The Sweet Origins Of Cake Pops

Is there anything that embodies little treat culture more than a cake pop? Comprised of bite-sized balls of icing-infused cake dipped in colorful chocolate and served on a stick, the whimsical dessert is the perfect thing to turn to when you want to reward yourself for accomplishing a task on your to-do list, and as you bite into one, you might find yourself wondering who we have to thank for such a delectable dessert.

No, it's not Starbucks — though we don't blame anybody for thinking that the coffee giant might be behind the sugary morsels. Rather, the sweet origins of cake pops are rooted in the internet, on a blog called Bakerella run by Angie Dudley. On February 1, 2008, the graphic designer from Atlanta, Georgia, hit publish on a post detailing how she made a batch of cake pops fashioned to look like cupcakes. The concept went viral, eventually landing in front of the eyes of none other than Martha Stewart.

One month later, the blogger appeared on Stewart's program to demonstrate how to make her cupcake pops alongside the homemaking queen, and the rest, as they say, is history. Dudley and her cake pops were featured on other television programs and in magazines, and she's even authored several books about the sweet treats. Meanwhile, cake pops began showing up in bakeries and coffee shops like Starbucks, where they debuted in 2010 and are still readily available to order from pastry display cases to this day.

Before cake pops, there were cake balls

What's a cake pop without its stick? A cake ball, which was actually the predecessor to Angie Dudley's claim to fame. The blogger first posted about this clever way to repurpose leftover cake in December 2007. She had tried them at a party two years before. So how did the sticks come into play? According to a Bakerella blog post published three days before Dudley's infamous cupcake cake pop post went live, she decided to return to her cake ball recipe, but that time, with a twist.

"Just to make them even a little cuter, [I] stuck them on lollipop sticks ... Cakesicles anyone?" she wrote. Of course, "cake pop" was the name that stuck for these bite-sized treats. In fact, these days, cakesicles are considered an entirely different dessert that might even give cake pops a run for their money. And while the stick-y versions (get it?) have earned most of the attention, cake balls still deserve just as much love, especially since they're the perfect alternative for when you don't have any sticks to make cake pops.