These Christmas Gnome Cake Pops take some time to make, but everyone will love them because they're so cute. The cake pops are made with cake mix, homemade frosting, sugar cones, and lots of almond bark and candy melts. The mini dehydrated marshmallows make the cutest little beard too!
I know gnomes seem to be crazy this year. I actually made these 2 years ago when one of the gnome cartoon movies came out and after much thought on if they're too complicated to post or not, I'm just going to go for it anyway.
This probably won't be for everyone and that's okay.
Ingredients for Gnome Cake Pops
To make these gnome cake pops, you're going to need more almond bark and candy melts than anything else.
- yellow or chocolate cake mix (including eggs and water)
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- sugar cones
- chocolate almond bark
- white almond bark
- red candy melts
- blue candy melts - You can opt for a nice green instead of blue.
- Junior mints - You can use M&M's if you can't find Junior mints.
- mini dehydrated marshmallows - you can find these in the little marshmallow packets.
- refined coconut oil (refined has a neutral color instead a strong coconut flavor)
Tools to make Christmas Gnome Cake Pops
These cake pops only require a couple of tools, but they're pretty important. These Christmas gnomes may be hard to make without them.
- Ice cream cone baking rack - this holds your cake pops off and on for the entire process.
- 6 inch cake pop sticks - these allow you to handle the cake pops to dip them and to eat them.
- 2 tablespoon cookie scoop - this is the perfect size to match up with the opening of the sugar cone.
- hand mixer - this whips up the frosting quickly and blends the cake and frosting together for the perfect cake pop consistency.
How to make Cake Pops
To make the cake pops, first you'll need to make the cake. Add the cake mix, eggs, and water to a bowl and beat until combined. Skip the oil and no need to substitute the oil for anything else.
Spray a 9x13 baking pan with a nonstick baking spray that doesn't contain butter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until done. Let cool completely.
Whip up the homemade frosting by adding the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to a large bowl and beating with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Once the cake is completely cooled, crumble it up into a clean mixing bowl and add about ¾ cup frosting. You can start with less frosting if you would like.
Beat the cake and frosting together until it looks like a thick cookie dough. Grab your 2 tablespoon cookie scoop and pack the cake pop mixture into the scoop, scrape off any excess so the top is flush with the cookie scoop and place flat side down on a wax paper/parchment paper lined tray.
How to assemble Christmas Gnome Cake Pops
This is where the real magic begins. Assembling the Christmas Gnome Cake Pops isn't as hard as it sounds but it does take patience.
To start, add a slit to the cake pops near the top of the flat side of the cake pop. Pop the junior mints or M&M in the slit. I would like mine even a little closer to the top but I don't think they're too bad.
You'll also need to melt 1 cup of chocolate almond bark in the microwave to coat the inside of the sugar cones. If the almond bark is too thick, add ½ teaspoon of melted refined coconut oil to the melted almond bark.
Roll the chocolate around inside the sugar cone and then set it flat side down on a piece of parchment paper until dried.
Divide the cake pop mixture into 12 pieces and add each piece into a chocolate lined sugar cone. Firmly press the cake pop mixture into the cones so it doesn't fall out.
Melt the red and blue candy melts in separate bowls until smooth. If the candy melts seem really thick, melt some refined coconut oil and start adding it ½ teaspoon at a time until it thins out enough to be a dippable consistency.
Dip half of the bottoms of the cones in the red candy melts and half of the bottoms of the cones in the blue. This will seal the cake pop mixture into the cone hat. If you dip the cones in about ¼ inch and let it harden, you can hold on to that part while dipping the rest of the cone up to where the hardened candy melt begins.
TIP: Leave the cake pop mixture out of the hats for a light cake pop. These can be quite heavy when they're all put together.
If the candy melts are beginning to harden, microwave them until they're a thin, dippable consistency. Pour the remaining red and blue candy melts in two tall glasses. They'll need to be tall enough for the cones to fit in.
Hold the cones where the hardened candy melts are and dip the rest of the cones into candy melts. Tilt the cup slightly to help get the candy melts higher on the cone.
Tap the hand that's holding the cone to help remove any excess candy melts. Gently place the cone flat side down on the parchment paper/wax paper to finish drying. You may need a skewer to help maneuver the cone.
Once the cones are completely dried, place them back on the ice cream cone baking rack with the flat side up.
Add the white and chocolate almond bark for the gnomes skin together in a microwave-safe bowl. You can darken or lighten his skin by adding more or less chocolate but keep the measurement at 1 ½ cups in total.
Microwave the almond bark in 30-second intervals until melted. Dip the cake pop sticks in the melted chocolate and place in the center of the rounded side of the cake pops. Let the almond bark harden before lifting the cake pop.
Once the almond bark is hardened, dip the cake pop all the way up to the stick flat side down. Tap the wrist holding the cake pop to remove any excess almond bark. This is important so your gnome as a smooth face.
Before the almond bark hardens, set the flat side of the cake pop on the flat side of the cone that's in the baking rack. Quickly start adding the mini dehydrated marshmallows to make the beard. You can also use white almond bark for the beard if needed.
Add extra almond bark if needed to make the dehydrated marshmallows to stick.
How to store Christmas Gnome Cake Pops
You can store the Christmas Gnome Cake Pops in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
I haven't tried freezing these cake pops but I'm concerned about the sugar and the mini dehydrated marshmallows becoming soft when thawed. With those concerns aside, you can freeze them for up to 6 weeks in a freezer container and allow them to thaw slowly in the fridge.
