If you grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, chances are you enjoyed a delicious, creamy frozen treat known as a Jell-O Pudding Pop countless times during your youth. These cool 90-calorie treats came in a cute little variety pack that included both chocolate and vanilla-flavored bars, as well as the illustrious chocolate-and-vanilla swirl, which we all knew was by far the best option. In fact, some of the best memories of my time spent with my grandmother as a young child involve pulling a chair over to her fridge, climbing up to reach the freezer, and helping myself to one (or three) of her seemingly endless supply of pudding pops, just to make sure I got to all the chocolate-and-vanilla swirl pops before anyone else had a chance.
But all good things must come to an end, and so it was with pudding pops, which were eventually discontinued after they became less than profitable in the early ’90s, probably thanks to newer, trendier ice cream treats that were coming into the market. Then, under the Popsicle brand name, pudding pops made a brief return to grocery stores in the early aughts, though they never reached true popularity and were discontinued again in 2011. Ever since, legions of nostalgic fans have been pondering the very serious questions of how to recreate the magic that once was: Are Jell-O pudding pops still around? If not, how do you make Jell-O pudding pops? And most importantly, is there a Jell-O pudding pops copycat recipe out there?
How to Make Jell-O Pudding Pops
Friends, there is good news: We found a method for how to make Jell-O pudding pops at home, and the finished products are surprisingly quite tasty. They’re also really similar to the traditional pudding pops your tastebuds can still recall from years ago. Plenty of novice and professional chefs have tried to create the perfect pudding pop recipe on their own, and we’ve narrowed it down to a few favorites that come pretty close to perfect.
Easy Pudding Pops Recipe
This Creamy Chocolate Jell-O Pudding Pops recipe was created by Kraft, and it’s clear that someone at the company shared the deep love for pudding pops that we do. With just 10 minutes of prep work, you can place your pops in the freezer and wind up with a finished frozen concoction in just under four hours. Just be sure the milk you use is nice and cold (whole milk works best, in our opinion) and that you whisk the mixture thoroughly before pouring it into the cups (so if the kiddos or grandkids are helping you with this as a fun summer DIY project, you may want to take over for the last few minutes of mixing to make sure the ingredients are well blended).
- 1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) Jell-O chocolate-flavored instant pudding
- 2 cups cold milk
- 1 cup thawed Cool Whip whipped topping
- Beat pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in Cool Whip.
- Spoon into 6 paper or plastic cups. Insert wooden pop stick or plastic spoon in center of each cup.
- Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Remove from cups before serving.
Homemade Pudding Pops With a Twist
Ready to kick things up a notch? While choclate, vanilla, and the beloved chocolate-vanilla swirl will always be our favorite flavors — and the ones that most make us nostaligic for Gram's freezer all those years ago — there's no rule that says you can't get creative and make a homemade pudding pop with a twist. How about a fruit twist, which will add antioxidants, vitamin C, and a dose of sweetness to your frozen treat?
Blogger Melissa Buckles of Everyday Savvy shared her recipe for Strawberry Jell-O Pudding Pops that feature fresh chopped strawberries — a fresh summer favorite — and are easy to create with the kids. She recommends using a packet of white chocolate instant pudding mix, though French vanilla pudding would certainly taste great, too. Get the full recipe here.
One rule of thumb: Don't be afraid to get creative! Mix other fresh berries into your pudding pop, buy a pudding you've never tried before, or get wild and spend an afternoon whipping up several different flavors of these frozen desserts at once. Your little ones — and let's face it, the child in you — will totally approve.