These simple and delicious popcorn balls come together in minutes for the perfect snack or sweet treat. Made with marshmallows instead of corn syrup!
Let me start out by saying, I am a popcorn addict.
Plain, buttered, sweet or savory I will take it all. So naturally, I was very excited for the opportunity to pull together a delicious and simple popcorn ball recipe to share with you all.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- They’re made without corn syrup!
- Made with marshmallows and other ingredients that you probably already have on hand!
- They’re fun to make with the kiddos
Let’s start out by talking about the ridiculously easy ingredient list for these Popcorn Balls.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Plain popped popcorn
- Kosher salt
- Pure vanilla extract
That’s it my friends.
How to Make Popcorn Balls
First, you need to pop your popcorn. I used my air popper to pop the popcorn and ended up needing about ½ cup of popcorn kernels.
You can also pop your kernels on the stovetop or even use plain microwave popcorn.
You’ll need 16 cups of popcorn for the recipe, and once the popcorn is popped, make sure to remove any unpopped kernels.
This step may seem tedious but you definitely don’t want to bite into a hard kernel while enjoying your popcorn ball.
Set the popcorn aside.
Marshmallows + Butter
Next up, melt the butter and marshmallows in a large stockpot. Make sure it’s big enough to hold all your popcorn which you’ll be adding in a minute. (Image 1 below.)
Once the butter and marshmallows are melted together, (Image 2 below) remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla extract. (Image 3 below.)
Stir in the popcorn. Keep stirring to ensure every piece is coated in marshmallowy goodness.
Let it cool for a few minutes, until it’s a good temperature for you to handle with your hands. This next step is vital in your popcorn ball success.
Shape in to Balls
Spray your hands well with nonstick cooking spray. Otherwise, you will end up with a huge sticky mess on your hands.
Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and roll into a ball. (Image 6 below.)
Place on parchment paper and keep moving until all your popcorn mixture has been used up. (See image below.)
You will probably need to respray your hands a few times throughout the process.
Jazz Up Your Popcorn Balls
You can simply serve your popcorn balls as they are or you can jazz them up in several different ways.
The easiest way to fancy them up is to add a long, festive toothpick. I grabbed these cute picks at Hobby Lobby and they came in a pack with a variety of fun, bright colors.
Another cute option that would be a huge hit with adults and kids alike, sprinkles! After you’ve shaped your popcorn balls, roll them in sprinkles. You can make them festive for any holiday or event.
My last fun idea to make these a little extra special involves food coloring. Mix in food coloring after melting the butter and marshmallows to make these popcorn balls any color you want.
Can’t you see cute little pink or red popcorn balls wrapped in cellophane for a fun Valentine’s surprise?!
So Many Reasons to Make Popcorn Balls
There are so many reasons to make these popcorn balls. My kids were more than happy to be my little taste testers on this recipe for their after school snack.
They would also be a really fun and different option for a bake sale or potluck at school or church.
I always love it when there is something besides the typical cookies or brownies to choose from.
Make them festive, wrap them in cellophane and add them to the kids’ Easter baskets for a delicious homemade addition.
Want More Portable Treats?
Popcorn Balls without Corn Syrup
- 16 cups popcorn (1/2 cup kernels)
- 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Nonstick spray
- Go through popcorn and remove any unpopped kernels. Set aside. Lay a rectangle of parchment on the counter.
- Heat a large pot (big enough for the popcorn) over medium low heat. Add butter and marshmallows. Stir until melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in kosher salt and vanilla extract.
- Add popcorn to pot and stir until completely coated. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.
- Spray hands well with nonstick spray. Measure out a cup of the popcorn mixture. Roll into a ball.
- Set on prepared parchment. Repeat until you have used all the popcorn. Store in an airtight container.