1. Classic orange juice
Ever since childhood there has been a special place in my heart for orange juice — I am simply obsessed. At the intersection of simplicity and deliciousness, an orange juice popsicle is a summertime classic anyone will love. With no mixing, layering or blending — orange juice popsicles turn minimal effort into maximal enjoyment. This is a great dairy-free option that is a guaranteed success every time.
2. Tart cranberry orange
Sometimes I am just in the mood for a tart popsicle and nothing makes my lips pucker quite like a tart fruit juice. When balanced with orange juice, cranberry juice incorporated into the popsicle adds some well-appreciated variety to your popsicle tray’s presentation and taste. To get the right ratio of cranberry and orange juice I add small amounts of each to the popsicle mold until I reach a rich orange color with an overall red tone while making sure to taste test along the way. I found that the ideal popsicle had more orange juice than cranberry since the latter easily overpowers the summer treat.
3. Dreamy orange creamsicle
Orange creamsicle has such a unique taste that can be easily replicated at home. Taking inspiration from Live Eat Learn’s more complex recipe, I used three simple ingredients almost everyone already has in their kitchen — orange juice, yogurt and honey. If using plain yogurt I suggest the addition of a splash of honey to cut the yogurt’s tartness just a touch. Any kind of sweetened yogurt, though, doesn't need honey. I mix together about a third of a single-serving yogurt container with about a quarter cup of orange juice to make one popsicle — but this quantity will vary according to the size of your mold. This creamsicle hits the nail on the head in terms of flavor and is easy to whip up in under five minutes. The presence of yogurt in the popsicle yields a thick consistency that coats your tongue in a layer of lightly sweetened cream and significantly muted orange. For a vegan option, simply use plant-based yogurt and swap the honey for agave syrup or sugar.
4. Perky piña colada
Ever since my recent trip to Puerto Rico this past winter, I have rekindled my love for piña coladas and have been dedicated to any excuse to make them. Requiring more specialty ingredients — pineapple juice, frozen pineapple and coconut cream — these popsicles are a bit more labor intensive than others on this list. Blending together the ingredients does take some time along with perfecting the pineapple-to-coconut ratio — but it is so worth it. Through trial and error, varying the ingredient quantities allow you to choose which flavor dominates — pineapple or coconut. This popsicle brings the taste of the islands right to your home and is a delicious and creamy vegan option.
5. Creamy coffee
If you like coffee ice cream, then you’ll love a coffee popsicle. It’s not rocket science to make this popsicle to your exact liking — simply make a cup of hot or iced coffee how you would normally drink it and pour into your popsicle mold at room temperature or cooled. This is a very customizable option and can make incorporating a caffeine boost into your day a bit more exciting and warm-weather friendly. Ditch watered-down iced coffees or scorching hot coffees for a refreshing coffee popsicle instead on a summer afternoon.
6. Bright peaches and cream
Peaches are one of my favorite treats. I grew up using them for peach cobbler, one of my all-time favorite desserts. So, I figured I’d make it into a frozen treat. Similar to the orange creamsicle, simply combining canned or fresh peaches with sweetened yogurt and a touch of milk makes a delicious, slightly peachy treat. This popsicle is texturally versatile and can be adjusted according to individual preference. Blending the ingredients together creates a smoother final product while chopping the peaches into small cubes and folding the ingredients together results in a popsicle with delightful hidden chunks of peach. Since fresh or canned peaches are not as concentrated in flavor as a juice would be — this popsicle lends itself to a more subtle note of peach that is magnified when you reach each frozen chunk.
8. Tangy lemonade
Another classic summer popsicle flavor — lemonade popsicles are super simple to make at home using both store-bought and homemade lemonade. Playing with water content is critical to making the perfect lemonade popsicle as affinity for the sourness of lemonade may differ — simply adding water will dilute the flavor making this popsicle enjoyable for all. Pink lemonade and limeade can also be used to make more striking versions.
9. Sweet watermelon
Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit, and I love finding as many ways to enjoy it as possible. Simply combining watermelon chunks with water in a blender creates a frothy mixture best spooned into popsicle molds. Adding sliced cucumber or mint leaves to the watermelon mixture in the mold makes for a beautiful and tasty presentation sure to impress. Due to the high water content of this melon, the popsicle will not taste as concentrated as a fresh chunk of watermelon — however, it shines in the cleanliness department, reducing the sticky side of enjoying watermelon on a hot summer’s day.
7. Smooth chocolate milk
Chocolate milk popsicles are for the more curious frozen treat-lover. A healthier alternative to chocolate ice cream — chocolate milk popsicles just might hit the spot for the chocolate lovers in your life. It is critical to use a rich chocolate milk for this since freezing it seems to dampen the flavor, so using whole milk will yield the best results. If using chocolate milk powders like Ovaltine or Nesquik, it’s essential to use a handheld milk frother to ensure no dry chunks of powder accidentally end up in the popsicle. Strawberry milk would be another fun flavor to try as a popsicle as well.
10. Punchy pickle
My dad never failed to trick me and my siblings with his pickle popsicles. Assuming the light green tint came from lime — I have been not-so-pleasantly surprised by pickle juice popsicles too many times to count. While this may not be for everyone, it is an easy and harmless option for pranksters with too much time on their hands. Pickle juice straight from the jar will pack the biggest punch, but dilution with water may help reduce the impact. I highly recommend giving this a try at least once — the flavor just might grow on you.