These marshmallow popcorn balls are the perfect combination of salty and sweet- they’re like an irresistible cross between caramel corn and rice krispie treats. They make a great snack and are perfect for parties. This old fashioned recipe hasn’t gone out of style yet, and is hit with both kids & adults!
Homemade treats are a Holiday staple; however, I don’t always have a ton of extra time to whip up adorable from-scratch snacks and desserts.
Between juggling normal busy schedules, themed days at school, holiday plays/parades/parties/performances etc- it sometimes feels like a miracle that anything gets made.
Luckily, there are some incredibly easy recipes I can make (that don’t take a whole lot of extra time out of my day) like these marshmallow popcorn balls!
They taste great- the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and are recipe and are ready in about 20 minutes.
Making them perfect for the times when a kid ‘reminds’ me at bedtime that they need a treat to take in for their class party in the morning.
Like all my favorite recipes- marshmallow popcorn balls don’t have a super long list of ingredients.
To make them you’ll need:
- Sugar – White granulated sugar only
- Corn Syrup – Make sure you’re using light corn syrup
- Marshmallows – The miniature kind
- Butter – Unsalted, but if you have salted butter on hand and want to use that just omit the additional salt called for.
- Extract – Vanilla extract, and either the real deal or imitation will both work in this recipe.
- Baking Soda – Make sure you grabbed the baking soda, NOT baking powder!
- Popcorn – 12-15 cups of freshly popped, plain popcorn
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you’re ready to whip up batch of this old fashioned dessert.
How To Make
Start by adding both the sugar and corn syrup to a medium skillet set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue boiling for three full minutes.
Remove the skillet from heat and add in the marshmallows, butter, vanilla, and salt. Immediately being whisking and continue until evenly combined and the mixture’s smooth.
Sprinkle the baking soda out overtop of the mixture, and whisk again to combine.
Have your popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl, then immediately pour the marshmallow mixture out over top and quickly mix using a spatula or spoon until the popcorn’s evenly coated.
Let the mixture cool for a bit, not too long, but long enough to be safely handled without burning yourself.
Using buttered hands, quickly for the popcorn into 12-15 small balls placing them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet to sit until completely cooled.
Once set, you’re ready to serve and enjoy!
What Can I Add To Decorate?
Marshmallow popcorn balls can easily be customized to fit any occasion- including birthdays, pretty much any holiday, baby and bridal showers, etc.
Some of our favorite additions include:
- festive/colored sprinkles
- mini chocolate chips
- mini m&m candies
- melted chocolate (to coat the outside in when firm)
- pretzel pieces
- food coloring (add a couple drops to the marshmallow mixture when melting)
Be careful not to add too much extra to the recipe, otherwise you won’t have enough syrup to coat all the ingredients and your popcorn balls may not stick together and/or hold their shape.
Popcorn balls can be store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Alternatively, they can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month. When ready to eat, thaw, then enjoy.
Why Are My Popcorn Balls Chewy?
Popcorn becomes chewy when steam gets trapped in the kernels upon popping. To prevent this, use a lid with a steam vent so that it can escape during cooking.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Only use plain, popped popcorn in this recipe. Nothing that’s coated, candied, or even buttered.
- Be sure to grease your hands before shaping! This recipe is very sticky- you can either butter your hands or spray them with non stick cooking spray, but you must do one or the other to avoid a giant mess.
- The mixture cools fast, so you’ll need to work quickly since once cooled it won’t want to stick together anymore. You can always recruit some help for this step- kids love it!
- Don’t form them to tightly- you want them to be in ball shape and well stuck together, but not too dense that they’ll be tough to eat once hardened.
Other Old Fashioned Treat Recipes
These marshmallow popcorn balls are the perfect salty sweet snack for parties and potlucks. They’re an old fashioned dessert that haven’t gone out of fashion yet, and are so yummy both kids and adults will love them!
Looking for other old fashioned treat recipes?
If you’ve tried these POPCORN BALLS, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 12-15 cups fresh popped popcorn
- In a medium pan over medium heat, bring the sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Allow to boil for three minutes.1 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- Remove from heat, whisk in the mini marshmallows, butter, vanilla, and salt. Sprinkle the baking soda on top and whisk again.1/2 cup mini marshmallows, 3 tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pour the hot sugar syrup over the popcorn, then quickly mix. Allow to cool slightly until it can be handled without burning.12-15 cups fresh popped popcorn
- Using buttered hands, form the popcorn mixture into 12-15 small balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool completely.