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Homemade Pixie Sticks

Homemade Pixie Sticks

Pixie sticks.

aka kiddie crack.

I couldn’t say how many of these sugar shots I downed as a child… oblivious, of course, to the fact that their cheerful fruity flavors probably contained a laundry list of ingredients, not one of them fruit.

But, hey. Kids don’t care about that stuff.

As long as they have their sugar.

Homemade Pixie Sticks

Indeed, pixie sticks were one of my favorites, along side Smarties and Reese’s (you know, a good, balanced diet).

So when a random tweet pointed to a recipe for a homemade pixie stick, my sugar sensors kicked into high gear.

A few weeks and a few more bucks later (hey, I HAD to buy the new coffee grinder. Couldn’t have my pixies tasting like espresso, now, could we? Although… now that you mention it…)

I had a handful of homemade pixie sticks.

In flavors that 12-year-old me could never have imagined.



Strawberry vanilla.

Chocolate raspberry.

Granted, it wasn’t easy, per say (stuffing sticky sugar into itty bitty little openings is harder than it looks), but there’s no denying that these are fun. I found some reasonably priced freeze-dried fruit at Trader Joe’s, and once I had my shiny new coffee grinder and pack of color-coordinated paper straws, I was ready to go.

Er, almost.

My first batch was surprisingly lack-luster. Lacking that particular punch of brightness. It needed citric acid in a big way. So once I had that ordered, then I was really ready to go. The citric acid, just a bit of it, made all the difference.

While you may be able to source the ingredients you need locally, you can also order them online. I got my citric acid on Amazon. There’s also a fabulous assortment of freeze-dried fruit (not to be confused with just dried fruit, I’d imagine that would gum up your coffee grinder in a hurry) at I mean, blackberry? Pear? Elderberry? Hello gourmet pixie sticks. Oh, and you’ll also need straws. Take your pick (and perhaps hide your credit card).

Homemade Pixie Sticks

Yield: about 2 dozen pixie sticks


1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup freeze-dried fruit
1 teaspoon citric acid

For Cocoa Raspberry:
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

For Strawberry Vanilla:
1/2 vanilla bean, seeded


In a (clean!) coffee grinder, combine sugar, dried fruit, and citric acid. Pulse until fruit is ground to a fine powder.

Crease and fold one end of a paper straw. Using a piece of paper rolled into a funnel, fill straw with sugar until almost full. It may help to use a toothpick to help the sugar flow through the funnel. Fold the top of the straw to seal.

Adapted from NPR.

(FYI, this post contains an affiliate link. I’m required by law to tell you. The spare change I’ll get if you order yourself some citric acid from Amazon might not seem like much, but it adds up. I promise I’ll only use it for good. Like chocolate. And sprinkles.)

66 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    These are precious!!! :D


  2. 2
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    How cool! I’m sure the moms on Toddlers & Tiaras would go crazy for this….haha :)


  3. 3
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    What a FUN/HAPPY post. Thank you so much for sharing your “trade-secrets!”
    Love it!

    Hmmm. have you contacted Amazon for your new business??? Foodzie?
    The “straw” is the limit… :”)


  4. 4
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    This is beyond cool. Homemade pixie stix! I didn’t think it was even possible! Great job, haha


  5. 5
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    these are fantastic!!


  6. 6
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Love them!!!


  7. 7
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    What a brilliant idea. I use to love the giant pixie sticks lol… you know, the big plastic ones ha. They were so awesome and bad. Your flavor ideas sound great!


  8. 8
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    the last time I had a pixie stick was the day of my college graduation – my friend showed up with a handful of those oversized ones! as if we needed any more excitement that day ;)

    these are wonderful – such a great idea!


  9. 9
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Great idea. Looks so cute!


  10. 10
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    So fun! Love this idea!


  11. 11
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Oh thank you for the link to Sweet Lulu (or not…too much cute stuff$$) :)

    I was wanting some cute props and paper straws for pics and was looking everywhere.

