Popcorn Balls

These fun popcorn treats make for a festive addition to your holiday spread. Adding food colouring, sprinkles or dried fruit are great ways to change them up for any occasion.

Yield: Makes 10

Popcorn Balls


  • 12 cups popped popcorn, kernels removed
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup white corn syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Place popcorn into a greased large heat proof bowl; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, dissolve sugar and corn syrup in hot water. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, without stirring, until firm-ball stage is reached (245ᵒF on a candy thermometer).
  3. Add vinegar and vanilla to sugar mixture and continue to cook until hard-ball stage is reached (250ᵒF on a candy thermometer).
  4. Pour sugar mixture over top of popcorn, stirring to coat. Sprinkle with salt, stirring until mixture starts to cool.
  5. Working quickly with buttered hands, shape popcorn into balls. Cool completely on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Nutritional analysis per popcorn ball:


242 calories, 0.5 g fat, 1.2 g protein, 60.6 g carbohydrate, 1.4 g fibre, 128 mg sodium 


2/3 cup unpopped popcorn = 12 cups popped popcorn. 


Liquid food colouring can be added at the same time as the vinegar and vanilla in this recipe. Add green food colouring at Christmas to make trees, or pink food colouring to make hearts for Valentine’s Day.