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Polka Dot Cake!!!

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Polka Dot Cake!!!It just makes you smile, doesn’t it?  I don’t think I can adequately express how happy this cake makes me.

I made this cake for my friend Nikki’s birthday and it made her happy too…

Happy Birthday!!!                      Surprise!!!!

I simply can’t take credit for the idea behind this cake,  that credit goes to an adorable blog called “Once Upon a Pedestal”.  I can’t even take credit for finding the idea… that goes to my wonderful Pinterest addicted friend Laura.  I can tell you this: it is NOT hard to make.  It does take some time, but it is very easy to put together, and the “wow” factor?  Incredible!

Polka Dot Cake!!!!!!

The 1st question everyone asks is “How did you get the polka dots INSIDE the cake?” They are cake balls.  To make this recipe, you will need one piece of special equipment: a cake pop/ doughnut hole maker.  I feel like I walked by those like 100 times over the holidays in various stores and every time I thought, “I wonder why you would ever buy one of those?”  Now I know!  Here’s the one I got: Bella Sensio Cake Pop Maker

Cake pop maker

There are several brands and varieties- I’m sure they all work great- I would look for one that does 12 at once, just as a time saver!  The good news?  Once you make this cake, your friends will all want to borrow your cake pop maker and you won’t have to store it anywhere!

Are you ready to see how this is done?  Here we go: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 boxed white cake mixes (plus the oil, water and eggs to make them according to the package)
  • You favorite frosting (I used my buttercream recipe, doubled, which you can get by clicking here)
  • Sprinkles or candy to decorate the cake.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Plug in/turn on your cake pop maker to warm it up.
  • Make one of the cakes according to package directions.
  • Divide batter evenly into smaller bowls based on the number of colors you want to use (I did 4)
  • Color the batter using color gels (I love the Wilton brand in particular because it gives such a vivid color)
  • Following the directions for your particular cake pop maker, make cake balls using each of the colors.

(with mine I sprayed it with Pam, used a small (2 tsp) cookie scoop, rapidly scooped batter in and immediately closed the lid.  My directions said 4-5 minutes and they all were burnt to a crisp– about 2 minutes worked perfectly for me.  I just set them out on a plate to cool then…be prepared to experiment a little with this– you will have some extra pops at the end, so its ok if you mess some up!)

Polka Dot Cake Pops

  • While cake balls are cooling, preheat oven to 350F, and make the second cake mix according to package.
  • Spray 3 – 6″ round pans with non-stick spray and set a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each one (to keep your layers pretty!)
  • Spread a thin layer of batter in the bottom of each pan, place cake balls on top in any pattern you choose and divide remaining batter over the top of the balls so they are completely covered.

Assembling a Polka Dot Cake

Ready to bake!

 

 

 

  • Bake layers at 350F degrees for about 30 minutes.  You can use the toothpick test (I recommend it!) but be careful to hit cake and not cake balls….you can kind of tell where they are- they bump up just a bit.
  • When cooked all the way through, tip over on a cake rack to cool completely.
  • Trim, if needed, to flatten layers and use frosting to stack all three layers and cover the entire cake with frosting.
  • Decorate as desired.


Polka Dot Cake!!!!!My thoughts:  I’m not a cake decorator, and my buttercream is a whipped frosting that is OH so yummy, but not very good for a smooth cake surface….it still makes me smile…bumps and all.  You can decorate your cake however you like.  I used Wilton Jumbo Confetti Sprinkles on this one.  I really hope you give this cake a try– if you have any questions about the process just ask!!  — or check out “Once Upon a Pedestal”, as her pictures were very helpful.  She also uses a different type of cake pop pan than I did.  I hope this recipe idea made you smile on this cold winter morning– enjoy!!!!!  ~r

Polka Dot Cake!!!!

Polka Dot Cake Tips

Other Easybaked cake recipes you might enjoy: (click on the photo to see the recipe)

Chocolate Mousse CakeOld fashioned Red velvet cakeStrawberry-Lemonade CakeTie-Dye Cake with Blue Raspberry Frosting!

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About Ruthanne

Ruthanne is a scientist with a passion for baking and food photography. Using her kitchen as a lab, she loves experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique, fun and ultimately tasty delights! Thus she created EasyBaked, a website where sugar and chocolate overflow in fun and easy recipes. Her Motto: Money can’t buy happiness -- but it can buy marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing! www.easybaked.net

236 responses »

  1. What an adorable cake– I love it! :)

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  2. Pretty pretty cake!!

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  3. This is incredible! Thanks for the great tutorial.

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  4. What a beautiful cake, so creative and very well done!! This cake is a real show stopper.

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  5. This is SO cute!! Question though….did the cake balls dry out at all from being baked twice?

