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Snack Series: Walt Disney World Jumps on the Cake Pop Bandwagon

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster takes an in-depth look at the trendy Cake Pop infiltration of Walt Disney World.

The new addition to the world of Mickey-shaped sweet treats is the cake pop. In case you’ve missed out on this relatively new foodie trend, cake pops are small treats composed of cake and frosting mashed up to form a sort of cake paste, then formed into a ball or circle, and served on a stick.

The cake is almost always dipped into a chocolate or candy coating and often amusingly decorated. You can find do-it-yourself cake pop recipes here.

The sugar-coated cake pop.

Intro to Cake Pops in Disney World

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I found cake pops sold at the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Confectionery, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Sweet Spells, and at Downtown Disney’s Goofy’s Candy Company and Candy Cauldron.

The pops come in four possible cake flavors: chocolate, vanilla, marble, and red velvet. The candy coating is milk chocolate with either white chocolate drizzle or a dusting of sprinkles; or white chocolate coated with sanding sugar.

During my week-long trip, I saw the sugar coating in red, blue, pink, purple, orange, and teal, but not every color was at every location. It seemed to be luck of the draw as to which colors and which cake flavors were in each store at any given time.

A bounty of cake pops for sale at the Confectionery.

Cake Pop Assembly in Magic Kingdom

I was able to watch the pops being assembled at the Confectionery. The process is quite labor intensive.

The cast member starts with a two-inch disk of cake/frosting base and inserts a stick.

Cake disks in their pre-adorned state.

Then individual marshmallows are snipped in half. The half marshmallows are attached to the cake disk, then the proto-pops are individually dipped into melted chocolate.

Cake disks and marshmallows - the building blocks of the cake pop.

A cast member then snips whole marshmallows in half with scissors. See the little pile of cut marshies?

The ears are then glued on with melted chocolate or candy.

Individual pops are dipped into coating.

The colored pops are then placed into a dish of sugar and coated with that as well. The care and attention that each pop got was extraordinary.

It's a time consuming process.

A finished chocolate pop.

Cake Pop Review

Given all the love that goes into the pops, I’d really like to say that I was head-over-heels for them; but I just didn’t enjoy them as much as I wanted to.

I am extremely fond of desserts of all shapes and sizes, but the cake pops were too much for me. I never really understood the phrase “too sweet” until I bit into one of the colored cake pops. It’s sugar, enrobed in sugar, coated with sugar. I had the red velvet, but I couldn’t make out any particular flavor other than general creamy sweetness.

Breaking off the ear.

My other issue with the cake pops is texture. The cake part itself is so soft that it ends up sticking to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter. It simply doesn’t feel like you’re having cake, instead it’s more like a wad of raw cookie dough covered with a bunch of extra sweet.

The inside of a red velvet pop.

The chocolate pops worked out a bit better for me. There was a mellow milk chocolate flavor that reminded me somewhat of Disney fudge, but again, the sticky mouth-feel seemed “off” to me.

The finished product is fairly small, about the size of my palm and an inch thick, but there’s no way I could have finished one by myself.

Inside a chocolate pop.

Overall, if you like eating spreads from a spoon (peanut butter, Nutella, marshmallow fluff), and you have a friend to share your pop with, then by all means dig in.

Read all of Erin Foster‘s articles for Disney Food Blog in her Disney Food for Families Column!

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22 Comments

  1. Christa says:

    I, too, never understood the phrase “too sweet” until I made Cake Pops. I could hardly eat one, and the ones I made were much smaller than these from Disney. The combination of cake & frosting to make the cake base, plus the chocolate coating, plus sugar decorations is just too much. They are super cute, though!

  2. Lura says:

    I was lamenting the fact that they add marshmallows (I’m vegetarian) until I read your description and realized I probably wouldn’t want to eat one anyway. I love cake, but it doesn’t sound like these pops are very “cake like”. Thank you for the review!

  3. Michael says:

    When my fiancé and I made cake pops (I sprinkled..), we (she! ha) made cream cheese frosting from scratch for the inside cake/frosting combo. Really cut down on the ‘over sweetness’ of the pop. They were absolutely delicious.

  4. Galloping Gourmand says:

    I can’t seem to get behind cake pops. In order for the stick to work the cake can’t quite be tie consistency or flavor of a cake. But I’m all in favor of the great American tradition of food on a stick.

  5. xojmo says:

    Your review makes me sad. Although I do enjoy eating spread from a spoon. So perhaps I will like them. I can’t believe I missed them at WDW when I was there last month! Now I’m dying for a cake pop…maybe at DL this weekend. Will be out there for D23.

  6. Carrie says:

    I have to agree—the point of cake is the contrast between the soft, spongey cake and the rich, creamy frosting next to each other, not all mixed together. To me, cake pops aren’t really cake the way white chocolate isn’t really chocolate.

