The Inside Scoop on Cake Pops

Did you believe confectionary elves were behind our newest delectable treat, the Cake Pop? Well, Chris C. is the lead product developer on Starbucks Petites, and while he’s no confectionary elf, he did an amazing job here. I chatted with him about our latest treat to get the inside scoop on how it made it from his mind to your mouth. 

Question: Why Cake Pops?
Answer: A Cake Pop solves the ever lasting question of how to make cake portable – it’s whimsical, fun and delicious cake on a stick. What’s not to like? This has been an emerging trend popping up in specialty bake shops, on blogs like Bakerella and even touted by Martha Stewart. Because cake pops require a very gentle, handmade process to roll, dip and decorate, they prove very difficult to make on a large scale. I have to credit Lisa B., our food R&D manger, for championing this idea. Between our bakery partner, Lisa, and myself, we were able to create a high-quality experience. Everyone can now eat cake on the go!   

Question:  How did you pick the flavors?
Answer: To celebrate our 40Th year a Birthday Cake Pop was a must. The Tiramisu Cake Pop spoke to our coffee heritage and the Rocky Road Cake Pop was just a fun flavor we thought people would like.

Question: I confess, I tried to make a Cake Pop and it slid off the stick. Any secrets to get the pop to stay put?
Answer: Oh boy! This was a significant problem early on. We spent months trying to stabilize the cake. At one point we thought of using a two-pronged stick to pierce the pop in place or adding a basket holder for stabilization. Ultimately, reducing the size just slightly and double-dipping the stick in chocolate solved the problem. I must admit, the night before launch I could hardly sleep with visions of Cake Pops falling into coffee cups as people tried our new treat. I’m now sleeping much better.   

Question:  So they’re all under 200 calories, which is amazing, but how many did you have to eat to make the perfect Cake Pop?
Answer: Six thousand, three hundred and ninety-five. Not really. But I ate quite a few!

comments (78)

Comment FAQ

    • sharonfsanders
    • 3/17/2011 6:10 PM

    My 2 year old daughter loves these! She used to be addicted to the birthday cake donut, now she loves her "donut on a stick". Thanks for bring in such a fun treat!

      • allicat15
      • 3/17/2011 9:00 PM

      In reply to: sharonfsanders

      my daughter too! of course its 2 for 2.50 so no i have to get one too :) great invention!

      • SOLYCALIdotETSYdotCOM
      • 3/19/2011 7:47 PM

      In reply to: sharonfsanders

      Thanks for the post Sharon... I bought my colleague a cup of java and put the Bday pop on top with some ribbon for a mini surprise in the a.m.on her special day! She was happy to be able to eat her birthday cake in such a diminutive portion! LOL! CHEERS! SOLYCALI.Etsy.com

      • sharonakdelly
      • 4/8/2011 10:06 PM

      In reply to: sharonfsanders

      OMG I love the Tiramisu! Sooo moist and delicious. I wish I could re create the coffee flavored cake. I have been making cake pops for weeks now to raise money for ACS relay for life. I would kill for Starbucks tiramisu recipe

    • benlauren
    • 3/18/2011 5:48 AM

    Cakepops looks so cute I had to try. Oh my goodness, i took one bite of the tiramisu and had to toss the rest. It is so sweet! The outer layer breaks easily, the inside is dry and overall too sweet of a pop.

    • erinstthomas
    • 3/18/2011 11:14 AM

    i LOVED the birthday cake one i tried last weekend!

      • amy44ames
      • 5/4/2011 1:38 PM

      In reply to: erinstthomas

      I agree, the birthday cake surprised me. it was super moist and very good tasting overall. for everyone else who says these are too sweet, it's a CAKE POP. it's cake, mixed with frosting to create the ball shape and then dipped in frosting... and overall it's a dessert so if it wasnt sweet, i dont think we should be calling it a dessert!!!!

        • odessa035
        • 6/26/2011 6:14 PM

        In reply to: amy44ames

        Right!! Who buys cake with icing then complains its too sweet....its meant to be sweet, if they want something less sweet maybe they should get a steak on a stick!

    • KelsiCantrell
    • 3/19/2011 10:42 AM

    I hasd the tiramisu one last weekend and I loved it. I want to try the other two flavors sometime too.

