You probably ate a lot of popsicles as a kid, and whether they were from the neighborhood ice cream truck, your local supermarket, or made at home by your mom, they were always delicious, right? So what happened? Did you forget how satisfying drippy, bright-red strawberry ice pops can be?
It’s time to bring some of that magic back, and luckily you don’t have to wait until next summer (or for the ice cream truck to roll down your street). Re-creating these childhood treats is as easy as picking up popsicle molds, and trust us: They have come a long way from what you may remember as a kid. The best popsicle molds now do everything from making mini-pops to freezing right on your countertop. We’ve consulted with our expert, author of Modern Freezer Meals, Ali Rosen, and scoured the internet to find the right one for every type of home cook. Read on for seven of the absolute best popsicle molds.
Features to Keep in Mind
“Most popsicle molds are made of either plastic or silicone. I prefer the silicone versions because they are much easier to pop out,” says Ali Rosen, author of Modern Freezer Meals: Simple Recipes to Cook Now and Freeze for Later. Less common, but still available, are metal molds, which win points for durability.
“We all love that standard popsicle shape, but with internet shopping, you can get molds for any holiday or occasion,” says Rosen. “The wider the opening, the easier the popsicles will be to fill. But generally, popsicles are incredibly easy to make—hence their popularity—so no one shape or mold should add too much time to the process.”
“The size really depends on what you plan to use them for,” Rosen says. “Are you looking to make breakfast popsicles for you to grab each morning? Then you may not need molds that serve more than eight or 10 people. If you are making popsicles for a large party or to bring to a group picnic, you may want a larger set. But keep aware of your freezer size before going overboard.”
“There are now reusable silicone or acrylic sticks, and I think that is a great way to be environmentally friendly if you are eating popsicles at home,” says Rosen. “But the standard wooden stick also is pretty great; I love writing jokes or little notes on them, too, to make them personalized.”
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Zoku Classic Pop Molds
Zoku certainly knows what they’re doing when it comes to frozen treats—three of their products ended up on our list. But their Classic Pop Molds win our best in show for a few reasons: They’re easy to use, mess-free, and freeze the ideal-size popsicle (about three fluid ounces). Unlike other models, the base of this set is made of two parts: a six-holed mold for the popsicles to freeze in, plus six individual sleeves that fit into the mold. This means it’s easy to remove single pops or even grab a few for an outdoor meal without worrying about excessive dripping. As for dripping once you start eating them? A drip guard at the bottom of the stick helps keep the mess to a minimum.
Best Value: Tovolo Classic Molds with Sticks
Although the price on this set is under $10, it performs as well as some of the more expensive versions. Tovolo’s product is durable, dishwasher-safe, doesn’t take up a lot of freezer space, and produces a large 4-ounce pop that slides out smoothly with just a little warm water. It also freezes popsicles in that classic rounded-top shape, which makes them especially photogenic. This model probably also has the best drip-guard out there: Its rounded shape can trap more liquid than flatter ones.
Best Mini: Zoku Mini Pop Molds
Whether you’re looking to feed young children or simply want to serve smaller frozen treats at a party, the Zoku Mini Pop Mold is the way to go. The mold freezes nine mini-pops in a fun-to-eat orb shape; it’s also really satisfying to pull them out of the soft silicone mold. A wide drip-guard keeps the pops from sliding down the handle, keeping the melted liquid at bay. Bonus: The smaller size means these freeze faster than bigger ones.
Best Push Pop: Lékué Ice Push Pop Mold
Best Push Pop
Push pops, but make it fancy? Look no further than Lékué’s Ice Push Pop Molds, which come in a set of six bright colors and are made out of silicone for easy pushing. Using them is as simple as filling them with your favorite blend of fruits or ice cream, popping the cap on top, and stacking them in the freezer until frozen. They’re also dishwasher-safe, making cleanup no fuss.
Best Metal: Onyx Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold
If you’re looking for that old-school feel, we love Onyx’s metal molds, which produce six paddle-style popsicles. Metal, of course, is also super durable, making this a set that should last virtually forever. Other unique innovations include silicone rings to help secure wooden sticks in place and individual molds that allow you to freeze or refreeze popsicles one at a time.
Best Disposable: Frozip Disposable Ice Popsicle Mold Bags
While we’re all for reusable kitchen tools, if you’re on the go, sometimes you don’t have a way to carry sticky, used popsicle containers around. Enter: Frozip’s disposable bags, which allow you to fill your own push-ups, zip up the top, and freeze, and then discard the BPA-free and nontoxic bags when done. These also work for (small amounts) of homemade smoothie or yogurt blends for eating breakfast on the go.
Best All-in-One: Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker
If you’re low on freezer space or simply love novelty kitchen products, let us direct you to Zoku’s Duo Quick Pop Maker, which can make two popsicles on your counter in as little as seven minutes. The concept is similar to at-home ice cream makers: the base must be frozen ahead of time, but then all you need to do is fill the wells and wait for the popsicles to freeze. Inside the base is a proprietary solution that aids in freezing treats quickly and uniformly, and a non-stick cast-aluminum coating ensures the pops slide out smoothly.
Ask the Experts
Q: How long does it take for popsicles to freeze?
“Different ingredients do have different freezing points, but that won’t matter as much as the size of the popsicle, the temperature of your freezer, and the starting temperature of the popsicle base (i.e., if you make a popsicle with milk from your fridge, it will freeze faster than one made with room-temperature water, even though water generally freezes faster),” Rosen says. “But I would give your popsicles at least three or four hours, just to be safe.”
Q: Can I put ice cream in popsicle molds?
“You certainly can, but it really needs to be done with freshly made ice cream to work properly,” Rosen says. “Ice cream has to be churned to get the texture we love. So when you make ice cream and it is almost completely set, you can add it to popsicle molds and it should freeze nicely. What you don’t want to do is defrost a ready-made ice cream for a bit, put it into a mold, and then try to freeze it. When ice cream thaws and then refreezes, it loses its texture, and ice crystals can form in less-palatable ways. So either do it from scratch or don’t do it at all.”
Q: How do I keep popsicles from sticking to the mold?
“This is more about the material than anything else,” Rosen says. “Silicone molds slide out much more easily. But if you do have a plastic mold, the old trick of running hot water over it is about as good as it is going to get.”
Q: How do I clean popsicle molds?
“Dishwasher-safe is always best, but if you don’t have a dishwasher it is perfectly fine to wash by hand,” Rosen says. “Just make sure to check every rivet, crack, and crevice when you are cleaning.”