  7. Sasha says:

    Maybe the cake they used was too sweet? I made cake pops last year for Thanksgiving with a dark chocolate cake mix and they turned out good. The cake wasn’t that sweet when I taste-tested it but with the frosting and coating it balanced out. Anyways, I’m sorry to hear that the Disney ones weren’t that good, but thank you for reviewing them :)

  8. luvmychaos says:

    Erin nailed it with the raw cookie dough description.Everytime my kids sucker me into buying one for them(thus leaving me to HAVE to finish it) they abandon the raw dough blob after one bite and I concur & toss the thing. But of course the forget the whole process they see one of those sprinkly,sugary blobs again!They were sitting behind me seeing the WDW ones and begging for them on our upcoming trip.*sigh* Maybe I can entice them away with a massive cupcake that indeed tastes like cake!

  9. Sara says:

    I just can’t get on board with this cake pop trend either. It seems a bit gross to me to have the cake all mashed up and mushed into a shape. Cake should just be left alone!

  10. Anne says:

    Love that Disney is putting these on the map! I’ve read the comments and agree, cake pops aren’t for everyone but they are yummy….and very sweet!

  11. Christina says:

    I’m on a mission to master a cake pop recipe now. :)

  12. Deven says:

    Man they are the size of your palm and only a inch thick and are that hard to finish. I gotta try one of those. They look yummy. But yeah if they are compacting all the cake into one little piece of candy, thats gotta be pretty rich and hard to finish. Great blog!!

  13. I am not a cake pop fan, either, but I think these are adorable! If there has to be a dessert I don’t like, at least let it be Mickey shaped!!

  14. Amanda says:

    I’ve never had a commercial cake pop and have only made homemade ones. Thus I can’t relate to the raw cookie dough texture. It looks to me like the cake discs are pressed creating that unhappy texture. A decent cake truffle should be formed but not pressed much the way sushi or rice balls in Japan are made. I love homemade ones and despite the poor review, I’ll probably still end up trying one to compare for myself! At least they look cute!

  15. Melissa says:

    I love cake pops but I think the sanding sugar is too much.

  16. Colleen Boehm says:

    Thanks for the review! As is usually typical of mass produced food, especially desserts…they are rarely as good as the homemade kind! I think Mickey rice krispie treats are awful, but I LOVE homemade ones! So, I was a bit scared of the cake pops. They totally lose me with the marshmallows. I have made cake pops several times now at home, both with boxed mix and with homemade cake. And I think many people use too much frosting! Using only as much frosting as you need to get them to stick together and using real chocolate on the outside cuts down on the sweet and then they are just little balls of yumminess!

  17. Kim says:

    Cakepops are just a personal taste preference, no different than those who love a candy truffle and those who don’t. I make and sell them, but have come up with my own recipe, which is only 1/4 of the icing ratio normally used, and it’s homemade not canned. The store bought icing is very sweet and is only meant to be the glue to keep the cakepops shape in tack. I also make Cakepops with the new Select Brands BabyCake Cakepop maker. They are just CAKE dipped in chocolate and very very good with the right recipe. I use a brownie mix. They are very moist. You can visit me on Facebook at my public page Cakepops101.
    Disney should of tested multiple cakepop recipes and not just settled for the traditional one, I fear more of the pop will end up in the trash than in the mouth. Erin don’t give up just yet on Cakepops, you may just try one you love. If your ever in Arizona let me know. Love the blog

  18. Katarina says:

    I loved the cake pops so much I had two while at Disney (not on the same day!) and bought two more to take home. I had two vanilla, one chocolate, and one red velvet. The vanilla were my absolute favorite, followed by red velvet. I did not much care for the chocolate. I do not usually have a problem with things being too sweet and these were great to me! When I bake at home I often cut the amount of sugar in recipes because generally, store-bought/commercial items do have too much sugar. But that’s a health thing, not a taste thing, and I just loved the cake pops.

  19. Elaine says:

    I’m glad that I am going through archives and reading up on this stuff. Now I know if I see these that I don’t need to try them and I’ll save my money for an actual cupcake. Just looking at those color coated ones make my teeth hurt. Plus I would have been disappointed to bite into the ears and taste marshmellow. I love reading all this stuff plus everyone’s comments. It’s been 6 long years since I’ve been to WDW so I have a lot to catch up on.

  20. Katie says:

    I like homemade cake pops where you can balance the sweetness on the inside with a less sweet outside by using dark chocolate instead of milk or white chocolate. The ones at disney are not like that and they dont even look apetizing especially for the price they ask for it.

  21. Sue says:

    Thank you for the thorough post. My DD saw the pink pop in MK on our last trip and it was right before lunch so I told her to wait. We didn’t see it one again for the remainder of out trip so I promised her I would try to make them at home. Thanks to Erin & DFB I can (though I think I’ll put a dense pound cake or brownie in place of the cake-pop goop).

  22. Claybob says:

    Being a fan of “anything sweet,” I’ll snag one in May as I walk down Main Street. the ones with the sugar coating look really…REALLY good! Hmmmmm, and I wonder why I’m on a diet?

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