Gluten free vanilla cake pops are a fun dessert that have a soft inside and firm outer shell! Baby spinach gives the green cake pops their gorgeous color while honey is used as the sweetener! These healthy cake pops are also SCD, Paleo, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free.
If you've ever been to Starbucks (and let's face it, most of us have at some point!) you've probably noticed those yummy looking little cake pops that they have in the display case.
These gluten free vanilla cake pops taste remarkably similar to the Starbucks version but are so much healthier!
The green almond flour cake and frosting both use baby spinach for that pretty pastel color!
This recipe would be perfect to serve for St. Patrick's Day, Easter, or even Christmas. If you have kids, this is such a fun recipe to have them help you with!
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- blanched finely ground almond flour
- baking soda
- fine sea salt
- nut milk (almond, coconut, walnut, etc. )
- vanilla extract
- coconut oil
- baby spinach
Let's talk about the spinach for a minute. It's going to give the cake a vibrant green color without using any artificial ingredients, you won't be able to taste it in the cake, AND you get some healthy leafy greens in your dessert!
how to make cake pops without a mold
Did you know they sell cake pop molds?! If you have a mold for cake pops, you can bake them in the mold and just skip right on down to the frosting.
If you're like me and have no more room in your kitchen for a luxury item like cake pop molds, keep on reading, they're super easy to make from scratch!
Place all of the cake ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until everything is well combined and you can no longer see little pieces of spinach.
You'll probably have to stop a couple times to scrape down the sides of the blender jar.
Pour that gorgeous green batter into a greased and lined 9" round cake pan.
The cake will be thin and is finished baking when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Once the cake is cool enough to handle, turn it out into a bowl and begin to squeeze and crumble the cake into tiny little pieces.
If you have kids, this is where you put them to work! My toddlers LOVED this part of the process.
Add the base frosting to the bowl (directions for the frosting is below) and continue using your hands to mix it all together!
You'll end up with a soft mixture that can be easily formed into balls.
Speaking of balls, they need to be the same size and I suggest using a mini ice cream scoop.
Roll the cake balls between your hands (kind of like play-doh) and placed them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
Insert a lollipop stick into the center of each cake pop and place the whole baking sheet into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
The cake balls need to be cold and hard in order to stay together when dipped into the frosting.
Cake pop frosting
This recipe actually calls for two frostings: the base frosting and the shell frosting.
The awesome thing is, the shell frosting is just the base with 2 quick additions!
The base, which is mixed into the cake, uses the following ingredients:
- vanilla extract
Those three ingredients are creamed together in a stand mixer. Once well combined, remove ¼ cup of the base frosting to mix into the cake.
Coconut butter and spinach juice (recipe below) are added to create the shell frosting. Mix well until smooth.
Remove the hard vanilla cake pops from the freezer and roll them (using a spoon if needed) in the shell frosting until totally covered.
Put the paleo cake pops back on the baking sheet and place in the freezer to harden.
how to make plant based food coloring
There are two ways to make the green food coloring for this recipe.
If you have a juicer, simply juice about ½ cup of raw baby spinach leaves and use that juice as your food coloring. I have this one and I LOVE IT!
If you don't have a juicer (or don't feel like cleaning the one you have) then place a small saucepan over medium-high heat with ½ cup of raw baby spinach and ¼ cup of water.
Allow the spinach to soften and simmer for about 5 minutes. Blend the spinach and water until smooth, then strain into a small bowl to remove any leaves.
You've just made green food coloring!
Cake Pop Tips
- If you don't have lollipop sticks, just use two spoons to roll the cake in the frosting. Now you have cake bites instead of cake pops!
- For a mixture of green and white frosting like the pictures, split the shell frosting in half before adding the spinach juice. Add spinach juice to one half to make green frosting.
- Use any leftover shell frosting to pipe over the cake pops.
- For vanilla cake pops with a hard shell, store in the freezer and remove them about 5 minutes before serving.
- For vanilla cake pops with a softer shell, store in the refrigerator. They can be eaten right from the fridge!
These mini treats are so easy and fun to make! Hope you enjoy!
Want more cake? Try these recipes!
- Coconut Cupcakes
- Strawberry Almond Flour Cake
- Lemon Cake with Lemon Coconut Frosting
- Coconut Flour Mug Cake
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Almond Flour Vanilla Cake Pops
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ Tablespoon melted coconut oil (plus more for greasing baking pan)
- 1 cup raw baby spinach, packed
- 1 cup finely ground blanched almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup dairy free milk, such as almond, coconut or cashew milk
- 10 lollipop sticks
- ⅔ cup shortening
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoon softened coconut butter
- 2 Tablespoon spinach juice
- Before beginning, all ingredients should be at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line a 9" round cake pan, set aside.
- Place all cake ingredients in the jar of a high speed blender. Process until the batter is completely smooth and you can no longer see pieces of spinach. You may need to stop to scrape down the sides of the jar a couple times.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and place on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Once the cake is cool enough to handle, turn out into a bowl and use your hands to break the cake up into small, crumbly pieces.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening, honey, and vanilla extract. This is your base frosting.
- Add ONLY ¼ cup of the base frosting to the cake and use your hands to mix them together. *Leave the rest of the base frosting in the mixing bowl and set aside*
- Roll the cake into small balls using a mini ice cream scoop. Place the cake balls on a freezer paper lined baking sheet and insert a lollipop stick into each ball.
- Place the cake pops into the freezer for 30 minutes or until they're cold and hard.
- Add the softened coconut butter to the base frosting and mix until well combined. Roll half of the frozen cake pops in the frosting and place back on the baking sheet.
- OPTIONAL: Reserve about 1 ½ tablespoon of frosting to decorate the green cake pops.
- Mix the spinach juice into the frosting and roll the remaining cake pops in the green frosting.
- Use any extra green frosting to decorate the white cake pops. If you reserved any of the white frosting, use it to decorate the green cake pops.
- Place the baking sheet with the cake pops back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Store the cake pops in the freezer for a hard outer shell or in the refrigerator for a softer shell.
- See post above for directions on how to make spinach juice.
- If left at room temperature for more than 15 minutes, the shell will begin to get VERY soft!
Amazing! My 8 y/o is on the SCD to manage his Crohns. He LOVES these cake pops! Thank you so much!!
These are really delicious and the texture is so good from the freezer. I have a Vitamix with a wide base and a single batch of the recipe isn't enough to blend the spinach sufficiently. Any setting higher than 2 just flings it around the jar. My solution was just to double the recipe so it had enough to blend and bake the extra as cupcakes! Great flavor and I feel happy feeding my kids dessert with spinach!!
Happy to hear you and the kids enjoyed the cake pops Natalie! Turning the extra batter into cupcakes? Brilliant! Thanks for leaving a message to let me know how the recipe worked for you!
I have a question. Can you use palm shortening for the shortening?
Yes! Palm or vegetable shortening will work.