Easy Doughnut Hole Cake Pops Recipe

by Sugar on May 24, 2011 · 96 comments

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Cake pops have become the biggest dessert craze, ever since a blogger named Bakerella gave this treat a memorable name. The rest is history. Starbucks has them and they are just about everywhere you can get desserts or baked goods. Making cake pops can be a bit time-consuming but I have a great short cut for you.

After making cake pops the longer way, I experimented with just using doughnut holes (Dunkin Donuts or Entenmann’s will both do just fine). This way of making them lets you spend all of your time on the fun part. Decorating them! Here is my video of how to do cake pops the easy way along with a few secret tips. Below the video are the recipe details.

Ingredients

  • 1 box of 25 doughnut holes (any flavor)
  • 1 (14 oz) bag candy melts, of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening
  • Popsicle sticks
  • A flat piece of Styrofoam

Directions

When ready to assemble heat candy melts in a small bowl in the microwave according to the directions on package. Mix in the shortening until you have a smooth texture that runs off a spoon.

Dip the tip of a Popsicle stick into the melted candy . . .

then halfway into the doughnut hole. Lay them down on a wax paper coated cookie sheet until all the balls have the sticks attached.


Place them in the refrigerator of the freezer for a minute or two so that the candy sets on the stick. Then remove them and swirl the pops gently into the melted candy and coat well.

Allow them to drip for a moment and then dip into or sprinkle on colored sprinkles. Set into Styrofoam to harden.

Tips

Cake pops do not need to be refrigerated.

For a ton of photos of the various cake pops I have been making, please visit my Facebook page and view the gallery there entitled “Sugar’s Cake Pops.”   (Please be sure to LIKE the page to see all the photos).

http://facebook.com/CookingWithSugar

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Kimmy says:

I made these for my class and they loved them!! (:

Sugar says:

Oh that is great. Thanks for the feedback.

Alyssa says:

Thanks for the awesome idea!! It’s genius! Just wondering can u use any doughnut holes? Like even the glazed ones and chocolate covered ones? My friend said u can only use the plain like breaded type with no coating.. Just wanna check before I buy:) thanks so much!!

Sugar says:

Hi thanks for the feedback. I use the coated ones all the time and it works fine. Enjoy!

Zenat says:

HI. I am planning to make this type of cake pops but i have a question. When i buy the doughnut’s from dunkin donuts, do i buy them glazed or with no glaze?

Sugar says:

You can get either one and they work out fine. I like the chocolate the best. Enjoy!

Zenat says:

Do they come out too sweet with the glaze? Or just fine

Sugar says:

No they come out fine. Enjoy!

brooke leftrick says:

I am making these for my sons 1st birthday party, were doing a brunch theme and these will be great instead of a cake. One question though, can you dip theses in nestle tollhouse chocolate chips melted or does it need to be the candy melts??

Sugar says:

Sure you can use the chips. Happy Birthday to him and enjoy!

Gladys says:

Hello! I love your website and your youtube videos! YOu are so creative and have such great recipes! You are fabulous! Love this cake pop recipe! I am going to try it for my son’s birthday 7/13/12. I was wondering of instead of the candy melts I could use white chocolate; the baker’s kind. Thanks!

Sugar says:

Hi, Thanks for the sweet feedback and yes you can use the bakers chocolate with these. Enjoy!

gladys says:

Yay! Thanks! You’re the best! :)

Donna Albright says:

I made these for my grandsons birthday. Thanks for sharing. I used the chocolate melts made for the chocolate fountain as it is thin enough.

Sugar says:

Great! Thanks so much for the feedback. I hope he had a happy birthday. :)

Barb says:

Do you have a recipe box so I can save this

Alisa says:

Hi Sugar
I am having a baby shower and im going to make these. I experimented today with real cakepops and they were a disaster!!! But I was wondering if I could use the sugar sheets on top of the candy melts? I found a zebra print sheet id love to use:)

Sugar says:

Alisa,

I think the sugar sheets will work just fine.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out.
:)

Wonderful thanks for sharing, I was looking high and low for an EAZY way to make these and viola!!!! I cant wait to try these for my baby shower!

Sugar says:

Joyce,

Thanks for posting. It is a great short cut. Have fun making them and best of luck to you and your little one. :)

selestina says:

Great idea! But I don’t Have a dunkin donut where I live. Could I Just buy donut holes anywhere or does it Have to be at a specific place?

