Pop It Birthday Cake (Easy DIY Tutorial)

Pop its are fun sensory toys that come in various shapes like unicorns, stars, and circles. It’s sort of like reusable bubble wrap that’s become a hugely popular pop fidget toy. Lately, some popular tik tok users and social media influencers have been using the toy to make chocolate that’s molded into the same shape, which gave me a great idea! Why not use the pop it as inspiration for a pop it themed cake! In this article, I’ll show you how to make a simple and delicious pop it birthday cake. So get out your mixer and let’s get started!

  • Materials
    • Pop it toy or pop it shaped candy mold
    • Cake stand
    • Mixer 
    • Icing tips
    • Icing bags
    • Cake stand
    • Cake board or plate
    • Bowls
    • Spoons
    • Rubber spatula
    • Cake pan
    • 13 x 18 inch baking tray
  • Ingredients
    • Sprinkles
    • Melting chocolate or fondant
    • Icing (butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla)
    • Cake (store bought or your favorite recipe)
    • Food coloring 

How to make a pop it birthday cake

Pop it birthday cakes don’t have to be hard! The absolute easiest way to make your own DIY pop it birthday cake is to buy a store bought cake and then you only have to create the pop it cake topper at home. Alternatively, you could make a cake from scratch at home and then make and add your pop its cake topper too. If you’re buying a store bought cake, you can skip over a few steps in these directions.

Step 1: Make your pop it themed chocolate candy

If you already have a pop it toy at home for sensory play, make sure you wash it thoroughly. If it’s made from good quality food grade silicone, these self-regulation tools can also double as a mold to pour your candy melts into (or you can use fondant for this step if you prefer!) If you don’t have a pop it at home, or yours is too busy being used as a toy, you can buy a new one and wash it before you cook with it.

To make this step even easier, you could purchase a pop it themed mold that will allow you to make your chocolate candy with less risk of cracking. 

melting chocolate and pop it toy

I used a fresh, clean pop it toy as a mold for melting chocolate. I bought  5 different colors of melting chocolate candy and mixed my red and yellow together to make my own orange at home for color number 6. You can also buy white melting chocolate and add your own color to it if you’re sure the food coloring won’t cause any curdling or separation. 

melting chocolate in pop its mold

Melt your chocolate according to the directions (usually on a low setting, stirring frequently) then put it in a piping bag or ziploc bag with a small hole cut out of one corner. Take your time getting the chocolate in the pop it toy or mold, and tap it to get out any air bubbles as well as to help things settle into all the nooks and crannies. 

Set aside your chocolate, I recommend leaving it at room temperature to cool if you have time. Freezing it will cause it to sweat condensation when it comes out into warm air later and that can make it lose its shape.  

Step 2: Bake your cake

You can skip this step if you’re buying a store-bought birthday cake that’s already decorated with a simple design. Just add your desired decorations to it and the pop it themed candy, and you’re good to go!

It won’t matter if your cake is vanilla or chocolate, it’s going to be covered in buttercream frosting anyways. You can use your favorite recipe or a box cake mix. A large one layer cake, or multiple layers in smaller pans with additional buttercream icing between them will work for this cake. 

Let your cake cool to room temperature in the pan, then transfer it onto a cake board or plate and pop it into your fridge or freezer to cool completely and harden up to make frosting easier later.

Step 3: Make your icing

Use your favorite buttercream frosting recipe. I used 2 cups (500 ml) of butter, 4-5 cups of powdered sugar, two tsp of vanilla, and up to ½ a cup of milk to make my icing. Mix it together thoroughly and let it rest so the sugar has a good chance to absorb liquid from the mixture.

buttercream frosting

Step 4: Frost your cake

Use your buttercream frosting to frost your cake with a crumb coat of icing. Get a nice big ¼ cup of frosting on your spatula and add frosting to the sides of your cake, rotating as you go. It’s easier to put a lot of icing on at first and then scrape some off later to make it smooth. Don’t be afraid that you are using too much. 

frosted cake

Put your cake in the fridge or freezer to firm up again after this first coat of frosting. Then add a second layer and smooth your cake with a spatula or cake smoothing tool.

Step 5: Decorate your cake

Place your whole cake stand in a 13 x 18-inch sheet pan to catch any falling sprinkles. Grab a big thick handful of sprinkles and gently press them onto the sides of your cake, all the way around. Use your favorite icing tips and an icing bag to create some decorative swirls on the top edge of your cake. 

decorated cake

Step 6: Add your pop its themed cake toppers

Very slowly and gently, remove your pop it shaped candy from the toy mold. Press one bubble at a time to help it release and take extra care along the ridges between each color. 

broken pop it chocolate

As I was de-molding my candy, both of mine broke. This is less likely to happen if you’re using a proper pop it candy mold that is built for cake decorating. But if you’re using a real toy like I did, the ridges that separate each color of the toy make it harder to use for a single piece of chocolate. I recommend using a thick layer of extra chocolate, like I did, to ‘glue’ your chocolate back together if it breaks apart.

how to fix broken pop it chocolate with an extra layer of chocolate

You can prop up your pop it cake topper with some skewers or popsicle sticks to make it stand up nicely, or lay it flat on your cake for whatever style of look you prefer. 

pop it themed birthday cake

Voila! You’ve just made your very own pop it themed birthday cake!

