Love and Olive Oil

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

Did you make this recipe?


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.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

(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.)

There may be affiliate links in this post. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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  1. Thanks for the tips, I must definitely try this!

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

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

  4. These are the cutest things ever!

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

  6. You are amazing. These are so cute.

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

  8. Sheer genius Lindsay…I love these!

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

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

    • 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.

    • That helps, thank you Sarah!

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

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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

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

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

  20. This is brilliant!

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

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

  23. cuteness!

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

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

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

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

  28. How great are these?!

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

  30. 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

  31. Elderberry pixie sticks! Yes, please!

  32. Yes yes yes!!! I am giddy!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Nice! Like it very much!

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

  35. how creative! :D

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

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

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

  39. So cute and incredibly creative!

  40. 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!

  41. So fun! Love this idea!

  42. Great idea. Looks so cute!

  43. 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!

  44. 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!

  45. Love them!!!

  46. these are fantastic!!

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

  48. 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… :”)

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

  50. These are precious!!! :D

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