These fun little Vegan Cake Pops create balls of cake on a popsicle stick, coated in chocolate, and drizzled with sprinkles. This is the perfect party food! Cake balls are easily made dairy-free and vegan. This recipe even provides an option for gluten-free cake balls, too.
For more sweet party food, try these Oreo Truffles.
Vegan Cake Pops are like little inside-out cakes. That’s because the frosting is combined with cake crumbles to create balls. Then those balls are dipped in chocolate and covered with festive sprinkles! It’s a perfect party treat as you can change the sprinkles to match whatever you’re celebrating, be it a birthday party, Christmas party, or even Halloween parties.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Pumpkin purée is added to the cake to add nutrition and moisture without sacrificing flavor (most taste testers didn’t even know there was pumpkin in the ingredients)
- Reducing the sugar in the cake makes up for the sweetness in the frosting
- Using White or Dark Chocolate Chips gives you great variety in presentation for these fun party treats.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Flour — Use all-purpose flour or substitute gluten-free baking flour to make these treats gluten-free)
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder + Baking soda
- Vegan butter
- Pumpkin puree
- Powdered sugar
- Plant-based milk — Use either soy milk, almond milk, or the plant-based milk of your choice.
- Dairy-free chocolate chips
- Coconut oil
- Vegan white chocolate
- Food coloring
- Decorative sprinkles (optional)
How to Make Cake Pops
- Make the cake, a specially formulated recipe for cake pops
- Break baked and cooled cake into crumbs
- Make the frosting, a special recipe just for cake pops
- Stir together the frosting and cake crumbles
- Use a cookie dough dispenser to create cake balls, and refrigerate for one hour. Re-roll the chilled cake balls.
- Melt chocolate with coconut oil
- Reinforce the stick by dipping lollipop sticks into the melted dark chocolate coating and then into the center of the cake balls, pushing it in about half-way. Return the tray to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Dip the cake balls in dark or white chocolate. Tap to remove excess chocolate, then add sprinkles.
- Place the cake pops in a styrofoam block or poke holes in a box and place the stick in the box hole to dry upright
- Allow the chocolate to set in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes in the fridge
Here are more detailed steps on how to make vegan cake pops.
Step One: Prepare the Simple Cake
The first step with these vegan cake pops is to make this very simple cake. This is a cake recipe specifically made to be crumbled.
First, combine the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and vegan butter in a food processor and pulse it to combine. Add a can of pumpkin purée along with water and pulse again until combined. This makes a thick batter.
Quick Fix Tip
Keep it simple by substituting a dairy-free and/or gluten-free cake mix. Simply add the pumpkin puree and water to the cake mix and stir to combine.
Use a spatula and spread the batter into a pan with a light coating of vegetable spray. Bake it for 35 minutes until it’s done.
For vegan red velvet cake pops, substitute this vegan red velvet cake for the cake portion. It’s both delicious and colorful!
Step Two: Make Simple Frosting
This frosting is perfectly sweetened and proportioned for these vegan cake pops.
To make it, use a mixer to blend the vegan butter until it’s creamy. Then, add the powdered sugar and mix on low until it’s all combined. Finally, add a little soy milk (or plant-based milk of your choice) to create a nice, spreadable texture.
Quick Fix Tip
Many store-bought frostings are made without dairy and you can substitute one cup of any of these frostings here.
Step Three: Combine Cake Crumbles and Frosting
Once the cake is cooled, tear it into pieces and transfer it to a large bowl. Use a spatula or your hands to break the baked cake into crumbs.
Stir in the frosting with the cake crumbs and mix it all together. As you can imagine, this step can get a little messy so I recommend using a spatula.
Step Four: Making Cake Balls
Use a cookie dough scoop to create approximately 1″ cake balls. (I kept the balls a little bit smaller than 1″ and was able to make 45 cake balls).
- First Roll: Roll the batter between your hands to create balls. Place cake pops on a tray and then place the tray in the fridge to set. Chill the balls for an hour.
- Second Roll: After the balls are chilled, roll them between your hands a second time. This creates smoother and more rounder balls. Return them to the fridge.
Step Five: Prepare a Dipping Stand
It’s time to decide where you will place the freshly-dipped cake balls. You can use a block of foam or a simple cardboard box.
I used a skewer to create holes in a cardboard box, making sure to keep those holes a couple of inches apart.
Step Six: Dip Cake Pops in Chocolate
Once the vegan cake balls have chilled and you have the dipping stand ready, it’s time to start dipping.
- Melt Chocolate: Heat the chocolate in the microwave for one minute, then place a plate over the top and let it sit for a minute. Remove this from the microwave and stir it together to combine.
- Reinforce the Pop Sticks: It’s important to reinforce the sticks to make the cake pop adhere to the stick. Dip a lollipop stick up to about ½ inch into the melted dark chocolate. Insert the stick in the center of the cake balls, pushing it into the ball about half-way. Return the tray to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set for several minutes.
