There are few culinary terms that instantly evoke relaxing, tropical vacation vibes like “piña colada” does. While it has become a general label for all things coconut-and-pineapple flavored, we’d argue that booze is key to delivering on the beachy ideals of a piña colada, whether in cocktail or, in this case, frozen treat form. These piña popsicles aren’t for kids (we have a virgin piña colada popsicles for those that want them), but the half-ounce of rum in the recipe is there to balance the sweetness of the fruit and cut through the fattiness of the coconut cream, not to give anyone a dessert buzz.
If you are looking for a more assertive rum punch, you can double up to one ounce, but don’t go beyond that. As outlined in our guide to making boozy ice cream, too much alcohol in the base will turn these creamy popsicles into a harsh-tasting, alcohol-forward slush. White rum is traditional for piña coladas, but this recipe will also work with gold or dark rum.
Why It Works
- Equal amounts of pineapple fruit and coconut cream, plus a splash of lime juice strikes the perfect balance between creamy sweetness and bright acidity.
- Unsweetened coconut cream gives the popsicle base just the right amount of thickness and body, and a more natural flavor than Coco Lopez.
- The small amount of rum lends these pops pleasant spiciness, without making them unpalatably boozy.
What’s New On Serious Eats
- Yield:Makes six 3-ounce popsicles (see note)
- Active time:10 minutes
- Total time:10 minutes plus 4 hours freezing time
- 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups; 225g) cubed fresh pineapple from one pineapple, frozen pineapple, or drained canned pineapple (see note)
- 8 ounces (1 cup; 225g) unsweetened coconut cream, shaken or stirred well to incorporate fat
- 2 ounces granulated sugar (1/4 cup; 55g)
- 1/2 ounce white rum (1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice from one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume
In a blender, combine pineapple, coconut cream, sugar, rum, lime juice, and salt, and process until very smooth, about 30 seconds.
Divide mixture evenly between six 3-fluid-ounce popsicle molds and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours. To unmold, follow your popsicle mold’s instructions.
blender, 3-ounce popsicle molds
This recipe is formulated to make six 3-ounce popsicles, but you can scale it up or down as needed to accommodate popsicle molds of different sizes and numbers.
Our favorite popsicle mold is this model from Norpro but if they are out of stock, these Zoku molds are also good.
Fresh ripe pineapples have a greenish-yellow skin, are slightly soft when squeezed, and have a sweet, fragrant smell at the base of the fruit.
If using frozen fruit, place the frozen pineapple in a medium bowl and let thaw at room temperature until slightly softened, about 20 minutes. Discard any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl before proceeding with the recipe (this will increase the total time of the recipe).
Make-Ahead and Storage
After unmolding, each popsicle can be tightly wrapped in plastic and kept frozen for up to 4 weeks.