Win at Summer: Cassata Ice Cream Pops

Cassata is one of my favorite cakes. Not only is it fun to say, but it's delicious to eat: a traditional Sicilian cake involving marzipan, cannoli-like cream, and more goodness (you can read about a really good one I ate in New Orleans, here).

And guess what? Cassata translates well in popsicle form. Hooray! 

This delicious popsicle comes from the book Ice Pops! by Nadia and Cesar Roden. Somehow this book manages to combine a sophisticated adult palate with enough whimsy and summer fun to make this book a true pleasure, page after page. Viva la popsicle!

Here's the recipe from the book.


We’ve managed to put Italy on a stick here, with this traditional Sicilian dessert converted to an ice pop. Creamy ricotta is mixed with chopped nuts like almonds and pistachios, chopped candied fruits, and tiny pieces of chocolate.


  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 1 3⁄4 cups heavy cream
  • scant 3⁄4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4–6 tablespoons milk, depending on the thickness of the ricotta 1 ounce candied orange peel
  • 1 ounce candied lemon peel
  • scant 1⁄4 cup shelled pistachios
  • scant 1⁄4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest (optional) 


  1. Put the ricotta, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a food processor and blend very briefly until smooth. (The mix will thicken slightly.) Pour into a bowl and stir in the milk to thin the mixture, but not too much, as the chopped ingredients need to float in the mixture.
  2. Chop the candied peels, nuts, and chocolate into small pieces and stir into the ricotta mixture. Mix in the zest, if using.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your ice pop molds, and bang the molds hard on the table so there are no big air bubbles. Leave 1⁄4‐inch at the top to let the mixture expand when it freezes. Insert the ice pop sticks and freeze. If you like, save a little chopped chocolate or candied fruit to sprinkle onto the frozen ice pops. 

Reprinted with permission from Ice Pops published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. © Cesar and Nadia Roden. Photography by Adam Slama

What is your favorite popsicle flavor?

Breakfast and a Snack All at Once: Cereal Milk Popsicles

Do you want breakfast, or do you want a sweet treat? Why decide, when you can have both in one deliciously summery form: cereal milk popsicles!

These delightful treats are featured in the fantastic new book Ice Pops! by Cesar and Nadia Roden. This fantastic book features some truly creative popsicle recipes, and beautiful, simple photography that lets the finished product shine. 

This is one of my favorite recipes in the book, for creamy popsicles that have the inimitable flavor of delicious leftover cereal milk. Here's the headnote from the book:


Cereal milk Popsicles

Inspired by the famous cereal‐milk soft serve that created a frenzy in New York City, we’ve created our own version by freezing Lily’s morning cereal onto a stick and it was quite a hit! You can experiment with your favorite cereal. We know you’ll agree it will taste even better in this frozen form.


  • 1 1⁄4 cups whole milk
  • generous 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup your favorite breakfast cereal (we like Cheerios), plus extra to drop into the molds
  • 1 ripe banana, cut into 3⁄4‐inch slices 5–6 tablespoons honey or maple syrup


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight to let the liquid take on that unmistakably delicious cereal taste.
  2. The next day, put the steeped mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into your ice pop molds, and drop in some extra pieces of cereal. Leave 1⁄4‐inch at the top to let the mixture expand when it freezes. Insert the ice pop sticks and freeze.

Reprinted with permission from Ice Pops published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. © Cesar and Nadia Roden. Photography by Adam Slama  

What is the most creative popsicle flavor you've ever tried?

Magically Delicious: Rainbow Ice Cream Pops Recipe

It's a simple fact: food is more fun when it provides a pretty visual. And what could be a more fun way to enjoy the official treat of summer—ice cream—than in the form of rainbow ice cream pops?

How you attain your rainbow of ice cream hues is up to you. You can either use ice cream flavors which are naturally tinted in the colors of the rainbow (for example, strawberry for red; orange flavored for orange; French vanilla or banana for yellow; green tea or mint chocolate chip for green; any kid-friendly blue ice cream for blue; and blueberry for violet), or, if you don't want to invest in five ice cream flavors or feel that the flavors might not be harmonious, you can also attain this look by tinting vanilla ice cream with food coloring.

Rainbow pops

Assembly is easy: simply stack your colors in popsicle molds (I used the Orka mold) or even paper cups, insert a stick, and let them freeze. This recipe couldn't be easier, and the finished product is a pleasurable frozen treat with a visual twist that makes it that much more delightful to eat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sweet Times: Paletas by La Newyorkina

Sweet Dispatch: Popsicle Time on the High Line, NYC.

Let's get one thing straight. In general, the creamsicle is about as close as I am going to get to having fruit in my popsicles—just way too healthy, and it always seems like I am wasting valuable time and energy eating them that I could be devoting to pudding, ice cream, or gelato.

But the other day something happened while strolling the High Line in NYC.

In case you've never been to the High Line, let me tell you that it is a highly magical place. It almost seems like it was tailor-made to illustrate this Andy Warhol quote:

People's pace slows slightly on the High Line. They smile at each other. They point at pretty buildings and flowers they see. At least, they did on the day I visited. And as I walked uptown from the Chelsea Market entry point, many of the people that I saw strolling opposite me had popsicles. Those popsicles looked good.

When I finally passed the popsicle point--a little stand called La Newyorkina--I kept right on walking—but when I turned around to get back to my starting point, I simply couldn't resist its siren call. And I recognized them from the cover of the newly-released cookbook Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas.

