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The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Popsicles

How to make healthy homemade popsicles from A to Z, including how to make fruity, creamy, and even hidden veggie popsicles!

Healthy homemade rainbow popsicles recipe photo on a marble background

My first cookbook, For the Love of Popsicles will be released on May 7th (which is like…REALLY soon, y’all!) So in celebration of what is bound to be dubbed The Summer of Popsicles (okay, only I have dubbed it that), we’re going through all the basics of how to make your own homemade popsicles.

As with the recipes in For the Love of Popsicles, these are healthier than your average pop, containing down-to-earth ingredients and less sugar. Click the links below to jump around the post:

  1. The basics of homemade popsicle making
  2. How to make fruity popsicles
  3. How to make creamy popsicles
  4. Hidden veggie popsicles
  5. Homemade popsicle FAQ

Best popsicle molds

Before we dig into the popsicle recipes, it’s important that we’re working with a good popsicle mold! Here are our favorites for making perfect homemade pops:

  • PopsicleLab’s Silicone Popsicle Molds (pictured below): With environmentally-friendly silicone, these complete sets have all required accessories and make unmolding your popsicles a breeze (+ dishwasher safe, win). A recent favorite of mine!
  • Quick Freeze Molds: With quick-freezing technology, these freeze popsicles in minutes (though they make less and have a much higher price point).
  • Push Pops: While we like to avoid single-use plastic around here when possible, sometimes you just need a push pop for on the go!
PopsicleLab Popsicles molds

The basics of healthy homemade popsicle making

Before you start whipping up your homemade ice pops, you’ll need to choose your adventure! Are you going creamy or fruity? Yogurt is a great basis for creamy pops, while fruit purees are great for making fruity pops. Once you’ve got that established, there are a few basic principles to making your own popsicles.

Flavor: Ripe (or even slightly overripe) fruit is the best flavoring for popsicles because it’s naturally the mosts sweet! You can supplement the sweetness with a touch of honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, or sugar if needed. Keep in mind that when food freezes the taste becomes less intense, so taste your mixture and make it slightly sweeter than you would a smoothie, because the sweetness will be less intense when frozen.

Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo of ingredients on a marble background

Mold: You’ve got your perfectly flavored mixture and you’re ready to mold it! A few of my favorite popsicle molds are the PopsicleLab’s Silicone Popsicle Molds (which are easiest to clean and unmold) and the classic popsicle shape mold (used to make the pops in these photos). If you don’t have a popsicle mold, shot glasses, yogurt containers, muffin tins, and ice cube trays work well! The mixture will naturally expand as it freezes, so be sure to leave a little space in the top of your mold when you add the mixture.

Freeze: Next comes the freezing! Depending on how thick your popsicles are, it should take anywhere between 4 and 8 hours to freeze solid. For even more perfect pops, turn your freezer as cold as it will go. The quicker your popsicles freeze, the soft they will be in the end (I go into this a bit more in For the Love of Popsicles)!

Unmold: I’ve found the fastest and most efficient way of unmolding popsicles is by simply running the mold under warm water. I just hold the bottoms of the mold under running water, moving it around to evenly warm each mold. After about 10 seconds your popsicles should come out easily!

Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo in a popsicle mold on a marble background
Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo on a marble background

How to make fruity popsicles

When I think of homemade popsicles, bright red strawberry pops are the first to come to mind! And it’s probably because fruit and popsicles are just a match made in heaven.

To make healthy homemade popsicles with fruit, you’ll need to pick a fruit! Most berries work beautifully in popsicles, though you can also use mango, pineapple, kiwi, banana, peach, or watermelon.

Then add your liquid and your sweetener. I love using juice to give the popsicles even more flavor (especially a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!), but you could also use water or milk. Finally, add a touch of sweetener if it’s needed.

Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo on a marble background
Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo on a marble background

How to make creamy popsicles

When I polled readers on which popsicle they usually preferred – creamy or fruit – the creamy popsicle lovers just barely beat the fruit lovers! And when it comes to creamy popsicles that are also healthy, there are a few popsicle foundations that I always come back to!

Whole milk plain Greek yogurt is great for making homemade popsicles. It has a lower water content than regular yogurt, meaning less water crystals to make your popsicles icy (plus it’s high protein!)!

Full-fat coconut milk from a can is another great basis for making healthy creamy popsicles. The results in a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture (though it’s higher in fat than Greek yogurt).

