Last week we shared the actual recipe for our Peppermint Brownie cake pops. I know, I know. What were we thinking!? I’ll get back to you on whether it was a smart idea, but I just reeeeally wanted to share the recipe with anyone wanting a Peppermint Brownie cake pop — err, HippoPop— this holiday season. In case you missed it, we are sold out for now! 🙂
However, I quickly realized after posting the from-scratch cake pop recipe that not everyone is a baker. Not everyone reads cookbooks for fun. Or dreams of measuring flour out by the gram. Or even knows how to fold cheese into a recipe…
So I set out to recreate the recipe using BOXED CAKE MIX AND PACKAGED ICING! And guess what!? It turned out pretty great! It required fewer ingredients and I absolutely loved taste-testing the various chocolate icings.
If you aren’t familiar with how to make cake pops, start with our step-by-step guide first! Otherwise, read on for our detailed instructions on how to make peppermint brownie cake pops using a boxed mix.
Pro tips for making cake pops
- Make sure your cake pop balls are chilled before dipping them! We have had way too many fall off their sticks because they warmed up too much.
- …but also make sure your cake pop balls aren’t too cold! Cold cake pop balls can cause the chocolate shell to crack. Don’t worry, they will still taste great 🙂
- After dipping the cake pops in chocolate and decorating them, immediately place them in the refrigerator to let the chocolate shell dry. This gives it a really smooth and shiny look. Refrigerate for 3 minutes before taking out.
Easy Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop Recipe
Recipe time! It’s a pretty quick one– it starts with mixing and baking your boxed cake, crumbling it, then mixing it with icing, then dividing it into several cake pop balls…ok, ok.
It’s all relative.
The process is pretty quick compared to our more-involved, from-scratch Peppermint Brownie cake pop recipe. But definitely more involved than just, say, baking a boxed cake and dipping bites with a fork directly in the icing on the way to your mouth. And way, way more involved than skipping the baking part and just eating the boxed mix batter. Sharing this all for comparison’s sake, of course.
- Boxed chocolate cake
- 1 t Peppermint Extract (if you want to amp up your flavor!) –> add this when mixing the cake batter
- Probably eggs (check your boxed cake recipe!)
- Probably oil (check your boxed cake recipe!)
- Packaged chocolate icing
- 1 cup peppermint bits
- 2 bags of white chocolate melting wafers
Additional ingredients and tools
- Cookie scoop
- Cake pop sticks
- Depending on your desired cake pop format you will either need a cake pop stand or parchment paper. A cake pop stand is needed if you want your cake pops to be in the traditional lollipop format. You can buy a cake pop stand or make your own using a foam block.) Otherwise, you can place the cake pops directly on parchment paper. The tops will dry flat, but this will make it so they can stand with the sticks pointing up on a platter.
Cake Pop Dough Directions
To keep things short (not my strong suit), I will assume you are sitting there with a freshly baked and cooled chocolate cake, a packaged container of chocolate icing, peppermint bits and the will to not snack on any of it while you complete the following steps.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, crumble it into a mixing bowl using either a food processor or mixer.
- Add ¼ cup icing to the cake crumbles. Mix until fully combined.
- Continue adding icing a teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together. You are looking for an easy-to-roll dough, similar to playdough. Add more icing if it crumbles a bit when rolling. You can read more about cake pop consistency here.
- Divide the dough into golf ball-sized pieces, roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. We use a size 40 Vollrath cookie scoop to ensure consistency.
- Chill the cake pop balls for a few hours before assembling.
Cake Pop Assembly
- Pull cake pop balls from the refrigerator and gather your melting wafers, cake pop sticks and peppermint bits.
- Follow the melting directions on your white chocolate wafers. We use a Pyrex measuring cup when making small batches of cake pops because it’s deep and allows for us to fully dip the cake pops.
- Before dipping the cake pops, you’ll need to put a stick in each. We like to dip the sticks in the chocolate before inserting them into the cake pop balls. To do this, dip the very end of a cake pop stick in the white chocolate and then gently place it in the middle of a cake pop ball about halfway through. Repeat for all cake pop balls.
- Time to dip! Grab the stick of a cake pop ball and plunge the ball into the white chocolate. Dip it straight in and pull it straight out (don’t stir it around or double-dip it.) Hold it over the cup while excess chocolate falls off of it. We give ours a gentle shake and after it looks like the flow has stopped, flip your cake pop over and give it a gentle shake to smooth it out.
You can either set the cake pops down on parchment paper with the sticks pointing up or place them in a cake pop stand or foam block to keep them in the traditional cake pop format. If setting straight on parchment paper, do that first and then dust the cake pops while the chocolate is still wet with peppermint bits. If using a cake pop stand, you can dust the tops and sides with peppermint bits and then place in the stand to fully dry.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A CAKE POP IS THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY?
We spent a lot of time perfecting this over the years and I think we have an easy way to explain it. To put it quite simply, go slow! You’ll notice when your crumbled cake and icing are combining into a dough. Sample a piece and see how it is rolling. You are looking for a playdough-like consistency.
If your cake pop dough is too crumbly, then you’ll need to add more icing (slowly!) Continue to add icing until you can easily roll the dough into balls. When you are getting close, add the icing a teaspoon at a time because you don’t want to miss the window of perfect cake pop consistency.