pink lemonade popsicles

[It’s the last chapter of Popsicle Week, wherein I admitted that I had something of a popsicle incident this summer, wherein incident = gotta a little carried away, made too many and couldn’t let summer end without sharing the queue with you. This is Popsicle 3 of 3.]

I began this summer of accidental popsicle obsession by saying that growing up, we made popsicles by pouring orange juice (created with or without manual labor) into these molds, letting them freeze and eating them outside so we didn’t sticky up the kitchen floor. And yet, when I first bought my popsicles molds a year ago, did I put juice in them? No. I had to make things really, really complicated. Banana purees, Nutella and salted pistachios. Strawberries, lime, black pepper and sometimes white tequila. Key lime pie filling rolled in graham cracker crumbs. Butterscotch. Pudding. Pops.

raspberries, lemons, go!
scene of raspberry violence

It seems only right and proper that I end* Popsicle Week with a riff on the same frozen juice popsicle. But, you know, I couldn’t use just any juice, it had to be lemonade, which to me is the quintessential sitting at a picnic table in a beach town icy drink to slurp through a straw while being unable to consider a single other thing on this earth that previously felt urgent, as we did yesterday afternoon on our Maine vacation.

straining the raspberry puree

some simple syrup
raspberry puree, sieved
lemon squeezer
it gets really, really pink

The thing is, for reasons I have yet to put a finger on (because it’s pretty?) pink lemonade is unequivocally better than regular lemonade. It just is. What’s less clear is what makes the lemonade pink. Well, in most cases, it’s Red Dye #40 or something, so excluding those, in our pink lemonade conversations (and can I tell you how much I love that this here is a space where we can have intense conversations about pink lemonade? more than words, people) several conclusions have been drawn: grenadine (the real stuff please, and not the corn syrup + food dye sadness that populates most grocery aisles), strawberries (delicious, but my experiments, even the reddest ones mostly yield a salmon-toned lemonade, which is just not the same) and, my favorite, raspberries, which are not only abundant in peak lemonade season of high summer but make the brightest red puree that quickly turns your lemonade hot pink, and makes it taste even better. Raspberry wins; hot pink wins. These popsicles are pure summer — tart and icy and gorgeous. They melt quickly and should be sent outside, just like us, while we still can.

pink lemonade, popsicle-d
pink lemonade popsicles
pink lemonade popsicle

* Tired of popsicles? Don’t worry, this is the last chapter in Popsicle Week. Need some dinner ideas from earlier in the summer? May I suggest: Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes, Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts, Burst Corn Galette with Corn and Zucchini, Avocado-Shrimp Salsa, Slow-and-Low Dry Rub Oven Chicken, Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw, Charred Corn Crepes (with a lot of different meal suggestions), or (hello!) a Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic. And please don’t miss the One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes from July, because I think it’s one for the yearbook. Plus, there’s a whole Summer category in the archives, all geared towards warm-weather cooking and produce. Enjoy!

Popsicles, previously: Fudge Popsicles; Banana, Nutella and Salted Pistachio Popsicles; Strawberry, Lime and Black Pepper Popsicles, Key Lime Pie Popsicles and Butterscotch Pudding Popsicles

UK Book Tour: Just in case you missed it, last week I announced a UK book tour the other side of the pond (no big deal) (SUCH A big deal). Early details over here; more to come. [The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook UK Book Tour]

Three years ago: Fresh Tomato Sauce
Four years ago: Cubed, Hacked Caprese
Five years ago: Kefta and Zucchini Kebabs and Dimply Plum Cake
Six years ago: White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Pink Lemonade Popsicles

Yield: 10 1/3-cup or 3-ounce popsicles

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups water (1 cup can be very cold)
1 cup (about 5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup lemon juice (from approximately 7 to 8 lemons)

Heat sugar with 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Pour into large bowl, add remaining 1 cup cold water. Let cool, a process you can hasten along by setting it in a shallow bowl of ice water or placing it in the fridge (or freezer, but briefly) while you prepare the raspberries.

Meanwhile, puree raspberries in a food processor or blender until they’re as liquefied as possible. If you’re as irked by gritty raspberry seeds as I am, stir the puree through a fine-mesh sieve, trying to press out all the raspberry puree that you can, leaving the seeds behind. I ended up with 1/3 cup strained puree; don’t worry if you get a smidge less. If you’re unbothered by raspberry seeds, you can skip this sieving step.

Add raspberry puree and lemon juice to cold sugar-water mixture and stir until combined. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze as manufacturer suggests.

