Earlier this week we talked about the wonders of homemade popsicles. Easy, delicious, ripe with creative possibilities, and within reach for even the minimally-equipped kitchen.
Before I had any official popsicle molds to speak of, I defaulted to the trusty ice cube tray, which makes cute little 1-ounce pops that just require some form of stick. I usually clip a wooden skewer into 1-inch pieces (which is easiest to do with wire cutters or another strong tool—my kitchen shears couldn’t get through the hard wood very easily). Check out this easy strawberry banana pop made with fresh pieces of fruit—kids love these things.
There’s plenty of other nifty ideas for making popsicles without any special molds. Those little 3-ounce paper cups you often see bathroom sink-side would make nice molds, as would empty, rinsed yogurt containers or even shot glasses. Just remember that when you’re using an unofficial mold of this sort, it’s best to let your pops freeze up for an hour or two before you insert your sticks (otherwise, they’ll fall to the side and come out crooked rather than sticking upright).
Speaking of sticks, there’s a few options for those as well. Aside from my skewer method, there’s always standard wooden popsicle sticks, available at craft and kitchen stores (and sometimes in those isles of larger groceries or big-box stores). You might need to clip these in half if you’re making ice cube or other, smaller pops. Always be careful of wooden skewers and sticks splintering when you clip—no one wants to ruin their ice pop experience with something spiky!
You could also try using rigid coffee stirrers, lollipop sticks, or plastic utensils. I’ve heard some folks recommend toothpicks, but I feel like they wouldn’t be sturdy enough, even for an ice cube pop. Making your pops hard to hold onto makes them even harder to eat.
I’d been playing with all of these options for a while before my step-mom gifted me a wonderful set of Tovolo popsicle molds in a cute star shape. I haven’t found any other manufacturer that offers as wide a range of molds as these guys, and all made of BPA-free, sturdy plastic.
Aside from the star, they’ve got the rocket and twin pop shapes I remember from my elementary days, a “groovy” shape (har har), ring pops (where the ‘90s kids at!) and adorable stuff like bugs and ice cream cones. Most of their stuff comes in a set of 4 or 6 (4-ounce) molds for about $12.
They’re not the only option, though. I like this NorPro set for just under $20, which is also BPA-free and lets you make 10 (3-ounce) pops at a time. Cuisipro makes sailboats and robots. I found 3-packs of crayon-shaped Crayola popsicle molds at my local grocery store for $2 each.
So many choices! So much fun!