Can I use almond bark instead of candy melts and color it?
YES! I would actually suggest this since candy melts can be so finnicky. Without fail, every time I try to use candy melts they're always really thick and hard to work with.
To color almond bark, you're going to need an oil-based gel food color. It will say on that package that it's made for candy.
Can I use store-bought canned frosting?
Yes! Any flavor canned frosting will work great and is less likely to turn the cake pop stick yellow than the homemade frosting.
More great Cake Pops that you need:
- Pumpkin White Chocolate Cake Pops
- Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Cake Pops
- Maple Bacon Cake Pops
- Santa Cake Pops
- Ugly Sweater OREO Cookie Balls
Christmas Gnome Cake Pops
- 12 sugar cones
- 1 cup chocolate almond bark for inside the sugar cone
- ½ teaspoon refined coconut oil melted
- 15.25 ounce box yellow or chocolate cake mix leave out the oil but prepare as the box instructs
- ¼ cup butter room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 12 Junior Mints or M&M's I prefer the larger Junior Mints
- 1 ¼ cup red candy melts for the gnome's hat
- 1 ¼ cup blue candy melts for the gnome's hat
- 1 ¼ cups white almond bark for the gnome's skin
- ¼ cup chocolate almond bark for the gnome's skin
- mini dehydrated marshmallows for the gnomes beard
- 12 cake pop sticks
- Place the sugar cones on a piece of wax paper.
- Add the chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals and stir after interval until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Stir in the melted coconut oil.
- Coat the inside of each cone with chocolate. Be sure not to miss any spots. Place the sugar cone flat side down on the wax paper for the excess chocolate to drip out.
- Spray a 9x13 baking pan with a nonstick baking spray that doesn't contain butter.
- Prepare the yellow or chocolate cake mix with just the eggs and water measurements from the box and bake as instructed.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely. While the cake is cooling, work on the frosting.
- To make the frosting, add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Once the cake is cooled completely, crumble it into a separate large bowl.
- Add ¾ cup of frosting in with the crumbled cake and beat with a hand mixer until it resembles a thick cookie dough. Cover the remaining frosting with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
- Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, firmly press the cake pop mixture into the cookie scoop and scrape off any cake pop mixture that sticks up above the cookie scoop.
- Scoop 12 2 tablespoon cake pops out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently press any pieces of cake that are sticking out back into the cake pop to make a smooth surface. Do not roll the cake pops.
- Using a small knife, cut a small slit where you would like the nose on the gnome. The flat part of the cake pop is where the hat sits so position the slit close to that.
- Slide a Junior Mint or M&M about halfway into the slit.
For the Gnome Hats
- Divide the remaining cake pop mixture that's left in the bowl into 12 pieces and place inside each hat. Make sure the cake pop mixture is firmly pressed in so it won't fall out. There won't be enough to fill the hats and that's okay.
- Add the red candy melts and blue candy melts in separate microwave-safe containers and microwave for 30-second intervals and stir after each interval. Repeat until the candy melts are melted. If they're really thick which happens a lot with Wilton brand, pour ½ teaspoon of melted refined coconut oil into both of the colors. Stir well and repeat until the chocolate is a dipping consistency.
- Dip the bottom of 6 cones, about ¼ inch up the side of the cone, into the red candy melts to seal the cake pop mixture into the hat. Place the flat candy-coated side down on the wax paper to harden.
- Dip the bottom of the remaining cones, about ¼ inch up the side of the cone, into the blue candy melts to seal the cake pop mixture into the hat. Place the flat candy coated side down on the wax paper. Let the hats sit until the chocolate is completely hardened.
- Once the bottom of the cone has hardened, reheat the red and blue candy melts if they've hardened up. Do this by microwaving the candy melts in 30-second intervals and stirring after each interval until completely melted.
- Pour each color in a tall glass where the sugar cone can be dipped down in and the candy melts will cover it.
- Grab the cone where the candy melts are hardened on the cone and dip 6 cones in the red candy melts up to meet the red that's hardened. You can tilt the glass to help cover more of the hat. Tap the wrist that's holding the stick to remove any excess candy melts.
- Place the red cones flat side down on a piece of wax paper to dry.
- Grab the cone where the candy melts are hardened on the cone and dip the remaining 6 cones in the blue candy melts, tilting the glass to help cover all of the gnome hat. Tap the wrist that's holding the stick to remove any excess candy melt.
- Place the blue cones flat side down on a piece of wax paper to dry.
- Once the cones are completely dry, set them flat side up in the ice cream cone baking rack.
For the Gnomes Skin
- Melt the white and chocolate almond bark together in one microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30-second intervals and stir after each interval. Repeat until the candy melts are completely melted.
- Dip the tip of a cake pop stick into the melted almond bark and place in the center of the rounded part of the cake pop. Repeat with the remaining cake pops.
- Once the almond bark has hardened, dip the cake pop into the almond bark all the way up to the stick. Gently tap the wrist that's holding the cake pop to remove any excess almond bark.
- While the almond bark is still wet on the cake pop, place the flat side of the cake pop on the hardened candy melt bottom of the cone that's in the ice cream cone rack. Hold it if it's sliding around until it's set.
- Quickly place mini dehydrated marshmallows around the rounded side of the cake pop while it's still wet to form a beard. If the almond bark dries too quickly, add a small amount of the melted almond bark to a sandwich bag and cut a very small hole in the corner of the sandwich bag. Add a dot of melted almond bark to the cake pop and a mini marshmallow on top of the chocolate. Repeat until you're happy with the beard.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)