several pink popcorn balls on a white plate.
Snacks

Popcorn Balls

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I just love these homemade popcorn balls. How can you not like popcorn, covered in a yummy candy coating?

Growing up we used I remember eating popcorn balls quite a bit. There was always one house in my neighborhood that would hand them out for Halloween, trick-or-treating. Definitely fond memories of the good-ole-days.

You definitely can’t go wrong with these popcorn balls. They are cheap and so easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Popcorn, marshmallows, sugar, corn syrup, etc. in glass bowls on a wooden table.

In order to make these yummy popcorn balls at home you need just a handful of ingredients:

  • Popcorn – I always make mine from kernels in my Salbree popcorn popper, but you can use pre-popped popcorn as well.
  • Water – Use filtered water if your tap water tastes gross.
  • Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Corn syrup – Liquid glucose will work as well if corn syrup is not available. They are pretty close to the same thing.
  • Marshmallows – You can use mini or regular-sized marshmallows.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Food coloring – This is optional, but it is fun to give it a color.
  • Shortening – You can use oil as well, this is for coating the hands so the popcorn balls don’t stick while forming them.
Popcorn balls on a white plate.

Tools

  • Large bowl or roasting pan
  • Wooden or silicone spoon
  • Medium pot
  • Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat
  • Plastic wrap, to wrap and store them

Step 2: How to make popcorn balls at home

Large glass pyrex bowl full of popped popcorn.

Start by making the popcorn. I typically make it from kernels in my popcorn popper instead of using premade popcorn from a bag. If you are popping it, 3/4 cup of kernels will yield right around 20 to 21 cups of popped popcorn which is perfect.

Place the popped popcorn in a very large bowl or roasting pan. This will give it plenty of room when you pour the candy coating on top of it.

Step 3: Make the candy coating for the popcorn

Water, butter, corn syrup, marshmallows and powdered sugar in a pot.

Time to make the candy coating for the popcorn balls. The candy coating winds up being in between Rice Krispies treats coating and a caramel coating.

In a medium, pot add the water, butter, corn syrup, marshmallows, and powdered sugar. If you want the finished popcorn balls really sweet add 2 1/2 cups or a bit more powdered sugar.

Popcorn balls red candy coating in a pot on the stovetop.

Place the pot on the burner and set the heat to medium (350 F/176 C.) Continuously stir as everything melts together. Once it starts to boil keep stirring and add in your desired color of food coloring, start with a few drops and then go from there. The food coloring is optional.

Now allow the candy to keep boiling while stirring for about 2 minutes. No need to use a candy thermometer. Then remove it from the heat.

Step 4: Form the popcorn balls

Pouring candy coating over the popped popcorn in a large metal bowl.

Pour the hot candy mixture over the popcorn. Use a really large bowl or roasting pan. Then stir and mix until the popcorn gets evenly coated.

Stirring it will also help it to cool down. It needs to be cool enough to handle. Once it is cool enough, add some shortening or oil to your very clean hands and then grab some popcorn and shape it into a ball.

Finished popcorn balls on a silicone mat

Place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. You will need to work fairly quickly because once the candy cools down it will harden.

Once they are all formed, allow them to cool completely at room temperature. The cool thing is when they cool, they will not be sticky anymore on the outside. Pretty awesome!

You will be left with a bit of hardened leftover candy on the bottom of the bowl. Add some hot water to it and let it soak for a few minutes and it will clean right up.

Time to enjoy those yummy homemade popcorn balls!

How long do popcorn balls last?

Several pink popcorn balls wrapped in plastic wrap.

Once they have cooled completely and are no longer sticky, wrap them in plastic wrap. The plastic wrap won’t stick to them. Now they can be stored at room temperature. They will last up to a week but are definitely the best the day they are made.