More notes:
Popsicle molds: I use these guys. I have the metal version, which was all that was available when I bought them a couple years ago, but the metal parts are not dishwasher safe and don’t hold the popsicle sticks in place as well as I understand the plastic ones do, so if I were buying them again, I’d opt for plastic.

No popsicle molds? You could any kind of tiny cup to mold them instead, but my favorite is a champagne flute for shape; you could even use those disposable plastic ones. When the mixture is halfway frozen, insert a popsicle stick and now no retro popsicle mold needs to come between you and Popsicle Week.

To unmold: To unmold popsicles, dip the frozen molds in a warm bowl of water. I give them a tug every couple seconds to see if they’re loose yet because I don’t want to soften them any more thn absolutely necessary. If the stick comes out before the popsicle (boo!), they just weren’t frozen enough. You’ll want to freeze most popsicles for 5 to 6 hours, just to be certain they’re hard enough to unmold.

To store popsicles: Here’s how I do it: I put a tray in the freezer and cover it with waxed or parchment paper, just long enough for it to get cold. I unmold all of the popsicles and place them on the tray, and refreeze them for 10 minutes out of their molds before putting them in a freezer bag. This extra step ensures that any melting/softening that happens when you unmold them doesn’t mess up their shapes or cause them to stick to one another. You can also separate them in their freezer bags by extra strips of waxed or parchment paper. Then you can wash the molds and use them again for everything you may have missed this week.

Leave a Reply to Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

118 comments on pink lemonade popsicles

  1. Mmm, these look really good, and I have all the ingredients on hand. I’ll have to make it happen today. I made some raspberry basil popsicles a couple days ago and then made basil lemonade with the extra sugar syrup, but that pales into comparison to these.
    Also, I have the cup pictured in photo number 6 and am feeling really cool that I have something that you have.

  2. My love for ice pops had humble beginnings. I used to freeze open cases of fruit juice in the carton then eat it with a fork. Oh how times have changed. I can not thank you enough for your ice pop week, as I am recovering from wisdom tooth surgery. I have lovely bunch of raspberries that are begging to be eaten like this!

  3. Sara

    I can’t stand it anymore, I may just have to break down and buy Popsicle molds! What’s your take on the silicone ones that look like they just peel right off the frozen pop?

  4. Oh, Maine. It really is Vacationland. My sister’s in-laws have what I can only describe as a gingerbread home in York Harbor which is now where we spend our Fourth of July. Very close, I might add, to Stonewall to eat all the free jam, and the outlets. Where were you guys?

  5. I’ve loved your popsicle week! Just as much as I love popsicles. In high school, I worked at a deli that made their own raspberry lemonade, and I would HOUSE the stuff, like gallons every day. So these are right up my alley.

  6. Killian

    There is no better combination than raspberry and lemon. (Ok, maybe raspberry and mango, but it’s a toss up!)

    I cannot wait to get my popsicle molds and make all of these. Lucky for me, living in the south means that I’ll have hot, sunny days until at least the end of September!

  7. Jess

    Love all these ice lolly recipes, so perfect as we are actually having a proper summer in the U.K for the first time in ten years.
    So excited you are coming to Ely on your tour! Topping & Co is one of my favourite book shops. Their cookery section is awesome.

  8. JP

    Because I have always hated sieving raspberries (or any berries for that matter), but also hate the raspberry seeds, I wonder if it might work to add the raspberry puree to the lemonade stir it up and then pour it through the sieve, pressing out but not having to slave over the sieve to get the puree through? Could this possibly be easier?

  9. avis

    If I wanted to do a limeade instead, how could I change this? Would I sub the same amount of lime juice for the lemon? Strawberry and lime have been the flavor of summer at our house.

    1. deb

      avis — You could use the same amount of lime. You might find that you need more sugar, however.

      Molly — Ooh, we’re actually staying in York and pass Stonewall all the time. Have you been? Is it worth a visit with an impatient three year-old?

      Lindsey — Ha! Love Pyrex dishes. I have both sizes.

  10. msue

    Last night I dreamed I was shopping for popsicle molds, choosing between the various options. Suddenly, I recognized that one of the choices would form those distinctive ridges that your popsicles have, and I thought, “Ah, these are the right ones.” Crazy, no?

  11. Marie M.C.

    Pink lemonade — the best! Pink lemonade pops? Whoa baby. When I first saw the photos (before reading) I thought they were watermelon pops. Why not? The best granita I ever had was at a friend’s house. He made watermelon granita. Oh dear. Now I need to go to the store and buy a watermelon. That’s what happens when talking about food. The intense desire to eat it.