    Great pixie stick recipe!


  12. 12
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    So cute and incredibly creative!


  13. 13
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I, too, love Pixie Sticks! And Nerds and Spree’s! I love this idea, super cute!!


  14. 14
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    What a cute idea, perfect for the childrens birthsdays party, Thanks for the tip!


  15. 15
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Brilliant!! Can’t believe how little sugar these actually contain. :)


  16. 16
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    how creative! :D


  17. 17
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I love these! They’re gorgeous. And super fun.


  18. 18
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Nice! Like it very much!


  19. 19
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Yes yes yes!!! I am giddy!!!!!!!!!!


  20. 20
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Elderberry pixie sticks! Yes, please!


  21. 21
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I LOVE this! I need to get myself some citric acid to try these out. I think it would be wasted on my kids, but my hubby and I would go crazy for these :D


  22. 22
    Miriam Gittel
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Ok, very cool. Now tell us about the straws……..


  23. 23
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    How great are these?!


  24. 24
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    This is a cute idea. I remember eating pixie sticks when I was a child whenever I wanted a sugar rush 8-)


  25. 25
    Posted On May 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Boy, have I just been transported back to my youth! What a great recipe to do for my grands:-D Thank you, XOXO


  26. 26
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 8:13 am

    OMG these are so cute!! But to be honest I am afraid to give it a try and fail! :(


  27. 27
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

    too creative for words! Putting this on my Facebook fan page!


  28. 28
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 9:36 am



  29. 29
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

    These are so cute!!! Your photos are just stunning. Love Love Love!!


  30. 30
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 9:57 am

    These look fun! love the straws too- so many flavor possibilities to try!


  31. 31
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

    This is brilliant!


  32. 32
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 10:29 am

    This makes me want to squeal like a 6-year-old! How fun.


  33. 33
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 11:01 am

    These are adorable!! I have to make these, I think there so darn cute and my daughter would LOVE them!


  34. 34
    Erica | cupcakes & coffee breaks
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

    These look so yummy! And if you have any leftover citric acid, I hear it’s fantastic for making your own bath bombs (which I think the kids’ parents might need after you feel them all pixie sticks). That’s definitely been on my list for a while, and now so are the pixie sticks


  35. 35
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Oh man I love these. I would however NOT share them with my nieces and nephews.


  36. 36
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Oh my–these look and sound amazing. I lived for pixie sticks as a kid but it was a rarity if my mom would even let me have one!


  37. 37
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    What a great idea! Such a better option than the store bought stuff. And it looks so pretty!


  38. 38
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Just FYI…the easiest way to add citric acid to almost anything is to add lemon flavored kool-aid mix to it. (From the small envelopes, not the bigger tubs where the sugar has already been mixed for you.) It doesn’t take a lot and it’s much cheaper.


    • Sarah
      Posted On May 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      P.S. You don’t have to buy a second coffee grinder…you can “clean” the coffee residue from your coffee grinder buy simply running coarse salt such as sea salt or rock salt thru a cycle in the grinder and then wiping it clean with a dry towel. The salt gets to all of the places I can’t clean such as the nooks and crannies under the blade.

  39. 39
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    LOVE love love this post! I have been wanting to buy those from amazon for my nieces but did not because the amount of sugar! But now looks like I can make my own. Thanks a bunch Lesley! You are a rock star!


  40. 40
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Please delete my last comment…I was talking to my friend Lesley and having her on my mind I wrote Lesley! Sorry Lindsay…

    LOVE love love this post! I have been wanting to buy those from amazon for my nieces but did not because the amount of sugar! But now looks like I can make my own. Thanks a bunch Lindsay ! You are a rock star!


  41. 41
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    This is the cutest idea! It looks a little challenging but the best stuff is! Great post!


  42. 42
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    You’re pretty awesome but you already knew that I think that. These look wonderful!! Brings back memories!


  43. 43
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Sheer genius Lindsay…I love these!


