Refreshing and bright Orange Popsicles are easy to make from scratch using freshly squeezed orange juice and just three other simple ingredients.
If you made orange juice ice pops as a kid, you’ll be delighted with this recipe, which takes that simple treat to the next level with fresh citrus and just a hint of vanilla.
Homemade Orange popsicles have way less sugar than store-bought popsicles do, and they are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and dye-free.
I can remember making popsicles in my childhood kitchen. I filled dixie cups with orange juice, added some popsicle sticks that I’d been saving, and popped them in the freezer!
I was so proud when I pulled them out later that day and peeled off the paper cups to reveal a frozen treat that I had made myself. This recipe for Orange Popsicles is just like that one, but better.
Why You’re Going to Love this Orange Popsicle Recipe
Orange Popsicles are a perfect treat for a hot day. Each homemade popsicle has around 130 calories, so it’s a dessert or snack option that you can feel good about sharing with your family.
This popsicle recipe is easy. Just a few ingredients and a few simple steps are needed to make popsicles from orange juice. There’s no cooking involved, and you don’t even need a blender to make these!
It’s Fun to Make with Kids. Kids love making popsicles, so juicing up some oranges and creating their own popsicles is a great activity to do with yours.
Ingredients in Homemade Orange Popsicles
Oranges – You will need 3 cups of orange juice, which can be accomplished by juicing about 10 fresh oranges. These popsicles taste the best when made with freshly squeezed orange juice, but you can use bottled juice if you’d like. I have some tips about that that I’ll share below.
Sugar – I like to use granulated sugar in this recipe. The sugar helps to keep the orange juice from freezing completely rock-solid, and gives the fresh juice just enough added sweetness. If you prefer, use the same amount of honey or liquid agave nectar instead.
Lemon Juice – This part might sound odd to you, but we want the added tartness that lemon juice gives in this recipe. the lemon juice is balanced perfectly by the sugar and makes the flavor of these popsicles really pop.
Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract to give your orange popsicles the best flavor. The small amount in this popsicle recipe gives just a hint of creamsicle flavor without the need to add any milk or cream.
You’ll also need a popsicle mold and popsicle sticks if your mold requires them. See our best recommendations for popsicle molds toward the bottom of this post.
If you have any questions about making orange popsicles, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you!
How to Make Fresh Orange Popsicle from Scratch
- Start by juicing the oranges to get 3 cups of orange juice.
- Add the orange juice, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a bowl or pitcher, and stir until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Pour the orange juice mixture into popsicle molds and insert popsicle sticks.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until frozen solid.
- Remove the popsicles from the mold by running the outside of the mold until warm water for 10 seconds or so.
- Serve and enjoy!
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
How to Store Homemade Popsicles
Store these juicy Orange Popsicles in the freezer, in their mold until ready to enjoy.
If you decide to remove them from the mold, wrap each popsicle individually with plastic wrap before storing them in a freezer-safe, airtight container.
I find that homemade popsicles are best if enjoyed within 2-3 weeks, but often will stay fresh for much longer than that, up to 3 months
Tips for Making This Orange Popsicle Recipe
Use quality ingredients – When making homemade popsicles, you’ll want to make sure you are using high-quality ingredients for the best outcome.
Specifically, you want high-quality orange juice for this recipe. Fresh juice from good oranges is best, but if you can’t do that, purchase a good quality store-bought orange juice that has no added ingredients – The ingredient list should just say, “oranges”. Avoid orange juice from concentrate, and don’t use OJ with pulp.
Don’t skimp on the sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to popsicles, it also helps with the texture. Popsicles without enough sugar in them will be hard and icy.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved – If you aren’t sure, rub the juice mixture in between two fingers. If you feel grit, keep stirring! Any sugar that isn’t dissolved will end up at the bottom of your ice pop molds, and we don’t want that.
How to Unmold Homemade Popsicles Easily
There are a few different methods to easily unmold homemade popsicles. The one that works for you will depend on your specific popsicle mold. None of them are complicated!
The trick to easily unmolding popsicles is to heat the very outer layer of the pops so that they release from the mold, without melting them in the process.
Method 1: Dipping in Hot Water. This method involves filling a large bowl or container with warm water. Then dip your tray of popsicles briefly into the water for 20-30 seconds until the popsicles are easy to remove.
