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Watermelon cupcake push-up pops to remind you of childhood summers

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Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

Push-up pops were an institution in my house during the summer. When the temps were in the 90s, we'd stock up on orange-flavored push-ups and ride our bikes through the neighborhood. Frozen push-ups are still a favorite of mine, but when it comes to parties and events, they are a no-go because they melt in two seconds flat. That's why I made a new push-up pop party dessert, no freezer required.

These push-ups are as fun to eat as the creamy orange ones are, but they don't leave a dripping mess all over your fingers and clothes. Plus, they're a blast to make with adults and kids, and the little ones will love them. Help in the kitchen and a cute dessert to boot? That's a win-win in my book.

Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

Making cupcakes look like watermelons is so easy. Honestly. I shouldn't even be writing about how easy it is, but since I'm already here... Basically you mix white cake mix (from a box) with all the fixin's it requires, add some food coloring and some mini chocolate chips, stir and pour into cupcake liners.

Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

Then you bake them and do your best to resist the urge to rip open the oven door and shove 15 half-baked cupcakes into your mouth. Which, of course, is much easier said than done.

Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

If any cupcakes have survived the cooling process, then that's when the real fun happens. You get to play "operation" by sticking multiple holes into the tops so the yummy Jell-O mix you whipped up can seep into the cupcakes, giving them that necessary watermelon flavor. I mean, what's the point of a watermelon cupcake if it doesn't actually taste like watermelon?

Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

Don't worry, the pouring-liquid-Jell-O-into-cupcakes part will be a giant mess. That's why I put down some paper so my table didn't end up a sticky disaster. After this, you stick them into the fridge to soak up the flavor for a few hours. (You'll probably spend this time trying to get wet Jell-O out of your hair.) After that, you're ready to assemble the push-up pops in the push pop containers.

Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

This is the easiest part. You cut out the center of the cupcake, add a layer of green frosting, add another center of the cupcake and then one more layer of frosting. Then you top the whole thing with fancy green sprinkles. And you're done! I promise you, it's just that easy.

Bringing back push-up pops — in cupcake form

Watermelon cupcake push-up pops recipe

Adapted from Lady Behind the Curtain

Yields 12


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Red food dye
  • 1/2-3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 box watermelon flavor Jell-O
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 can green cake or cupcake icing
  • Light green sprinkles
  • Push-up pop containers


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, egg whites, water and oil. Add a few drops of red food dye until you get a pretty pink watermelon color. Fold in the mini chocolate chips, starting at 1/2 cup (I used 3/4 cup, but I love the added contrast of color).
  3. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back to the touch. Let them cool for a few minutes in the pan, and then move them to a wire cooling rack, and let them cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the Jell-O powder with 1 cup of boiling water until dissolved. Stir in the cold water.
  5. With a wooden skewer, poke a bunch of holes into the tops of the cupcakes, and then place them over parchment paper. Using a large spoon, pour the Jell-O mix over the cupcakes, making sure each one is liberally drenched. Then, over more wax paper, place the cupcakes into the fridge, and let them chill for about 4 hours.
  6. Once chilled, remove the cupcakes from the paper liners. Using a knife, cut out the center of each cupcake. To make the push-up pops, place the centers into the bottom of each plastic push pop container. Top with a layer of green frosting. Add 1 more center of the cupcake, and top with 1 more layer of green frosting. Sprinkle the top with bright green sprinkles.
  7. Repeat until all the cupcakes have been used. Serve immediately.

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