Sugar says:

Sure any type will do.
:)

Michelle says:

Hi,

I don’t have a microwave–how would I melt the choc wafers over the stove? I purchased the wilton pink, purple, white and yellow. I think the white is real choc vs the candy melt. Also can you only use the cake donut holes or can you use the powdered donut holes as well? I really liked your tip about the shortening!:)

Sugar says:

You can melt them over the stove by using a double boiler method. If your not sure how to do it just google it. Yes you can use any of the donut holes but the cake ones work best. Have fun making them.

Sugar

Alexa Sarabia says:

Hi Sugar,

I absolutely LOVE this quick way of making the cake pops. I am getting married soon and I love this idea as a wedding favor. I am expecting about 80 guests and my question is… If I made these 2 days before the wedding would they still be ok by the wedding? Should I refrigerate them before taking them over to the reception site. I have to take everything to the reception site the day before, what should I tell the people to do with them until the next day? Thank you so much!

Alexa

Sugar says:

Hi,

I’m so glad you like this method. No do not refrigerate them. I make them days ahead of time and just cover them individually with the little plastic bars you can buy at Michaels. Good luck and congrats to you.

God bless and let me know how it works out.

Sugar

Jack says:

Thanks Sugar! I’m 10 and me and my mom are starting to make the cake pops all the time!
Your recipe is so quick, fast, and easy. There is also another idea in case you can’t find candy melts. you can use almond bark and it works just the same! I’m loving all, and i mean ALL of your recipes!

Jack

Sugar says:

Jack,

How sweet of you to write to me. Yes the almond bark is great too. I will have to add that to this section.

Keep cooking and maybe you can send me some photos of your cake pops or post them on my facebook page.

Hugs,

Sugar :)

Alina says:

Hi, so I was wondering what can I use instead of lollipop sticks? Are toothpicks or straws (not the bendy ones ahaha) ok? I’m making them tomorrow (: thanks.

Sugar says:

Alina,

You can’t use toothpicks they will be too thin and small and the straws will be too soft. You don’t need to make them into pops if you don’t have the sticks. You can dip them and place them in paper cupcake liners and they look just like cake balls or truffles.

Momma Momma Momma says:

I’ve become quite ‘domesticated’ since we’ve moved and I’m about to venture into “Cake Pop Land!” I like the idea of donut holes as a shortcut. I will say too, that the tips you gave on the candy melts is great too for when donut holes don’t come in red velvet or confetti cake flavors. LOL! Thank you!

Sugar says:

Momma, You are so right they don’t come in those flavors and for that reason I do make them in the regular cake pop fashion too but in a pinch this way is just fine. :)

Have fun making them and keep me posted.

Sugar

Annalisa says:

Hello Sugar!! I love yoour videos and your cakepops… unfortunately I live in Italy and I don’t have candy melts or Crisco… what is crisco?? how can I replace those things? thank you so much!
Annalisa

Check my blog if you want! ;)

Sugar says:

Annalisa,

No problem. You can use chocolate and some vegtable oil to make it smooth. It won’t harden as much as the candy will but it will taste great.

I will be sure to check out your blog.

Have fun!

Sugar

Wendy says:

I like making them look like baby rattles (shaker toy). I decorate according to the theme of the shower. Some are a little more detailed than others, but the great part is that they’re small, so a little decorating goes a long way! I used to do a lot of cake decorating, so I like to pipe the decorations in frosting most of the time. My favorite are chocolate dipped with light pink scrolls.

Sugar says:

Wendy what a cute idea. Thanks so much for the feedback. Maybe you can post some photos to my Facebook fan page so we can all see them.

Sugar :)

Jolene Baker says:

I took the cookie pops for the nurses luncheon and everybody loved them. The only problem I had my sticks came off even when I left in the fridge for awhile.

Sugar says:

I’m so glad they liked them.

If you dip the tip in the chocolate then into the pop, let it set and then again into the chocolate they should stay very secure. I’m still glad they were a hit.

Hugs,

Sugar

Kathy Hopkins says:

Haven’t tried them, but was reading the posts and want to try making them. Was just wandering if Almond Bark would work to dip them in. I use it a lot during the holidays making chocolate pretzels, peanut clusters, etc. Any thoughts?

Sugar says:

Kathy,

Hi, Yes that will work just fine. Have fun making them and let me know how it goes.

Sugar :)

Jolene Baker says:

I am going make these for a nurses lunch at work, thanks for the donut idea I really did not want to pay $20.00 for a pan.

Sugar says:

Oh how sweet. I am sure all the nurses will love them. Have a great time and have fun making thses. Be sure to let me know how they turn out and check out some of my other videos. I have some simple yummy recipes.

