How to Make Popcorn Balls

October 14th, 2012 by admin

Popcorn balls are treats that are traditionally made around the holidays, but they are so simple to make and tasty that you can easily make them year round.  It’s likely that you already have most of the ingredients on hand, making it easy to whip up a batch of popcorn balls in no time at all.  You can even get the kids involved for some family fun.  Don’t feel too bad about feeding these sweet treats to the kids, as popcorn contains fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.


  • 5 quarts of plain popped popcorn (20 cups)
  • 2 ½ C. powdered sugar
  • ¾ C. light corn syrup
  • ¼ C. stick margarine
  • 2 t. of cold water
  • 1 C. mini marshmallows

Gather your ingredients- The popcorn can be made in a microwave, air popper or on the stove.  If you use air popped popcorn you will greatly reduce the amount of fat in your popcorn balls.  Once popped, put the popcorn in a large bowl and set it aside, then measure out the remaining ingredients.

Mix ingredients- In a saucepan mix together the margarine, corn syrup, powdered sugar, water and marshmallows and bring the ingredients to a boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn.  Stir the mixture with a big spoon, making sure to coat all of the popcorn evenly.  As soon as the mixture is cool enough to handle without burning you, butter your hands and form the popcorn into balls.  Make sure to press firmly to get the popcorn into a ball.  Set the balls aside on some waxed paper until you have formed popcorn balls out of all the popcorn.  This recipe should make about 20 popcorn balls.  Once the popcorn balls are cool, wrap them in plastic wrap or put them into cellophane bags and tie them with a ribbon.

Child friendly option- Pop the popcorn in the microwave and set aside until it has cooled.  Open the bags and put the popcorn into a big bowl.  You will need seven large bags of microwaveable popcorn.  Add the remaining ingredients to a microwave safe bowl and heat it in the microwave until the marshmallows are completely melted.  With an adult’s help, pour the hot marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and stir with a large spoon.  Using food safe gloves, butter your gloved hands.  Form the popcorn into balls.  Wrap the completed popcorn balls in plastic wrap, then store them at room temperature.

Add ins- Plain popcorn balls are pretty tasty, but to make them even better you can stir some candy into the popcorn before coating it with the marshmallow mixture. For instance, candy corn works well if you want to make popcorn balls as a Halloween treat, and chocolate chips or candy coated chocolate pieces make a yummy addition to popcorn balls that you want to have a sweet twist to them.

Craft and treat in one- Set out bowls of little candies that can be used to decorate some popcorn ball snowmen, such as chocolate chips, licorice, fruit roll-ups, candy coated chocolate pieces and gum drops.  Let the kids help form the gooey popcorn into snowmen shapes and allow them to add on candy accessories to dress them up.  Once they are done they can eat their creation.

Popcorn balls are a fun family treat, and they can be assembled in no time.  Add a little food coloring to the marshmallow mixture and you can even color coordinate your popcorn balls with a holiday or event.

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