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Festive Pumpkin Cake Pops for Halloween

A cake pop covered with white candy melt and Halloween sprinkles.

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This Halloween, learn how to make festive pumpkin cake pops. Everyone will love this easy, bite-size cake dessert!

What do I need to make pumpkin cake pops?

For these Halloween cake pops, you will need:

  • Spice cake mixture. If you’ve only ever hit up the cake mix aisle to grab chocolate or white cake for birthday cakes, you might not know that these little boxes of fall-flavored deliciousness are there. Grab it. Buy it. You will love it.
  • Eggs. 
  • Pumpkin puree. Instead of the oil or butter that the cake mix calls for, you’re going to use pumpkin puree. Be sure to choose the pure pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling)—there will be plenty of sugar and pumpkin pie spice from the other ingredients, so you don’t need the pie filling! Or, use your own homemade pumpkin puree.
  • Cream cheese. The cream cheese and the next three ingredients will make up your cake frosting!
  • Butter.
  • Powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla extract. 
  • Vanilla candy coating. You may also see this called candy melts.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Semisweet chocolate and sprinkles. Optional, for decorating.
  • Lollipop sticks. If you want to make cake balls instead of cake pops, you can skip the sticks!

Cake balls coated in white and drizzled with chocolate and orange sprinkles on a white plate. Pumpkin cake pops coated in white and drizzled with chocolate and orange sprinkles on a white plate. One cake ball has a bite taken out of it.

How do I make pumpkin cake pops?

Like all cake pops, you’ll be making these pumpkin cake pops in five main steps:

  1. Make the cake. Beat the cake mixture with the eggs and pumpkin puree. Bake in cake pans and let the cake cool completely.
  2. Make the frosting. Mix up a cream cheese frosting.
  3. Form balls. Crumble the cake into a large mixing bowl. Add the frosting, and stir and smash them together until everything is well-mixed and you can easily shape the cake-frosting mixture into balls. Line the cake balls up on a baking sheet. Chill in the freezer.
  4. Coat the cake. Combine melted candy melts and vegetable oil. Press a lollipop stick halfway into each ball, if using. One at a time, drop a cake ball into the candy coating, and spoon some of the candy melts over the top. Use the spoon to transfer the coated cake pops to a parchment paper-lined baking tray, and repeat with the remaining cake.
  5. Decorate (optional). Drizzle with melted semisweet chocolate, and top with sprinkles before the chocolate cools so that the decorations stick.

Do you have to chill cake pops before dipping?

Yes! Frozen cake balls are way easier to work with. If you try to move on to dipping them in the candy melts before freezing the cake, you’ll just end up with gloppy piles of cake crumbs. That’s not great eats! When frozen, the cake balls stay together and hold their shape during the dipping stage.
White cake balls arranged in rows

Can I use different coatings?

I really like the way these cake balls look with a little dark chocolate drizzled on top and some fall-colored sprinkles, but, take it from me, don’t be tempted to swap out the candy coating for chocolate. I’ve done them with chocolate before, and they’re still delicious, but the chocolate flavor way overpowers the pumpkin spice cake and cream cheese frosting. Stick with the vanilla or white chocolate coating.

However, you can definitely change the color of your coating! Orange candy melts would be fun and festive too. If you don’t want the chocolate drizzle, then make sure you add the sprinkles before the candy coating dries!

Three pumpkin cake pops in front of an orange background. The cake pops are covered in white candy melt and Halloween sprinkles.

 

 

Cake balls coated in white and drizzled with chocolate and orange sprinkles on a white plate. One cake ball has a bite taken out of it.

Pumpkin Cake Pop Recipe

Yield: 3 Dozen
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

These cake balls are sure to be a hit at your Halloween parties and fall potlucks.

Ingredients

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (or about 2 cups)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound vanilla candy coating
  • 1-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate
  • Sprinkles
  • Lollipop sticks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour two cake pans, and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, eggs, and pumpkin puree on medium-low speed until just combined. Then turn the speed up to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.
  3. To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer. Add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth.
  4. To make cake balls, break up the cake into a large bowl, add in the frosting, and using clean hands, smoosh it together until well-mixed. Using damp hands, form the mixture into 1" balls and place them onto a baking sheet. Repeat with all the cake mixture, and then place the baking sheet in the freezer. 
  5. While the cake balls are chilling, melt the candy coating in a saucepan over low heat, until smooth. Add in the vegetable oil, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is the thickness of a thin alfredo sauce. Do not try to thin out the coating with milk or water (it'll just make it clumpy). Turn off the burner.
  6. Remove the cake balls from the freezer. Dip one end of a lollipop stick in the candy melts and gently press it into a cake ball. Gently dip the cake pop into the candy coating, and spoon more over top to coat. Place it on wax paper to harden. Repeat with remaining cake balls—you should have just enough candy coating to do all the pops.
  7. For decoration: melt the semisweet chocolate in the microwave. Then, using a spoon, drizzle it on the cake pops and top with sprinkles.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 cake ball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

22 Responses
    1. Julie Grice

      It should be added when you are creaming the frosting ingredients together. I’ve updated the recipe card with this correction as well—thanks for the catch!

  1. Kim

    Made these this weekend for my hubby to take to his office! Deeeeeelish! As a new-ish mom myself to a little one just a few months younger than yours, I’m always appreciative when a recipe calls for box mix but doesn’t look or taste like it came from a box. Total winner! Thanks again!

  2. RG

    Absolutely wonderful recipe. Tasted great, directions were easy and clear. My batch made about 4 dozen, I wanted small enough to put in mini muffin cups, to give out as gift. Down side is their too good, my kids were grabbing them as soon as they hit the wax paper….

  3. Danielle

    In your comments you say my to use chocolate because it’s overpowering, is that for all chocolate? I was thinking of maybe trying white chocolate (though milk chocolate is my love affair) but wanted to get an opinion from someone who’s made and tried these first.

  4. Kristy

    they look amazing! I on the other hand love my cake pop maker but try to use the recipes and change them to be able to make this way too. Have you ever done this? If so how do you change the box recipe to fit? Anyone?

  5. Angie

    Good for you! We all need to cave a little and just enjoy life. I told my doctor today that if cupcakes were making me overweight then so be it. Who wants to be super skinny and deprive themselves of cupcakes? Not this girl!

  6. Mmm… those look amazeballs! (*giggle*) I envy your boxed cake mix because I’d have to bake these and give them all away and, well, where is the fun in that! LOL Hmm… I may need to look for an easy-from-scratch alternative…

    My favorite fall dessert is anything apple! Apple pie, apple cobbler, caramel apples, you name it! I have an easy recipe for an apple cake that will likely get made this weekend. 🙂

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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Close up of the finished cake on a cake stand with orange glaze and sugared cranberries on top.

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