    • floydsgirl
    • 3/19/2011 6:30 PM

    Tried the birthday cake pop yesterday, way too sweet for me , but a gr8 treat for kids.. However, I gave 2 thumbs up for creativity,,

    • sckyutgirlcoffee
    • 3/20/2011 3:08 AM

    I tried the Salted Caramel Squares. Soooo good. It is sweet but the chocolate brownie like is rich so for me it's a perfect combination. I have yet to try the cake pops. I cannot really comment on that til I try it but I really do recommend the Salted Caramel Squares! =)

      • Kapaamama
      • 5/2/2011 5:14 PM

      In reply to: sckyutgirlcoffee

      I agree with you about the salted caramel squares! Salty and sweet is my favorite combo! Keep it up Starbucks! Love the mini sweets that are not that many calories! A real treat for us that are calorie conscience.

    • CakePopCo
    • 3/20/2011 6:40 AM

    If you didn't like their cake pops, try ours at www.cakepopco.com. We've been in business for 2 years and have a celebrity following; Vanessa Williams, Kristin Chenoweth and others. We have 6 classic flavors and a flavor of the month. We also have a Chocolate Vegan Cake Pop, that is Gluten, Egg and Dairy Free and it even tastes great! I appreciate Starbucks getting the word out about Cake Pops because they are great treats and our business has increased.

    • sdhdonovan
    • 3/20/2011 2:32 PM

    With all due respect, these were Bakerella's. Her idea, her baby, her BOOK. You can't even spell her blog's name correctly? www.bakerella.com My gal pals and I were ***** away to discover that she got no credit in your stores for these treats--we assumed you'd be promoting the Cake Pops book along with the launch. WOW. We had to investigate further when our baristas had no idea what we were talking about. So disappointing, really out of character for Starbucks.

      • sdhdonovan
      • 3/20/2011 2:35 PM

      In reply to: sdhdonovan

      The original cake pops post from 3 years ago: http://www.bakerella.com/dont-lick-bite%e2%80%a6/

      • CupCake_Queen
      • 3/29/2011 5:28 PM

      In reply to: sdhdonovan

      Anyone can make a cake pop. Let's grow up. No credit is due, lest Starbucks used the IDENTICAL recipe as Bakerella (who's great at what she does) which is not the case here. The concept has been out there for ages and many have made them. Some of us simply bake for the love of baking, not to publish literature. I'm sure Bakerella will be pleased at the business boom now that the masses are aware of cake pops. I surely am. Trust me, I won Cupcake Wars.

        • sdhdonovan
        • 3/30/2011 2:14 PM

        In reply to: CupCake_Queen

        Please don't mistake my intentions...I'm not usually an unpleasant-comment-leaver. In fact, I go out of my way to leave nice comments, if a nice comment is due. I love Starbucks. But this surprised me. The concept has been out there for ages? If that's the case my comment is officially retracted, but I couldn't find a trace of cake ball nor pop before they debuted on her site in 2008. I guess my point was that Starbucks and Bakerella could have been a magnificent team.

    • sdhdonovan
    • 3/20/2011 2:34 PM

    I didn't curse--I said b l o w n away and it bleeped me.

    • mrswilson120@comcast.net
    • 3/21/2011 8:31 AM

    OMG - these cake pops are to die for. My favorite is the Tiramisu!

    • ehoekz
    • 3/21/2011 1:39 PM

    I have to agree. I am pretty shocked that Bakerella did not receive credit for the Cake Pops idea at Starbucks. It seems completely inappropriate to me. Please do, at the very least, correct the spelling of her website on your blog.

    • gabyduong
    • 3/23/2011 5:48 PM

    These actually made me throw up after 3 hours of consumption. It kept crawling back up my throat as I pushed it down through the night. Taste like sugar and raw eggs (Tiramisu one). Also my white chocolate outer layer was actually gooey, chewy...hate the texture.

    • Clearmark
    • 3/24/2011 1:03 PM

    These things are CRACK on a stick! LOVE EM! (well all but the rocky road one) GREAT IDEA so dont take them off the menu!

    • cheatherg
    • 3/24/2011 1:46 PM

    werid that my comment i put on the other day is missing. So i'll say it again. these are gross. more for the kids then any adult. unless of course you enjoy eating unbaked cake batter on a stick. YUK!!!!

      • gabbysnoshery
      • 4/14/2011 7:05 AM

      In reply to: cheatherg

      cheatherg: It's not unbaked cake batter. They bake cake, crumble it, then mix it with icing. There is nothing about it that's unbaked. Oreo truffles are not raw either...in case you find out about those wonderful little treats!!