Sugar :)

CDB says:

I was looking up how to do a donut hole cake, b/c we are serving breakfast for my 10-year’s birthday party, and came across your website/video! I am sooooo excited now! I’ve always loved to make my kids cakes, etc and this will allow me to do something super different & go with my theme of breakfast! Good to know about the melts tip b/c I would not have been happy if I had to be the one throwing all it out! Thanks again!

Sugar says:

I am so glad you found my site. Have fun making them and let me know how it goes.

Thanks for the feedback.

Sugar

Analy says:

I absolutely LOVED this shortcut! I plan to use them for a small family gathering and think it’ll be a blast! Thank you!

Sugar says:

I’m so glad you like it. Have fun making them and let me know how it goes.

Sugar :)

rosalia says:

hi sugar how do you make the candy melts melt where i tried it just turned into hard crums and kind of powder please respond! thanks

rosalia

Sugar says:

Rosalia,

I know those candy melts can be tricky. If you melt them in the microwave do it in a microwave safe bowl and melt them on high for 30 seconds at a time stirring in between. I like to add a 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable shortening (Crisco) in every small bag of candy melts to give it a smooth consistency.

Try that and it should be perfect.
Sugar

Emily says:

I love this idea, I’m going to make these for my daughter’s 5th birthday party next week! My only question is, do you need the full bag of candy melts to coat the pops? I have about half a bag of purple candy melts I plan to use, but I don’t know if it’s enough or not. Thanks! =)

Sugar says:

Emily,

I don’t think that will be enough. To play it safe get another bag so you won’t be in the middle of making them and run out.

Happy Birthday to her.

Sugar :)

Marnel says:

I just came across your site and I want to say that it rocks! We actually did this for my baby shower in August. We were going to try the traditional way of making the cake pops, but were under a serious time crunch. I was going to give up on the whole idea but my mom suggested that we get the doughnut holes. It was one of those times where the solution to a problem is so simple that you don’t think about it. We got some plain doughnut holes (I was worried about using the sour cream glazed kind because I didn’t know how they’d look with the candy melts) and used candy melts (not sure if my mom used the Crisco or what) and they came out great! Everyone loved them and kept asking for the recipe (which tickled my mom). :)

Sugar says:

Thank you so much for the great feedback. It makes my day to hear it!

You Rock!

Sugar

Ashley says:

I see that everyone keeps saying the real cake pops are to sweet. Would they be to sweet if you use candy melts instead of the icing? Or will that even work?

Sugar says:

Ashley,

No I think that would be tto sweet too. It is just a matter of taste. I don’t think the cake melts will work for that part of the recipe. The frosting makes it more litke play dough so you can roll them.

Sugar

Sugar

Janton says:

I made cake pops the “hard way” and they came out fine. This idea is much better because I honestly think they will actually taste better….regular cake pops taste too sweet and mushy. what has your feedback been on the taste of these vs the normal cake pops?

Sugar says:

Janton,

I am so glad you said that because I think they taste so much better. I think the regular way is way too sweet too. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Sugar

Fer says:

Sugar…. I allready love you!!
So glad to see your video!! I was always asking to myself.. what´s the matter with the candy coating?? Nowww.. I know!!!

Sugar says:

Fer,

You are so funny. I wanted to freak out the first time I made them because I made such a mess and had to throw everything away. I’m a pretty competent experienced cook so I was so angry that silly cake pops were giving me such a hard time. LOL! Thanks for your feedback. I am happy to help.

Sugar

kimberly says:

what do i put the crisco in?

Sugar says:

Hi, you put it into the melted candy melts. It helps make it smoother so you can easily dip the pops.

Have fun with it.

Sugar

Deb says:

I wanted to make cake pops a few months back but did not have enough time. I am famous for saving time so I thought why not use donut holes. I bought the Entenmann’s donut holes because I liked the size. Other than not making the cake myself I followed all other directions.
My pops were a big success and everyone loved them! Honestly they were not as sweet and I found that a big plus. I have had the cake mixed with frosting type of cake pops and find them almost sickenly sweet.

So glad to see that you actually have a website showing the cheating technique, now I feel so much better about not making the pops totally from scratch!

Sugar says:

Deb,

I hear you. It’s nice to save time now and then. After all I think the decorating is the best part. :)
Thanks for the feedback.

Be sure to try some of my other videos.

Hugs,

Sugar

Linda says:

omg what an excellent tip for busy moms. I work full time as a fashion designer and I have 2 kids under 2 so time is non existent . but I love decorating and making fun things for parties and this tip I can not wait to do!!!!! I have a awesome table scape I wanna do

Sugar says:

Linda,

I’m so glad you like my idea. I think all the fun is in decorating them anyway. It sounds like you are one busy momma! Have fun making them and send me some photos if you can.

