How to Make Copycat Starbucks Cake Pops

Updated: Feb. 06, 2024

Use this easy copycat recipe for Starbucks cake pops to create any flavor combo your heart desires.

From classic chocolate and pastel pink to seasonal favorites like unicorn, peppermint brownie and earth cake, Starbucks cake pops come in an array of flavors for any occasion and taste preference.

Their biggest drawback? The price tag. While they may be worth the occasional snack splurge, shelling out a couple of bucks for a single bite of cake may seem unreasonable to some. (Hey, you can always save big by cashing in your Starbucks rewards.)

The good news is that you can make dozens of copycat Starbucks cake pops at home (along with these other copycat Starbucks recipes) with a few simple ingredients from the baking aisle that will cost you less than half a dozen cake pops from your local store.

Keep reading for our simple and versatile cake pops recipe. It’s the perfect weekend baking project for kids or a group of friends. The flavor options are endless (some of our favorite flavor ideas are below), and everyone will have a blast rolling, dipping and decorating to their heart’s content.

Copycat Starbucks Cake Pops Recipe

ingredients for Copycat Starbucks Cake PopsTMB studio

This recipe will make approximately 4 dozen cake pops.


  • 1 package cake mix of your choice (regular size)
  • 1 cup prepared frosting of your choice
  • 48 lollipop sticks
  • 2-1/2 pounds dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white candy coating, coarsely chopped
  • Optional toppings: Crushed peppermint candies, finely chopped cashews, unsweetened coconut, assorted sprinkles, finely chopped crystallized ginger, crushed gingersnap cookies, melted caramels and coarse sea salt


  • Cake Pop Sticks: Put the “pop” in cake pop! Opt for sticks specifically packaged for cake pops or candy-making.
  • Cake Pop Stand: The perfect solution for allowing the coating on the cake pops to harden smoothly with the added bonus of making an attractive display.
  • Cookie Scoop: A great tool for making perfectly uniform cake pops.


Step 1: Bake the cake

cake in a pan before bakingTMB studio

Prepare and bake cake mix according to its package directions (here are our Test Kitchen’s favorite boxed yellow cake mixes). Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 2: Combine cake and frosting

Crumble the cake into a large bowl. Add frosting to the bowl and use a rubber spatula to evenly distribute the frosting into the crumbled cake.

Step 3: Shape and freeze

making cake ballsTMB studio

Using a cookie scoop, portion and roll the cake mixture into equal-sized balls; about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 2 hours or refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Editor’s Tip: Dip the tip of each stick into melted candy coating before inserting it into the cake ball. The candy coating will harden and act like edible glue to prevent your cake ball from sliding off the stick once it is chilled.

Step 4: Dip, decorate and set

dipping cake pops into pink frostingTMB studio

Once the cake balls are firm, melt the candy coating in the microwave according to the package directions. Dip each cake ball in the coating, allowing any excess to drip off. Then, roll, sprinkle or drizzle with toppings of your choice. Insert the cake pops into a foam block or acrylic cake pop stand. Let stand until set.

Tips for Making Copycat Starbucks Cake Pops

Can I use homemade cake and frosting instead of store-bought?

Absolutely! Feel free to swap in a favorite homemade cake or frosting recipe if you prefer. Any flavor of cake will work. When it comes to frosting, American buttercream or cream cheese frosting works great for homemade cake pops. Check out our favorite flavor combos below.

Can I use leftover cake in this recipe?

Certainly. Making cake pops is a great way to use up any cake scraps after leveling a layer cake (if you haven’t already munched on them).

Why does my cake pop stick keep falling out?

A few factors can cause the sticks to fall out of your homemade cake pops. Here are the most common mistakes you may be making:


Check to make sure your cake mixture isn’t crumbly since a dry cake pop mixture will not adhere well to the sticks. If your mixture doesn’t hold its shape easily while shaping into balls, consider adding a few extra tablespoons of frosting until the desired consistency is reached.


Not chilling your cake pops in the refrigerator or the freezer before dipping them into the candy coating is a common mistake. This step is crucial and helps set the cake balls and bond them to the sticks so they do not fall out while dipping or decorating.


Cake pop sticks should be inserted roughly halfway into each ball. If you don’t insert them far enough, the sticks will be prone to falling out. Conversely, inserting the sticks too far can also cause cake pops to split in half if you’re not careful. Handle with care until you find the sweet spot (or ditch the sticks altogether and make these three-ingredient Oreo balls instead).

How do you store copycat Starbucks cake pops?

For best results, we recommend storing cake pops in the refrigerator or freezer, either wrapped individually in plastic or in an airtight storage container. For all our best storage tips, don’t miss this guide on how to store cake pops.

How long do copycat Starbucks cake pops last?

In the fridge, Starbucks cake pops will last for about 1 week. In the freezer, you can expect them to stay fresh for several months.

Copycat Starbucks Cake Pops Variations

putting sprinkles on cake popTMB studio

Our favorite part about homemade Starbucks cake pops (and the Starbucks secret menu) is the limitless potential for creative flavor combinations. Here are a few of our favorite flavor ideas:

  • Red Velvet Cake: Red velvet cake mix and cream cheese frosting dipped in white candy coating with red sprinkles.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed: Lemon cake mix and vanilla frosting dipped in white candy coating with poppy seed sprinkles.
  • Mint Chocolate: Devil’s food cake mix and peppermint frosting dipped in melted dark chocolate and rolled in crushed thin mint cookies or Andes candies.
  • Cinnamon Roll: Spice cake mix and cream cheese frosting dipped in white candy coating dusted with cinnamon.
  • Chocolate Raspberry: Use this top-rated raspberry truffle cake pop recipe as a guide.