These Creamy Red Bean Popsicles are a classic Chinese frozen treat, featuring lightly sweetened, creamy blended adzuki red beans and milk.
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What are adzuki beans?
Adzuki beans (or azuki beans) are a small red bean used in Asian cuisine.
The beans are usually sold dried in packages in Asian supermarkets.
What are red bean popsicles?
Red bean popsicles are a Chinese dessert typically consisting of blended red adzuki beans with unsweetened coconut milk and sweetener, such as sugar, rock sugar, honey, or condensed milk.
Sometimes Chinese sweet red bean paste is used as a shortcut.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Chinese red bean popsicles is:
Not too sweet: using condensed milk adds a mild sweetness (and creaminess) to the popsicles.
Creamy: Adding heavy cream results in a delicious mouth-feel on the tongue.
Not grainy: Blending the cooked red beans with milk ensures it is smooth, and not grainy or gritty.
Gluten-free: it's a naturally gluten-free dessert.
Ingredients you'll need
- dried red adzuki beans: soaked overnight and cooked until soft; you can find red adzuki beans in most Asian grocery stores; otherwise, you can substitute with red kidney beans
- water: to cook the beans
- whole milk: to blend with the beans; you can also use full-fat coconut milk, but I don't suggest using skim or low-fat milk
- condensed milk: adds sweetness and additional creaminess
- heavy cream: adds creaminess
- vanilla extract: adds flavor, and helps to keep the popsicles creamy when frozen
- sea salt: just a pinch to balance the sweetness
You can find these ingredients at your local Asian grocery store or supermarket.
How to make the red bean popsicles
Cook the red adzuki beans:
The night before, soak and cover the adzuki beans with cold water.
The next day, drain the beans.
Add the beans to a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and cover with water.
Cover with the lid and set the vent to SEAL.
Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 28-30 minutes, letting the pressure manually release.
Make the red bean mixture:
Once the beans are cooked, use a slotted spoon to strain out the beans into a blender.
Add whole milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt to the blender.
Blend until the mixture is smooth.
Transfer the red bean mixture to a large measuring cup.
Add in the heavy whipping cream and stir gently to combine the red bean mixture with the cream.
Divide the mixture and pour into the popsicle molds.
Cover with the lid and insert popsicle sticks.
Freeze until solid, about 6-8 hours.
How to store popsicles
Wrap each red bean popsicle in plastic wrap and store in an airtight, freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to serve
Remove the popsicles from the freezer and rest at room temperature about 10-15 minutes prior to serving.
If you like a little beany texture, reserve about ¼ C of the cooked red adzuki beans and add 1-2 teaspoon of sugar to sweeten and add the whole beans to the popsicle.
Personally, we preferred the all-blended bean as it was much more smoother and less grainy.
A fun way variation is to add a matcha layer to the red bean.
Expert tips & FAQs
Do not blend the cream with the red beans. This will whip up the cream significantly.
If you prefer a sweeter red bean popsicle, add in a few teaspoons of granulated sugar.
My popsicle molds each hold about ⅓ cup, so you may need to adjust according to your molds.
What can I use if I don't have popsicle molds?
You can pour the mixture into paper cups instead.
Add in the popsicle stick while it is partially but not completely frozen.
Other Asian dessert recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Creamy Red Bean Popsicles
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 80 g dried adzuki red bean approx. 180g cooked red bean
- 400 ml water to cook the beans
- 150 ml whole milk
- 80 ml sweetened condensed milk
- 100 ml heavy cream at least 36% milkfat
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
Cook the red adzuki beans:
- The night before, soak and cover the adzuki beans with cold water.
- The next day, drain the beans.
- Add the beans to a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and cover with water.
- Cover with the lid and set the vent to SEAL.
- Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 28-30 minutes, letting the pressure manually release.
Make the red bean mixture:
- Once the beans are cooked, use a slotted spoon to strain out the beans into a blender.
- Add whole milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt to the blender.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Transfer the red bean mixture to a large measuring cup.
- Add in the heavy whipping cream and stir gently to combine the red bean mixture with the cream.
- Divide the mixture and pour into the popsicle molds.
- Cover with the lid and insert popsicle sticks.
- Freeze until solid, about 6-8 hours.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.