Eat Like a Panda: Make Your Own Fruitsicle!

Giant panda Tian Tian eats a cake-shaped fruitsicle for his birthday.

Whether you’re a human or a giant panda, nothing beats a frozen treat on a hot summer day.

Did you know that pandas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo eat fruitsicle cakes on their birthdays? Chow down like a panda with this human-friendly fruit popsicle recipe, courtesy of the Zoo’s nutrition team:

Panda-Friendly Fruitsicle

Servings: 1 (20 ounces)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Rest time: 4-8 hours


  • 8 ounces fruit juice (can be cranberry juice, apple juice, carrot juice, or a mix! Pandas at the Zoo like apple juice the most.)
  • 8 ounces water
  • 2 ounces diced apples
  • 2 ounces diced pears
  • Equipment
  • 20-ounce cup or popsicle mold
  • Popsicle stick


Step 1:

Chop your apples and pears into small, bite-sized pieces.  

(Note: Pandas at the Zoo prefer steamed sweet potatoes, but we only recommend adding those if you’re feeling extra panda-y.)

Step 2:

Mix the water, fruit juice and diced fruit together in a bowl.

Step 3:

Pour your fruit and juice mixture into a cup or popsicle mold. Insert stick into the mixture.

Step 4:

Freeze for about 4-8 hours, or until popsicle is completely frozen.

Step 5:

Remove popsicle from cup or mold. If you’re having difficulty removing the popsicle, run the outside of the cup or mold under cold water to loosen it.

Step 6:



Visit Asia Trail or tune into the Giant Panda Cam to see the Zoo's giant pandas receive special treats on their birthdays!