Last Updated on August 15, 2022
Can I make cake pops ahead of time? You definitely can, but if you don't know the rules, your cake pops will never last. Read on to learn more!
What Are Cake Pops?
Cake pops are essentially cake truffles on a stick. These sweet treats dramatically increased in popularity in 2009, but have actually been around for quite a while. Now, today cake pops are intentionally made. But initially, they were a way to utilize leftover cake, over-baked cake, or stale cake.
These pops are made from a mixture of cake crumbs and frosting or icing. When the ingredients are combined, they are worked into a sticky pliable consistency. Then, balls are shaped and placed onto lollipop sticks.
Once the balls have set and become more firm, they are dipped in either melted chocolate or melted candy discs. While this coating is still wet, various garnishes can be added to the cake pop for texture and a pop of color.
What makes these treats so amazing and fun is their versatility. You can use different types and flavors of cake. You can use different colored coatings, and of course, different garnishes. This enables you to make themed cake pops that even vary in fanciness.
Can I Make Cake Pops Ahead Of Time?
Unlike a ton of other baked goods, cake pops are the perfect treat to make ahead of time. and when we day ahead, we mean months ahead! But, there is a specific way to do so. It isn't as easy as just assembling and storing them.
So then, how can I make cake pops ahead of time? First, decide how long the "ahead of time" part is. Is it a day, two days, a week, or a couple of months? This will directly affect the method you need to use to make them ahead of time.
If it is anything less than 5 days, you can make and assemble the cake pops completely. You just have to store them properly to make them last. This can be either in the fridge or at room temperature, depending on the filling.
But, if you only need the cake pops in a while, the best way to go is by freezing the cake balls. But, this is where it doesn't get so straightforward. There are some tricks you need to use to keep them from spoiling or becoming unappealing during the long storage time.
How To Store Cake Pops Short-Term
To store cake pops for a shorter period of time, you can finish them off completely. This means, that after you have shaped and set them onto the lollipop sticks, you can dip and garnish them.
Store the cake pops inside an airtight container at room temperature. If you used real tempered chocolate or candy melts, the coating will keep well. But, don't store any cake pops with perishable fillings at room temperature. They will grow bacteria and mold quickly!
These cake pops should be kept inside the fridge. Again, store them in an airtight container.
To prevent any condensation from forming on the surface of the cake pops, make sure to store them in a fridge with a stable temperature. Or, keep them in the back of the fridge where they are coldest.
Tricks for this method
- Keep the cake pops in a cool, dry, and dark place if you store them at room temperature.
- Room temperature is always between 68-77ºF (20-25ºC). Anything warmer and the chocolate coating may start to melt.
- If you do keep the cake pops inside the fridge, you need to serve them directly out of the fridge. Don't allow them to reheat because the coating may crack. When the cake pop is cooled, the cake contracts. But, when it heats back up again, the cake will expand and could crack the outer coating.
How To Store Cake Pops In The Freezer For A Long Time
Now, many people think that the question "Can I make cake pops ahead of time?" has a simple solution, freezing. The answer is both yes and no.
Freezing will help extend the shelf life, but you likely also want the treats to still be aesthetically pleasing. After all, isn't that the point of making them?
So, if you do need to make cake pops ahead of time, then only shape the cake mixture onto the lollipop sticks. Then, freeze them and keep them until needed. Do not add the coatings or garnishes. They will lessen the shelf life and potentially ruin the cake pop.
Once you are ready to use the cake pops, allow them to come back to room temperature before coating them with chocolate or candy melts.
Tricks for freezing
- When freezing the cake pops, do so individually at first. You can stick the sticks into a large bowl of dried rice, sugar, or beans. Once they are fully frozen, place them inside an airtight container and wrap them with foil. This will help prevent excessive freezer burn.
- When thawing cake pops, always thaw them inside the fridge first. Then, once defrosted, bring them to room temperature.
- Don't freeze coated and garnished cake pops. When they are eventually thawed, the coating will crack.
How Long Will Cake Pops Last?
Cake pops can last inside the fridge for up to a week. But, after about 5 days, they start losing their freshness rapidly.
At room temperature, they only last between 2-5 days. This largely depends on the type of cake pop you made, how old the ingredients already were, and environmental conditions.
In the freezer, cake pops can last up to 6 months without any trouble. But, it's how you defrost them that matters.
Can I make cake pops ahead of time? The answer is a resounding yes. But, only if you follow our expert tips and tricks. These have been designed to cater to almost any type of cake pop and any condition.
Let us know if you still have any questions for us in the comments below. And, make sure to check out our website for more informative articles like this.
How do you store cake pops for the next day?
It depends on the type of filling it has. If it has a perishable filling, you have to store it inside an airtight container in the fridge. If it doesn't have a perishable filling that can spoil, store it at room temperature, still in an airtight container.
Should cake pops be refrigerated before dipping?
You should never refrigerate cake pops before you dip them. Cooling the cake pop will cause it to contract. When you dip it, you are essentially coating a cake pop ball that is smaller than it should be. So, when the filling sets and the cake pop reheats (causing it to expand), it cracks the filling.
How long can cake pops sit?
Cake pops will keep well at room temperature for up to 5 days. Anything longer and the texture, consistency, and flavor will simply not be good. But, if you store it in the fridge, it will last up to a week, maybe even longer. In the freezer, they will last a couple of months.
How do you make cake pops stay sticky?
To ensure your cake pops remain stuck to the lollipop stick, dip each stick in melted chocolate. Then, insert the cake ball. The chocolate and cake will bind, ensuring you never have to fix loose balls later.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.