Homemade popsicles are what it’s all about today. But we’re not stopping at just making homemade popsicles. Oh, no. Today, we’re talking about everything you’ve always wanted to know about popsicles AND the things you never knew you wanted to know. It’s a popsicle-palooza today, and you’re all invited to the show.
Popsicles are a time-honored summer treat for practically every family in the USA. I can’t think of summer in my entire life that didn’t involve popsicles. As a child, I always knew there were popsicles in the freezer. When I became a mom, I kept them in the freezer for my kids, too. Popsicles are just so classic.
These days, I like to make my own homemade popsicles. They’re cheaper than store-bought, I can control the amount of sugar and other ingredients in them, and they taste better, too! I’m a big fan of making my own popsicles, and I want to share that love with you. So let’s start talking about popsicles!
The History of Popsicles
Like so many foods that we enjoy today, popsicles were a happy accident. There was no chef or talented food genius involved in making these summer staples. In fact, they were the result of a childhood mishap.
Way back in 1905, a boy named Frank Epperson accidentally left a glass fille wat water, powdered soda mix, and a wooden stir stick outside overnight. It was a particularly cold night in California, and by the next morning when Frank found his glass, the contents had frozen solid.
He rand the glass under hot water to loosen the frozen block and pulled it out by the wooden stick. Being curious as all children are, Frank decided to try eating his accidental creation rather than letting it go to waste. At that moment, he knew he’d struck snacking gold.
Frank began to make his accidental treat often for both himself and his friends. Later, when he became a father, he made the treats for his kids.
In 1923, Frank filed for a patent on his creation, for years calling them Eppsicles. At his children’s behest, he eventually changed the name to Pop’s ‘sicles. The name stuck, and over time, it changed to popsicles.
From fruit pops to chocolate popsicles and everything in between, there are a ton of different varieties of popsicles, but they all have one thing in common. You need the same supplies to make any of them. There are four basic tools you’ll need for any popsicle recipe you ever make.
- Popsicle molds
- Bowl with a pouring lip or liquid measuring cup
- Wooden sticks
I want to note a few things here. The first is that for many recipes, any blender will do. Recipes that are mostly juice or a creamy ingredient like yogurt or that use fresh or frozen berries can be made with a blender. However, some popsicle recipes call for blending things like frozen chunks of pineapple and other large fruits. For these tasks, it’s better to use a heavy-duty blender. You’ll get a better-finished product, and your blender won’t wear out.
A bowl with a pouring lip will make your life so much easier when you’re making homemade popsicles. Many popsicle recipes call for blending and then simply pouring the contents of the blender directly into your molds, however, I’ve found that to be unwieldy and messy. It’s far easier to transfer the contents of your blender to a small bowl with a pouring lip or a liquid measuring cup so you have more control over the pour.
Types of Popsicles
There are three main types of popsicles – fruit, ice, and cream. Of course, fruit pops are made with fruit puree as the main ingredient. Ice pops are usually made with something like coconut water or juice and often have solid chunks of fruit or other ingredients suspended in them. Finally, cream pops are usually milk or cream-based and often have other creamy ingredients like yogurt, chocolate, and even avocado added.
Of course, cooks love to get creative, so you’ll often find variations of popsicles that combine more than one type of pop. For example, some fruit pops have added Greek yogurt for smoothness, while some cream pops might use fruit juice like a creamsicle, for example.
Fruit pops are made with a fruit puree base. A blender is used to make a thick puree to which something like juice or water is added to give it the right consistency to freeze. Some people actually simply freeze the puree.
When fruits freeze, they lose a bit of their, uh… fruitiness. That makes it important to use fruits that have a nice strong flavor. That’s why you’ve never seen an apple popsicle before. The flavor just isn’t punchy enough. Some favorite fruits for homemade popsicles include:
- Lemon (add sugar!)
- Any sweet berry
Some fruit pops stop there, but many add other complementary ingredients to further enhance the flavor of the pops. You’ll find the following additives in many popsicles.
When you think of ice pops, you probably think of the vibrantly colored push-up style pops that you buy at room temperature and then freeze, but homemade ice pops are literally flavored ice on a stick.
These types of pops usually use juice or coconut water to create what amounts to a sweetened ice cube on a stick. They can be quite fancy, though. You’ll often find pops of this kind filled with chunks of fruit or even large pieces of herbs like the ones listed above.
Cream pops use a thicker, creamy liquid as their base. These kinds of popsicles are often made with milk or cream to which is added things like chocolate, fruit purees, or avocado. In general, these pops tend to be very creamy, almost tasting like very hard ice cream on a stick.
Boozy popsicles are simply any popsicle that has a little bit of alcohol added to it. You’ll be using spirits, so it’s important to remember that they don’t freeze. That means if you add too much, you’ll end up with slushies instead of popsicles. While those would be delicious, they aren’t the desired outcome.
The rule of thumb is to use a four to one ratio of popsicle mix to alcohol. This ensures that you get the boozy flavor you want but that you also actually have a popsicle at the end of it all.
Healthy popsicles? Sorcery! Well, not really. While we might immediately think of frozen sugar bombs when we think of popsicles, the reality is that they can be quite healthy.
Using ingredients like fresh fruit, greek yogurt, and natural sweeteners like honey or Stevia allows you to make popsicles that are full of flavor and health benefits.