Popcorn balls pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

Here are some other recipes you may be interested in:

Homemade Rock Candy

Homemade Caramel Apples

3-Ingredient Chocolate

Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats

Oreo Twix Cookie Bars

Popcorn Balls

Homemade popcorn balls are awesome! I have many fond memories of eating them as a kid during the holidays, especially during Halloween. They are so easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cooling Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Candy, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, Halloween, kids, sweet, treats
Servings: 15 people
Calories: 186kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Large bowl or roasting pan
  • Wooden or Silicone spoon
  • Medium Pot
  • Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat
  • Plastic wrap, to wrap and store them

Ingredients

  • 20 cups of popcorn which is about 3/4 cup unpopped kernels
  • 2 tbsp water 30ml
  • 1/4 cup butter salted or unsalted (57g)
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup 250g
  • 1 cup mini-marshmallows or 12 large ones 50g for mini and 84g for large
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 240g to 300g
  • Food coloring optional
  • Shortening or oil for hands

Instructions

  • Start by popping the popcorn. 3/4 cup of kernels will yield right around 20 to 21 cups of popped popcorn which is perfect.
    Place it in a very large bowl or roasting pan.
  • In a medium, pot add the water, butter, corn syrup, marshmallows, and powdered sugar. If you want them really sweet add 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.
  • Place the pot on the burner and set the heat to medium (350 F/176 C.) Continuously stir as everything melts together. Once it starts to boil keep stirring and add in your desired color of food coloring, start with a few drops and then go from there.
    Now allow it to keep boiling while stirring for about 2 minutes. No need to use a candy thermometer. Then remove it from the heat.
  • Now pour the hot candy over the popcorn. Use a really large bowl or roasting pan. Then stir and mix until the popcorn gets evenly coated.
    Stirring it will also help it to cool down. It needs to be cool enough to handle.
  • Once it is cool enough, add some shortening or oil to your very clean hands and then grab some popcorn and shape it into a ball.
    Place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. You will need to work fairly quickly because once the candy cools down it will harden.
  • Once they are all formed, allow them to cool completely at room temperature. The cool thing is when they cool, they will not be sticky anymore on the outside.
  • Once they have cooled completely and are no longer sticky, wrap them in plastic wrap. The plastic wrap won't stick to them. Now they can be stored at room temperature. They will last up to a week but are definitely the best the day they are made. Enjoy!

Video

How to Make Popcorn Balls | Easy Homemade Popcorn Ball Recipe

Notes

List of nutritional facts for popcorn balls

Do you like this recipe? Share and Pin it! Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.Β If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I make popcorns at home, sometimes I’ve added chocolate syrup to it as well but I’ve never tried this one. Will surely check it out!

  2. I’ve never heard about this recipe before, Matt! Seriously going through all your posts and bookmarking all those things I feel like I can do. LOL. Thanks for always sharing great and easy recipes! I find them really easy to understand even though mine always never ends up perfect.

    • These are super popular here in the States. That is awesome that it is new to you. πŸ™‚ You are so very welcome! I am glad you find them helpful and easy to understand.

  3. Blair Villanueva

    5 stars
    This recipe idea is so awesome! You made it so easy, and this is perfect coz our kids at home love popcorn too. This is a good treat as well for a girl’s party.

  4. these look totally yum ! and i am so impressed as to how easy they are to make , will be trying making these today

  5. I never had anything like this before. This looks so delicious and fun to make. I’m definitely trying this recipe out!

  6. I’ve never seen pink popcorn before. The normal popcorn I ever eat is white and caramel. I’ll try your recipe on this weekend. I think kids will love it.

  7. 5 stars
    Wow! This definitely another great idea to do with our popcorn, by adding some twist we can enjoy it in a whole new dimension. The popcorn looks really tasty and yummy, I believe that kid’s will enjoy this.

  8. 5 stars
    I have never heard of popcorn balls untill discovering this post. They look very eye-catching and I love how you can experiement with colours too. Need to try this out!

  9. 5 stars
    Popcorn balls are so much fun. I don’t know that my kdis have ever had them, though! We have always done caramel corn instead. Maybe it’s time to show them something new!

  10. 5 stars
    Popcorn balls are such a classic treat. I’ve made them many times over the years. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. It looks super simple.

  11. Popcorn balls are the best and always fun to eat! My kids would love to make these!

  12. 5 stars
    Oh, man. I haven’t had popcorn balls in a million years. I loved them so much when I was a kid. I can’t wait to make these.

  13. 5 stars
    These are so cute! I love that you can change up the colors for each holiday too. I know these will be a hit with my kids.

  14. So fun and much easier to make than I thought! This is a super yummy treat and was a huge hit with my crowd!

  15. katerina @ diethood.com

    5 stars
    Such a fantastic snack! My kids would LOVE these!!

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