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.

Leave a Reply to Grishma @ZaikaZabardast Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Would this work if we dehydrated fruit?  Trying to do this for a party and it’s hard to find that much freeze dried fruit that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg  😅

    • Unfortunately I don’t think that will work. Freeze-dried fruit has absolutely no moisture. Any little bit of moisture here will cause the mixture to stick and clump.
      I have seen various fruit powders usually made from fruit juices vs whole fruit, something like this would work here and might be more cost effective.

  2. Where did I go wrong? I used paper straws. And, freeze dried grapes. I am thinking the freeze dried grapes were to sticky because there was no way I could pour, stab, or blow the powder thru the straw to remove the Pixy Stix mixture. Any experience w/ freeze dried grapes? Or, maybe it was the kind of straw….? Would love to know bc I’d love to try it again… just not hopeful. I had to scrap this idea and just buy real pixy stix. BTW, love the lemon-flavored kool aid tip.

    • How long were they sitting out? I haven’t personally used grapes here, but some freeze dried fruit is really susceptible to humidity; if the powder sat in a humid environment for any length of time it will likely solidify. You can try storing in an airtight container or bag, throw in one of the silica packets from your freeze dried fruit which should help too.

    • Thanks for the reply. I had just made them in the grinder and filled the paper straws… and tested them that very moment. All stuck. So, we learned that freeze dried grapes from Thrive Life are too sticky. :-) Will try the others – freeze dried strawberries and raspberries – another day/year. Thx.

  3. Use a small funnel to fill the “stix”

  4. 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?

    • 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!

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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?

    • 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.

  10. 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?

    • 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.

  11. 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!! :/

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

  13. These are just pure sugar filled childhood genius!

  14. 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! ;)

Did you make this recipe? Leave a Review »