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    • I wondered if that would happen too! I also wondered if the balls would separate from the surrounding cake when you cut into it. Neither happened- the colors and the surrounding white cake are the same consistency and cut beautifully.

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  6. This cake looks AMAZING. I love the bright colors – perfect for a special occassion! Great job. :)

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  7. love it!! it’s so cute and i would have be excited too!!

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    • Such a cute cake! I’ve just given it a test bake for my daughters 1st birthday and ran into a problem! My layers have a big mound in the middle where it has risen. I’m worried if I trim it to make it flat I’ll cut some of the cake balls in half. Any suggestions?? Cheers!

      Reply
      • Trim it flat :) I’ve made this cake several times now and I always end up trimming off the top and hitting a couple of dots. Trim sparingly- I flattened just the worst of the risen top- and filled in with frosting on the edges when I layered the cake.

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  8. Brilliant! So clever and pretty! xxxxx

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  9. Love this cake! What a great idea :)

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  10. Oh wow!!! This is so awesome! Gorgeous photos too!

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  11. That is just cake perfection!!

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  12. SUCH a cute cake. Kudos to you for trying out this polka dot cake. I see it all over Pinterest and I’m all like “ONE DAY” but that day has yet to come. Your friend is very lucky to get such a fancy cake ;)

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  13. Sorry but that cake looks AWESOME!! I love polka dots, colorful especially!

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  14. I absolutely LOVE this! Now I need a cake pop maker!

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    • Lol! I actually had a hard time finding one in a store…seems they mainly stock them around Christmas-time…? I got mine on a Christmas clearance table, in fact!

      Reply
  15. beyond cute! love it :D!

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  16. May I ask, are these three 6″x2″ or 6″x3″ pans. I already have two 6″x3″ pans. And i just ordered the cake pop maker. Thank you! Looking right now for the sprinkles and food coloring. LOVE THIS!!! and I loved Once Upon a Pedestal’s as well!

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  17. Once again this is something I’d never make. (No kids in the house, not much of a sweet tooth.) But I just have to share. It’s such a cool concept and comes out so neat. Maybe I will make one to show off!

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    • I just love that we are fans of each others blogs Greg– we cook such different things and some of the things you make I am just in awe of. You are so creative! You should make a crazy dessert sometime just to freak your blog followers out- and I should make pecan crusted salmon or something – lol!

      Reply
  18. Pingback: Colorful Polka Dot Cake Recipe | I Love Food So Much

  19. WOW to infinity and beyond! That is one fun cake! I see it in my kitchen’s future.

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  20. omgash you just got me so excited to find a cake pop maker! now I have an awesome excuse to buy one

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    • Look on eBay. I just purchased this same one for $18. Brand new in box. (Sold out in stores, and I didn’t want the one that made 6)

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      • GREAT idea Terry!!! I love ebay! I had a hard time finding one in stores too- I got mine at Macy’s on a Christmas clearance table for $14. I heard they have them still at Target too.

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        • The target by me doesn’t. Or Walmart x 2. Then I gave up! And went online.

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          • Isn’t it crazy that EVERYONE had them before Christmas and now there’s none to be had? At least they are still available online…its just that you have to wait for shipping… :( I always like to make things right away when I get excited about a recipe/idea…

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            • Well. The birthday I want to make it for is at the end of February so I have a little time. Then another in April. My niece’s “golden” birthday (ok. I never heard of such a thing. But she insists that the golden birthday is when you turn the age of the date you were born. I missed out… Being born on the 8th. I was 8 years old a long time ago! LOL)

            • I’ve never heard of that either…hmm…mine was at age 2, so I guess I missed out too! lol! What a good aunt you are!!!!!

    • Haha! I thought that too…even though I felt like they were totally impractical, they are just so cute…! It was nice to have an excuse to get one! Now I’m thinking of all other sort of uses!! Fun!

      Reply
  21. Fabulous job! Thanks so much for the mention. Happy Caking!

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  22. This is so super cute! I, too, wondered why I would ever buy the cake pop maker (I usually make mine by hand), but this seems reason enough! Now I just need someone to make this for… :)

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  23. petit4chocolatier

    Love this so much!! Very creative and hip!! Polka dots forever :)

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  24. You are just so tricky, you know that right? I stared at that first pic for ages trying to decide how you got the dots in their. I didn’t want to be told the answer! And I had no idea that you could get machines to make cake balls – that’s awesome!

    Reply
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  26. This cake is AMAZING!! I am having a tea party for my daughter’s friends in a couple of weeks and I am going to attempt to make it, I can’t wait to see their little faces – I just hope it turns out vaguely as amazing as yours! xx

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    • Ah- I’m so excited for you! I think yours will turn out beautifully and you will have lots of smiles at your tea party! Let me know how it goes for you!!!! Good luck!!!

