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My kids love when we make popsicles together. We have made all sorts of different popsicles over the years but last year I made Jell-O popsicles that were a huge hit. Not only did my kids go nuts over the colors and flavors but I loved the fact that they didn’t drip and make a mess like regular popsicles do. I learned that popsicles are treats that I have to give them outside while making sure they are wearing play clothes or swimming suits (unless I want to spend lots of extra time on laundry from the popsicle they let drip all down their shirts).
When I shared the Jell-O popsicle recipe on the blog last summer it was also a huge hit with you guys. The only question I got time after time was why I felt the need to add extra sugar so I am addressing that question today. I am also showing pictures from our popsicles over a 20 minute span outside in the Florida heat so you can see how these popsicles truly do not drip like regular popsicles do!
Jell-O Popsicle Flavors
First off let me start by telling you the Jolly Rancher Jell-O flavors make delicious popsicles! For this batch we layered Watermelon and Blue Raspberry Jolly Rancher Jell-O. I filled the molds halfway with the blue raspberry flavor and placed them at an angle in the freezer for about an hour. Then I stuck the popsicle sticks in while the first layer was starting to freeze but not completely solid yet. After a few more hours in the freezer I layered the watermelon Jell-O filling the molds to the top and then placed into the freezer over night.
I let the kids each pick out their own Jell-O flavors at the store the other day so we are going to making Pineapple, Strawberry an Jolly Rancher Green Apple flavors soon! These honestly have become our popsicle of choice since they are super easy to make and there are so many flavor options.
Let’s talk about how these melt.
Instead of melting and dripping down the stick like a store bought popsicle does these just gel up into a Jell-O consistency. Of course if you have messy kids like I do they won’t be 100% mess free. The picture above shows two popsicles that had been sitting on a plate for about 10 minutes. It was a very sunny and hot Florida day (it was in the high 80s). The one on the right shows how it held its shape and the one on the left was picked up and eaten. When they melt it is like eating really cold Jell-O… on a stick.
The picture below was what the popsicles looked like after being out on the plate for about 20 minutes. Underneath the popsicle there was wetness which seemed to be mostly condensation since it was clear. There may have been a few drops of melted popsicle.
Okay now for the ‘why do you need the extra sugar question‘
The answer is that you don’t need to add sugar because the Jell-O mix has sugar in it. However if you don’t add the sugar the popsicles don’t freeze as well. When you try to pull the popsicles out from the mold the stick comes out leaving the popsicle behind.
Who wants a popsicle without a stick… that isn’t any fun! If you don’t want to add the extra sugar then I suggest using plastic cups or silicone molds. If you are using a deep mold then I would add the extra sugar. (Trust me I have tested this. We would up only being able to get 2 out of 10 popsicles out with their sticks still intact. I had to use a knife to get the others out.)
Here is a good picture that shows the ‘gel’ factor. This popsicle was one from the plate after sitting for the 20 minutes. Notice the transparent layer along the bottom? Take one lick and that layer is all yummy Jell-O.
Another good photo. After the twenty or so minutes in the Florida heat you can tell this popsicle is no longer frozen solid. It was ‘melting’ since it was bending on the stick.