  12. whaaaat this looks so good!! flavored lemonades are really just the best. too bad our popsicle maker needs to chill for 8 hours or I’d be trying out new popsicle flavors every 5 minutes (ok so maybe thats not a bad thing)– I’m thinking some type of yogurt/raspberry popsicle would be awesome as well!

  13. Nancy

    All I can say is that it is a good thing that you use your powers of suggestion for good and not evil. Go make Rice Stuffed Tomatoes, and there I go making that for dinner that night. Popsicle week, and there I go buying popsicle molds…

  14. Lynn

    Go to Stonewall! Lots of samples, wonderful selections…the mustards, omg! Nice cafe inside as well. The grounds/landscaping is gorgeous. Also, if you’re into amazing artisanal bread, check out ‘When Pigs Fly Bread’ on the same Rte 1, but just a little south in Kittery. They have a great pizza/beer restaurant attached. Probably 25 different types, baked daily!
    Also, if you want to venture north, come to Ogunquit and walk our Marginal Way. Enjoy

  15. susan

    My dear Mother tried diligently to get us to like home made popsicles but to no avail. The closest she came was when she tried to freeze chocolate milk thinking it would at least fool us into believing she’d made fudgesicles. They were too icy. My best try for my children was using ready to drink guava juice. Apricot nector was okay for a while, too. Still, they preferred Otter Pops at the very least. They complained that mine were “too sour.” Funny, that’s what we I said about my Mom’s popsicles! Damn sugar!

  16. Did you like Maine? Did you? Did you? Did you go to Acadia National Park? Did you eat blueberry pancakes? Did you go to Stonewall Kitchen? Did you eat a lobster?
    Did you?

    1. deb

      Sally — No, and so sorry. We thought we would by Friday. I spoke to the UK publicist this morning and they’re still sorting out the details. This time, they will coordinate the posting on their site with mine here so there’s no chance of it selling out before I get to tell you all. And, just in case it does, we discussed other signings we could add if people ended up shut out again. Whew! Anyway, it should be up in another day or so and I promise to make a note on Twitter or FB (I don’t want to barrage people, nor do I want anyone to miss it who doesn’t want to) and if you’d like me to send you an email (a few people asked over email) when it’s up, send me an email to and I will do my best to. Thanks.

      Shayley — Ha! We loved Maine and had a great vacation. We did not have blueberry pancakes, go to Acadia or Stonewall (esp. bad because we stayed all of two miles from there). But we had a few great meals in Portland and lots of lovely beach time, plus a visit to the Children’s Museum and other kid stuff. And yes, there was lobster. Lots and lots, and then a cooler full that we drove home to cook at my in-laws.

      Lynn — Oops, missed Stonewall. But, we did make it to When Pigs Fly (twice!) and it was very good. I had a delicious beer there (some red ale, I think) that I promptly forgot the name of (typical).

      Margit — Indeed! He was so bossy! (Hm, wonder where he gets that.) He insisted upon squeeze all of the lemons himself, wouldn’t let me do one. Then he said he was tired and needed a nap. I really would like to go back in time and be three again.

  17. “while being unable to consider a single other thing on this earth that previously felt urgent”
    This is a magnificent sentence that may well become my mantra!
    Have 2nd crop of raspberries in the garden now, can’t think of a better way to use them! And these will be the dessert I bring to a dinner party tonight…adults can have fun too!

  18. making popsicles is on my summer bucket list. well, making BOOZEY popsicles is on my summer bucket list, but still. i’m thinking pink lemonade w a splash of gin and some muddled basil.

    am i wrong??


  19. E.B.

    Y.U.M. Assuming I can keep myself from eating them all, about how long do you think they can stay in the freezer and maintain their deliciousness? A week? I’m planning a party and want to make a freezer full, but don’t think I can pull it off in a day…

    1. deb

      E.B. — Why only a week? I think they could stay, if well-wrapped, months, like other popsicles. The main issue is how fast your freezer leaves things tasting freezer-y. If it’s quicker for you, leave them less time.

  20. Susan K.

    These sound just as fabulous as the Key Lime Pie ones (OMG the lime pops are fabulous!) but you taunted me with the promise of Tiramisu pops on the Butterscotch recipe! My hubby’s favourite desserts are Key Lime Anything, Tiramisu, Butterscotch Anything, and Creme Brulee. Is there any chance we could get you to post the recipe for that Tiramisu pop you almost made?