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      • I made it and everybody LOVED it! Seeing the kids faces when they saw the polka dots inside was fantastic, thank you so much for sharing this amazing cake with us. xx

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        • When I first posted this idea, it was that very scenario I was hoping for. I just LOVE surprising people- especially kids- with fun desserts. I’m so glad you tried it and had such fantastic results!!!! {hug}

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  27. Happy Weekend
    this cake is AMAZING- thankyou so much for sharing. i’m such a fan of your blog. i would love to share this over to my blog linking everything back to you of course.
    enjoy your afternoon.
    i have been making your raspberry confetti kisses for awhile now and always get so many complements. thankyou for another wonderful recipie.
    cyber smiles
    Taneith
    xxxxxx

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    • Hi Taneith- happy weekend to you as well! Your blog is adorable…I’m a big fan of glitter too- lol! Of course you can share this recipe! I’m so glad you like the confetti kisses- they are a favorite of mine too- I love doing them in all kinds of crazy flavors of jello. Nice to meet you! {hug}

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      • awwww thankyou so much for visiting my little blog, that means so much to me. i’m going to add this cake and your confetti kissesto my blog this week because lets face it – the world needs to know about your creative talents….
        it’s lovely to meet you too, i’m sure we’ll meet in cyberspace again.
        have a wonderful evening. i know it’s a big day in The States today, superbowl day, my husband just got home and had a great day and a few beers….
        thankyou again for checking out my little bit of cyberspace.
        take care
        Taneith
        xxxx

        Reply
  28. Amazing cake! I just attempted to make it and the only thing I would do differently would be to use half of the first cake for the cake balls and save the excess for the actual cake…I ran out of the plain cake to cover the cake balls!

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  29. I have been in search for an awesome cake frosting. I try recipes I find on the internet & their not great. I’m hoping to find someone who can help me. My daughters b-day is this month & we have family coming over. I want to make a big hit with the cake I want to make & the frosting.

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    • I can guarantee you will make a big hit with this cake! The frosting is a bit tricky…my buttercream recipe is my favorite frosting ever- but it really isn’t made for decorating. You might want to try a frosting more geared toward decorating if you really want to do up the outside of the cake as well…?

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      • Is their a website to get a good butter cream frosting? I’ve tried a couple different ones, they were not that great. :(

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        • Well….I have to say that I tried a lot of buttercream frosting before I finally fell in love with this one…I generally don’t like the thick, pasty buttercream that’s so easy to decorate with. It hard for me to advise you because frosting cakes is just not my thing. I have a really good friend, Megan, who is an amazing cake decorator. She has a blog at Happily Ever After Cakes and she might be able to advise you better– leave her a comment and tell her I sent you. She actually gave me the recipe I use and she might have some helpful hints about using it to frost a cake well. (Maybe I should ask her to give me helpful hints too!! lol!) I really hope she can help you!!!! (You’ll love looking at all of her cakes!)

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  30. My cake pop maker came today… I was wondering. Do you think the batter can be squeezed in to thru a squeeze bottle. I don’t think I have that size scoop. Maybe I do… LOL.
    I bought “Duff’s” neon color gels. Thy came in the colors I wanted. I read reviews that they were intense.

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    • I’m so excited for you!!!! I think you could try a squeeze bottle…? Who knows, it might work better than the scoops? Have fun experimenting!!!!! Let us know how it goes! :)

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  31. Do you think it would work to use two 8 inch pans in place of the three 6inch? I don’t bake many cakes and I don’t have either a pop maker or 6inch pans.

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    • I think it would work fine using 2- 8 inch pans. But you are going to need a cake pop maker of some sort I think. Make fewer cake balls and save some of the 1st cake mix aside, uncolored. That way you’ll have enough to fill both pans. You’ll just have 2 layers of polka dots instead of 3.

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  32. Pingback: Polka Dot Cake | Totally Love It

  33. Would other cake recipes work? For instance chocolate or coconut cake?

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  34. A friend of mine showed me this cake and i fell in love!!! I have made 2 so far one with colored cake pops and today with chocolate cake pops in vanilla cake. Can’t wait to slice into it tonight!

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    • Ahh….chocolate dots in white cake…I love it so much! I want to see pictures! I’m so glad you are having fun with this idea– I have another post using this idea all set to publish. Its just so fun!!! :)

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  35. Gorgeous! Now to convince them to make it for my birthday next week :)

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  36. Just made this cake for my bff for her birthday. It’s in the oven now. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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  37. I made this kind of cake using mini muffin pans for the dots instead. It worked great ..just don’t overfill them.

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  38. adorable cake– so excited to attempt it for my daughter’s birthday this weekend!
    two questions: did you have any problems with the balls rising to the top of the cake instead of staying in the middle? and how do you get the cakes to bake flat, instead of a domed top which would require trimming and cutting off part of the cake balls?
    thanks so much!!

