Strawberry Ice Pops ~ Paletas de Fresa

These strawberry ice pops, or paletas de fresa, are easy Mexican treats made with fresh strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and water.

A little girl eating a strawberry ice pop.

We’re intrigued, not just by the gleeful grin of this little girl, but by the pure simplicity of these strawberry ice pops. And you’ll note in the last line that you don’t have to have proper popsicle molds to make these; we give you permission to use “unconventional molds.”

Your household may contain hypercritical wee ones with very specific notions of what does–and does not–constitute a proper popsicle. But we’re intrigued by the potential for popsicle shapes, say, paper cups that you peel off. Glass cups, to be more environmentally correct. Shot glasses. Tea cups. Ice cube trays. Flutes, perhaps? Now go be creative. –David Leite

Paletas de Fresa FAQs

Can I make these popsicles with other types of fruit?

Yes. Other berries or mango would work well here, and one tester commented that adding chunks of banana to the fruit mixture made the popsicles smoother. Do use fresh, ripe, in-season fruit here.

What’s the best way to unmold a popsicle?

For these ice pops, our testers caution to make sure you wait until your popsicles are fully frozen before unmolding, or you risk pulling out the popsicle sticks and leaving the frozen treat behind. Once the ice pops are fully frozen, run the outside of the mold under hot water until the popsicle releases.

Strawberry Ice Pops ~ Paletas de Fresa

A little girl eating a strawberry ice pop.
These strawberry ice pops, or paletas, are an easy-to-make treat popular in Mexico. A flavor-packed, refreshing, and healthy treat for beating summer's heat.

Prep 20 mins
Cook 5 mins
Chilling time 5 hrs
Total 5 hrs 25 mins
8 to 10 servings
72 kcal
5 / 2 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Paletas cookbook

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  • 4 cups fresh strawberries preferably wild, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup sugar or more, depending on the sweetness of the berries and of your sweet tooth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Let sit until the strawberries start to release their juices, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Transfer the sugary strawberries and water to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Simmer until the berries are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add the lemon juice, and purée until the desired consistency, whether smooth or somewhat chunky.
  • If using conventional molds divide the mixture among the molds, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid, about 5 hours. We think you can take it from here.
    If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the size), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. We think you can take it from here.

    TESTER TIP: You're going to want to run water over the mold container until you are sure that the pops are free before trying to remove them.

Print RecipeBuy the Paletas cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1popCalories: 72kcal (4%)Carbohydrates: 18g (6%)Protein: 0.5g (1%)Fat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 114mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 16g (18%)Vitamin A: 9IUVitamin C: 44mg (53%)Calcium: 12mg (1%)Iron: 0.3mg (2%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

In a word, wonderful. These strawberry paletas are one of the best uses for strawberries I’ve ever found. The sugar-to-fruit ratio is perfect: the sugar amplifies the natural sweetness of the berries but doesn’t overwhelm it, so it’s more or less like eating a giant frozen strawberry on a stick.

The strawberry popsicle recipe worked as written, and the active and freezing times were accurate. I used conventional molds so I didn’t have to insert sticks while the popsicles were freezing. I got 10 pops out of one batch.

The only word of caution I have to impart is that you need to let the pops rest at room temperature for a while before you attempt to unmold them—any earlier and you’ll pull the stick out and leave the pop behind.

These pops are the perfect use for those occasions when you’re overzealous at the farmers market and overbuy strawberries just because they smell so fragrant and delicious! These pops can be whipped together easily and require only ingredients that are likely to be on hand.

The star of the recipe is really the strawberries, so be sure to use ripe and fragrant berries for these pops. Out-of-season strawberries would result in lackluster pops.

These could easily be enhanced with the addition of other fruit. For one batch, I added a few chunks of banana, which made the pops a bit smoother and added a bit of zest.

One word of caution: the mix fills about eight 6-ounce pop molds, so if you only have four molds, be sure to set aside a container to save the rest of the goodness!

I followed this homemade strawberry popsicle recipe exactly as written, however, I had more popsicle molds than mixture, so I added a few slashes of vodka to the last bits and made 4 adult pops as well as the 12 regular pops. Vodka or not, these are delicious!

I blended the mixture in my BlendTec, and I don’t know if it had anything to do with it, but the texture of the pops was so creamy you would think that they had dairy added to them. I left them to freeze overnight. Absolutely fantastic!

