Old fashion popcorn balls. Bringing back the warmth of your grandma’s kitchen. These treats will fill your kitchen with a nostalgic aroma of sweet caramel & butter. These delightful goodies are perfect for holiday gifts, parties and dessert platters. They capture the essence of tradition and the joy of creating something both simple and wonderfully delicious.

Popcorn balls are more than just a treat, they are a nod to the past, a symbol of families gathering and a fun activity for little hands. Their versatility makes them a great choice for any occasion. They embody the spirit of homemade, heartfelt goodies.

How do you ensure the popcorn balls stick together?

The key is getting the candy mixture to soft ball stage (234 degrees). This will ensure the right consistency for binding the popcorn. Additionally, packing the popcorn tightly while it’s still warm is crucial for forming a cohesive ball. Just make sure to let the popcorn cool down a bit so you don’t burn your hands. Remember, you want it warm, not hot.

Can you add flavor or colors to popcorn balls?

Absolutely! To add flavors, consider mixing vanilla extract, cinnamon or even a pinch of nutmeg to the candy mixture. For colors, use a few drops of food coloring for festive or themed variations.

How do you store popcorn balls?

Popcorn balls should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

How long do popcorn balls last?

Popcorn balls typically last up to a week, but are best if enjoyed in the first few days.

What variations can be made to popcorn balls?

You can mix in nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips for a different flavor and texture. For a Halloween twist, try adding candy corn or drizzling with melted chocolate.

What is in a popcorn ball?

Granulated sugar

The primary sweetener that give the balls their classic taste. The sugar will melt into a liquid in the heat and will start to caramelize, making a caramel flavor to your treat.


Adds a rich, natural sweetness and helps in binding the popcorn

Sweetened condensed milk

Contributes to the creamy texture and depth of flavor

Unsalted butter

Adds a subtle richness and ensure a smooth texture

Fine sea salt

Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor

Popcorn kernels

The star of the show, providing a light and crunchy base

How do you make popcorn balls?

  • First you pop the popcorn kernels in an air popper. Pop them directly into a large mixing bowl.
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt the candy mixture (sugar, honey, sweetened condensed milk, butter and salt)
  • Stir the candy mixture as it all melts and starts to boil
  • Add a candy thermometer in and boil the mixture until it reaches soft ball stage (234 degrees)
  • Pour the hot candy mixture over the popped popcorn
  • Spread the coated popcorn on a parchment paper to cool slightly
  • Form the balls by packing the warm, candy coated popcorn between your two hands. Pressing firmly to help the ball keep its shape.
Melting the candy mixture for the popcorn balls
Getting the candy mixture to soft ball stage for popcorn balls
Pouring the candy mixture over the popped popcorn for popcorn balls
Slightly cooling the candied popcorn for popcorn balls

Recommended Equipment

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Popcorn Balls

Author: Madison Reid
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Assemble: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 balls
These mouth watering old fashioned goodies are a tribute to your grandma’s past. Little hands will love helping you pack the popcorn into a ball. Perfect for holiday gifts, parties, dessert platters and so much more!


  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels


  • In a air popper, pop 1 cup of kernels. Follow your machine’s instructions, most machines recommend only 1/4 cup of kernels at a time
  • Place popcorn in a large mixing bowl
  • In a large sauce pan, pour in sugar, honey, sweetened condensed milk, butter & salt
  • Place over medium heat and stir until sugar is melted
  • Put a candy thermometer in the mixture and continue to stir periodically
  • Once mixture has reached soft ball stage (234 degrees), promptly take off the heat
  • Pour candy mixture over popcorn and stir together with a large wooden spoon
  • Pour out coated popcorn onto parchment paper to cool
  • Once popcorn is cool enough to touch (cool, but still warm), grab a handful of popcorn and pack it tightly in both hands. This take some force to mold together. Repeat with rest of popcorn
  • Note: If you rather, you can stop at step 8 and not pack popcorn into balls


Calories: 222kcal Carbohydrates: 51g Protein: 2g Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.02g Cholesterol: 7mg Sodium: 47mg Potassium: 88mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 46g Vitamin A: 59IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 48mg Iron: 0.3mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.