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    • Hi! I’m excited for you to try it as well! The cake balls stayed exactly where I placed them, and the cake did dome up a bit but I just went ahead and trimmed. I ended up hitting a few tops of the cake balls but it didn’t seem to ruin the effect. I didn’t trim it perfectly flat- but trimmed it down a bit so that it would stack well. Good luck! Excited for you!

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  39. Kristy Bentley

    Hi. I love this cake. Attempted it and the pops all rose with the cake and came to the surface… Any tips?

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    • I’m not sure…if you are making three layers the white cake batter barely covers the colored balls- so they really don’t have anywhere to rise to? I’d say if they are rising, you are covering them with too much cake batter. They should be *just* covered- I think my photo shows that. Hope this helps! Sorry I don’t have any other ideas for you!

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  41. did this last night for a b/day……all the balls ‘rose’ with the batter in the oven, so all were at the very top edge and sticking out the top by the time it was done cooking in oven……any suggestions?

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    • Oh goodness, I just don’t know. I’ve used the cake balls in cakes and cupcakes now and mine have never risen. I’ve had 3 friends borrow my cake pop maker for this cake and I asked if they had this problem and they didn’t…? But you are the second person to comment on this. I wish I could help you– the only thing I can think is that my layers were really about the depth of the ball. If you look at my pictures, (particularly the last one with the fork) there’s not a lot of cake on the top or bottom of the balls. You can even see where I trimmed the top off and the balls are actually touching frosting. There wasn’t anywhere for them to rise to since the cake batter barely covered them before cooking. My only guess is that you are baking them with too much white cake batter…? I don’t know if this is helpful– I hope so! Sorry I don’t have any definitive answers for you!

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    • The first time I tried it, the pops in the middle rose a bit. On my second attempt, I put more pops in and less batter. They only rose slightly that time and I flattened them down a bit by turning the cake out on a cooling rack and putting my cutting board on top!

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      • Thanks so much for the suggestions!!!! I’m glad you figured out a way that worked for you- hopefully your comment will help others who have the same problem!!! Thank you!!!

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        • someone suggested using pound cake for the balls. Think I will try with less batter next time and see how that does :)
          Thanks for the suggestions everyone :)

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  42. You inspired me to make the polka dot cake. However l am having trouble with the dots. They keep rising and sticking out of the top of the cake when in the oven, and l want them sitting in the middle or there abouts. Have baked 5 cakes now and the only one that has worked out is the one where l kept opening the oven door and poking down the dots with a fork. Mind you the guys in the workshop next door are hopeing for more rejects as l jusst whack a little frosting over the thing ang send it over to them. The flavour is good but the little balls just wont stay put. Any suggestions please?

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    • FIVE cakes? Wow…you are more persistent than me! I haven’t had this problem, but there are lots of comments answering this question from people who have had a hard time with this…along with all of my musings on possibilities….My favorite solution was someone who used pound cake in hopes that the heavier cake would keep the cake balls from rising. My other suggestion is to not use so much white cake batter with them. Just barely cover the cake balls with batter. Check the other comments and see if any of the suggestions help. Here’s hoping that cake #6 is PERFECT! ;)

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  43. I just did a trial of this cake for my daughters birthday… I wanted to practice first! How did you keep your cake layers from rising in the middle? Normally I trim my layers before stacking, but I didn’t want to hack off any polka dots. Thanks for the great cake!

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    • Hi! There are several comments on this- if you look close at my photos you can see where I trimmed into the polka dots a bit. I don’t know that there is anything you can do to prevent the layers from rising when they bake. Just trim sparingly and your cake will still be beautiful!

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      • No need to trim the cake or loose any dots! If your cake has a bit of a dome, cover it with a damp paper towel when it comes out of the oven and press it down. You can invert it after it is cool enough to remove from the pan and add some weight like a flat cookie sheet or two and it will turn into a nice level layer with no trimming. My friend Jessica shows some photos on how to here: http://www.jessicakesblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/korean-birthday-cake.html. Thanks again Ruthanne for giving my Hidden Polka Dot Cake a try! Happy Caking!

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        • Perfect!!! That’s incredibly helpful! Thanks so much for sharing with us- Im really excited to try this on my next cake- I hate trimming layers!!! And now I am addicted to your friends beautiful blog- oh my….pretty pretty cakes and a cute logo!!!! Love it!

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  44. You have inspired me as well to make this cake. I’m not a good baker. I can make a cake and frost it but no decorating skills ect. I’m even going to get some fondant and roll it into small balls to put around the cake and use edible imaging to decorate the sides for my daughters birthday in May. I will be making a trial cake next weekend and see how it turns out. Thank you for the inspiration.

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    • I am SO impressed! You are braver than me! I’ve only used fondant on Oreo pops and I’ve not tried edible imaging either. I’m excited to hear how it all turns out for you!!!

