There's something truly magical about the crackle and pop of fresh popcorn as it transforms into deliciously fun Halloween treats. Our quick and easy Halloween Popcorn Balls recipe comes together in just 25 minutes. With a handful of simple ingredients and a few fun steps, you can have these sweet and salty popcorn balls ready to delight your trick-or-treaters or party guests in no time.
Halloween is a time for spooky fun, eerie decorations, and of course, delightful treats. As we gear up for this year's trick-or-treating and ghostly gatherings, it's the perfect time to introduce you to a recipe that's sure to become a new Halloween favorite: our Halloween popcorn treats.
These aren't your everyday popcorn balls. They're a delicious blend of sweet and salty, covered in a sticky marshmallow coating that's as fun to make as it is to eat.
The magic starts by popping fresh popcorn, filling your kitchen with that irresistible aroma that instantly brings back memories of cozy movie nights.
But instead of simply buttering the popcorn, we take it to a whole new level by mixing it into a warm, gooey marshmallow coating. This gives the Halloween marshmallow popcorn balls their signature stickiness that kids (and adults) absolutely love.
To give our easy popcorn balls for Halloween a fun twist, we then add a few drops of food coloring. This turns the marshmallow coating into an orange hue that's perfect for the season. But the fun doesn't stop there. We also mix in some Halloween candy, adding pops of color and additional sweetness that will make these popcorn balls the hit of any Halloween party.
Finally, we roll the popcorn balls in Halloween sprinkles, giving them a festive touch that's as visually appealing as it is tasty. The result? A Halloween treat that's not only delicious but also fun to make and even more fun to eat.
Whether you're hosting a Halloween party or looking for a unique treat to hand out to trick-or-treaters, these Halloween Popcorn Balls are sure to be a hit!
- Oil: This is used to pop the popcorn. You can use any oil that you have on hand, but I recommend using one with a high smoke point like canola or vegetable oil. (You won’t need this if you are using microwave popcorn.)
- Popcorn Kernels: These are a must for making popcorn balls! If you don't have any on hand, you could also use plain, already-popped popcorn or microwave popcorn.
- Unsalted Butter: This adds a rich, creamy flavor to the popcorn balls. If you only have salted butter, that's okay too; just reduce the amount of additional salt you add.
- Sea Salt: A little bit of salt brings out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Mini Marshmallows: These are what hold everything together and give the popcorn balls their sweet, gooey texture. You could also use large marshmallows; just be sure to adjust the quantity accordingly.
- Orange Food Coloring: This gives your popcorn balls a fun, Halloweeny color. If you prefer not to use artificial food coloring, you can leave this out, or try a natural alternative like turmeric or carrot juice.
- Halloween Candy: I like to use a mix of candy corn and M&M's, but feel free to get creative with this! Any small, colorful candies should work well.
- Halloween Sprinkles (optional): These add a festive touch and a little bit of crunch. Again, these are optional, so feel free to leave them out if you prefer.
Step by Step
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Tips & Tricks
- Popcorn Popping: When popping your popcorn, make sure to remove any unpopped kernels. These can be a surprise crunch that's not so pleasant in your finished popcorn balls.
- Stirring the Mixture: Once you've added the marshmallows to the melted butter, keep stirring! This prevents the marshmallows from burning and ensures a smooth, even coating for your popcorn.
- Adding Food Coloring: If you're using food coloring to give your popcorn balls a spooky hue, remember: a little goes a long way! (Especially if you are using gel food coloring.) Start with just a few drops and add more as needed to achieve your desired color.
- Mixing in the Candy: Wait for the marshmallow and popcorn mixture to cool for just a few minutes before adding in your Halloween candy. If the mixture is too hot, some candies might melt. Just make sure you don’t wait too long!
- Forming the Balls: Don't be afraid to get your hands a little messy when forming your popcorn balls. To prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands, you can lightly grease them with a bit of cooking spray or butter.
- Cooling Time: Give your popcorn balls enough time to cool and firm up before serving. This makes them easier to handle (especially if you're adding sticks) and helps the flavors meld together perfectly.
- Storage Tips: If you're making these popcorn balls in advance, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They'll stay fresh and delicious for 3-5 days.
Why won't my popcorn balls stick?
If your popcorn balls aren't sticking together, it might be because your marshmallow mixture isn't warm enough. Make sure to follow the recipe instructions and stir until the marshmallows are melted and gooey. While it is good to wait a few minutes before mixing in the candy, you don’t want to wait until the mixture isn’t warm any longer.
Another reason would be that you have measured out more popcorn than the recipe calls for, and your marshmallow to popcorn ratio is off.
What type of Halloween candy is good for adding to popcorn balls?
You can use any type of small, colorful candy that you like. I like using a mix of candy corn and M&M's, but feel free to get creative! Other great options include gummy worms, mini Reese's cups, or Sour Patch Kids. Other fun options include pretzels, chocolate chips, and candy eyes.
If you are using chocolate candy, be aware that the heat from the marshmallow mixture may cause it to melt. If this happens, you can still use the candy; just stir it in at the end and carefully form your popcorn balls - gloves are a big help here.
Do I have to add food coloring?
No, you don't have to add food coloring if you don't want to. The popcorn balls will still be delicious without
As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying sales.
- Popcorn maker or Dutch Oven with a lid
- Straws or cake pop sticks
- Baking sheet
- Parchment Paper
More Fall Recipes to Try
- If you're a fan of warm, aromatic breads, you'll fall in love with our Bread Machine Pumpkin Bread, a fuss-free recipe that fills your home with the delightful scents of autumn.
- Our Apple Pear Crisp is a comforting dessert featuring the season's best fruits, topped with a crunchy, buttery topping that's simply irresistible.
- For a sophisticated twist on a classic fall flavor, give our Pumpkin Flan a try. It's a rich, creamy dessert that perfectly blends traditional flan with the distinct taste of pumpkin.
- Looking for a quick and easy snack? Our Air Fryer Pecans are a fantastic choice. They're deliciously crispy, with a hint of sweetness that makes them perfect for a cozy fall afternoon.
25-Minute Halloween Popcorn Balls with Marshmallows
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- 2 ¼ cups mini marshmallows
- Orange food coloring optional
- ¾ cup halloween candy candy corn, m&m’s
- ¼ cup halloween sprinkles optional
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn and cover. Cook for about 4 minutes, shaking frequently. When the popping stops, remove the pan from the heat. Toss with the salt.
- Alternatively, cook your popcorn in a popcorn maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Melt the butter over low heat.
- Add the marshmallows and cook, stirring constantly, until melted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- If desired, stir in a few drops of food coloring.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the popcorn making sure to remove any unpopped kernels.
- Add the candy to the pot, and stir.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes, and then form into 10 balls.
- Roll the balls the sprinkles, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Press in straws or cake pop sticks if desired.
- Allow to sit until firm. It will take an hour for them to fully firm up, but they can be enjoyed after 10 minutes.