  44. 44
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I’m so glad you included the link for the straws because I was oohing and aahing over them!


  45. 45
    Posted On May 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    You are amazing. These are so cute.


  46. 46
    Posted On May 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I loved these as a kid!! Tubes filled with flavored sugar? HELLO! Such a fun idea to make yourself.


  47. 47
    Posted On May 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    These are the cutest things ever!


  48. 48
    Posted On May 24, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I am so jealous that Taylor gets to eat all of your genius kitchen creations!


  49. 49
    Posted On May 25, 2012 at 12:53 am

    OMG! are you kidding me? homemade pixie sticks. i love you.


  50. 50
    Posted On May 27, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Thanks for the tips, I must definitely try this!


  51. 51
    Posted On May 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    O M G. I can see these being a hit with my kids. They’re so used to me making cupcakes and sweets but these will totally stand out since I don’t buy them the real things like “everybody else gets them, Mom.” Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait till your book comes out! I have big plans to subject my family to a slew of cookie dough desserts! I’m sure they’ll be so upset by it! ;)


  52. 52
    Posted On May 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    These are just pure sugar filled childhood genius!


  53. 53
    Posted On May 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    How fun!! I would never have thought to do this. I bet it would be fun to make with the kids.


  54. 54
    Posted On June 12, 2012 at 2:40 am

    You’re my newest BFF! As a kid I think I went through thousands of these straws, they were a total favourite with me. Ya know, among pounds full of Cadbury’s milk chocolate, Smarties and M&M’S (you get the idea, right?) I used to spend my hard earned morning, evening and hefty Sunday paper round money on all these sweet goodies.

    Nothing’s changed since I became an adult. I still eat candy like I’m a child. In fact! I think I’m probably worse now. My Mum always thought I’d grow out of it, that showed her! I’m so glad that my metabolism is still good at 31 that I can still eat bucketfuls of sweets and candy and still not put on the pounds. Don’t think that’ll last for much longer though!! :/


  55. 55
    Leslie Ann
    Posted On July 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Could you do this with granulated Splenda? Some of my grandmonsters, (just like Granny) do not eat a lot of sugar. It makes us feel icky. Would be great to share without the shaky/head-achy part. I’ll give it a go and let you know?


    • Posted On August 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      If you like things sour you’d probably be ok doing just the fruit and citric acid. The fruit on its own is pretty tasty. I’d probably try that first over splenda.

  56. 56
    Posted On August 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Question: how long will these last once you make them? Pixie sticks have a shelf life of about a billion years…what would you estimate it is for these?


    • Posted On August 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      They should keep for a month or so at least, although if you’re in a humid climate like we are, they do tend to clump quite a bit.

  57. 57
    Posted On November 29, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Just a thought, Could you perhaps put the powder mix into a decorating bottle (the sort you would use for sugar cookies or fancy pancakes?) then sqeeze it into the straws from that? I have two grown up girls who would love these. :D


  58. 58
    Posted On December 5, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Thank you for posting this recipe, it is really great. But while I’ve been experimenting with it I have run into the same problem over and over again-the powder won’t come out of the straw. I was able to find a manageable way to get the powder into the straws, but when I go to eat them the powder won’t come back out. Have you had this problem? I have been unable to find a solution.


  59. 59
    Posted On April 5, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I just wanted to post that I was Able to find the paper straws at target, and micheals. There were about$2.00 per pack.


  60. 60
    Posted On June 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I tried fruit on it’s own and it was super-tasty! Thanks Lindsay! : )


  61. 61
    Kaylene Fullmer
    Posted On February 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t own a coffee grinder. I do own a vitamix blender. Do you think this recipe would work in the dry blender?


    • Posted On February 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      In theory it should, but I’ve never tried it. I think as long as you had enough fruit in there to keep it moving. My vitamix did a great job grinding cookies to a very fine powder so I would assume it could do the same with fruit. If you try it let me know how it goes!

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