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  45. Has anyone tried making this in a simple single layer 9×13 pan? I’m ztempted to try it because I’m not good at layers and decorating!

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  46. Thats cool ! But how do the cake pops not burn while bein cooked into the cake???

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  47. I made this cake for my nieces 7th birthday. It turned out nice but I had one problem. My cake pops kept floating up to the top of the cake batter. So when I trimmed it to make flat the cake pops were cut off. Well half cut off . What am I doing wrong?

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    • There are lots of tips for that issue here in the previous comments. I’ve never had this issue, so I am relying on the advice from others who had the same problem. I think they had some very good ideas. Hope your next attempt comes out perfect!!!!! :)

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      • Some bakers have had better luck by trying one of the following:
        1) Freeze the baked balls before adding them to the batter.
        2) Use a dense or thicker cake batter like a pound cake or Madeira cake recipe.
        3) Rather than trim the cake off, as soon as it comes out of the oven, place one or more damp paper towels on the “dome” and press to flatten the cake. After ten minutes, invert the warm cake (paper towels and all) on to a level surface. A flat pan can be placed on top to weigh it down until cool.

        Hope this helps. I haven’t experienced this problem either but due to the many variables in climate, oven temps, cake mixes or cake recipes and the like, it seems to be an issue for many. You are not alone! Happy Caking!

        Reply
  48. Some bakers have had better luck by trying one of the following:
    1) Freeze the baked balls before adding them to the batter.
    2) Use a dense or thicker cake batter like a pound cake or Madeira cake recipe.
    3) Rather than trim the cake off, as soon as it comes out of the oven, place one or more damp paper towels on the “dome” and press to flatten the cake. After ten minutes, invert the warm cake (paper towels and all) on to a level surface. A flat pan can be placed on top to weigh it down until cool.

    Hope this helps. I haven’t experienced this problem either but due to the many variables in climate, oven temps, cake mixes or cake recipes and the like, it seems to be an issue for many. You are not alone! Happy Caking!

    Reply
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  50. I love this cake and want to make this for my little one 2nd birthday on Sunday. I have one question: is one batter enough to cover the cake balls? I mean, you use one to make the cake balls and one for the 3 cakes: is it enough? I’ll make the cake for the first time, I am so scared!!!

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    • Yes- it really should be enough. Once you get all of those cake balls in the pan it takes up a lot of space- you won’t need much cake mix to fill in the gaps :). Don’t be afraid- you’re going to see so many smiles when you cut into it!! Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  51. I haven’t read throught all the comments and wonder if anyone else came up with this problem. When baking the cake I noted all my cake pop balls migrated to the centre of the cake. In your tutorial you show the cake batter covering the cake balls and it appears to actually cover the cake pops, but my cake pops floated to the top. Is there something I did wrong (followed your directions) and is there something I can do to prevent this from happening again? The cake was still a success as the person for whom I made it loved it and it tasted fantastic, but I know it could be better! :)

    Reply
  52. Dee Anne Stanley

    I took a cake decorating class several years ago. It does not hurt your cake to press it down. I do it all the time and have decorated many wedding cakes and birthday cakes. I use a smooth towel and just the pressure of my palms, there is no need to try and cut off cake to make it level!

    Reply
  53. Now I know what to bring to my Mother’s Day lunch with the family! Going to experiment with strawberry cake balls. I think white cake with strawberry balls would be perfect… Hope my grocery store still carries the cake ball maker.

    Reply
    • Oh- that sounds like such a great idea!! I love strawberry cake. If your grocer doesn’t carry the cake ball maker, try Target. I just found one there for a friend :)

      Reply
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  55. Completely great idea! I am going to try it with “tie dye” cake balls as a surprise inside for my twins’ 7th birthday Tie Dye themed party!

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  56. I’m trying this next week for my 2 year-old’s birthday. So excited!

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  57. Stacey Benoit

    My classroom is Polka dot Themed. I am going to make this for my kiddos for the last day of school! I’m sure they won’t be surprised to see the polka dots inside! Thanks for posting!!!

    Reply
  58. This is so cute I had to share with my Aunt who’s a Nancy Ann Story Book doll collector, and the boxes for them are polka dotted.

    Reply
  59. I think this is a wonderful idea and i also agree that it is hard to find space for all the new kitchen gadgets. I wonder if cake doughnut holes will work in a pinch you wont have as many color choices but you will get the same effect. Some places have chocolate and blueberry cake holes. I have also seen filled holes that would be interesting to experiment with. Thank you easybaked!

    Reply
    • That is a really interesting idea…it really might work. I’ve seen strawberry doughnut holes…? It sounds really yummy. How about a doughnut filled cupcake? Love your creativity! If anyone out there tries this, let us know how it works for you!!

