Popsicles are the best summer treat to make at home. They are so simple and delicious. One thing I really like about making them is that when they're homemade you can manage the ingredients to make sure you're creating a healthy (or healthier than) version of this sweet dessert. We've also made a lime with strawberry, red white and blue popsicle and this amazing creamsicle!
Making popsicles is a fun activity that kiddos can help with and enjoy when they're done. I've made these lemon popsicles 3 different ways- with lemonade from scratch, from powdered lemonade and from a freezer can of lemonade concentrate. You can make them with whatever you have on-hand or that's easiest to purchase at your local grocery store. You don't even need molds to make them if you don't have them!
This recipe is really close to the lemon flavored Outshine Fruit Bars. Outshine popsicles are great, but they can be expensive and sometimes the flavor I'm after isn't in stock. Once I realized I could make my own versions of their fruit flavors it was a game changer! One of the best things about making popsicles at home is that you can play with the flavors and colors using fresh fruit and fruit juice. I like my lemonade a bit tart but still sweet.
Make Your Lemonade
When life gives you lemons.... you know the rest. You can make your base for your lemonade popsicles multiple ways. You can make homemade lemonade from scratch with fresh lemons, use a frozen can of lemonade from the freezer aisle, or even the powdered lemonade version. It's totally up to you and what works for your budget, schedule, any additives you're trying to eliminate, etc. I've made them all three ways and have enjoyed taste-testing all the popsicle variations. The trick is to make your lemonade a bit stronger however you make it. You can play around with the ratios or follow the recipe card.
My tip to really help the lemon flavor to shine through? Use less water than you would typically would, it will enhance the flavor.
If you're using popsicle molds, (these are the ones I have) the next step is to add your liquid to the mold and allow to freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Although it can be a fun activity with kiddos, I typically am the one to pour the liquid into the molds to avoid spills. Allow them to freeze overnight or for about 6 hours. To remove from the mold, if it's sticking, run a bit of warm water over it and it will loosen the bond. I really like the silicone molds because I feel like they're so much easier to pop out.
Make Mini Popsicles without Molds
If you don't have molds you can still make delicious popsicles! My mom actually taught me how to do this, and I remember helping make them this way while growing up. To make popsicles without a mold you'll need either a plastic cup or plastic shot glasses. All you have to do is pour your lemonade into the glass. To keep the stick steady, tear a piece of foil and poke the stick through the foil and place it over the cup. It will freeze in place! The shot glass size is perfect for little hands, and the portion size is just right for a sweet treat. Run water over the cup to loosen it/help the removal process. You can also cut the cup off if necessary.
Add-Ins to Try
- Slice or puree strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or other fresh fruits and blend with the lemonade before pouring into your mold or cup.
- Try substituting milk or yogurt for water with the lemonade.
- Try adding some herbal flavors like rosemary or mint!
- Make fancy popsicles by adding real fruit into the liquid before freezing.
- Layer your popsicle with different fruit flavors like Melanie did in our homemade rocket pop recipe!
It will depend on your freezer but I'd recommend for at least 4-6 hours.
Yes! Adding real fruit is a fun way to dress up or add flavor to popsicles.
You can substitute lemon juice or supplement with it. I added a bit of lemon juice when I used the freezer concentrate method. It adds a little more flavor to the popsicles.
- 1 saucepan if making from scratch, not necessary for powder or frozen versions.
- 1 Popsicle mold or cups, mini shot glasses and wooden popsicle sticks.
- 1 freezer
- 1 sheet of foil if using cups, not necessary with molds.
- 1 set of measuring spoons
- 1 set measuring cups
Lemonade from Scratch
- ½ cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 fresh lemons juiced, more to preference
Lemonade from Powder
- 3 tablespoon lemonade powder
- 1½ cup water
Lemonade from Freezer Mix
- 1 can freezer mix
- 2 cans water filling the can from the lemonade mix
Make Your Lemonade
- Following the instructions on the can, jar or making it from scratch prep your lemonade. Be sure to adjust the quantity of water for each type of lemonade. My recommended measurements are in the ingredients list.
Make Your Popsicles
- Pour your lemonade concentrate into your molds or cups.
- Add sticks, either reuseable or wooden. If using wooden, I recommend making sure they're food grade. Some craft sticks are treated.
- Put mold in freezer and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
- Remove popsicle from mold. If using a traditional/plastic mold you may need to run a bit of warm water over the mold to loosen it.