    • sdhdonovan
    • 3/24/2011 8:20 PM

    http://fiftytinytoes.blogspot.com/2011/03/im-pop-sters.html

    • admin admin
    • 3/25/2011 11:28 AM

    Thanks for all the comments and feedback on the cake pops. We have corrected the spelling of Bakerella - thanks sdhdonovan.

    • ens434s
    • 3/25/2011 1:45 PM

    Some people are very touchy when it comes to cake pops! I don't know who "invented" them, but me and my sisters make them with yellow, chocolate, white cake, and now mint, regular, and golden oreo pops! We make them at home with a box of oreos put in a food processor and a package of ***** cheese. If I can master these, anyone can. They are rich so I can only eat one. I even have about 20 in my kitchen now. We just make them for fun and plan to try many more! Everyone is making

    • javajeannefly
    • 3/25/2011 3:00 PM

    I LOVE these things...too cute. And I think they taste great, I really don;t get the bad comments. Who doesn't love cake on a stick?I ordered 90 of the birthday cake ones for my daughters birthday part(shes 5). I served a few of the tiramisu ones in wine glasses at a recent dinner engagement and they were a hit. I am not a big chocolate person, so i didn't care for the rocky road,but I do hope the bday cake and tiramisu ones stick around for awhile, haha...Get it? STICK around...LOL.

    • Stocking-Sama
    • 3/26/2011 4:36 PM

    I tried the Rocky Road one today and FELL IN LOVE! They're so tasty; please please please tell me they're a permanent addition! :<

    • ariesspring
    • 3/27/2011 5:06 PM

    A cakepop is nothing but a cakeball on a stick and I happen to know cakeballs and who the real players are. Starbuck sells a cheap knockoff. If you think that taste good you have not had a real cakeball. Godiva also sells a knockoff product that taste horrid. There is a company in Dallas and one in Austin and an up and comer in NYC called "Destin" who know what they are doing. The difference is they use real cake not some immitation "cakelike" substance. Trust me on th

    • ariesspring
    • 3/27/2011 5:13 PM

    oh, I have heard of bakeralla but I have never tasted theirs. My point is don't get fooled into thinking starbucks just put some great new product out there because other's have been doing it much longer and starbuks quality is poor compared to others. The quality is poor, you are just paying for the name. I think they should have enough respect for their customers to put quality on their shelves and not a cheap knockoff.

      • Upat5280
      • 4/4/2011 5:14 PM

      In reply to: ariesspring

      I don't usually post comments. However I am inclined to say that I happen to know for a fact that these are not at all cheap or inferior in any way. Tastes differ and not everyone may like these but I assure you they are extremely high quality.

    • Cellista22
    • 3/27/2011 9:17 PM

    These need work. The frosting is too thick & too sweet. Keep trying, & they could probably have fewer calories--add berries or apples.

    • sunflower3mf
    • 3/28/2011 11:35 AM

    The tiramisu is my very favorite with a carmel machatio the melt in your mouth chocolate and the inside is so moist ! My best friend and I are tickled its under 200 calories! Sweetheart you need to eat the ones in California maybe they are better:D

    • ccjensen
    • 4/1/2011 2:54 PM

    Being an passionate Starbucks fan, I eagerly tried all the cake pops - unfortunately, they're too doughy or not fully cooked. I wanted to love them like everything else Starbucks offers... I didn't even enjoy the mini carrot cupcake or the red velvet whoopie pie. I'm still waiting to try the petite lemon square.

      • gabbysnoshery
      • 4/14/2011 7:09 AM

      In reply to: ccjensen

      They are not supposed to be dry!! Normally, the fully baked cake is crumbled and mixed with icing and that's how it becomes moist.

      • violet8
      • 5/14/2011 2:21 PM

      In reply to: ccjensen

      Totally agree with ccjensen TOTALLY. I tried all their petites and unfortunately none of them were a success for me. Too sweet first of all, and I tell you, the tiramisu was so bad, like you said doughy and definately not fully cooked, tasted nothing like tiramisu. Peanut butter cup, peanut butter has to go, its like swallowing a gulp of sugar and cannot taste the cake at all, because the peanut butter it overpowering it. I would like to see the petite chocolate croissant come back. Love those

      • odessa035
      • 6/26/2011 6:20 PM

      In reply to: ccjensen

      Agree about the doughy texture, but I like them anyway.

