Orange Julius Popsicles

It is HOT! But there is one upside. Homemade popsicles. I would make these even if I didn’t have kids but my kids are nuts about them.

I’ve never actually had an Orange Julius, but this is my homage to them. This is what I think they ought to taste like.

The notion of Orange Julius makes me giggle because when you grow up in Wichita Falls, you are keenly aware of what your city doesn’t have. I mean this in a self deprecating way only, because the older I get the more I appreciate the beauty of my hometown, and I encourage anyone not from the Falls to get off the highway on your way to Colorado and actually toot around a bit. It is a lovely town with a great university and just the right number of amenities to make it self contained, but with a town feel not a city feel. Anyone from Fort Worth will agree that the feel of Fort Worth is more town than city. Dallas is more city than town. This isn’t a judgment on that being good or bad, it is just a feel and each has its fans.

But the mall in Wichita was a far cry from the brat pack havens in all of the great 1980’s teen movies. It wasn’t particularly cool and I always thought we were incredibly lucky to have a Dillard’s. And while my pal Richi (my Junior prom date…perfect gentleman…I swear) assures me that there was at one point a Karmelcorn that served Orange Julius, there was never an actual Orange Julius. Now folks from Dallas still give their directions on NorthPark Mall based on precisely where the Orange Julius used to be located so I know the “city folk” had one. Why do I care? I don’t, particularly. But, it has always been my impression that the mall was actually a character in those movies. It was a character with no lines but the mall scenes provided context. You can still tell a lot about the times in which they were filmed by looking at the stores and the food courts. THE food court location in my mind has always been the Orange Julius. And we had no Orange Julius, so in my mind it has added value.

Well, I’ve still never had an actual Orange Julius, and now I’m more interested in it being a Berkshire Hathaway property than a hot mall spot. All of this has sort of filtered down to a mild fascination with the “idea” of the Orange Julius. So recently I found a really lazy recipe for Orange Julius in a frayed church cookbook and I turned it into popsicles. And, as I mentioned, I dig them thoroughly as do my kiddos. So break out your blender and Dixie cups and sticks and give it a try. This is a cheap sugar high which makes the Dixie Cup size serving a good idea. It is a taste of summer. And you can make it and do one of several things…1) reflect on how I think too much about really random things, 2) reflect about your good old 80’s days and your bad perm while a Cars track plays in your mind, 3) eat one on your back porch and realize that soon you will be griping about how cold it is instead of how hot it is, or 4) skip the Dixie cups and add a cup of rum like Richi said he was going to do.

Orange Julius Popsicles
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: variable
Kids absolutely love these. But so do grown ups. Don't save all the great treats for the little people.
  • 1 (12 oz.) can of frozen orange juice concentrate
  • ¼ cup sugar (use more if you don’t like a slightly tart edge…but taste it first)
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 ounces water
  • 10 to 16 ice cubes
  1. Put it in a blender. Blend. Pour it into Dixie cups and put a popsicle stick in each. If you work quickly enough, the sticks will stay upright in the freezer. Put them in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight. When you serve them it is easiest to tear the cup and peel it off.

That is it. They are divine.

This is another recipe where a pancake pen or a pitcher with a good pouring spout comes in handy. Pouring the blended concoction into the Dixie cups can be messy. If the kids are involved with the pouring, doubly so.


  1. Lisa Vanderburg says

    Hi Kelly! I am your next door neighbor’s sister. She told me about your website and I just want you to know how much I enjoy it. I have not taken the time to make some of your recipes yet. I am going to because you have done some great ones. I love reading and the pictures wow!! I just enjoyed the view. Would like to meet you sometime. Keep up the great work!! I keep checking my email to see what new from you. Cute kids!