Enjoy!

Sugar

maribel says:

I am having a babyshower I want to make soo cake pops but I don’t have ideas to how make them lookcan u help me

Sugar says:

Hi,

You can just use pink, baby blue, and yellow candy melts. depending on the sex of the baby and colored sprinkles to match. That is a simple way. If you want to get very creative you can decorate them to look like baby heads with cake pens and candies. I say just keep it simple and make them colorful. It will save you a lot of time.

Enjoy! :)

Charissa says:

Wow, you saved me lots of time! I will definitely make these! My almost 3 yo daughter keeps asking me to make her “cake pops” for her birthday. Now I will for sure and share these with her classmates! Thanks for the wonderful “no bake” idea! Love it!

Sugar says:

Charissa,

I’m glad you like them. They are fun to make. I make the real ones too but if I have to make a ton of them I make them this way. :) Enjoy!

Somerset says:

Thanks for the advice! I started my own little cake business and the cake pops def sell the fastest! i am def going to try the crisco and donut holes

Sugar says:

Glad you like it. I have to make a few hundred for my son’s Lacrosse team this winter for a fundraiser. It makes the job so much easier. Good luck with your business. :) Oh, post some photos if and when you make them.

Carla Brodhagen says:

Hi,
I was just wondering how long these last? how far in advance could i make them?
thank you
Carla

Sugar says:

Carla I have made then 2 or 3 days in advance, covered them in plastic bags and kept them in a cool dry place and they were fine. Have fun making them. :)

Mercy Rodarte says:

What a great idea, can’t wait to try. Always looking for short- cuts, good short-cuts!

Sugar says:

I’m so glad you like it. Give it a try and let me know how it works out. :)

janet says:

GREAT TIPS I MADE THE HOMEMADE CAKE POPS TODAY LOVE THE IDEA OF USING DONUT HOLES!! THANKS :)

Sugar says:

Janet they are fun to make but the best part for me in decorating them. :)

gram says:

Great Video. I am going to a 4th of July party today and will be making a fancy cake for the adults, but also will be taking these cute pops for the kids.
Thanks for such a great short cut.

Sugar says:

Great! Sounds like fun. Thanks for the feedback. I love sharing my tips with others. Enjoy!

Sugar says:

Hope it was a fun time. :)

Kathleen says:

I want to make these for my daughter’s birthday; I was wondering if one could use unsalted butter instead of crisco? Thanks!

Sugar says:

I don’t think the butter will work. If you don’t want to use the crisco you can use the candy melts without it but it is harder to coat the pops. You may want to use a spoon to help coat the pops.

joy says:

thanks for the great video. My 11 year old is the cake pop maker around here and she loved your ideas.

Sugar says:

Joy, I’m so glad she liked it. Thanks for the feedback. :)

Izzy says:

I’ve tried to make this twice and now I know the secret is in the shortening! I plan on making some next week for my daughter’s graduation Open House. I feel more comfortable doing them now. The Bakers wanted $1 per pop and I figure I’ll spend about $25 for approx. 9 dozen, so that will work Thanks for the tip.
Izzy

Sugar says:

I know they are so expensive. I think it cost me about $15 to make 50 of them. I already had extra lollipop stick and cookie sprinkles so it was a big savings. Have fun with yours and be sure to send me some photos. :)

Skipper says:

What a great shortcut. Thank you. I am planning a surprise 16th birthday pool party in June for 25 kids. Much easier than cake to serve and eat. Plus table decoration is the added plus. I forsee about 75 of them situated around the pool. How well will they keep in the sun, so I know how to arrange them.
Skipper

Sugar says:

Skipper,

I think they will be fine for a while if they are in the shade. The candy melts dry pretty firm and give them a good thick coating. I made some for a pool party I had a few weeks ago and they were fine. They were outside out of direct sun for about 1 hour. They don’t last long because once the kids know they can eat them they disappear very quickly. I actually think the regular cake pops are a little too sweet, so I prefer the doughnut holes. Enjoy and be sure to send me a photo and some feedback on how they turn out.
Sugar :)

Skipper says:

Will do Sugar….. Party is the 16th of June, so we will know sooner than later…..Can they be made and frozen ahead of time?

Sugar says:

I have never froze them before but I know people do it. My only concern is the condensation when they defrost. I make mine two or three days before a party and they last just fine.

ayanna price says:

my party is june 16th too :)

Sugar says:

Oh how fun. Have a great time.

Thanks for sharing.

Sugar :)

Sugar says:

Glad you like my easy tips. :)