When I was a teenager, I loved hanging out at the mall.
I believe that makes me a mall rat? If so, rat I am.
I thought it was so cool when my mom would drop me off at the mall so I could walk around with friends, scoping out cute boys in Anchor Blue (DUDE. I never thought I’d say those words again) or Zumiez and suck down Orange Julius like it was my job.
…that was, when my mom gave me money for an Orange Julius. They were never super cheap and she intended for what cash she did dole out to be used for actual sustenance, not a glorified orange milkshake. But I would find it impossible to resist buying an Orange Julius because walking by their stand, with the aroma of freshly-squeezed orange juice wafting through the air and resisting a purchase was basically impossible. Plus, they always had the cutest guys working at Orange Julius. It was like getting a smoothie for $4 but getting bonus eye candy for free.
(FYI, I was super boy crazy and a total psychopath who watched the cute boys work).
But there’s something so alluring and delicious about an Orange Julius. It’s thickness, for one, makes it almost milkshake-esque, combined with its unabashed creaminess which no doubt comes from some kind of cream or soft serve. And that bright orange flavor which offers such a wonderful freshness – so delicious. It’s icy, cool, refreshing, creamy, and mysteriously delicious – what is the secret ingredient? But I think I’ve finally cracked the code on this OJ business.
I’ve adapted this recipe from my Copycat Wendy’s Frosties which are eerily similar in texture to these Orange Julius copycats. The base is the same as the Wendy’s Frosty: Cool Whip and sweetened condensed milk (for creaminess), but with swaps for an Orange Julius – orange juice for starters, and orange juice concentrate, which ramps up the flavor and adds that icy texture we crave.
Overall? Save your $4. This is alllllllll you need, mall rat. Unless, of course, you’re only going to scope out potential BFs at Anchor Blue. Just don’t buy the puca shell necklace.
*adapted from my Frosties recipe
Copycat Orange Julius
- 1½ cups orange juice
- 1 (12 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate slightly thawed
- 1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip Free frozen
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 5-7 ice cubes
- In a large blender, add the orange juice, the frozen concentrate, the condensed milk, ice cubes, and chopped chunks of the Cool Whip (I just cut it in quarters with a rubber spatula and add the quarters to the blender cavity).
- Blend on HIGH for about 2 minutes or until creamy, thick and blended completely. Pour among two glasses (I used Mason jars) and garnish with spare orange segments, if desired. Top with whipped cream if you'd like; I like mine plain.
The. BEST. The creamiest. The most delicious copycat recipe ever. You guys need to try this bad boy! I think you’ll agree, it’s creamsicle quality, thick creaminess and icy texture make it one of the best drinks you’ll have this spring & summer!
Have a super sweet day!!
Kellie Murray says
Good lawd that sounds yummy but I sure wouldn’t want to know the calorie count LOL.
I think it’d still be a little better than the regular OJ! 🙂
June Burns says
Sounds delicious! I could go for one of these right now, looks very refreshing 🙂
Thanks so much, June! 🙂 They are SO refreshing!
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says
Oh gosh. I remember those days in middle and high school. I’m glad I don’t have to relive them, but it’d totally be for reliving the flavors of Orange Julius in my own home. It’s such a simple recipe, but I bet it tastes amazing!
It totally tastes amazing AND doesn’t require being a gawky teenager to enjoy 😀 Haha thanks Erin!
Down south in Florida we make something similar called sunshine shakes. Except we just use vanilla ice cream, organe sherbert, and orange juice. Mix em all together in a blender with a few ice cubes (if necessary) and voila! Orange milkshake. Its easy and so good!!
Sophie, those sound DELICIOUS! I must try that sometime! 🙂
I LOVE Orange Julius! I always got their Blackberry Storm shake. SO GOOD!!! I miss it! I don’t see them much anymore =(
SaraLily me either! For some reason they just aren’t as common anymore. I want to recreate the blackberry storm!
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says
This looks so yummy and creamy! Perfect for warmer spring and summer weather. Even when I go to the mall now, I am always tempted by the smell of their stands. It smells so good!
Laura – right?! Walking by the wafting aroma of freshly squeezed orange juice is pretty impossible to resist 🙂 It’s hard not to get one whenever I stop by the mall, but thankfully now we can make ’em at home. They’re pricier now than they were back in the day!
Katalina @ Peas and Peonies says
I love orange Julius when is nice and cold out, and this recipe is perfect to enjoy one at home.
Thanks so much, Katalina! This recipe is perfect for warmer days… or really any day! 🙂
Katelyn @munchie pie says
Haha we were just talking about how it used to be so cool to hang out at the mall! Because I was just there (and I haven’t been there in forever) and I was like wow it seems like the mall is full of creepy people and teenagers… I would always secretly hope my mom was in the mood for an orange Julius when she would bring me shopping so she’d get one for me too!!
Katelyn – YES! Whenever I’d go shopping with my mom, I’d always try to steer her toward Orange Julius in hopes she’d be enticed to buy one. The smell of those oranges was very hard to resist 🙂
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
I love making these at home! But as always, yours is probably the best ever!
You’re so sweet, Ashley! I’m sure yours is every bit as delicious! 🙂 What matters is we aren’t forking over $4 for a small at the mall! Ha 😛
Glory/ Glorious Treats says
Oh my goodness this looks so refreshing!
Thanks a bunch, Glory! xoxo!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
I loooved the mall too!! and this orange julius recipe is a tasty and better way to get a little piece of mall fun at home 😀
Yay! Thanks Kayle 🙂
Jenny Flake says
Oh my goodness I sooo want to make this right now! So many memories at the mall drinking Orange Julius’s with my friends 🙂
Right?! Totally takes me back, too 🙂 Thanks Jenny! xoxo.
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
Oh my goodness, I remember those mall days too! This was always the ultimate treat and yours looks every bit as amazing! Can’t wait to make it! It sounds so refreshing for right now!
Thanks Kelly!! I think everyone had the same mall experience as I did, ha!
Tonia from TheGunnySack says
Even though orange julius has many flavors to choose from, I always went for the original. It’s hard to beat the delicious classic!
I totally agree! Sometimes I’d stray with blackberry banana, but most of the time I went straight for the classic. Who doesn’t love orange and cream together?!
[email protected] Plaid & Paisley Kitchen says
ok 1. it’s been way too long since I have been to your blog. This is just too damned cute!!!
2. can I just reach in and take a big drink! I love OrangeJulius!
Chandra – I totally wish we could reach through and grab one – I could use one now, too 🙂 Thanks sweets! Miss you!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
I would give my arm for a julius right now. Best copycat ever!
Thanks Dorothy!! xoxo.
I love this recipe, it is awesome. Do you have a recipe for the blackberry storm smoothie from orange Julius? They have quit making it here in Boise Idaho.
Karen – I’ll start working on it asap!