What’s the best way of cooling down on a hot day?
And these Greek yogurt-based cherry popsicles are scrumptious AND healthy (ish!).
PS. Taking photos of ice pops is hard. My pics with the chocolate shell on just weren’t good enough. So I used my uncoated pics instead… 😅
Sweet cherries are mixed with tangy yogurt and then drizzled with homemade ‘magic shell’, which is a mix of chocolate and coconut oil that will set instantly when it touches the ice cream.
Gather your ingredients, and let’s dive in!
You don’t need much to make these popsicles.
Fresh pitted cherries: I love cherries, they’re sweet and juicy and will add a burst of summer flavors to your popsicles. You can also use slightly defrosted frozen cherries if you can’t get fresh ones.
Greek vanilla yogurt: This gives the popsicle its creamy texture and tangy taste, while also keeping it healthy. Feel free to use plain Greek yogurt if you prefer, just remember to adjust the sugar accordingly.
Whole milk: The milk adds extra creaminess.
Granulated white sugar: I used sugar to bring a touch of sweetness to balance the tang from the yogurt. You can use more or less depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have!
Semisweet chocolate chips: This is the star ingredient for the homemade magic shell. Chocolate and cherries go so well together!. You can also use dark or milk chocolate.
Refined coconut oil: This is what makes the magic shell work. Coconut oil solidifies quickly when cold, creating a crunchy coating for your popsicles. Stick to refined coconut oil for a neutral taste.
Step 1: Prepare the cherry popsicle mixture
In a blender, combine the pitted cherries, Greek yogurt, whole milk, and sugar.
Blend everything until thoroughly combined and smooth.
Taste the mixture and adjust the sugar amount if needed, especially if you’ve used plain Greek yogurt instead of the vanilla-flavored version (which is naturally sweetened).
Step 2: Fill the popsicle molds
Pour the blended mixture into your popsicle molds and leave them to freeze overnight.
Pro tip: using a funnel can help you pour the mixture into the molds without making a mess.
I like to make a funnel out of foil by wrapping it around some paper in the shape of a cone.
Step 3: Make the quick shell
Make a double boiler by resting a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
Put the chocolate chips in the bowl along with the coconut oil and stir until the chocolate is melted.
Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool completely before drizzling it over the popsicles.
You can also melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave, using 20-second intervals and stirring in between. But be careful not to overheat it!
Step 4: Add the homemade magic shell
Hold a popsicle and use a small spoon to drizzle the quick shell over the ice cream.
Wait a few seconds for the shell to harden, and do the same to the other side.
For a thicker chocolate coating, consider making an extra quick shell and fully dipping the popsicles into it.
What is a magic shell and how does it work?
Magic Shell is a popular ice cream topping that transforms into a hard, crunchy shell when you pour it over cold desserts like ice cream or popsicles.
It creates a delightful contrast of textures, adding an extra layer of flavor and excitement to your frozen treats.
The magic behind Magic Shell lies in its main ingredient: coconut oil.
Coconut oil is unique because it has a relatively low melting point (around 76°F or 24°C) and solidifies quickly when cooled.
When the warm Magic Shell mixture, which is typically a blend of chocolate and coconut oil, comes into contact with cold desserts, the coconut oil hardens, forming a crisp, thin layer of chocolate on the surface.
The beautiful thing about this recipe is how easily modified it is. There are so many different ways of making these popsicles.
Dairy-free alternative: Replace Greek yogurt and whole milk with dairy-free yogurt (such as almond or coconut yogurt) and a plant-based milk of your choice, like almond, soy, or oat milk.
Sugar-free option: Swap granulated white sugar for a sugar substitute like honey or maple syrup, adjusting the amount according to your taste preference.
Different fruits: Experiment with other fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or mangoes for a unique twist on the flavor profile. Mangoes mixed with coconut yogurt is DIVINE. And I like using blackberries in the winter.
Chocolate-free magic shell: For a different magic shell experience, try using white chocolate, caramel chips, or peanut butter chips instead of semisweet chocolate chips.
Crunchy additions: Add crushed nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans to the popsicle mixture for extra texture. I like to add a savory twist and salt the nuts before adding them to the ice cream. Or you can use a handful of cereal. Psst… need some tips to keep your cereal crunchy?
Finished popsicles: Store any leftover cherry popsicles in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag in the freezer. To prevent the popsicles from sticking together, separate them with parchment paper or plastic wrap. You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Popsicle mixture: If you have leftover blended cherry popsicle mixture, pour it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can then use it to make fresh popsicles by following the freezing instructions in the recipe.
Quick shell: If you have any extra homemade magic shell, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It should last for several weeks. If the mixture solidifies, gently reheat it using a double boiler or in the microwave.
Related: how to store mochi and keep it soft
For the cherry popsicles:
6 ounces fresh pitted cherries*
1/2 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
For the quick shell:
2/3 cup 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup 2 1/2 oz refined coconut oil
For the quick shell:
In a double boiler over barely simmering water, whisk together the chocolate and coconut oil until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool completely before applying to pops. Yields 3/4 cup of Quick Shell.
For the cherry popsicles:
In a blender, combine cherries, yogurt, milk, and sugar. Blend until throughly combined and smooth.
Pour into the Zoku base as per instructions, or if using a traditional popsicle mold, pour in and allow to freeze overnight.
Adding the quick shell:
Hold a popsicle, flat side facing up, and use a small spoon to drizzle the quick shell onto the pops. Wait a few seconds for the shell to harden and do the same to the other side.