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Easy Popcorn Balls

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Popcorn balls are soft and chewy and stuffed with your favorite candies. These easy popcorn balls aren’t just for Halloween, they’re perfect for any season by swapping the candies for season-related colors.

Popcorn Balls Are Easy to Make

These holiday classics are incredibly simple to make and they only take a few ingredients.

A green Halloween decorated bowl with stacked popcorn balls.

The fun comes when adding mix-ins whether it be Halloween colored candies or Christmas sprinkles.

These popcorn balls are so easy to swap out colors and they’re fun to make with the kids.

What Ingredients Are in Popcorn Balls?

  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Confectioner’s Sugar
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Popped Popcorn
  • Candy (Mix-ins Optional)

What’s Needed To Make Easy Popcorn Balls?

Easy popcorn balls stuffed with Halloween candy.

How To Make Popcorn Balls

The first step is to pop the popcorn. If using bagged popcorn, about 2 and a half bags will yield 20 cups of popcorn. Measure to make sure.

Remove any unpopped kernels and place the popped popcorn in the large pot and set aside. At this time, any candy add-ins are added to the pot.

Place the medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, light corn syrup, water, confectioner’s sugar, and mini marshmallows.

Candy corn popcorn balls with Halloween M&M's.

Continue to boil until a candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, the mixture is removed from the heat and the vanilla extract is stirred in.

If you do not have a candy thermometer, it should take 4 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat to reach the desired temperature.

RELATED: Sweet & Salty Halloween Snack Mix

The next step is to carefully pour the candy mixture over top of the popcorn a little at a time. Use the rubber spatula to turn the popcorn and then pour more of the candy mixture into the pot. Stir using the rubber spatula until all of the popcorn is coated well.

A trick that I like to use to shape the popcorn balls is to use a 1 cup measuring cup that has been coated with cooking spray. This helps reduce sticking of the popcorn balls.

Halloween popcorn balls in green bowl decorated with spiders and webs.

I also spray my hands with the cooking spray before I start shaping these easy popcorn balls.

I use the measuring cup to scoop the popcorn ball mixture and then I tap the cup onto parchment paper to allow the popcorn balls to fall out of the cup. It’s a great tip to making these easy popcorn balls.

At this point, I use my hands to shape the popcorn balls and then allow them to completely cool and set on the parchment paper.

Store the popcorn ball in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. If stored properly they will stay fresh for about 5 days although they are best when eaten right away.

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Cose up of a popcorn ball with purple and green M&M's.

Popping Popcorn in the Instant Pot

If you’re using popcorn kernels instead of bagged popcorn, utilizing the Instant Pot is a great idea to make popcorn in your Instant Pot you will need:

To pop popcorn in the Instant Pot you will set it on the SAUTE setting and allow it to reach the HOT setting. This setting will be reached once the oil has melted. It is important to use coconut oil for this to work!

After the pot reads HOT, add a few popcorn kernels and cover the Instant Pot with a lid. Once some of the kernels have popped, remove the add and add the remaining kernels to the pot. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the kernels and place the lid back on the pot.

Give the pot a shake every once in a while so that the all the kernels have a chance to be popped.

Just like any other popcorn, once the popcorn has just a few seconds between pops the popcorn is ready. Remove and discard any remaining kernels before proceeding to make these easy popcorn balls.

Yield: 12 popcorn balls

Easy Popcorn Balls

popcorn balls easy

Popcorn balls are soft and chewy and stuffed with your favorite candies. These easy popcorn balls aren't just for Halloween, they're perfect for any season by swapping the candies for season-related colors.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes

Ingredients

  • 20 cups popped popcorn*
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 light corn syrup
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cold water
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1 cup M&M's (I used Ghoul's Mix)

Instructions

  1. Pop the popcorn either by popping bagged popcorn or using popcorn kernels.*
  2. Remove any remaining popcorn kernels and place 20 cups in a large pot. Add candy mix in's and set aside.
  3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, light corn syrup, water, confectioner's sugar, and mini marshmallows.
  4. Stir using a rubber spatula and heat until 245° using a candy thermometer or boil for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  6. Pour the hot mixture carefully over top of the popcorn, turning the popcorn and adding additional candy mixture.
  7. Coat the popcorn well by stirring to combine.
  8. Spray the inside of a measuring cup and hands with cooking spray.
  9. Use a 1 cup measuring cup to scoop the popcorn mixture and place on parchment paper. Tap to remove balls from the cup.
  10. Using hands, shape the mixture into balls.
  11. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container or Ziploc bags.

Notes

*Pop popcorn kernels according to package directions.

Instant Pot popcorn directions

To make popcorn in your Instant Pot you will need:

  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil


To pop popcorn in the Instant Pot you will set it on the SAUTE setting and allow it to reach the HOT setting. This setting will be reached once the oil has melted. It is important to use coconut oil for this to work!

After the pot reads HOT, add a few popcorn kernels and cover the Instant Pot with a lid. Once some of the kernels have popped, remove the add and add the remaining kernels to the pot. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the kernels and place the lid back on the pot.

Give the pot a shake every once in a while so that all the kernels have a chance to be popped.

Just like any other popcorn, once the popcorn has just a few seconds between pops the popcorn is ready. Remove and discard any remaining kernels before proceeding to make these easy popcorn balls.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 2gSugar: 54gProtein: 2g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

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