The creamsicles I ate as a kid were orange-flavored popsicles filled with a vanilla ice cream. When you bit into the popsicle, you got a nice blend of orange and cream that is what everyone associates with a creamsicle. These popsicles are ones that I rarely buy these days, but I also rarely make them at home, even though I make other popsicles regularly. They are difficult to make at home because, even with fancy popsicle makers, it can be tricky to get that ice cream filling into a popsicle shell. After a little experimentation, I came up with a compromise that captured the flavor of a creamsicle in an easier to make format.
My Orange Yogurt Creamsicles are two-layer popsicles. One layer of the pop is fresh orange juice, and the other is a combination of juice and yogurt. Although the ice cream in a creamsicle is typically vanilla, I found I got a great creamy element to the popsicles with plain yogurt instead, and the popsicles still had a very zesty and refreshing orange flavor. I filled the molds partly with orange juice and let it partially freeze, then added the yogurt layer on top to get the two-tone effect. The orange layer doesn’t need to be completely frozen, just frozen enough to hold its shape while the second layer is added.
For the orange juice layer, I prefer to use just plain, freshly squeezed juice. The orange juice sets up a little bit icier than the yogurt mixture, and has a tart-sweet taste to it. I like the contrast, personally, but you can decrease the iciness and up the sweetness by adding a tablespoon or two of confectioners’ sugar to the plain orange juice for that layer if you prefer. Either way, this flavor combination will bring back memories of those classic pops – even if the format is slightly different this time around!
Orange Yogurt Creamsicles
1 1/2 cups orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup plain, greek-style yogurt
2 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Pour about 2 tbsp of orange juice (using 1/2 cup of orange juice) into each of four large popsicle molds (if molds are smaller, you will be able to make more pops). Place in the freezer for 20-25 minutes, until orange juice starts to freeze. It should not be completely frozen.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup orange juice with yogurt, orange zest and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk vigorously until very well combined.
Pour yogurt mixture into popsicle molds on top of partially frozen orange juice. Insert popsicle sticks and close molds. Freeze until solid, about 4-6 hours.
Makes 4 large popsicles (or 6-8 small popsicles)