Whichever you choose, Greek yogurt or coconut milk, you’ll want to sweeten it some (with honey, agave, maple syrup etc), then mix it with your favorite popsicle flavors.

Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo on a marble background
Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo on a marble background

How to make hidden veggie popsicles

And the category for “popsicle flavors you didn’t know you needed” goes to…hidden veggie! As a rule of thumb, most things that make a good smoothie also make a great popsicle! Case in point: green smoothie popsicles!

Spinach has a neutral flavor that blends seamlessly into most mixtures, so try adding a handful to your next batch of pops to start off your veggie-filled popsicle journey. Feeling adventurous? You can also try adding avocado, shredded carrots, roasted sweet potato, or roasted beet! (Each of these veggies is featured in a recipe in For the Love of Popsicles!)

Homemade Popsicles FAQ

How do you make popsicles without a mold?

You can make popsicles in yogurt containers, muffin tins, shot glasses, or even a loaf pan! If you have trouble getting the sticks to stand upright in these unconventional molds, tightly wrap the top of the mold with aluminum foil (trying to prevent the foil from touching the popsicle mixture). Then just poke your popsicle sticks through the foil and they will stand upright!

How do I make popsicles that are soft (as in, popsicles that are creamy not icy)?

It all comes down to the molecular structure of popsicles! Water freezes into ice cubes, which is obvious not an ideal popsicle. But when you start adding things like sugar, fibers from fruit, or fat from coconut milk, the molecules can’t freeze as neatly and the result is a creamier, more bitable popsicle.

How do I make sugar-free popsicles?

Sugar is an important ingredient in popsicles because it’s the difference between a soft popsicle and an inedible ice cube. With that said, you can make sugar-free popsicles by either using fruit purees (which have natural sugars and fibers to keep your popsicles soft) or by using a full-fat coconut milk or Greek yogurt as a base. These creamy options can be sweetened with sugar-free sweetener without a huge difference in texture.

Have more questions about making your own popsicles? Ask them in the comments below!

Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo on a marble background
Healthy homemade popsicles recipe photo on a marble background

How to Make Homemade Popsicles

How to make healthy homemade popsicles from A to Z, including how to make fruity, creamy, and even hidden veggie popsicles!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy popsicles, fruity popsicles, homemade popsicles, popsicles
Diet: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Birthdays
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 10 mins
Freeze Time: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 2-oz popsicles
Author: Sarah Bond
4.56 from 9 votes


Berry Lemon
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 ½ cup fresh berries
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp honey or sugar
Rainbow Fruit
  • 1 cup sliced fruit
  • 1 ½ cups coconut water
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp honey or sugar
Berries and Cream
  • 1 ½ cups fresh berries
  • 2 Tbsp honey or sugar
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Coconut Lime
  • 1 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp lime zest
  • ¼ cup honey
Sneaky Spinach
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 bananas


  • Mix: Mix your ingredients and pour into molds according to the popsicle you want to make:
    Berry Lemon: Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds.
    Rainbow Fruit: Distribute fruit into molds. Combine coconut water and honey, then pour into molds, tapping on the counter to remove air pockets.
    Berries and Cream: Puree berries until smooth (add a touch of water or juice if needed to get things moving). Stir together yogurt, honey, and vanilla. Spoon berries and yogurt into molds in alternating layers.
    Coconut Lime: Stir together all ingredients. Pour into molds.
    Sneaky Spinach: Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds.
  • Freeze: Insert sticks and freeze until hard, at least 4 hours.
  • Unmold: Run mold under warm water for a few seconds to loosen, then remove pops from the molds.
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  1. Kris says:

    These sound amazing! Would love to make them for my children but my daughter is allergic to dairy and hates coconut. Any suggestion of a substitute? Thanks for your help and having such great recipes all the time!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks so much Kris! Does she like bananas? You could blend up bananas with a splash of dairy-free milk, then throw in fruit or flavors. I usually count 1 banana as 1/4 cup when substituting it for yogurt or coconut milk.

  2. Beau says:

    I was excited to see this guide because I’m a huge Popsicle fan, and then even more excited to see you had a book coming out all about pops! Just ordered your book “For The Love of Popsicles” off Amazon. I can’t wait to get it and start having fun. I’ve lost 15 pounds since purchasing your Cook It Fresh vegetarian dinner recipes. Those recipes were a big help for me transitioning over to a vegetarian lifestyle.

