQ

Can I use any cake recipe for cake pops?

Yes, you can use any type of cake mix for Starbucks cake pops. That said, try to opt for mixes that are more on the dense and moist side — they’ll hold together better when you add the frosting. Overly crumbly or air cakes (like Angel Food, for example) won’t hold together as well.

Can I make this cake pops Starbucks recipe in advance?

Absolutely! You can prep and assemble your cake pops by Starbucks as instructed on the recipe card and store them in the fridge up to 48 hours in advance. I do recommend bringing them to room temperature before serving for better flavor and texture. 

Why do my cake pops fall off the stick?

If you neglect to add a bit of the candy melt coating to the lollipop sticks, the cake dough balls will likely fall off. Make sure to add a bit before you insert the cake portion and you shouldn’t run into this issue!

starbucks cake pops in glass containers

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closeup of starbucks copycat cake pops

closeup of a starbucks cake pop with bite taken

Starbucks Cake Pops (Copycat Recipe)

Donna Elick
Making Starbucks Cake Pops at home is so easy! Use my cake pops recipe as a jumping-off point and feel free to customize however you like!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
cooling time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 15 cake pops


  • 1 Box Vanilla Cake Mix, (15.25 Ounces)
  • 1/3 container Vanilla Frosting
  • 15 Lollipop Sticks
  • 1 12 Ounce Bag Pink Candy Melts, (Vanilla Flavor)
  • White Sugar Pearl Sprinkles, (For Decorating)


  • Prepare the vanilla cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Allow the cake to cool completely
  • Crumble the cooled cake into fine crumbs using your hands or a fork.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake crumbs with some of the vanilla frosting., adding a little at a time. Using a rubber spatula, mix until well combined and the mixture holds together.
  • Roll the mixture into 1-inch bite-sized balls using a cookie scoop or your hands and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Place the baking sheet of cake balls into the freezer for 30 minutes to set up or in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • About 5 minutes before taking the cake balls out of the freezer, melt the pink candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl according to package instructions.
  • Remove the cake balls from the freezer and insert a lollipop stick into each cake ball, about halfway through. Dip the tip of the lollipop stick into the melted coating chocolate to help hold them in place in the cake balls.
  • Dip each cake pop into the melted coating chocolate, swirling to ensure they are evenly coated. Allow any excess coating to drip off.
  • Immediately sprinkle some white sugar pearl sprinkles over the wet coating before it hardens.
  • Place the finished cake pops into a cake pop stand or styrofoam to hold them up in place. If you don’t have a cake pop stand or styrofoam you can place the cake pops back onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat the dipping and sprinkling process with the remaining cake pops.
  • Once fully set, they are ready to be enjoyed!

Donna’s Notes

Make sure the cake is completely cooled before crumbling it, as warm cake can make the mixture too sticky.
If the cake ball mixture feels too dry, you can add a little more frosting, a tablespoon at a time, until it holds together.
For easier rolling, dampen your hands with water or grease them with a little cooking spray to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
Placing the cake balls in the freezer for 30 minutes or the refrigerator for 2 hours helps them firm up and hold their shape when dipped.
When melting the candy melts, follow the instructions on the package to avoid overheating and ensure a smooth consistency.
To prevent the cake pops from sliding down the sticks, dip the tip of each lollipop stick into the melted candy coating before inserting it into the cake balls.
For different flavor combinations, you can use chocolate cake mix with chocolate-flavored candy melts, or experiment with other cake and candy melt flavors to suit your taste preferences.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 131cal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 240mg | Sugar: 15g | Fiber: 0.4g | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Starbucks Cake Pops Copycat Recipe - PIN

Originally published February 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    omg these Starbucks Cake Pops were a breeze to make! Literally took me less than half an hour to prep and they came out looking and tasting amazing!

  2. 5 stars
    donna’s cake pops recipe is a game-changer! i added some crushed Oreos to the cake mixture for a cookies and cream twist, and it turned out fantastic!

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