      Reply
  60. HELP! I love this cake but my cake pops KEEP rising to the top of the batter. I”m using 8 x 3 pans – could that be the issue?

    Reply
    • Hi Shannon! You aren’t alone! Although I haven’t had this problem, it is addressed in both the other comments here and in the “tips” box at the end of this recipe. Hope both of those things help!! :)

      Reply
  61. I have a quick question! I don’t have a cake pop maker/baking pan, can I make the cake pops like “regular” (bake the cake, mix in a bit of icing and roll the balls myself) and still have this kind of cake work? Or will the icing mixed in with the cake pops make it bake funny or destroy the “dots”?

    Reply
    • I haven’t tried this, but I would suspect that it would make a big mess with all that icing getting gooey with the baking…? But, I haven’t actually tried it, so I can’t say for sure? Sorry I’m not more help. Certainly if you do try it please tell us all how it works for you!

      Reply
    • Did you try it this way? I was thinking of trying it but haven’t found any info on whether it works.

      Reply
      • I don’t think it will sorry. I bought the same Bella machine online. But I’ve seen it at Target, ChristmasTtree Shop, and TJ Maxx stores for around $10. Not to mention there are other brands.
        The balls are the same texture as the cake. And the reveal when the bday person cuts the cake is priceless!!

        Reply
  62. I’m getting ready to do this right now and I am so nervous! This cake will be for my daughter’s first birthday party and I want it to look amazing. EEKK!

    Reply
  63. In your cake photo, some of the polka dots are smaller. How did you make smaller cake balls?

    Reply
    • It’s just in how it’s sliced. If the cut goes through the center of a cake ball it looks big- if it goes though just the edge it looks small. All the balls are the same size though.

      Reply
  64. I made a polka dot sheet cake for my students. It turned out so cute. (I used 42 cake balls!) Since my classroom is decorated in polka dots one of my students said, “Polka dots until the end!” It was a hit with the students and the other teachers!!!! Thank you for the idea!

    Reply
  65. Luv this cake ! Wanting to make it for my sisters bday,, but where the balls over cooked? As they would have been cook twice in the dohnut make and in the oven. Did it taste ok?? :)

    Reply
    • The balls (even though they bake twice) are not over done. They taste and look the same as the cake baked around them! Tastes just like vanilla cake (or whatever flavor you use!)

      Reply
  66. I am making this cake for my granddaughters birthday tomorrow. After reading many comments about the cake balls rising to the top, I decided to freeze half the cake balls and leave the others at room temperature. I am also making a chocolate cake with white icing instead of white. Have not decided how I will decorate the cake yet. I’m a bit nervous about how it will look when we cut the cake at a restaurant but my family is used to my daring experiments! I will let you know how it turned out!

    Reply
    • I’m so excited to hear how it turns out! Let us know! I just made this cake again 2 nights ago (5th time) and I still did not have any problems with the cake balls rising to the top. I’m not sure why its a problem for some people and not for others..? It’s a mystery!!!

      Reply
      • I made this cake for my 17 yr old granddaughters birthday dinner last night and we were able to bring the cake to the restaurant. I was both nervous and excited as it was the first time I made it but I also could not wait to cut the first piece to see how it came out. My kids were getting a kick out of watching me get so excited as I cut each slice because you never know what color you will get. Needless to say I was delighted! I borrowed a cake ball maker from my niece. I made a white cake mix and instead of getting 5 bowls dirty, I poured the batter into 5 paper cups and mixed the colors by using McCormicks neon food coloring and Betty Crockers gel food coloring both found in the grocery aisle in the store. I used Wilton gel for yellow. Once I made all the cake balls, I decided that I wanted more of a “wow” factor and didn’t feel the cake balls were big enough. I then followed a suggestion by one of the replies in your blog and made 48 mini cupcakes. I placed them in the freezer for a couple hours. I used two 10″ by 2″ high round pans. I purchased 2 dark chocolate fudge cake mixes. I poured enough batter in the bottom of each pan to cover about 1/3 of the mini cupcake. The cupcakes were slightly browned on the bottom probably from using cooking spray so I just trimmed a small slice off the bottom. I placed the mini cupcakes on their side in the batter and then poured just enough batter to cover all the balls. Because I had all those small balls left over, I put a few in with the larger balls and it turned out perfect. I really didn’t have a problem with the balls rising perhaps because I used the larger mini cupcakes and froze them. I frosted the cake with white icing and colored the icing the color of the mini cupcakes and piped polka dots randomly on the top and 2/3 down the sides of the cake. My grand daughter loved the cake and there were many people in the restaurant asking where we bought the cake. I would highly recommend that if anyone is think of making this cake its worth the time and effort and the anticipation of seeing the finished cake! It is not a difficult cake to make but slightly time consuming. You can always make the cake balls ahead of time and freeze them to cut down on time when you want to make the cake. If you are using mini cupcakes just remember NOT to place them straight up in the batter, They need to be placed on their side in order for the polka dot to show correctly when you cut the cake.

