When it's hot outside, nothing beats the heat quite like this refreshing lemonade popsicles recipe! It's like a frozen homemade lemonade. The perfect balance of sweet and tangy comes together in just 3 ingredients and will be a hit all summer long!
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I'm a huge fan of homemade popsicles because I like the control I have over how much sugar to add. Sometimes, store-bought popsicles are too sweet for my taste and they are often made with high fructose corn syrup.
That's why this lemon popsicle recipe is one of my summertime favorites! My kids love the tart and lightly sweet flavor of the ice pops and I love that they are getting a healthier sweet treat.
If you like making your own homemade popsicles, you may also enjoy these fruit popsicles which are loaded with chopped fresh fruit.
Tools to Make Homemade Popsicles
To make homemade popsicles you need a few basic kitchen tools:
- Citrus juicer
- Popsicle mold: These are easy to find at any major retailer or on Amazon. There are tons of different shapes and sizes, but for this recipe, I used a standard rectangular-shaped popsicle mold that makes 10.
- Wooden sticks
Ingredients for Easy Lemonade Popsicle Recipe
This lemonade popsicles recipe is made with only three simple ingredients!
- Fresh Lemon Juice: You'll need about 4 medium to large lemons to make ½ cup of juice for this recipe.
- White Sugar: I love the taste of a simple lemonade with sugar, but you could also use honey if you wanted.
- Water: Helps to melt the sugar granules by making a simple syrup.
- Lemon Zest: Lemon zest is optional, but I love the extra lemony tang! The popsicles also look beautiful, spotted with flakes of yellow.
How to Make Lemonade Popsicles
It takes just a few simple steps to make homemade fresh lemon popsicles.
First, make your simple syrup by bringing water to a simmer and stirring in the sugar until it's completely dissolved. Turn off the heat.
Next, stir in your lemon juice and zest if using.
Pour the liquid into your popsicle molds, add the sticks and lid to the mold then freeze for at least 5 hours and enjoy!
These fruit popsicles can stay in their molds until you are ready to serve them.
Remove them from the freezer and let them sit on the counter for a few minutes and they should easily slide out.
However, sometimes, popsicles can get a little stuck, release them easily by running them under warm water for a few seconds.
Variations for Lemonade Ice Pops
Swap out the lemon juice with fresh-squeezed lime juice.
Use half lemon and half lime juice for the ultimate lemon-lime popsicle treat!
Make citrus popsicles with any combination of your favorite citrus fruit.
Mix in fresh herbs to take this lemonade popsicle recipe up a notch! Add chopped tender herbs like fresh basil or mint directly to your popsicle mixture before filling the popsicle molds.
For a more subtle herb flavor, steep fresh sprigs of thyme or rosemary in your simple syrup for an extra 5 minutes to infuse the flavor. Remove the herbs before mixing the popsicle mixture together.
Add fresh raspberries or chopped strawberries to the molds before adding the liquid for fruit-filled strawberry lemonade popsicles or raspberry lemonade popsicles.
Hosting a summertime happy hour? Replace some of the water with vodka for a tasty adult frozen treat!
Use a liquid measure or something else with a spout to pour the juice into the molds without spilling it everywhere.
Don’t fill the molds up all the way as the liquid will expand as it freezes and you don’t want it to overflow.
If you have trouble releasing the popsicles from the molds, run them underwater for a few seconds or let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Either one should work.
If you don’t have a popsicle mold, you can easily use an ice cube tray for smaller pops and use toothpicks or small skewers for the handles!
If you are using a mold, like the one I recommended, then the lid has special little slots to keep the center of the popsicle. If yours doesn't, let them freeze without the sticks for about 30 minutes - 1 hour first. At this point, they are partially frozen and you can insert the wooden sticks and they should more easily stay in place.
I am sure it seems like a simple solution, but for the best flavor, freshly squeezed lemon juice is essential. Most bottled lemon juice has a slightly artificial flavor to it that comes from the preservatives added to it.
The time it takes to freeze may depend on the temperature of your freezer but in most cases, the popsicles will be frozen solid in 4-6 hours.
It's really easy. All you need to do is use the lemon zest as I recommend and replace some of the liquid with additional lemon juice.
Honey is a great sweetener replacement. However, because honey is slightly sweeter than sugar, you might want to scale back slightly in your simple syrup.
More Summertime Treats
Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card right below! You can also write a review in the comment section further down the page I always appreciate your feedback. And don’t forget to tag me @freshcoasteats in your photos on social media, I'd love to see your results!
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest optional
- In a small pan, bring water to a simmer and whisk in sugar until completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Stir in fresh lemon juice until fully incorporated.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the popsicle mold.
- Freeze for 5 hour or overnight.