I chose the papaya lime flavor, as it had the prettiest color.

This was a sophisticated sweet, with the mellow papaya flavor brightened up by the zing of lime, and flecked with little bits of rind for extra flavor.

Maybe it was the sunshine; maybe this was just an extremely well-made version of the sweet frozen treat. But all I can say is, after this experience, I may be making a segue from paleta-hater to pal of the paleta.

Find out more about La Newyorkina here; to find out where they are at this instant in NYC, follow them on Twitter.

Taking it to the Sweet: Paletas Popsicle Art

As you know, CakeSpy is a big supporter of the idea that sweetness ought to be infused in your life on a daily basis--both literally and figuratively.

And clearly, the couple behind The Paletas (discovered by a sweet spy tip from CS buddy Tom) are my sweet soul-mates: they create popsicle art that they leave around their world, in an effort to give people pause and ideally add a sense of whimsy and joy to their lives (not unlike my fake cupcake project!).

Although they prefer to remain anonymous, one of the creators was kind enough to give me a small mission statement:

We draw and make things all of the time and one day we were at the craft store and saw the little popsicle sticks so we decided to make some small clay pops that we would just glue in random spots. No real reason, just something strange for the passersby. Eventually they evolved into anthropomorphic creatures, I think the one's with faces draw people in a little more, you connect with whatever emotion they have. So now we mostly make plastic pops and stickers. The plastic is so much fun to experiment with, it's kind of expensive but way easier to work with than clay. There is no real reason for doing it other than to make the observer's surroundings a little more interesting and inspire people to wonder. It's something to do, a creative muse to focus our efforts. It's also tons of fun trading art with other artists around the world. 

Why go to all that effort? As one of the Paletas so sweetly put it, "Sometimes a sense of wonder can inspire the imagination of the viewer/finder. "

If that isn't a sweet outlook, I don't know what is, friends.

Check out art that is "cold as ice, twice as nice" on The Paletas tumblr page and on Flickr!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops Recipe, and a Profile on Pops! Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella

Truth: When it comes to desserts, icy treats are not usually my first pick. I'd much rather have warm cookies, rich cakes, or decadent brownies.

But if there's a book that will make you appreciate--if not even love--the humble popsicle, it is Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella, to whom I'm dedicating a post a day this week (and hosting a giveaway for her more recent release, A World of Cakes! Enter here!). The book was released a couple of years ago by Quirk Books, and it's very much worth checking out.

The first thing that intrigued me about this book? Castella's backstory with pops. It includes a love story!

It also includes plenty of useful information on "pop culture", such as how to order the chilly treats in a plethora of different languages:

...and this is before the actual recipe portion of the book even starts.

Castella's recipes are incredibly creative, ranging from decadent takes on the classic pudding pop to soda foundain-inspired classics to cocktail party friendly booze-based pops...even a section of healthy pops, for which she is forgiven.

But the one that caught my eye most of all was the Blueberry Cheesecake pop, complete with graham cracker crumb crust. Le yum! But why not adapt it a bit for the season--finding myself with some extra canned pumpkin, I made a quick swap for the top layer for a sort of pumpkin cheesecake pop, perfect for Thanksgiving week! Of course, for more, you can check out a preview of some of the recipes here. And of course, buy the book here. You won't regret it.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Adapted from Blueberry Cheesecake Pops from Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone

Makes six 8-ounce pops, or eight 6-ounce pops

Things you'll need: popsicle sticks, popsicle molds or paper cups

Pumpkin topping

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • more nutmeg and cinnamon, if desired


  • 10 graham crackers (or gingersnaps or other cookies of your choice)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons sugar (per original recipe; I left this out)


  1. Make the topping. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin, cream, spices, and sugar until fully incorporated.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Make the cheesecake. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until well blended.In a separate bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until the cream starts to thicken, 1-2 minutes. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat for about 30 seconds. Add spices and stir once more. Set aside.
  4. Make the crust: in a blender or food processor, grind your graham crackers or cookies into crumbs. Transfer to a bowl; add the butter (melted) and mix until sticky and incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.
  5. Time to assemble. Pour the topping into each mold until it is one quarter full. Freeze for about an hour (original recipe suggests 2 hours, but I was impatient and it worked out ok).
  6. Pour the cheesecake mixture into each mold, leaving a half-inch at the top of each mold for the crust. Insert the stick. Freeze for 3 hours (once again, I did it for about 2 hours).
  7. Press the crust into the pop molds. If crust isn't sticking together, add a little water. Freeze for at least 4 hours (I did it overnight).
  8. Remove from freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing pops from molds.

Cool and Sweet: Homemade Pudding Pops for Serious Eats

rowing up, in the 80's, I was pretty sure what made Jell-o Pudding Pops so delicious: every batch had been lovingly made by Bill Cosby, naturally.

Now that I'm older and (arguably) wiser, I know that the secret behind that singular texture and flavor isn't Bill's secret family recipe. But what I didn't know was that these sweet summertime treats are--seriously--the easiest thing ever to make.

Even better? At-home varieties also offer the freedom to showcase less-celebrated pudding flavors (butterscotch or rice pudding pop, anyone?), or to create your own new flavor by making two-tone pops in complementary flavors--I had great success with the chocolate-pistachio combination shown above.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!