        Reply
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  70. Hi, first if all, I want to say, hat off to you.. incredible job!
    I am getting ready to make this in a couple of days; I was wondering if it would make a difference if I was to color the balls with regular food coloring instead of the gel.. I always try to use what I have have at hand before I go out and buy something new. Have you ever done it or heard of someone doing it?

    Reply
    • Thank you- and yes, it will make a difference. If you want deep vibrant colors it’s best to use the gels. If you are ok with a more pastel look, the regular liquid coloring will work. It depends on the look you are going for. I was skeptical at first about the gels, but it’s all I use now. They last a long time because you only need a little bit to get amazing color. Try the Wilton’s brand- I just love them!!!

      Reply
      • Thank you very much.

        Reply
        • I used McCormicks liquid Neon Colors and the colors of my polkadots were as vibrant as the gel colors I used. If you want to use the liquid colors that you have on hand, the pastel colors would show up better in a chocolate cake. I did the neon colors in the chocolate cake and it was amazing! I also used mini cupcakes instead of the cake balls. If you use the mini cupcakes you need to lay them on their side in the batter.

          Reply
      • Brooke Moretti

        I use liquid coloring in my rainbow cakes and they ways come out looking as vibrant as the gels

        Reply
        • Yay! That’s great news– I have never gotten good colors using liquid, but I also haven’t used liquid colors in a long time– so maybe they have improved! Thanks so much for helping to answer that question here~ I really appreciate your input!! :)

          Reply
  71. Pingback: Polka Dot Explosion | Bellissima Kids

  72. Brooke Moretti

    This looks great! I just have 1 question obviously 2 cake mixes is going to make 1 layer? So I would need 6 cake mixes to make a 3 layered cake. Is that correct??
    T

    Reply
    • Actually, since you are using such small pans (6 inch rounds), you will only need the two cake mixes. It makes a tall, but small in diameter cake :) Enjoy!!

      Reply
  73. I am making this now and am very excited to see how it turns out. Very Cute idea !!! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
  74. Has anyone tried using a recipe from scratch for the cake balls and cake itself? Anyone have a good white cake recipe to share?

    Reply
  75. I’m doing a post on Disney Baby about polka dot birthday ideas and wondered if I could use a photo of this (with credit and link back to this post for the recipe and directions). I’d also love to include your Oreo pops. Would that be okay with you?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  76. I’ve been reading online that you have to adjust the recipe from the boxed cake mix to make the cake balls. Did you adjust the recipe? What brand of boxed mix did you use?

    Reply
    • I used Betty Crocker cake mix. I made the cake balls but was unhappy with the size so I made mini cupcakes and laid them on their side in the batter. I didn’t adjust the recipe and they came out fine.

      Reply
    • I didn’t adjust the recipe at all- I usually use Duncan Hines mix- unless there’s a different brand on sale! :)

      Reply
  77. I’m making three 9″ cakes today. How close should the cake balls be inside of the pan? Touching?

    Reply
  78. Hi I’m new to cake decorating and I’m wondering if making the dots by making cake pops by cumbling the cake and adding frosting?

    Reply
    • I think that sounds like a lot of work…? I’m not sure what the icing would do in the oven when baking them inside the final cake…? Some people have commented here that they used mini muffins for dots, if it’s just the cake pop maker thats keeping you from baking them…? You could always try it and let us all know?

      Reply
  79. I baked a 3-tier 9 inch polka dot cake! I used the food network cake pop pan purchased at Kohl’s. Balls were pink, purple, blue, green and yellow. Used Wilton gel colors. Balls baked for 18 minutes each batch. It took 24 cake balls per 9×2 inch round cake pan for a total of 72 balls! Cake was from scratch coconut cake with cream cheese frosting. Baked for 45-50 minutes. This cake was so huge it wouldn’t fit in my cake carrier. We had to “MacGyver” it, using a giant beer making pot for a lid + cake container bottom + painter’s tape to hold it all together and packed into a storage container with towels and ice packs for transport. Hilarious. The polka dot cake was a big hit and a really fun surprise when we cut into it. Wish I could post a picture, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it.

    Reply
  80. Can you use traditional cake balls instead of using the pans to achieve the polka dots?

    Reply
    • Can you use traditional cake balls instead of using the pans to achieve the polka dots? My cake ball recipe calls for heavy cream instead of icing.

      Reply
    • A lot of people have asked this and I haven’t tried it, but I would guess no. Since the cake balls are re-baked inside the cake I think that the frosting used to make a traditional cake ball would melt and make a mess. I’m not positive though- since I haven’t tried it. If you do try it let us all know how it goes!!!