    • shandilee
    • 4/2/2011 3:24 PM

    I absolutely love the mini carrot cake cupcakes, but I just tried one of the cake pops today and I'm worried. I bought the birthday cake one, bit into it then noticed it was doughy and wet looking, definitely looks undercooked but I ate a large bite. I hope it's okay. I was really looking forward to this treat but am completely turned off by its texture. I love everything at Starbucks, but this was really no good and I wouldn't even say anything at all unless I was truly concerned!

    • atelieranon
    • 4/3/2011 5:18 PM

    Cake pops middles are supposed to be soft and gooey. I think it needs to be explained that the inside of a cake pop is not simply a piece of cake. If you have read Bakerella's blog then you would realized that the middle of the pop is created by crumbling fully cooked cake and blending it with frosting, and forming a ball which is then coated in chocolate. So yes, it should be doughy and wet inside.

    • freebird1022
    • 4/12/2011 3:49 PM

    Love them all! Way to go Starbucks!

    • GrumpysHB07
    • 4/16/2011 5:26 AM

    These cake pops are quite yummy! My favs are the tiramisu and birthday cake. I can't say if I care for the rocky road but haven't bought one because I'm not sure about the chocolate....I may give it a try soon though! I am curious if you plan on new flavors for the future?

    • MrsAndyQ
    • 4/21/2011 9:34 AM

    I love all the "they're uncooked" comments... these people obviously don't know what a cake pop IS... they are moist because they are portable cakes on a stick, where the cake is mixed with the icing - making it more moist and "gooey" (in a GOOD way) in consistency. I haven't tried the tiramisu but I love the Rocky Road one... the chocolate seems to have a bit of marshmallow or something making it a great combination and texture!! BD Cake was sweet, but GOOD!!!

    • khandy1
    • 4/23/2011 7:01 PM

    ALL this drama over a cake pop? Really?! Personally, if you don't like them, DON'T BUY THEM. Simple as that. If you happen to love them and find nothing at all wrong with them like I do then buy one, eat one, and move on with your day! No need to cause a cake pop war online, that's just childish and proves you have nothing better to do with your lives.

    • sandytinsley57
    • 4/30/2011 12:28 PM

    I fell in love with your vanilla bean cupcakes. I'm very picky about how I like my cupcakes to taste, and you all slammed the nail on the head with these. I'm so saddened that I went to the starbucks that is set up in the Giant Store in Easton, Maryland, and they said they no longer sell them there. So now what can I do to get some of those great cupcakes? Can you help me?

    • ShakenIceTeaLemonade
    • 5/4/2011 9:27 AM

    That's neat. my niece and my nephews coming to visit this summer. They will love those. I might buy it for them. Smiles.

    • Oriphan
    • 5/11/2011 12:08 PM

    I didn't quite like the texture or the flavor of the cakepops. But I like other things in Starbucks. I love their very berry coffee cake and their lemon loaf. <3 Goes great with a frappuccino while doing homework. ^__^

    • ohboy999
    • 5/16/2011 1:21 PM

    So annoying when people complain that the cake pops are undercooked! They are not undercooked people. Cooked cake crumbled and then mixed with frosting in order to make the ***** then dipped...Ive tried explaining this to people and they still dont get it and say they are undercooked. WTH.

    • tammywhammy
    • 5/24/2011 5:41 AM

    Cake pops, cake pops, roly-poly cake pops. Cake pops, cake pops, eat them up... Yum!

    • rcalab0155
    • 5/26/2011 12:47 PM

    Hello, My company, Robert Edward Woodworking creates cake pop displays which you may find of interest. I have made various sizes ranging from simple displays that hold 24 cakepops up to very detailed stands that can hold 449 cakepops. All my displays are handmade and beautifully detailed. You can find my displays on Facebook by clicking on this link http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=130564263634282

    I do hope you find my work of interest & I look forward to hearing from you.

    • powellfadelle
    • 5/30/2011 1:44 PM

    I am so glad to have a selection of mini treats. I hope you will continue to offer these petite options. It is nice to be able to have a small sweet treat but not "spend" a lot of calories. Thanks!

    • kmhelms
    • 6/2/2011 6:28 PM

    In my opinion, the lemon squares are the best, followed by the salted caramel squares. I didn't care for the pops, and iIthought the icing on the mini cupcakes was too thick and out of proportion to the cake. I still think the petite vanilla bean scone beats any of the new treats.

