(Red Hots) Popcorn Balls

How to make pop corn ballsI love colored popcorn. Elsie brought back some caramel apple (green with a few brown) popcorn from Chicago a few weeks ago, and it reminded me how much I love colored popcorn. When Elsie and I were little, our family doctor’s office was located next to (or maybe it was a few doors down) a gourmet popcorn shop. Sometimes, as a special treat, our mom would buy us flavored popcorn after a doctor’s visit. I was the kind of kid who was obsessed with sugary treats, so I was always hoping for a trip to the popcorn shop after a doctor’s visit. Anyway, I had plans to make popcorn balls before Halloween this year (you gotta!), and I decided to try something flavored/colored. These were made with Red Hots (cinnamon hard candy), so not only were they a pretty color, but they tasted like cinnamon too!
Popcorn ballsRed Hots Popcorn Balls, makes about a dozen or so.

Needed: 3/4 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons water, a large handful of Red Hots candy, 1 cup marshmallow cream (or you can use marshmallows, I just happened to have some cream I was needing to use), 1 cup powered sugar and 3/4 cup unpopped popcorn.

First pop the popcorn and set aside. In a pot stir together the corn syrup, butter, water, Red Hots, and marshmallow cream over low/medium heat until the Red Hots have nearly dissolved. Then stir in the powered sugar. Turn the heat up the medium/high and cook until the mixture just about reaches 240°F (this is also sometimes called the “soft ball” stage). Remove from heat and immediately pour over the popcorn in a large bowl and stir so the mixture coats most pieces of popcorn. Coat your hands in a little oil and (WHEN THE MIXTURE IS COOL ENOUGH TO HANDLE) form into balls and set on wax paper.Red hot popcorn ballsYou do need to work quickly once the popcorn is cool enough to handle. Now you can wrap these in plastic wrap to gift to kiddos or leave them out on the counter to snack on during a holiday party. Keep in mind you can use any kind of hard candy (in place of Red Hots). I think Lemon Drop popcorn balls would be really fun, or Werther’s caramels. Use whatever flavors you prefer and have fun making popcorn balls this season! xo. Emma

P.S. If you are a popcorn fan, check out my Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes!

  • OMG what is this? I haven´t ever heard about something like that. I have to try your recipe, must be great!

  • Sounds delicious! At first I thought you meant red hots as in the vinegary hot pepper spread from Maryland and that didn’t sound so delicious, but this sure does!

  • Besides candied apples, this is the one thing I look forward to every Halloween. Thanks Emma!


  • Oh! How did I forget about colored popcorn? This absolutely reminds me of childhood!

  • When I lived in Chicago as a kid I would always get a big popcorn ball every Halloween. These babies bring back some memories. Thanks for the recipe I will make some on Halloween!

  • Yum!! I have been craving popcorn balls! I also happen to love cinnamon flavoring so this is right up my alley!! excited to try!!!

  • Mm, those look so good. will have to show to my best friend who’s obsessed with popcorn!

    xo, Clare

  • How DO you come up with this stuff?? It looks so pretty and delicious. My Grandma used to make popcorn balls–my favorite treat at Halloween; think I need to try your recipe.

  • LOVE popcorn balls, and cinnamon flavored? I’m SO MAKING THESE! LOVE this!
    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:

  • OMG these are gorgeous! Not only do they look so pretty, but I bet they taste so good in their cinnamon-y goodness!

  • Adorable! They look like little pom poms! 🙂


  • Gourmet popcorn is amazing. I should cook some one day soon!


  • Oh my gosh, these sound amazing! I love red hots, my dad got me addicted to them when I was little. I definitely have to make some of these now, I think he’ll love them. Thanks for the recipe!!
    xo. Mandy

  • Ooh! They look so tasty!
    Always in for something sweet after dinner!


  • Oh man these sound yummy! Love this idea!
    xo Heather

  • we like to make caramel popcorn balls for halloween! i love holiday treats! check out our sugar cookies! fancytreats.blogspot.com

  • Wow! that looks so yummy!



  • This is such a much more creative way to make popcorn, I love this 😀 And sometimes I just complain about how popcorn lacks flavour so the cinnamon taste can only be a plus!

  • Ah! Amazing!!! I always thought on how to make these but never remembered when I was near a computer. 😛 You’re awesome!

  • WOW this looks great ! Gonna try it !

    XX Luba

    Well Living Blog :: Win a pair of fabulous Stuart Wetizam shoes , learn how ::


  • Oh Yummy! I love red Hots!

    -Andrea Lynne

  • These are awesome! You could definitely make these with red and green Mike & Ike’s (or something similar colored) for a festive Christmas treat, too!

  • This looks so yummy. I’ve been dying to make some halloween treats before it’s over! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂


  • love this idea! you have reminded me, i need to make some more toffee popcorn and get addicted to it (again) 🙂

  • Oh I like Caramel popcorn balls. These look like they would taste like cinnamon heart candies.

  • Yum! They look amazing, and I’m sure that they taste delicious too. Thanks for the idea 🙂


  • This is too cute. It might be cute to pretend that they’re brains for holloween! xo. Deanna

  • YUMMM!! those look and sound SO GOOD! I always get hungry after stopping by your blog 🙂

  • I saw these on instagram and was so excited to see what you used for the coloring! These sound tasty.


  • Those are adorable (and sound yummy, too!). What a cute idea!


  • wow, there pretty big! oooh I’d love to taste them♥ I just made chocolate popcorn:)

  • Que sabroso…!!! Me encantan los pochoclos azucarados…!!! Voy hacer la receta..!!

    Les dejo mi contacto para que me visiten cuando quieran.


    Besos desde Argentina

    That tasty …! I love sugary popcorn …! I make the recipe ..!

    I leave my contact to visit me anytime.


    Kisses from Argentina

  • these look awesome and a super fun contribution to a bake sale table!! thank you!

  • These look amazing! I haven’t had popcorn balls in so long!

    Life Unsweetened

  • That sounds super scrummy! I love popcorn in all forms, especially sweet popcorn, so I will be trying that recipe soon 🙂

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