  21. JP

    Now none of us have any excuse not to make a popsicle…so many choices! I also wanted to tell you that we had our vegetarian son with us for ten days and I chose 10 meals from the vegetarian recipes you have posted to eat at dinner. Never had tried any of them before and all of them were a hit. He was one happy young man. Made me realize that if I had to, I could be a vegetarian. Not happening, but could. ;) Thank you for making the food part of his visit a success!

  22. Amy

    those look good. I might throw some of my hibiscus tea/lemonade into some popsicle molds. its like a pink arnold palmer (and decaf, so I don’t feel bad about letting the kids drink it)

    come to think of it, I think we’ll do that tomorrow!

  23. Tracy

    Love this. I will definitely try it. Also, frozen blueberries make delicious and very pretty pink lemonade. Just let them soak in the lemon mixture.

  24. Samantha

    These look divine. I came to the site to search for some high holiday inspiration… Now I think our Rosh Hashanah dinner may be low & slow chicken with kale sald on the side, and Popsicles for dessert. Is that wrong??? Eating brisket and matzah ball soup in 90 degree weather just seems wrong. Any ideas?

  25. ki.

    Thanks for this recipe Deb! I’m pregnant and all I want to do is eat ice pops, so this will come in handy! I already made your strawberry lime popsicles and they came out amazing too :)

    P.S. also made your roasted tomato soup and raspberry buttermilk cake and I’m glad to say, I’ve enjoyed them both a lot as well! Thanks for helping me eat :-D

  26. Ven

    I just wanted to pop in and say, it is possible to get a bright pink lemonade with strawberries. I make a syrup with the juice and zest of one valencia orange, fresh strawberries, a bit of water and sugar that turns out that beautiful deep pink almost red color. Added to fresh lemonade, you get a pleasing shade of pink and it tastes great!

  27. They all sound seriously good! We are heading into summer here in Australia and am very keen to try your recipes out and sit on the bench at the end of my street looking over the water to ensure I enjoy the full picture! T

  28. Amy

    Thanks, Deb, I have really enjoyed Popsicle week. Been having fun with Fany Gerson’s Paletas recipes thanks to you. From her book I got the idea to add Greek yogurt to all kinds of fruit pops. I have been using plums since they are all over the market lately, and such gorgeous colors, too. The plum pops look like a a rosy sunset. I just cook the plums, skin on, with a little water and some honey or sugar to taste. When they are soft and stewed, it’s easy to strain out or pick out the pits and some of the skins. Then fold in some plain or vanilla greek yogurt with the chunky fruit. SO delicious- tart, but really deep flavor. Instead of rolling the pops in nuts, I folded some dry roasted almonds right in for crunch.

  29. Sally

    Hi Deb, is there any further information available on your second London date please? I feel like I’m stalking your website(!), but was gutted to miss the first event and would love to hear you speak on the 26th. Looking forward to (hopefully) seeing you on this side of the pond.

  30. Lisa Cornely

    Deb, These were another great edition to popsicle week. I went out and bought popsicle molds so I am glad you shared so many great recipes for popsicles on your site. These were amazing also. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Psst, Deb. We’re working on a pink lemonade version of your grapefruit olive oil pound cake at work. Shhhhh.

    Also, these look like they need to be made as soon as possible (as do the rest of the popsicles..) Love your champagne flute idea.

  32. Sally

    Thanks for the confirmation Deb and I have sent you an email with my details. VERY relieved to know that another date may be added if there’s any chance that your Londons supporters might miss seeing you!

  33. Deb,
    I have been on a ice pop making terror (strawberry- lime-white pepper, pina-colada 2 versions, key lime pie, lemon cream and a riff on vietnamese coffee which is my favorite) I have all the fixings to make a version of your fudge pops this week and I will add these beauties to the must do before summer ends. Thanks for the inspiration.

  34. Jennifer

    Hi Deb,

    I absolutely love your recipes, and for my son’s upcoming 1st birthday I want to make your golden sheet cake with berry buttercream from your cookbook. I don’t think the quarter sheet pan will be big enough for the group we have coming to celebrate, though, so I want to double the recipe to make a half sheet cake. Do you have any advice for successfully doing this? Should I just double all of the ingredients and follow the baking instructions just the same? Change the oven temp or baking time? Any guidance you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


  35. Raspberry lemonade is hard to beat, but if raspberries can’t be found, you can mix a bit of concord grape juice with fresh lemonade for a lovely sweet, rosy deep pink. A charming lady from my church back home, who is in her 90s and still keeps a 1 acre garden, taught me that trick.

