Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops Recipe

Got some time on a rainy fall weekend and you think you might enjoy a baking project with a crafty element? These pumpkin spice cake pops may be just what you're looking for. Recipe developer Jennine Rye tells us they "take little more work than other sweet treats, [but] they are super cute and fun, and ... taste like fall in a bite — totally worth it."

While most cake pop recipes make use of leftover cake crumbs, Rye starts with a fresh-baked cake in the ever-popular pumpkin spice flavor. She says the cake itself resembles "a proper spice cake," but the addition of the cream cheese frosting transforms the pops into something that tastes "almost exactly like a cinnamon roll." If you'd like to save yourself some of the work involved, however, and/or you've got leftover cake from your last baking project, Rye does say that "these cake pops could definitely be made with leftover cake." If you do go this route, you'll need about 4 cups of crumbs.

Assemble the ingredients for these pumpkin spice cake pops

Ingredients you'll need for the cake batter include butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt, and, of course, pumpkin pie spice. To transform the cake into pops, you'll be mixing the crumbs with cream cheese frosting. While Rye uses the pre-made kind, she does say "homemade cream cheese frosting would work just as well as store bought." If you're really in the DIY mood, you can even blend your own pumpkin pie spice from cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

As a final touch, you'll be dipping the cake pops in melted white chocolate tinted with orange food coloring (or some of both red and yellow), and then finishing them off with broken bits of mini pretzels to form the pumpkin stems. To make these true cake pops, you'll also want lollipop sticks. That said, they're equally cute without the sticks and served as cake truffles!

Make the pumpkin spice cake batter

Turn the oven on to 350 F so it can preheat as you stir up the batter. Beat the butter with the sugar for 3 or 4 minutes, by which point the mixture should look creamy and pale. Mix in the eggs, then the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt — and then stir those into the wet batter. Once everything comes together, stop stirring so the batter doesn't become too tough.

Bake and crumble the cake, then form the cake pops

Pour, scrape, or spoon the batter into a buttered 8-inch square pan, then smooth out the top so it's relatively level. Bake the cake for 40 minutes. When it's done, the top should appear golden and when you poke it, it should bounce back a bit. Let the cake cool completely, then crumble it all up. For once, there's no need to worry if it sticks or tears while coming out of the pan!

Mix the frosting with the cake crumbs until you have something that can be molded into balls. Using a heaping teaspoon at a time, do just that, then allow the cake balls to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Once the cake balls are somewhat set, take a lollipop stick (you'll later be using these as the cake pop "handles") and drag it from the top to the bottom to make an indent, then repeat this at evenly-spaced intervals to replicate the grooves found on an actual pumpkin.

Coat the cake pops

Melt the chocolate, either in a microwave or a pan, but remember to stir it frequently to ensure that it won't scorch. As soon as the chocolate has melted, stir in a few drops of food coloring — the exact number will depend on the brand you use and just how orange you want your cake pops to be.

Count out as many lollipop sticks as you have cake balls and, working one at a time, dip each one about ½ inch into the melted chocolate, then immediately sink it into a cake ball. Let the cake pops sit for 10 minutes to let the sticks set up. Once the sticks are stuck in there pretty firmly, grab the cake pops by the stick and dip each ball into the melted chocolate (if the chocolate has set up in that 10 minutes, you may need to re-melt it), swirling around so every bit of cake is covered, then let the excess chocolate drip off.

Finish off each pumpkin pop with a stem

Stand the pops up in some kind of container — a tall glass will work — and allow them to cool. As they do so, take a small piece of broken pretzel and stick it in the top of each pop to make a pumpkin stem. After stemming the pumpkin pops, give them 10 more minutes to firm up before you dig in.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
Got some time on a rainy fall weekend and want a baking project with a crafty element? These pumpkin spice cake pops may be just what you're looking for.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pumpkin-shaped cake pop
Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cream cheese frosting
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • several drops orange food coloring
  • 10 mini pretzels, broken up
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Beat the butter with the sugar for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until they are mixed in.
  4. Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract to the mixture and mix until everything is combined.
  5. Combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the cake batter, stirring gently until just combined.
  7. Spoon the cake batter into a buttered 8-inch square cake pan and level out the top.
  8. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until it appears golden and springs back when touched.
  9. Cool the cake completely, then crumble it until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  10. In a mixing bowl, combine the frosting with the cake crumbs until the mixture can be formed into a ball.
  11. Roll heaping teaspoons of crumb mixture into round balls.
  12. Refrigerate the cake balls for at least 30 minutes to set.
  13. Remove cake balls from fridge. Using a lollipop stick, make several indents that reach from top to bottom along each cake ball to give it the appearance of a pumpkin.
  14. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or pan, stirring frequently to ensure that it will not burn.
  15. Stir a few drops of food coloring into the melted chocolate.
  16. Working one at a time, dip the end of each lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and then immediately and gently press it into the bottom of each pumpkin cake ball.
  17. Cool the cake balls, stick-side up, for at least 10 minutes.
  18. Once the sticks are set, dip each pop into the melted chocolate to cover, then let the excess drip off.
  19. Place the cake pops to cool, pop-side up (a tall glass can make for a good cooling rack).
  20. Before they cool completely, press a pretzel chunk into the top of each cake pop to resemble the pumpkin stem.
  21. Let the cake pops set for at least 10 more minutes before eating.
Calories per Serving 292
Total Fat 15.4 g
Saturated Fat 8.4 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 44.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 28.2 g
Sodium 161.9 mg
Protein 2.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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