Make Your Own Juice Popsicles

What juices to put in the mold? My favorite is lemonade. If you use ready made juice or lemonade, you might want to boil it down first, reducing the juice by about a half, and add a little corn syrup. If you are using frozen concentrated juice, add half as much water as you would normally. The biggest problem with homemade juice popsicles is that they turn out too icy. A higher sugar to water ratio will help reduce the iciness, as will a little bit of corn syrup.


  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want them, and if you are using Meyer lemons, use less sugar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup of lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)



1 Heat 1 cup of water and 3/4 to 1 cup of granulated sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the zest of 2 lemons and 1 Tbsp of light corn syrup into the sugar water (also called simple syrup). Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let cool.

2 Juice enough lemons (about 4) to produce 1 cup of lemon juice. Strain out any pulp. Add the simple syrup to the lemon juice, straining out the lemon zest as you pour the syrup into the juice.

3 Pour the lemon mixture into the popsicle molds. Put into a freezer for at least 4 hours to freeze. To unmold, run under hot water for a few seconds.

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  • Cool

    I’ve tried it! It tastes very good! Thanks Elise!

  • Julia

    Thank you for the great recipe! I just adapted it to 5 calories per popsicle using sugar-free flavored gelatin dissolved in one cup of boiling water and adding two cups of sugar-free Hawaiian Punch. (My six popsicle molds hold half a cup of liquid each.) Today, with temperatures climbing into the hundreds, this guilt-free treat really hit the spot for my husband and me.

  • Janet

    I’d use a blender to puree fresh organic fruit, add dates or stevia if needed for a sweetener, fresh coconut water so it’s nice and light…

  • Hillary

    I make popsicles the easy way: I have a 4-piece small popsicle set, and I just pour juice into them, put the plastic stick in, and let it freeze for 8 hours. I like to freeze them overnight. A couple of times, I even poured soda into the popsicle molds! They turned out refreshing and full of holes.

  • Lisa Ferguson

    Thanks Holly for your reply. And yes, the mold that I bought at one of those kitchen stores is made of plastic and the sticks are smooth. The second time, I mixed equal parts of orange sherbet with OJ and the sticks still just popped out again. My kids just ate it with a spoon like it was ice cream. I’ll try the wooden ones like you’ve recommended. But here’s another question. I just like to use straight juice for convenience and calorie sakes so how do you keep the wooden sticks centered?

  • Holly

    Are the sticks you are using smooth plastic? If they are, that could be the problem. You know how you have to scuff the surface with sandpaper before you paint something? The juice needs something to hold onto. That’s why most popsicle sticks are wood (porous). I have a popsicle mold and the sticks are smooth plastic, but they have holes in them so the frozen juice has a way to grab onto something. Just a thought…hope that helps!

  • Lisa

    I recently started making Popsicles for my kids, mostly straight juice but most of the time the sticks aren’t sticking to the pops. Does anyone have an idea why that is? There’s some good simple recipes here that I’ll have to try and see if the sticks work better. Thanks.

  • Meenah

    No gelatin? =/

  • Casey

    Anyone know how to make multi-colored popsicles? For 4th of July, I want red, white and blue ones, but not sure on when to put the stick in the freeze.

  • michelle

    My husband and I have our nightly ritual…popsicles. I am trying to cut back not only on grocery spending, but the waste that the store bought popsicles leave behind….sticks and plastic.

    Very informative website. Reminds me of how our moms used to do it before everything was on the shelves at the grocery stores. I miss those days!

  • Chris

    Great thread and some great recipes – can’t wait to try out (it is 79 degrees and very sticky here in London now)..

    I just made my own personal favorites – throw a tray of strawberries into your juicer together with a lime or two. Pour the fresh juice into a mold and throw in a couple of Goji berries for a nice sweet surprise.

    For molds I just bought the rocket ones from CuisiPro and they are a hit with my kid.

  • Lauren

    I am new to making popsicles, just for myself and my boyfriend. We live in Las Vegas, so of course its always hot! They have some great diet soda flavored popsicles on the market now, so I wanted to make my own…I used cherry coke zero (my fave) and let it flatten, then added a tiny bit of unflavored gelatin to each one to keep it from melting super-quick. They were great and a more adult version of a kid’s treat.

  • Murphy

    To make popsicles I use orange juice and apple juice.

  • SeattleMom

    My pre-teen daughter loves to concoct her own popsicle formulas – usually some kind of blender fruit smoothy popsicle. But the funniest concoction is when she saves her leftover chocolatey milk from after eating Cocoa Puffs and makes popsicles out of that. Funny, no one wants to share them with her!
    I’m always amazed by recipes for popsicles made out of jello or kool-aid (both pure junk food) when they could use real juice. It’s actually a lot easier to use real juice. And less staining when it drips. If what you want is dripless popsicles, dissolve unflavored gelatin in a little water according to package directions and add that to the juice.
    The orange juice/vanilla ice cream and Thai Iced Tea popsicles both sound scrumtious!

