Introduction: Popcorn Balls

About: Hello and Welcome to In the Kitchen With Matt. I am your host Matt Taylor. My goal for the show is to teach you how to cook really good food at home for cheap. Eating out everyday can get expensive, but it doe…

In this Instructable, I will show you how to make popcorn balls. This easy homemade popcorn ball recipe is perfect for Halloween Christmas or any time of the year. I have fond memories of eating these growing up, even had a few houses give them to us while trick or treating, haha. Those were the good ole days. They are so yummy, I mean who doesn't like popcorn surrounded by a candy coating? Making popcorn balls from scratch is so simple, with just a handful of ingredients, if I can do it, you can do it. Let's get started!

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Follow the simple steps below or watch the video tutorial or do both. :)

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools


  • 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


  • 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: Make the Popcorn

Begin by making the popcorn. I typically make it from kernels instead of using premade 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.

Step 3: Make the Candy Coating

Time to make the candy coating. This coating winds up being in between rice Krispies treats coating and a caramel.

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.

Step 4: Form Those Popcorn Balls

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. Pretty awesome!

Step 5: Cleaning

Most likely your empty bowl will have remnants of candy on it. Just fill it with really hot water and allow it to sit for a few minutes and then it will be super easy to clean.

Step 6: Storing the Popcorn Balls

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.


You can print the recipe here if you like.

Step 7: Video Tutorial

Now watch those steps in action with this video tutorial. :)

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