- Dip the cake balls in the melted chocolate and then tap a few times to let any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Then hover the recently dipped cake ball over a plate and drop some sprinkles over the wet chocolate. Place the stick in your dipping stand and allow it to dry.
The reinforcement step only works with dark chocolate (not the white chocolate)
Making Vegan White Chocolate Cake Pops
To use the vegan white chocolate coating:
- Make this vegan white chocolate recipe
- Melt vegan white chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl or pyrex measuring cup.
- Color the melted white chocolate by using minimal gel food coloring (adding only 1 drop at most). Too much color can change the texture of the white chocolate. Use separate bowls for 2 to 3 colors.
- Vegan white chocolate needs to set for a minute after being melted to allow it to thicken before dipping.
- You may need to do two coatings of white chocolate to get saturation of color. To do this, allow the first dip to dry then redip.
Once all the vegan cake pops are coated in chocolate, place them in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set.
Are Starbucks cake pops vegan?
Unfortunately, Starbucks cake pops are not vegan. Both the cake portion and the candy coating contain animal products, like eggs and dairy.
Do you have to refrigerate cake pops before dipping?
It’s important to refrigerate the cake pops before dipping them to ensure they keep their shape. Otherwise, you’ll risk the cake pops falling apart as you invert them to dip into the melted chocolate.
How do you get cake pops to stick to the stick?
Dipping the stick in melted chocolate before inserting it into the cake ball is a crucial step. The melted chocolate acts like glue as it dries, holding the cake pop in place firmly.
This recipe for vegan cake pops falls nicely into my category of “You can be vegan and still enjoy yummy foods!”
Vegan Chocolate-Covered Treats
The weekend is coming. So kick back, make some vegan cake pops, and wait for the looks of delight from your family when they bite into these sweet balls of fun!
Vegan Cake Pops
Simple Vegan Cake
For the Simple Vegan Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with vegetable cooking spray.
- In a food processor, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the vegan butter and pulse again until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and water, pulsing again until combined.
- Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center, comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set it aside to cool completely.
- Once the cake is cooled, cut it into sections and transfer sections to a large bowl. Use a spatula or your hands to break the cake into crumbs.
For the Simple Vegan Frosting
- Use a mixer to whip the butter at medium speed. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Then add 1 tablespoon of soy milk and mix on low until combined. It should be a spreadable consistency. If not, mix in another tablespoon of soy milk.
- Add the frosting to the crumbled cake mixture and use a spatula to stir these together.
- Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Use a cookie dough dispenser to create 1" cake balls with the cake mixture. Place balls on the prepared cookie sheet. Refrigerate for about one hour. Re-roll the cake balls to make them nice and smooth and round.
For the Coating
- For Dark Chocolate Coating: Place chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Place a plate over the bowl in the microwave and let it sit for another minute. Stir to combine. If the chips are not all fully melted, return to the microwave and cook in 20-second increments until melted.
- For White Chocolate Coating: Place white chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Place a plate over the bowl in the microwave and let it sit for another minute. Stir to combine. If you want to color the melted white chocolate, use gel food coloring and add only 1 drop at most. Use separate bowls for 2 to 3 colors. Vegan white chocolate needs to set for a minute after being melted to allow it to thicken. You may need to do two coatings of white chocolate to get saturation of color. Allow the first dip to dry then redip.
- Reinforcing the Stick: Remove the cake balls from the fridge. Dip a lollipop stick about ½ inch into the melted dark chocolate coating. Insert the coated stick in the center of one of the cake balls, pushing it into the ball about half-way. Repeat with the rest of the balls. Return the tray to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set for 5 to 10 minutes. This step helps bond the stick to the cake ball and it only works with melted dark chocolate.
- Dipping Cake Balls: Remove 3 chilled cake balls at a time. Dip the cake ball into either the dark chocolate or white chocolate melted. Make sure the cake ball is completely coated all the way to the base of the ball meets the stick. Tap the stick gently against the edge of the bowl holding the melted chocolate to tap off any excess chocolate. Hold the cake ball over a plate and drop sprinkles on the wet chocolate. Place the cake pop stick into a styrofoam block or poke holes in a box and place the stick in the box hole. This allows the cake pops to dry upright. Repeat this process with the rest of the cake balls
- Allow the chocolate to set, which can take up to an hour at room temperature or 15 to 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Store cake balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
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- Cake Tips: You can substitute a cake mix for the first 6 ingredients in the simple cake recipe. That means you would combine the cake mix with pumpkin and water. I used Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake which is “accidentally” vegan
- Make-Ahead Instructions: You can make cake 1 to 3 days ahead of time. Simply allow it to cool, cover, and store at room temperature. Also, you can store undipped cake balls in the fridge for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. Or you can freeze them for up to 1 month.
- Storing Cake Pops: Store finished cake pops in the fridge for up to 7 days. You can freeze finished cake pops for up to 2 months.
- Thaw out frozen cake balls by leaving them in the fridge overnight or leave them at room temperature for a couple of hours.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
That’s it for these tasty Vegan Cake Pops!
This post was originally published in 2010 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.