Conclusion

Who knew you could use tactile sensory toys to make such a cool birthday cake? I hope you liked this pop it fidget toy birthday cake tutorial! A DIY pop it birthday cake like this is sure to impress all your guests. By using the pop it toy as a silicone mold you can make an easy theme cake that looks like so much fun. You could even include some pop its toys in your party bags to help your guests get all their restless energy out from the party.

pop it themed cake

Pop It Birthday Cake

Learn how to make your own pop it themed birthday cake by using a real toy as a chocolate mold.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people
Calories 250 kcal

Equipment

  • Pop it toy or pop it shaped candy mold
  • Cake stand
  • Mixer
  • Icing tips
  • Icing bags
  • Cake stand
  • Cake board or plate
  • bowls
  • spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Cake pan
  • 13 x 18 inch baking tray
  • round cake pan

Ingredients
  

  • Sprinkles
  • Melting chocolate or fondant
  • Icing butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla
  • Cake store bought or your favorite recipe
  • Food coloring

Instructions
 

Make your pop it themed chocolate or candy

  • If you already have a pop it toy at home for sensory play, make sure you wash it thoroughly. If it’s made from good quality food grade silicone, these self-regulation tools can also double as a mold to pour your candy melts into (or you can use fondant for this step if you prefer!) If you don’t have a pop it at home, or yours is too busy being used as a toy, you can buy a new one and wash it before you cook with it.
  • To make this step even easier, you could purchase a pop it themed mold that will allow you to make your chocolate candy with less risk of cracking.
  • I used a fresh, clean pop it toy as a mold for melting chocolate. I bought 5 different colors of melting chocolate candy and mixed my red and yellow together to make my own orange at home for color number 6. You can also buy white melting chocolate and add your own color to it if you’re sure the food coloring won’t cause any curdling or separation.
  • Melt your chocolate according to the directions (usually on a low setting, stirring frequently) then put it in a piping bag or ziploc bag with a small hole cut out of one corner. Take your time getting the chocolate in the pop it toy or mold, and tap it to get out any air bubbles as well as to help things settle into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Set aside your chocolate, I recommend leaving it at room temperature to cool if you have time. Freezing it will cause it to sweat condensation when it comes out into warm air later and that can make it lose its shape.

Bake your cake

  • You can skip this step if you’re buying a store-bought birthday cake that’s already decorated with a simple design. Just add your desired decorations to it and the pop it themed candy, and you’re good to go!
  • It won’t matter if your cake is vanilla or chocolate, it’s going to be covered in buttercream frosting anyways. You can use your favorite recipe or a box cake mix. A large one layer cake, or multiple layers in smaller pans with additional buttercream icing between them will work for this cake.
  • Let your cake cool to room temperature in the pan, then transfer it onto a cake board or plate and pop it into your fridge or freezer to cool completely and harden up to make frosting easier later.

Make your icing

  • Use your favorite buttercream frosting recipe. I used 2 cups (500 ml) of butter, 4-5 cups of powdered sugar, two tsp of vanilla, and up to ½ a cup of milk to make my icing. Mix it together thoroughly and let it rest so the sugar has a good chance to absorb liquid from the mixture.

Frost your cake

  • Use your buttercream frosting to frost your cake with a crumb coat of icing. Get a nice big ¼ cup of frosting on your spatula and add frosting to the sides of your cake, rotating as you go. It’s easier to put a lot of icing on at first and then scrape some off later to make it smooth. Don’t be afraid that you are using too much.
  • Put your cake in the fridge or freezer to firm up again after this first coat of frosting. Then add a second layer and smooth your cake with a spatula or cake smoothing tool.

Decorate your cake

  • Place your whole cake stand in a 13 x 18-inch sheet pan to catch any falling sprinkles. Grab a big thick handful of sprinkles and gently press them onto the sides of your cake, all the way around. Use your favorite icing tips and an icing bag to create some decorative swirls on the top edge of your cake.

Add your pop its themed cake toppers

  • Very slowly and gently, remove your pop it shaped candy from the toy mold. Press one bubble at a time to help it release and take extra care along the ridges between each color.
  • As I was de-molding my candy, both of mine broke. This is less likely to happen if you’re using a proper pop it candy mold that is built for cake decorating. But if you’re using a real toy like I did, the ridges that separate each color of the toy make it harder to use for a single piece of chocolate. I recommend using a thick layer of extra chocolate, like I did, to ‘glue’ your chocolate back together if it breaks apart.
  • You can prop up your pop it cake topper with some skewers or popsicle sticks to make it stand up nicely, or lay it flat on your cake for whatever style of look you prefer.
Keyword Cake, Dessert

If you’re looking for more DIY cake decorating ideas check out these articles from Mama’s Buzz!

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