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Rainbow Popsicles: Colorful Summer Treats

By brooklynsupper |

Spring conjures images of sunshine and flowers, but this spring has been thoroughly soggy with rain, rain, and more rain. You’d think with all this wet weather, we’d at least get a few rainbows, but despite some serious rainbow sleuthing with my daughter over the past few weeks, we haven’t spotted a single one. Yesterday, I took matters into my own hands and made these cheery rainbow popsicles.

Made with fresh lemonade, orange and pomegranate juice, these popsicles are juicy and sweet rainbow treats. Rainbow popsicles are pretty easy to make, but they take time since each layer needs to freeze before you add the next one. This basic recipe is also a great jumping off point for your own custom-color and flavor combinations.

Homemade Rainbow Popsicles
makes twelve 4 oz. popsicles

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups pomegranate juice
3 cups lemonade
1 cup orange juice
food coloring (natural food coloring is available at some health food stores)
Dixie cups
wooden popsicle sticks

In a medium sauce pan, heat the sugar and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in the corn syrup. Set aside to cool.

Next, prepare and chill the liquid layers:

Red: combine 1 cup pomegranate juice, 2 tablespoons simple syrup, and 2 drops red food coloring.
Orange: combine 1 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons simple syrup, and 1 drop red and 1 drop yellow food coloring.
Yellow: combine 1 cup lemonade, 2 tablespoons simple syrup, and 1 – 2 drops yellow food coloring.
Green: combine 1 cup lemonade, 2 tablespoons simple syrup, and 1 – 2 drops green food coloring.
Blue: combine 1 cup lemonade, 2 tablespoons simple syrup, and 1 – 2 drops blue food coloring.
Purple: combine 1 cup pomegranate juice, 2 tablespoons simple syrup, and 2 drops blue and 1 drop red food coloring.

Pour the red layer into your Dixie cups, to about 1/4” thickness, and freeze for 30 minutes. Add the orange layer, in the same way, and freeze for another 30 minutes. Place the sticks in the center (the two layers should hold them pretty well), pour in the yellow layer, and freeze for another 30 minutes. Add the green, blue, and purple layers in the same fashion. The purple will come very close to the top of the cup, so handle carefully. Allow the popsicles to freeze for 3 hours, though for optimal curing, let them freeze overnight.

There will be some simple syrup leftover–keep it in your fridge for future popsicle, lemonade, or cocktail making.

To serve, simply make a small incision in the rim of the Dixie cup and tear the cup off.


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About brooklynsupper



Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell write the blog Brooklyn Supper, dedicated to seasonal ingredients and wholesome home cooking. Read bio and latest posts → Read Elizabeth's latest posts →

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19 thoughts on “Rainbow Popsicles: Colorful Summer Treats

  1. Peggy says:

    I just love the vibrant color of these!

  2. brooklynsupper says:

    Thanks Peggy!

  3. TJ says:

    directions say to “chill” each layer. Would you chill or freeze?

  4. brooklynsupper says:

    Hi TJ, definitely freeze. I’ll fix the recipe right away.

  5. JT says:

    The amount of sugar doesn’t seem right. 1 cup of sugar, PLUS fruit juice with natural and added sugar (i.e. pomegranate/lemonade) – unless you made it yourself – PLUS corn syrup, and it only makes 6 pops? I make pops with just fruit juice and it tastes sweet enough. Does it really need that much sugar? Just the 1 cup of sugar alone = over 33 grams of sugar per pop. Have you seen Jamie’s Food Revolution?

    Now that I reread your recipe, it seems that your measurements are off. How do you get only six 4oz pops from 7 cups of liquid?

  6. brooklynsupper says:

    Hi JT, Thanks for catching my typo–you’re right, these make 12 or more ice pops. Not all of the simple syrup is used to make the pops, there is a considerable amount leftover. Simple syrup gives the popsicles a smoother texture. I f you make them, feel free to scale back or omit it all together.
    This recipe as an idea for an occasional treat, and is not something I would consider an everyday food. I’m sure even Jamie Oliver enjoys the occasional dessert.

  7. Sharon says:

    You could always use agave nectar because NO, you do not need that much sugar and neither do your children.

  8. Sharon says:

    Also, using food coloring for your children is the opposite of healthy! It just doesn’t need it!!! FOOD MATTERS. :)

  9. Judith Perry says:

    My grandkids will love these. My only question is how do you get the stick to stand upright? I want to make my Popsicles in the dixie cups to save $$, but can’t figure out how to get the stick to stand upright. Expecially when I make single flavor Popsicles

  10. brooklynsupper says:

    Hi Judith, To insert the sticks, let them freeze for 30 – 45 minutes, insert the sticks and let them freeze completely. I have also tried tin foil as a stick holder, but I find just letting them freeze partially is easiest.

  11. Terri says:

    These look awesome!! I think I’m going to have to try them.
    People that don’t let their children have any sugar or “fun foods” at all are the ones that are going to end up with adults with some serious eating issues. If you don’t let them have stuff when they are young, once they are older and discover it, that’s all they are going to want to eat. As long as it is in moderation, there is nothing wrong at all with children having something with (heaven forbid) sugar or even food coloring in it!!

  12. Jana says:

    This would make awsome “holiday” popsicles too…for instance, 4th of july, you could alternate red white and blue, ..easter, you could alternate pastel colors… orange yellow and white…..I’m loving this awsome idea for homemade popsicles!

  13. terriekagy says:

    This looks like alot of fun to do with my grandkids…gotta try it..thanks

  14. Ginny @ Organizing Homelife says:

    I these look amazing! I featured them on my blog: Thanks for the great idea. :)

  15. Ree says:

    I’m using popsicle molds–how do I get the rest of the layers in once I put the sticks in?

  16. brooklynsupper says:

    Hi Ree, I would use wooden popsicle sticks instead of the ones that come with the mold. Otherwise, use the ones from the mold, but don’t let the layers freeze completely and hope for the best.

  17. Lisa says:

    I use plastic wrap to keep my sticks in just a FYI

  18. margaret ruby says:

    Artificial colors are made from petroleum, many children are sensitive to coloring… all that sugar & corn syrup (GMO in the USA) unheathy as well. Juice is naturally sweet, or I’d use honey if the fruit juices are too tart. I’d try natural juices or smoothies in layers…. getting the red from cherry, pomegranate or raspberry puree…purple from blueberry or grape juice…green from avocado blended or food processed with raw organic baby spinach and some raw honey (you cannot taste raw baby spinach in a smoothie)…orange from orange juice…yellow, puree frozen pineaple w/some yogurt, add a pinch of tumeric spice. Blue is the most challengong, but a pale blue can be made from simmered red cabbage for 15 min then removing the cabbage, reducing the liquid until thick and adding a pinch of baking soda… so perhaps in a homemade pudding…yogurt too acidic to keep the blue, it would turn purple. People with kids with allergies & food sensitivites (or themselves) use natural colors and flavors for our kiddos.

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