      Reply
  81. do I have to use color gel, or can I use food coloring?

    Reply
  82. Wonderful can’t wait to get my hands busy

    Reply
  83. I cannot wait to make this in a few weeks for my baby girls first birthday party! Hopefully it turns out as beautiful as yours. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  84. Okay, I only skimmed through the comments, so if someone asked already I apologize. You think this would work putting the cake balls in cupcakes, instead of making a layer cake?! My daughter’s 2nd birthday party is this weekend, and I am thinking of trying it! Just wondered if you (or anyone) had any thoughts…

    Reply
  85. Omg! I will be doing this for my daughters birthday!!! Love it

    Reply
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  90. Looks great but why do you used boxes of cake mix – surely home recipes taste far better an you know all the ingredients.

    Reply
    • I use cake mixes to make things simple. Many of my recipes involve lots of other “hands on” things (fillings, toppings, frostings…) For someone who has a whole day to spend baking, a scratch cake is always better- but hardly anyone I know has that kind of time. In this recipe, I use cake mixes because the assembly time is pretty intense. If you have a great recipe and the time, skip the mix!! :)

      Reply
    • when i took a cake decorating class, the instructor told us to add a box of french vanilla pudding to the batter, and replace 1/4 cup of the water with “International Delight” French Vanilla creamer. Takes the boxed cake taste away, always moist… big hit!
      I made this using white cake mix. The balls were time consuming, and I used this frosting from this blog, but it was heavy, next time i’ll try a fluffy light one.

      Reply
      • Those are great ideas for sprucing up a plain old cake mix! I will have to give that a try- thanks for sharing! The beauty of baking is that you can experiment to make things EXACTLY how you like them! I just made this cake again this week and there is just nothing better than surprising someone with polka dots! The dots are a bit time consuming, but if you use a scoop to fill the pop maker they go pretty fast. I put a good movie in too :)

        Reply
  91. Ashley Goetz

    I want to make this cake, or one like it, for my little girls third birthday which is in September. However I am planning ahead and am testing the recipe. The first attempt was a fail, for some reason the cake balls were either falling when I took them out of the over or they were not rising. Any idea why this would have happened? Could it be due to too much food coloring being added? Or is it because I alter cake mix ingredients to 1 additional egg, milk not water, and butter not oil?

    Reply
    • Hi! I’m not sure what you mean by falling or not rising? They should be fully cooked when you place them in the cake pan and cover them with batter..? They should just sit in the batter and bake. You might have some indentations in the top of the cake where the balls are sitting, once it is baked- but these will not be noticed once the cake is layered. I can’t tell you if your recipe alterations are causing the problem? You would have to try the recipe as written to know that? Sorry I can’t be of more help. I’ve made this cake at least 25 times now, and I’ve never had a problem, so it’s hard for me to help problem-solve for people who have questions. I wish we could make the cake together so I could see what’s happening! lol!

      Reply
  92. Would this work with handmade cake balls? or do you have to use a cake pop pan?

    Reply
    • I haven’t tried it with handmade cake balls, but I am nearly positive that it would not work. The pan makes small round pieces of cake, but cake pops made by hand are full of frosting. All of that frosting will melt once you pop them into the oven. If you want an alternative to the pop pan, a lot of people have written in about how they used mini muffin tins instead? Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • beanie: it does work with handmade cake balls as long as you reduce the frosting amount to just enough to hold the crumbs together. For one cake mix, use 6T or less of frosting and you should be fine. Thanks for giving the cake a try!

      Reply
  93. Charlotte Heyn

    This looks like a lot of fun. Can’t wait to try them…:-)

    Reply
  94. Hi! Your cake looks really beautiful and so colorful! I’d like to try someday! But, I have a couple of questions: cake balls won’t burn inside the other cake while is baking? And In the tips you say that cake balls could be out of a heavier cake recipe so they won’t rise on the cake. How is that?, less flour for the cake balls recipe? Thanks! have a great day! :)

    Reply
    • Hi! Thanks for your questions! 1st- no, they will not burn. Second: others have had success with heavier batter- I use the same. I’ve made this cake SO many times now, and I use cake mix for both. You can read others suggestions about what to use for a heavier cake, but I’ve never tried that. If I were you, I’d start with cake mix and see if it doesn’t work perfectly that way for you?

      Reply
  95. Hi, have you ever tried this with ice cream instead of the second cake mix? It’s on my must try list! I’ll let you know how it goes. First I have to borrow a cake pop maker.

    Reply
  96. Great looking cake! One question–can the cake sit at room temp overnight once it’s frosted, or should it be refrigerated?

    Reply
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  99. Im thinking about making that cake for my son’s 3rd birthday but i was wondering, because the cake balls are already cook, do they come out dry after cooking again ??

    Reply

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