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How To Store Cake Pops: The Best Ways And Easy Tips

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Since 2008, when cake pops first appeared on the baking scene, they've been incredibly popular. These little treats range in size from small to full popsicle size, and there are lots of flavors, colors, and types to choose from.

Three cake pops on a kitchen counter with sprinkles.
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Knowing how to store cake pops is always a good idea, so you know their approximate shelf life and enjoy them before they go stale.

There is no end to the combinations of cake pops you can buy, or even make yourself. I love to experiment with cake pop recipes, combining any kind of cake with frosting and then an outer shell - they're fun to make and you can get really creative with how you decorate them. 

They're a wonderful idea for special occasions such as baby showers, birthday parties, or even for Valentine's Day. There is no shortage of delicious cake pop recipes, and I especially love to make red velvet cake pops for the family.

A cake pop is typically a combination of cake, frosting and some kind of outer shell such as chocolate but the variations are pretty much endless. Cake pops are perfect when you don't know whether to have a slice of cake, a cupcake, or a popsicle. With a cake pop, you can enjoy the best of both worlds!

What are Cake Pops?

Cake pops are made by rolling baked cake into balls and then dipping them in some kind of candy coating. They resemble popsicles, hence the name. 

Cake crumbs are blended with ingredients to hold the crumbs together, such as chocolate or frosting, and then they are put on a lollipop stick, dipped in frosting, chocolate, or candy melts, and then left to set.

This has to be the best way of using up leftover cake crumbs or cake pieces, although it's not the only way, of course. Crumbs are inevitable when slicing a cake into portions, and this is a nice way to use them.

Perhaps you have some cupcakes or a homemade cake that's going to go stale before you will have a chance to eat it all, so again - why not use it to make some yummy cake pops?

Three wrapped cake pops on a kitchen counter.

How to Store Cake Pops

It's important to know exactly how to store cake pops, whether you're buying them from the bakery or store, or making your own. You will want to keep them as fresh as you can.

  • Keep the cake pops in an airtight bag or container, or else wrap each one individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Store them away from sunlight, somewhere dry and cool.
  • Your store-bought or homemade cake pops should be fine for a week at room temperature.
  • They should keep for 2 weeks or even longer in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • For even longer storage, you can freeze cake pops for 2-3 months in a vacuum-sealed or airtight bag or container.

A vacuum sealer is a great investment if you like to freeze not only cake pops but other items too. If you don't have one, you can wrap your cake pops in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and then put them in a freezer bag.

How to Tell if Cake Pops are Spoiled

Cake pops have their expiry dates, just like any other baked goods or candies. It's a good idea to know how to identify spoiled cake popsicles so you don't have a bad experience with the flavor or get an upset stomach. 

Spoiled cake pops become hard, lose their texture, and might also spell bad. They could even have some mold on them. If you know how to store cake pops properly, you can keep them fresh for longer, but if they do go bad then you just have to throw them out.

Common Questions

Can cake pops go bad if they're in the refrigerator?

Refrigerating cake pops means they'll last longer than if you kept them at room temperature, but that's still not a very long time. They must be in an airtight container that's big enough for the cake pops to have air around them, or else they might get smashed or crushed against each other. Wrapping them in plastic wrap does help protect them but if you're using a frosting that doesn't fully dry the plastic is going to stick to it. If you're using candy melts or chocolate it should set dry and then it's fine to use plastic wrap.

Should you freeze them before the dipping process or after?

A lot of people like to make a big batch of cake pop sticks and freeze some while keeping the rest in the fridge (or out) for eating in the next few days. But should you dip them before or after dipping? It's best to dip them before freezing them. The candy melts, white chocolate or whatever you're using as the frosting or coating will freeze hard and this helps protect the cake interior from freezer burn.

If you're not ready to dip them yet or you don't have enough chocolate coating or dip, it's fine to refrigerate the cake pops overnight. Another option is to freeze the balls of cake mixture in a single layer on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and then transfer them into a freezer bag. They will be fine for a few weeks, and then you can thaw and dip them when you're ready.

What are some ideas for unusual cake pops?

You can use literally any kind of cake to make cake pops. The sky really is the limit. You can use boxed cake mix, leftover cake, or cupcakes. If you're making the cake, omit any oil from the recipe (whether it's from scratch or a boxed mix) because you don't need it when making cake pops. You could even opt for a mixture of more than one kind of cake. 

Oh, and brownies work really well in cake pops too, so the next time you're in the mood for making egg- or eggless brownies or dark chocolate brownies, save some for cake pops! And make them extra-irresistible by adding as much frosting as you want.

Cake pops are usually balls of cake with some kind of frosting and decorations, but there are other takes on the main recipe. For instance, if you love cinnamon rolls and cinnamon roll cheesecake, you can make something similar in cake pop form. Make balls of cinnamon cake or cinnamon rolls and the drizzle cinnamon roll glaze over the top. You don't need to cover them completely. They can look great with the glaze dripping down and make a nice, bite-sized alternative to cinnamon rolls.

You can use all kinds of decorations on your cake pops, such as sprinkling cookie crumbs or decorative candies on top of the cake pops, and even wrapping a cute ribbon around each one. That way, they'd be as fancy as cupcakes but in a more novel form.

Use more than one type of melted chocolate or melted candy to drizzle over your homemade frosting once it's set. This is a great way to add layers, although the more decoration you have the more fragile the cake pops will be, so take care not to smash them against one another when they're done. 

The easiest way to keep them looking pristine is to invest in a cake pop stand and then make sure you keep them in a cool, dry place until serving. If you don't have one you can use a Styrofoam block. 

Do you have to use cake pop molds?

Cake pop molds make the whole process easy too and you will get uniform spheres or whatever shape you want. Just put the prepared cake mixture in the mold and bake for 20 minutes or until done, then cool and decorate. You can also shape the cake mixture by hand and roll it between your palms or make them freestyle shapes - the choice is yours.

Cake pops on a kitchen counter with sprinkles.

Interesting Facts

  • February 1 is National Cake Pop Day.
  • Bakerella is credited with making the first-ever cake pops.
  • Cake pops have been around since 2008 but really started taking off around 2011.

Once you know how to make cake pops and how to store them so they stay fresh and delicious, you are sure to want to make your own. Coming up with flavor combinations and decorations is certainly a lot of fun!

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