  2. Pat says

    Adorable, yummy sounding, and much ado about not much in the Falls. Missing you, thanks for comforting BW. Love to all, DAL

  3. Val says

    Wow, A blast from Northpark past! Now you’ve got me trying to remember exactly where the OJ was! I worked at that Dillards,, had a bad perm and went so far as to name my cat (poor girl) Ocasek! But I digress, this recipe looks like great fun to make. Love the polka dot Dixie cups and the final “2up” photos. Once again, great work sista.

  4. Kelly says

    Allison, I’m so glad you asked. I’m such a nerd I actually re-shot this when I found the pink polka dot Dixie cups. I think they are super cute. And I totally forgot to mention the supplies in the post. The Dixie cups were at Albertson’s on Midway/NW Highway. The popsicle sticks are another matter. I finally found the kind that are actually the little “spoon” paddles that they used to supply with the little paper cups of ice cream. I like them because they stay upright better than the tall ones. Either will work of course, but I found these at JoAnn’s at Preston and Forest in the section where they have un-finsihed wooden boxes and dowel rods and such. They are perfect.

    Val…Pitts remembers the OJ to have been down by the old JCP’s north of the LaMadeliene corner…back when NP it was a big C instead of a big square.

  5. Elsa Rector says

    Kelly, I remember Orange Julius from the sixties in CA. I was there on business, and sometimes we got tired of the usual food and drink. So, someone thought of putting Vodka in Orange Juliuses. Just passing along a fond memory.

  6. Elizabeth Alexander Cumbie says

    I, too, always wondered why we in the Falls didn’t have an Orange Julius. I was just glad we had a Chick-fil-a! I hear the Falls is getting one of those again. Great post!

  7. Kelly says

    Michon, great question. Sometimes I breeze past the most critical bits of information. 12 oz. And I use pulp free. I’m partial to Minute Maid but I’ve used practically all of the brands. I hope you try it. Let us know what you think and if you make any improvements or interesting changes.

  8. Courtney says

    I enjoyed this recipe as much as the kids. We were impatient and had to taste some while we waited for the popsicles to freeze. It was great frozen and as a drink. Ford looks remarkably clean eating his popsicle!

  9. says

    Well, this old city folk’s mouth is watering for the Orange Julius of yesteryear. It was always such a treat to stop for the sweet treat at NorthPark. In hindsight I realize it was probably just a bribe to keep us quiet by the fountain so mom could finish shopping at Joske’s (nee Titches)

    I’ve never tried making Orange Julius pops. But we use a similar recipe for the uber sweet drink on Christmas morning.

  10. Kelly says

    Lisa, please please drop by next time you are at Linda’s! I just used her as my guinea pig on a dish and she is most helpful. I can’t wait to hear what you try. Thanks for your kind words.

  11. Megan says

    Hey Kelly! Awesome, as usual! My whole family loves these. We’ve made them twice, then we went a little crazy and used frozen grape juice instead of oj. I used 1/2 the sugar, and will reduce even more next time because the grape juice is so sweet, but they were awesome! Kids love them and love making them! Can’t wait to try whipping cream cake and lemonade cupcakes next!

    Happy Mother’s Day!


  12. Laura says

    I read too many customer comments about plastic popsicle molds breaking after only a few uses, or being difficult to un-mold, so I went on a hunt for cute paper cups, as you used here.

    I found some really cute 9-oz paper cup designs at a themed baby shower site:

    I’ll bet Hallmark stores, Target, etc have themed paper cups for parties in many different designs.

    These Orange Julius Popsicles sound *divine*

  13. says

    I just got my new Tovolo ice pop molds and found your orange julius popsicle recipe. My kids and I are going to try it right now. Thanks! I am going to take at look at the Tovolo pancake pen – I’ve never heard of it or seen it before. I own Tovolo silicone spatulas and love them. They make great products.

  14. Kelly says

    I use a different pop cup every time so it varies. But, I get about 36 ounces of popsicle juice. And I use 3 ounce dixie cups here. So, if you are using dixie cups, you get 10 to 12 popsicles. Enjoy!


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