    1. Sarah says:

      Aw that’s AMAZING Beau! So happy to hear the Cook It Fresh recipes are working for ya! 😀 I think you’ll find some pop recipes in that book to keep up with your healthy eating, there are quite a few that are pretty low cal! Happy popsicle making!! 😀

  3. Kris says:

    Thanks. Good call, she loves bananas! Going to make some tonight-yippee!!

  4. CT says:

    I made the creamsicle pops for my boys and they loved it! Can’t wait to order your popsicle book now. Do you know how many ounces the silicone mold that you use holds? Trying to compare the 2 ice cream molds that you use and would prefer a smaller portion size for my kids. Thanks!

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it! The PopsicleLab Silicone Molds that I recommend hold 2 ounces. 😀

  5. Janet says:

    Hi Sarah!
    Love the popsicle recipes. Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t see vanilla listed with the berries and cream recipe. How much vanilla Please😄
    Gonna make some of these Doon as I get back from the store. Keep up the creatively yummy work
    And Popsicle On!!! Janet

    1. Sarah says:

      Yay! Enjoy! It’s 1/2 teaspoon 😀

  6. LG says:

    I want to make an ice Coffee popsicle for my mom for mothers day. Do you think it will work, I didn’t see coffee in the ingredients (I like to be creative!).

    1. Sarah says:

      It can work, but you’ll need to mix it with either sugar or cream to give the popsicle a good texture (pure coffee will make an ice cube that can’t be bitten into).

  7. Mohini Negi says:

    my Popsicles are not even in taste, all the flavour gets concentrated either at the bottom or at the top and remaining Popsicle is just ice.
    Pls suggest what can be done.

    1. Sarah says:

      After freezing for about 1 hour, stir up the popsicles to disperse, add the sticks, then freeze til solid 😀

  8. Kitty says:

    Have you ever used almond milk? If so, do you need a sweetener with it?

    1. Sarah says:

      Almond milk isn’t great because it’s mostly water, so the texture is very icy. I would recommend coconut milk (canned) instead). And yep, I would sweeten with a few tablespoons os honey or sugar.

  9. Doris says:

    So fun…thanks! I”m wondering if you could say more about making popsicles in a loaf pan…I can’t imagine how that would work!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Doris! I wrote a whole tutorial on it here!

  10. Joy says:

    How long do these last in the freezer? I would love to keep some made for when folks unexpectedly come over

    1. Sarah says:

      These stay fresh in a freezer-safe baggie or container for 1 to 2 months 😀 Enjoy!

  11. Kay says:

    I had a can of coconut milk to use when I was making popsicles last night – I hunted around until I found your coconut lime recipe – which is so simple, four ingredients, all in the house! These are the tastiest popsicles I’ve made. Thank you SO much for the recipe. (one can full-fat coconut milk, zest of two limes, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup honey. Whisk together, pour into mold and freeze.) Just like that. Delicious.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Kay! Sounds delish! 😀

  12. Marian says:

    Hi There,
    Love the taste of your recipes! But….
    My popsicles have been coming out really icy and crusty, almost as if they’ve been freezer burned all the way through. Any thoughts on how to combat this?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Marian! This is either a problem of needing more sugar or more fat (or both!). Aim for a higher fat yogurt/coconut milk as the base, which will combat that iciness. And then adding some sugar will help prevent those ice crystals 😀

  13. Sarah says:

    Hi! I want to make some popsicles for my kids. I’ve tried ones with yogurt and they just aren’t liking them… can I substitute coconut milk for any recipe that includes yogurt to make a creamy pop? Any other suggestions? They dont like the tangy taste of yogurt…

    1. Sarah says:

      Yep you can definitely use canned coconut in place of the yogurt! Or use a flavored yogurt with less tang 😀

  14. Sandra Ann Daugherty says:

    Have you ever used a flavored jello (sugar free)

    1. Sarah says:

      Yep I tried sugar-free jello and it was AWFUL! The texture was just so bad. I believe it can be done with regular jello but haven’t tried it out personally.

  15. Cornelia says:

    Hi….can you use Almond milk instead of coconut for the creamy Popsicles?

    1. Sarah says:

      Almond milk is going to give you a much icier texture than coconut due to the lower fat content. If you use almond, you’ll probably need to add a bit more sugar or simple syrup to help improve the texture.