  • Amanda

    Lovely post. We love homemade ice lollies. We have cheap plastic ones that catch the juice as it melts, they also have a sipping spout, great! Our favs are apple or orange juice though we made homemade lemonade the other week with brown sugar and I think that would make fantastic ice lollies. Thank you so much for the link. Amanda

  • Linda


    I am wondering if your recipe would also work well in an ice cream freezer? Light frozen dessert?

    Linda in Washington State

  • Judy

    I have been making popsicles for many years with orange juice and grape juice. I use frozen concentrate and instead of three cans of water, I use two cans of water. The result is perfect.

  • Lisa

    Try pureeing chunks of watermelon (removing seeds, of course) and then adding bits of fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, bananas or whatever, then freeze the pureed watermelon. Very healthy treat.

  • freya

    Well, Wendy…I personally find the term ice-lolly quite fanciful; I love it! I have never heard that name before. I adore popsicles, specifically the lemonade ones reminiscent of my own childhood! Yummy!

  • Inna

    We use just a regular 100% juice (orange, apple, cranberry etc.) and the kids love it. It’s healthy and freezes great. I found popsicles molds in the Dollar Tree store – they are actually good quality and a right size for my little ones.

  • Jody

    Back in the old days, Mom used to make popsicles out of anything and put them in ice cube trays. I will use just about anything too — kool aid, juices, smoothie, whatever. The kids don’t seem to mind much if they turn into ice-sicles after awhile. To them, it’s more about the cold goodie on a stick than anything.
    Thanks for the recipe. Cute buddy!

  • sam

    It’s way too cold down here to be thinking of any such thing. Be sure to pack your woolies this weekend Elise, for your visit down South.

  • Wendy

    “Popsicle” sounds so much cuter than ice-lolly (that’s what we Scots – maybe all Brits? – call them). Just bought an ice-lolly tray. Will definitely try out these ideas.

  • Nicole

    This post brings back so many memories! We always had homemade popsicles (we just called them juice bars) when I was a kid. My mom would just use whatever juice was in the fridge…usually something made from concentrate. My favorites were pink lemonade!

  • lydia

    Ah, it’s 90 degrees today and a power surge sent our a/c to air conditioner heaven. A nice cold juice popsicle sounds just perfect!

  • Lennie

    Our recipe is very old, from when I was a kid. And, for that matter, the molds we use are the same ones grandma used when I was a child. The recipe: juice. Orange juice is our favorite, although we have made them with other juices as well. Gotta try the mango nectar pops. We’ve also liked apricot nectar. Or for a real creamy treat, use 1C orange juice and 1C vanilla ice cream, stirred together until runny but not liquid, and pour that into the mold to refreeze. Not as good for you, but a great desert… and probably better for you than most deserts!

  • stacy

    You just sent me back to happy childhood memories! we always made popsicles out of koolaid or juice. Saved up our cereal tops to trade in for the “cool” molds. hehe

    I’m so glad kids still do this.

  • Anonymous

    Andrew is so adorable!!

  • Wendy

    I just got one of the Tovolo sets last weekend, and I’m planning to make Thai iced tea popsicles!

  • Nicky

    The picture is so gorgeous!!! I could use a popsicle right now… we are having some early summer days and the temperatures are almost higher than the ones we got last August.
    I tried all kinds of different fruit juices for popsicles, but my favorite is a mixture of fresh fruit puree and some spoons of Greek yogurt – does that still qualify as a popsicle?

  • Jerry

    I’ve made these every summer for years, using just apple juice or orange juice. My boys never needed anything else added, and they were usually gone within minutes of having frozen.

    I won’t be making them this summer, as rugrat #6 is too young to enjoy them, but you can bet they’ll be on the menu next summer!

  • jonathan

    Let’s hope no one has everyone forgotten that time-honored favorite…Fudgesicles! Yum.

  • Kimmer

    Great timing, thanks! I made regular lemonade popsicles last week, and they were less than impressive. Now I’ll have lots of options that work much better, thanks!

  • Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

    Oh, he is such a cutie!!!

  • Rachel Yeshurun

    I make popsicles by simply freezing bought ‘nectar’ juice in popsicle molds. The best flavours for freezing are qiwi & pear, lemon & mint, pomegranite and also mango. Don’t know if these juices are available in the States, but they are available here in Israel at every corner grocery.

  • Erik

    Try boiling fruit tea in a mug for 5-10 minutes and stir in sugar (amt. of sugar is personal preference. Then pour in into popsicle molds and freeze it. turns into a yummy treat

  • H.

    Lots of great (healthy) popsicle recipes here:

  • Jacqui

    I shudder at the amount of sugar in the typical Popsicle recipe, but the advantage of the Jello/Koolaid ones is that they don’t drip! My standard recipe is:

    1 package Jello, any flavour
    1 envelope Koolaid drink powder, any flavour
    1 cup (more or less) white sugar
    2 cups boiling water
    2 cups cold water or juice
    Stir Jello into boiling water until thoroughly dissolved; add Koolaid and sugar. Stir in cold water or juice. Freeze and enjoy.

    Today I tried it without the Koolaid and with only 2 Tbsp sugar, and it seemed to work fine.

    • tyra williams

      how long does it take to set