How to Make Homemade Popsicles
Making homemade popsicles is very simple, especially if you follow a recipe. There are thousands of popsicle recipes online, so it’s easy to find as many as you want to create.
You can also simply wing it. It’s extremely difficult to screw up a popsicle! Simply choose a base of your choice and add whatever you like. For example, blend orange juice with milk, cream, or yogurt and a bit of sugar to make an orange creamsicle. That’s just one example of how easy it is. Making popsicles for yourself really comes down to experimentation, blending, and freezing!
After you’ve chosen your popsicle ingredients, simply pop them in a blender and blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Again, I prefer a heavy-duty blender because it can stand up to any frozen additions you might have. Plus, heavy-duty blenders simply blend better, in my opinion.
When pouring your mixture into your popsicle molds, it’s important to remember that liquid expands. Leave about a quarter of an inch of space when you fill up your popsicle mold so that the liquid won’t overflow as it freezes. It is much harder to get your popsicles out of the mold if they’ve frozen over the top of it.
It generally takes about four to six hours for popsicles to fully freeze, depending on what you made them with. My rule of thumb is the longer, the better. You can’t always tell if your popsicles are completely frozen, and taking them out prematurely makes a mess.
The easiest way to remove your popsicles from their molds is to run warm water over the mold for about two minutes. This allows the exterior of the popsicle to melt just enough to pull away from the mold and slide right out.
If you skip this part, you could end up with broken popsicles, and while they’ll still be delicious, they won’t be nearly as pretty. They’ll also be harder to eat. Nobody wants to eat a popsicle with a spoon.
Popsicles are frozen, so storing them is easy. I like to remove them from their molds and then place them in heavy-duty freezer bags. You can simply leave them in their molds, as well, but then you can’t make more!
Homemade popsicles will last for about six weeks when stored in this matter. After that, they’re still safe, but they can become freezer burned and lose a bit of their flavor.
Delicious Homemade Popsicles to Try
So, we’ve talked about where popsicles come from, the types of popsicles, how to make homemade popsicles, and how to store them. Now let’s look at some recipes. This is the fun part.
Fruit Pop Recipes
Citrus Watermelon Popsicles
Citrus Watermelon Popsicles are one of the fruitiest and juiciest frozen treats that you will want to make this summer! What could be more refreshing or healthier than pure fruit on a stick? 3 ingredients – and that’s it!
Pineapple Mango Popsicles
Pineapple Mango Popsicles are easy to make (only 2 ingredients!), they satisfy any sweet tooth, and provide instant relief from the summer heat.
Healthy Strawberry Popsicles
Offer your kids this healthier alternative to typical popsicles and they will tell you they like them even more.
Orange Juice and Fruit Popsicles
These popsicles are easy and full of delicious, fruity goodness. They’re perfect for both adults and the kids.
Blueberry Peach Popsicles
These Blueberry Peach Popsicles celebrate the fresh fruit of late summer in a deliciously sweet and simple blend. Just 3 ingredients (or 4 if you use honey) and ready for the mold in minutes.
Ice Pop Recipes
Chunky Fruit Popsicles
Sweet but healthy fruit popsicles are a fun summer treat packed with fresh fruit. Popsicles are super easy to make at home and only require a handful of ingredients to make!
Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
Are you looking for a delicious way to indulge in a sweet treat and cool off at the same time? These easy Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles are the perfect way to do just that!
Gummy Bear Popsicles
Looking for a fun spring and summer treat that’s easy to make with only two ingredients? These gummy bear popsicles are kid-friendly and a great way to cool off on hot summer days.
Rainbow Fruit Popsicles
See how you can easily make these fruit pops all summer long. This homemade ice pops recipe is excellent for summer parties, hot days, or when you need to use up berries, melon, or other fruits.
Lemonade Fruit Popsicles
These Lemonade Fruit Popsicles are homemade Fruit Ice Pops that are perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day! They’re super fun to make with lemonade and whatever fruit you have around the house.
Cream Pop Recipes
Banana Chocolate Popsicles
These banana chocolate popsicles are a refreshing frozen treat, perfect for summertime. They’re gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and so easy to make. These popsicles are a great way to use up ripe bananas during the warmer months.
Cherry Cheesecake Popsicles
Cherry cheesecake popsicles combine the fruitiness of cherries, the creaminess of cheesecake and the portability of popsicles!
These Make at Home Orange Creamsicles are the perfect summer treat. With a perfect mix of orange juice , heavy whipping and a touch of vanilla extract. Everyone will love this creamy frozen orange dessert or snack.
Creamy Mango Popsicles
These three ingredients Mango Popsicles are creamy, tart, refreshing and delicious. A vegan, no sugar added frozen treat perfect for the family!
Cookies and Cream Popsicles
These creamy popsicles are filled with crushed Oreo’s, vanilla, cream cheese, and yogurt. They’re a creamy treat on a hot day.
Try Making Your Own Homemade Popsicles Today
Now that you know everything you could possibly want to about homemade popsicles, it’s time to try your hand at them. Whether you choose one of these tasty recipes, find your own out there on Google, or simply want to get creative and wing it, one thing’s for sure. You’ll be making your own homemade popsicles in no time!