Belated Halloween Recipe: Homemade Popcorn Balls

by Kelly on November 8, 2010

This year, I loved Halloween. Work was too crazy to make a proper costume (In true foodie style, I wanted to go as a food truck), but even still a night off from my job with candy, costumes, and of course a drink or two, was a welcome recess. I hit up the party of a co-worker as well one hosted by the lovely Rebecca of Homemaker’s Habitat. (She has posted about her gorgeous spread here.)

And if the contents of my Google Reader are any indication, there was clearly others were filled with the Halloween spirit this year.  River over at Wing-It Vegan has been crafting and baking up a storm of Halloween goodness including some adorable felt coasters.  And of course pumpkin recipes abound like Elina of Healthy & Sane’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies and some clever Pumpkin Piewhiches over at Balance.  And in case you still have some spare candy hanging around, Reeni has some delectable sounding Candy Bar Cookies.

Popcorn balls-2

For my part, I baked up a care package as part of Operation Baking Gals.  Smitten by the idea of a Halloween theme, I decided to make homemade popcorn balls.  Maybe it is just me, but I have fond memories of children bringing homemade popcorn balls to class, generally prepared by their mothers. 

Popcorn balls-3

This recipe is a nod to those.  It’s relatively simple and yields deliciously gooey and sweet popcorn balls.  Yes it’s too late to make these for Halloween this go around, but definitely worth bookmarking for next year.

Popcorn balls-1

Popcorn Balls
Adapted from
Yields 20 popcorn balls
-3/4 cup light corn syrup
-1/4 cup unsalted butter
-2 teaspoons cold water
-2 5/8 cups confectioners’ sugar
-1 cup marshmallows
-5 quarts plain popped popcorn


In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, butter, cold water, confectioners’ sugar and marshmallows. Heat and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Carefully combine the hot mixture with the popcorn, coating each kernel.

Let the mixture cool 1-2 minutes or until just cool enough to touch.  You don’t want to wait too long or the mixture will be hard to shape, but if you do it too quickly you may burn your hands.  Quickly shape the coated popcorn into balls before it cools.  Wrap with cellophane or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

River (Wing-It Vegan) November 9, 2010 at 10:43 am

I’m not a big fan of popcorn, but you’re making me want to eat them because they’re gooey and sweet! They look so purdy with all the colorful candy corn! Thank you for the shout-out! 🙂


Juliana November 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Love the idea of making them into a ball…at least they will not be all over 🙂


Amanda November 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Those are so cute! I love popcorn balls and I need to make them for my boys next year.


Kelly November 10, 2010 at 11:15 am

River – I’m actually not either! When I go to a movie at a movie theater it’s very rare I order a tub of popcorn, but with the sweetness added in it was perfect.

Juliana – Exactly!

Amanda – They are very cute. I’m already thinking there is no reason to save them JUST for Halloween. I could easily add red or green food coloring for some Christmas-themed balls.


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