This Mexican strawberry paleta recipe was so easy to use and made great ice pops. I might use slightly less sugar next time, but these have the great natural flavor of strawberries without feeling like they are processed.

I puréed the strawberries in a blender until they were almost entirely smooth. I made a half recipe and I got 6 Zuko ice pops, so I think the serving size depends on the molds you are using.

I’d been making strawberry pops for weeks now when this recipe came along. It had essentially the same ingredients, but the procedure was different.

The recipe I’d been using calls for strawberries that are raw and puréed. For this one, the strawberries are cooked and then blended a little but still chunky. This changed my basic recipe just enough to add a subtle undertone to the strawberry flavor—a richer, fuller taste.

Plus the pops had a nice texture that was thicker due to the chunks of strawberry and not as icy as I was used to having. I really enjoyed the difference!

Hint: Run water over the mold container until you are sure that the pops are free before trying to remove them. I had a few break on me when I didn’t do this.

These were easy to make and very refreshing for a hot day. My daughter said they tasted very similar to the Italian fruit ices I used to get for her and her brother when they were growing up.

Since I didn’t have popsicle molds I used some small (3 ounce) plastic cups. Once sticks were in place and the pops frozen all I had to do was run a butter knife around the inside of the cup and they popped right out.

Tip: After transferring the berries and sugar to the saucepan, swish the 1/2 cup water around in the bowl before adding to the pot so you don’t waste any of that luscious sweetness.

The flavor is pure strawberries and the pops are not heavy on the sugar. My only complaint about this recipe is in the volumetric measure for the strawberries. The berries vary a lot in shape and size so a weight measure is so much better here. Other than that the recipe is as easy as they come and makes for a lovely ice pop.

They really are a perfect treat for the kids.

Originally published July 11, 2011


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. 5 stars
    These were fantastic! Perfectly sweet and just a bit tart from the lemon juice. I chose not to puree them completely so I enjoyed the visible chunks of strawberry throughout the popsicle. They were a very charming dessert – thanks for the idea!

    1. Amy, I love the idea of the more solid, visible chunks of strawberry, which was what I always liked about FrozFruit bars when they first started appearing around here (I’m dating myself). Homemade is still much better, and I think you’ve hit on an improvement in my book…if it’s possible to improve this recipe, that is. Enjoy summer.

    2. You’re quite, quite welcome, Amy. As you can tell, we’re not the only ones who are over the moon for the book this recipe comes from…we can’t say enough lovely things about it. You may want to consider investing in it. You know, summer’s only half over…

  2. My husband bought me this book and the norpro popsicle molds. I couldn’t be happier, my kids either. The recipes in this book are great. Our favorite so far is lime.

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Annette. And, you know, I am spotting a trend here: the actual kids are pleased, sure, but… so are the big kids in the house! There are husbands and wives bonding over luscious popsicles (or paletas). First E peeking over Renee’s shoulder, and then this not-so-subtle gift to you by your husband. A gift that says: can I have some, too?!

  3. This book arrived on my doorstep (a little surprise gift) just as I had these pops setting in the freezer. I can vouch for the deliciousness (and toddler appeal) of these as well as the blackberry varieties, not to mention the horchata. Quick, cool, healthy treats that the whole family will eat? This is the cookbook of the summer for me.

    1. Lovely, Annie. I couldn’t agree more. My husband, E, was looking over my shoulder the other day as I flipped through the book. It’s just another reason to fall head over heels in love with summer all over again.

  4. These look fantastic. So much healthier than strawberry Kool-Aid pops. Duh! Most unconventional mold? I didn’t use this shape as a popsicle, but in a punch bowl…a rubber glove. It was Halloween and…

    1. Definitely healthier and better tasting than Kool-Aid! Not sure what to make of the rubber glove (but Halloween explains it, I guess). I always thought individual yogurt containers or plastic egg crates were good improv molds for things like popsicles… if you’re looking to reuse things you’d otherwise toss into the recycling bin (otherwise, they’re hardly wacky or unusual or chic).

        1. Uh, yeah. You’re right, I suppose. Maybe you’ve just convinced me to save the egg cups for that other typical use in a child zone: holding paints, glitter, other items for art projects. Maybe we’ll start dusting the outside of the yogurt cups with glitter…?

    1. Looks like you’re in for a delicious, refreshing summer, then. You’ll have to let us know what recipes you decide to make.

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