DIY Horchata Pops

DIY Horchata Pops | Kneading Home

I've had this post completely ready to go, pictures taken, recipe finished for almost a solid month now and literally have not had 10 minutes to actually read it over and click publish. I'm learning the meaning of time management more than ever before. I'm learning how to exist on 6 hours or less of sleep, and by the time the weekend comes all I want to do is sit on my couch with Pumpkin and watch New Girl! So I'm blaming my lateness on this Indian Summer we are having because it's nearly October and it's still in the high 70s most days here. I think I'm the only one ready to bust out those sweaters and the le creuset! 

DIY Horchata Pops | Kneading Home

Before we moved to Chicago, the Calabasas Farmer's Market became a Saturday morning tradition. Few places in life are better than a farmer's market towards the end of summer. Cherry tomatoes sweet as candy, peaches so juicy you almost need a bib to eat them, and dirt cheap zucchini and summer squash are our stables all summer long. And don't even get me started on how much better eggs from pasture raised chickens are. No hesitation on forking over $6 for a dozen. So earlier this summer we spotted a homemade popsicle truck with the most interesting flavors at the farmer's market. One lick after trying the horchata flavor and I was hooked. 

Believe it or not this was my first time making popsicles (I've always been more of an ice cream person!). A popsicle mold is one of those silly kitchen gadgets I insisted on keeping but never actually used. So homemade horchata pops! They are the easiest way to savor horchata in all it's cinnamon-y goodness! Enjoy. 

DIY Horchata Pops | Kneading Home

DIY Horchata Popsicles 
Makes about 12 small popsicles 

one batch homemade horchata 
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional)* 
cinnamon, for dusting 

Pour horchata into popsicle molds and place towards the back of the freezer. After 15-20 minutes remove from the freezer, stir, then return to the freezer. After about 30-35 minutes, once partially frozen, add popsicle sticks, return to the freezer for at least 6 hours. 

To remove, run the base of the popsicle molds under warm water to loosen. Dust the popsicles with cinnamon and enjoy! 

*I actually like these better without the cocoa powder, but feel free to experiment with adding some to half or 1/4 of the popsicles. 

Homemade Horchata {dairy-free}

Homemade Horchata {dairy-free + naturally sweetened} | Kneading Home

I've always been such a sucker for good horchata. And despite the fact that I'm now the proud owner of an Irish last name, my middle name's still Montes, and I'm still 1/2 hispanic. Also cinco de mayo is like really soon. 

I love the fact that horchata is naturally dairy-free. It's the perfect combination of creamy and refreshing; definitely a treat. And until yesterday I had never made my own. I did a bit of research and found 1. it's super simple. 2. basically all of the recipes call for the same ingredients, just varying in their proportions 3. it's shockingly similar to homemade almond milk, though much more flavorful. 

Homemade Horchata {dairy-free + naturally sweetened} | Kneading Home
Homemade Horchata {dairy-free + naturally sweetened} | Kneading Home
Homemade Horchata {dairy-free + naturally sweetened} | Kneading Home
Homemade Horchata {dairy-free + naturally sweetened} | Kneading Home
Homemade Horchata {dairy-free + naturally sweetened} | Kneading Home
Homemade Horchata {dairy-free + naturally sweetened} | Kneading Home

Basically you soak almonds, rice, water and a cinnamon stick overnight, blend them all up the next morning (yes, cinnamon stick and all. I was skeptical too), pour the mixture through a cheese cloth, add water, sweeten, and wah lah! The result is much creamier and much more decadent than what you would get in a restaurant. 

Homemade Horchata {dairy-free} 
Makes 4.5 cups 

2/3 cup uncooked long grain brown rice (see notes), washed 
1 1/4 cup almonds, blanched 
4 1/2 cups water, divided 
3" cinnamon stick 
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon agave, or sweetener of your choice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 
cinnamon for garnish

If you are unable to find blanched almonds (skins removed), boil a medium pot of water and toss your almonds in for about 1 minute. Transfer the almonds to a bowl of cold water and pop off the skins. Note - this is actually the most time-consuming part of the whole recipe. 

Place rice, blanched almonds, 2 1/2 cups hot water, and the cinnamon stick in a medium bowl. Cover, and let sit over night or up to 12 hours. Pour the ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until completely smooth (yes cinnamon stick and all). Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer/cheese cloth/milk bag (I used a milk bag) and discard the pulp. 

Pour the liquid back into your blender, add two cups of cold water, vanilla, and agave. I recommend starting with about 1/4 cup agave then adding more one tablespoon at a time if desired. I found 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon was enough for me but if you're used to the super sweet restaurant style you could add up to a cup. 

Serve over ice with a generous dusting of cinnamon. 


  • I used long grain brown rice but you could use any type of white or brown long grain rice. What exactly is long grain rice? I had the same question. Examples include basmati, carolina, jasmine, or texmati. The Kitchn has a great article discussing a taste test they did using different types of rice. They concluded that brown rice provided a more nutty flavor, while the white tastes more authentic but a bit chalky. Feel free to try whatever you have on hand. 

  • I couldn't decide whether I liked the horchata with or without the vanilla extract, so it's totally optional. 

  • You could definitely sweeten with maple syrup or honey instead of agave. I even considered coconut sugar. If you wanted to, you could use regular sugar, though I'd probably recommend incorporating it into a simple syrup with some of the water.  

  • I want to find a way to re-use the leftover almond/rice/cinnamon mixture. I'm thinking bread pudding of some sort? Has anyone ever done anything like this?