Method 2: Running Water. Instead of filling a bowl with water, just turn the kitchen sink on and let it get warm. Hold the popsicles under the stream, moving them around, for about 30 seconds until you can get the popsicles out of the mold.
Method 3: Room Temperature. Take the popsicles out of the freezer and set them on the counter until they soften enough to be easily removed. This method can backfire if you forget about them, so be careful, or set a timer!
If you’re using a silicone popsicle mold, you may not need to do anything. If it’s flexible enough, the silicone can be peeled away from the popsicles easily!
Orange Popsicle Variations
Orange juice popsicles are easy to vary with other types of fruit juice or fruit purees mixed in!
Try making mango orange popsicles, strawberry orange popsicles, or pineapple orange popsicles.
Use 1 1/2 cup of fresh fruit plus 1 1/2 cups of fresh orange juice, add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth to create a delicious fruity popsicle mix.
Do Orange Popsicles Have Red Dye?
Many orange-colored products include red dye 40. You should definitely check the packaging on popsicles if you are trying to avoid food dyes.
Making popsicles at home allows you to control all of the ingredients that go into them, and this recipe doesn’t require any food dye at all.
What are the Orange Popsicles with Vanilla Ice Cream Inside?
Are you thinking of creamsicles, aka Dreamsicles? These tasty ice cream treats mix the best of two worlds together!
To make this orange popsicle recipe more like a creamsicle, whisk in up to 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and an extra 2 tablespoons of sugar. You’ll end up with a few extra popsicles that are creamy and orangey.
More Homemade Frozen Treats
- Banana Popsicles Dipped in Chocolate
- Lime Popsicles
- Colorful Superman Ice Cream
- Oreo Ice Cream Cake
- Ice Cream Sandwiches
You can also check out our post on fruit popsicles, which we will update when new recipes come out.
Best Popsicle Molds
- Classic Shaped Silicone Popsicle Mold – Silicone popsicle molds make unmolding your frozen treats easy! We like this one that makes classic, ridged, large ice pops.
- Hard Plastic Popsicle Molds – Molds from Zoku come in lots of fun shapes, and are smartly designed to only take up a small amount of freezer space.
- Small Popsicle Molds – If you’re making popsicles for kids, or babies you’ll want to make them in smaller portions.
- Metal Popsicle Molds – Stainless steel molds for popsicles are a plastic-free option, often used by professionals. They aren’t as easy to use as plastic or silicone molds but could be a good choice for you.
- Freezie Pop Molds– Any popsicle recipe can be made in a disposable zipper bag like these. This makes them portable and fun!
- Don’t forget the popsicle sticks! Get a large package of food-safe wooden sticks so you can make popsicles whenever you want to.
Note: Each of these links will take you to the exact product on Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I earn a little from each qualifying purchase.
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- 3 cups fresh orange juice, from about 10 oranges
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the orange juice, granulated sugar, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract to a bowl or pitcher.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour the orange mixture into the popsicle molds and insert the popsicle sticks.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours or until solid.
- To remove from the mold, run the outside of the mold under warm water for about 10 seconds, being sure not to get any water into the inside of the mold. The popsicles should easily pop out of the mold with a little pressure.
- Serve and enjoy!
- You will need about 10 oranges to get 3 cups of juice. I find that most navel oranges produce about 1/4-1/3 cup of orange juice. Depending on the size of your oranges, you may get more or less juice.
- You can also use good quality store-bought orange juice. Make sure that your orange juice is made from just oranges for best quality.
- If you are using store-bought orange juice, it's best to get pulp-free orange juice so that you do not have pulp in your popsicles. You can strain it through a fine mesh sieve before adding to the bowl.
- You can use granulated sugar or honey in this recipe. Agave would also work.
- Make sure that you stir until the sugar is dissolved. If you are having trouble getting your sugar to dissolve, you can heat the orange juice and sugar on the stove-top or in the microwave and stir until it dissolves. Let it come back to room temperature before placing the molds in the freezer.
- This recipe makes enough to fill 10 large popsicle molds. You may get more or fewer popsicles depending on the size of your molds.
- Homemade popsicles can be stored, frozen, for up to 2 weeks. They stay fresher longer if left in the molds. If you remove them from the molds, be sure to wrap each well in plastic wrap.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 2g