  36. Deb, only seeing this now. YES! Go to Stonewall every time you’re in York. EVERY one of their jams, chutneys, and sauces are out for samples. I skip breakfast when I know we’re going to Stonewall in the am. And they have amazing kitchen things too. Like, things you don’t know you need until you see them on a counter there, like my rubber insert for steaming things which makes life sooo much easier when I was steaming and milling for Lilli’s first foods. I feel like three-year-olds are always sticky, and Stonewall is just a sticky heaven. He’d have loved it. When in York, go to Brown’s for ice cream. I hope you guys got to enjoy the zoo, too. Huge York fans in our house. Huge.

  37. Megan

    Hi Deb, I was looking forward to meeting you at your talk, but I already have your book, and Topping and Co will not allow the voucher to be used for any other book. As the book was released here in February I would have thought they would be flexible about t his–do you know if there is room for negotiation?

  38. deb

    Hi Megan — I know it is frustrating; I too think it would be great if people just needed to buy something, not only a book that’s been out for some time… Let me check after the weekend and I will get back to you.

  39. Yet another Anna

    My popsicle adventures continue.

    I got a copy of Paletas, and have used it and SK blog posts (and discussions) for inspiration. So far? Fudgesicles, Key Lime Pie popsicles, Strawberry/candied Lemon peel/Yogurt popsicles (with a bit of ground up granola on the outside, as these are for breakfast).

    Freezing now? Roasted Banana popsicles, adapted a bit from Paletas, but since I only had two bananas and didn’t think that would make enough, I modified the recipe to add a bit more dairy and some crunched up vanilla wafers. (Cinnamon Bananas Foster Pudding popsicles, maybe?). They smell divine, so I’m optimistic.

    Oh, and if anyone’s interested, I’ve used a bit of guar gum in the strawberry and banana ones, since I was improvising a bit and didn’t want to risk ruining the texture. Didn’t want to go to the trouble of making rock hard icicles.

  40. Susan in CA

    I made these this morning. Only had 8 popsicle molds so I put the rest in an ice cube tray. Excited to use as ice cubes in a drink or whiz up for and ICEE.

  41. eph

    After seeing this tonight (at 2am)… I have decided to wake early tomorrow and spend my day 1. purchasing popsicle moulds and 2. making pink lemonade popsicles!
    WOOO! Summer time!!

  42. Sabina

    Oh my goodness! These came out so sour, I finished one a couple of minutes ago and I’m still making sour face. I wonder if my raspberries were too tart and if I should have compensated with more sugar.

  43. Kira

    Loved these popsicles, but found they were too sweet… going to try them again, my boyfriends sons new favorite desert… but with less sugar. Anyone else find them too sweet?

  44. Sabina

    Update: These were super sour on the day I made them but were perfect after a couple of days. The raspberries that I used were a little tart.

  45. Tim

    What JP said in #22 — adding the raspberry puree directly to the cooled sugar-water mixture and then pouring the mixture through a wire sieve into the lemon juice makes getting rid of the seeds super-easy and lets through more of the good stuff :)

  46. Kristen

    By the way, this recipe isn’t part of the “See more: Popsicles” category! I went looking for inspiration and I knew there were more popsicle recipes!

  47. Tim

    Apparently these are an early-fall tradition for me now (#103): this year I noticed, while I was waiting for the first batch to freeze, that the popsicle mix is great as a soda concentrate, mixed 1:4 or so in seltzer water! And I’m sure some gin or vodka wouldn’t be out of place.

    1. deb

      It’s aluminum which means it should not go in the dishwasher. (I think it’s labeled as such.) That’s what happens when it does. I haven’t had this problem with it, but I have seen it with many other items, such as a KitchenAid paddle I hadn’t realized wasn’t dishwasher-safe. :(

  48. Anna

    Thanks so much for your reply! I am going to get these molds and then make all of your popsicle recipes.

  49. Daniel Thompson

    Dear sirs, I used to be able to get my favorite- Frozen Pink Lemonade Juice bars, the really cheep ones. Yours look great to. How do I get? I’m in Mountain View California, the Bay Area. Help! Summer aproacheth.

  50. Jacqueline Gorbutt

    I made these using a slightly different method. I puréed the raspberries in the liquid with my immersion blender and then poured all through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. Seemed like a quicker way to achieve the same goal. I thought I was through popsicle season in September but it is going to be super hot this weekend in Oakland, CA so these will be a real treat! Thanks!