    • Jdellino
    • 6/11/2011 11:40 PM

    Starbucks- I love your cake pops! For all you others, that enjoy them as well . I've got a fun Cake Pop Blog. Every Day Should Pop! 365 Days of cake Pops. It's fun reading material. Check it out! www.365cakepops.com

    • arsenicsauce
    • 6/15/2011 1:12 PM

    They're so cute! But I'm not a fan. The flavors are good, but the icing seems artificial, and the inside is just too moist... it seems undercooked and just doughy (even though they're cake). However, I do appreciate the decorations. Rocky Road and Birthday Cake are just too cute, and the chocolate coffee bean on Tiramisu is yummy.

    • odessa035
    • 6/26/2011 6:05 PM

    I love the Birthday Cake Pops....I am addicted. Sometimes they can be a bit dense like thier not fully cooked but I still eat them 'cause I love the icing and the sprinkles....greedy me..lololol!!!

    • mlabert
    • 7/1/2011 5:55 AM

    From what I have read, some people are very sensitive about this topic. Unfortunately, I just tried to eat my first one of these cake pops and it was indeed undercooked. I understand the concept but the ones that I was given have the consistency of raw sugar cookie dough. I am a baker myself and that does not seem to me to be correct. The flavor was good (I really like the icing) but I am concerned with the dough not being good.

      • pvsmiths
      • 7/15/2011 7:36 AM

      In reply to: mlabert

      miabert, the cake pops are not at all raw. The inside (not dough) is made up of a mixture of baked cake and frosting. Completely and entirely baked cake.

    • txchichi
    • 7/13/2011 12:27 PM

    I love the cake pops! So happy that Starbucks has introduced them! I am going to have go get one right now!

    • jaustinesmiles
    • 8/11/2011 9:39 PM

    i literally can't live a day without the birthday cake pop. <3 it's so delish! haha. i've gone two days without it, & i'm craving for it right now! so instead ... i'm searching down the wonderful recipe, so i don't get so cranky. lol. yeah, without birthday cake pops i get cranky. that's how addicting they are.

    • peeeyooou
    • 8/23/2011 10:09 PM

    I am not a real fan of the Starbucks cake pops. I really like the cake pops from www.cakepopcreations.com soooo much better

    • alyrox96
    • 1/27/2012 11:13 AM

    I had my first cake pop yesterday! I chose the birthday cake one, and it was AMAZING! It was so moist and savory! I'm definitely going back today to get another one! So yummy!

    • Username101
    • 2/22/2012 7:35 PM

    I'm not sure wether to try cake pops because they look really cute, but a lot of people are telling me they are gross.

    • heartshinegirl
    • 5/11/2012 8:56 AM

    I am so heartbroken, I used to look forward to that one treat when I'd go to Vons to go grocery shopping. I went in to Starbucks inside of Vons and they told me that the pink 'birthday cake' flavored cake pops were discontinued. That *****, since I don't like any of the other cake pops, just the pink ones. :(

    Starbucks, why must you do this to me?! Ugh! Now I have to go to another place to find a treat..... (big sigh)

    • kubielynn
    • 11/15/2012 4:12 PM

    If the tiramisu cake pops spoke to your coffee heritage why in the world did you discontinue them!?!?! In my opinion they were the best!! Please bring them back! Also you should run more deals on them even though they are a wallet breaker I could never drive past a Starbucks without buying at least one! And the new peppermint brownie....yuck!

    • Neytiri
    • 12/24/2013 11:21 PM

    First of all- I want to make it clear that I LOVE sweet things- especially Fraps and Cranberry Bliss Bars!!! Having said that- I really, really wanted to like cake pops, too. However, the two times I've eaten one (when they first came out, and then again, yesterday) I became VIOLENTLY ILL, as if having food poisoning!!! Seriously, it literally "blew" my entire day I needed to be getting last minute Christmas shopping. I can't believe I forgot this happened back in early 2011. Gross, gross, gross!

      • Neytiri
      • 12/24/2013 11:28 PM

      In reply to: Neytiri

      ps- I bought an extra one for another fellow Starbuck's lover, and I cannot in good conscience give it to him now. It's going straight into the trash. Cranberry Bliss Bar. Now, that is super delish!!! And, cranberries are actually healthy for us! :)

      pps- Just a hint for Starbucks... Get the artificial chemicals out of your cake pops!!! I can't imagine what else could make my body react like it did, the other day? MSG="Natural Flavor", BTW? Not good for ANYBODY! And, FYI- the taste was weird.

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