This easy recipe for popcorn balls is fun for Halloween treats or for a monster party! We made marshmallow popcorn balls for Halloween decorated like Purple People Eaters, but you can leave this recipe as plain popcorn or decorate it to match your theme party. You can even leave them white and just add eyes for ghost Halloween popcorn balls!
Easy Recipe for Popcorn Balls for Halloween (Or Anytime!)
This fast easy recipe makes the best oooey-gooey popcorn balls I’ve ever had! Plus, these are non-scary monsters (friendly monsters) and not spooky Halloween desserts!
How to make Halloween Popcorn Balls (How To Make Popcorn Balls Without Corn Syrup)
Recipe for Halloween popcorn balls:
- Vegetable oil
- For decorating popcorn balls for Halloween:
- Purple food coloring gel
- Jumbo candy eyes
- Candy corn
- White icing
Read on to learn how to make homemade popcorn balls! The full popcorn balls for Halloween recipe is below — including how to make purple popcorn for purple food ideas. KEEP SCROLLING for how to make popcorn balls at home for fun kids activities for Halloween!
Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls Recipe vs Marshmallow Popcorn Ball
I love popcorn balls old fashioned way — you know the old fashioned recipe for popcorn balls with Karo syrup (which are traditional popcorn balls / classic recipe for balls of popcorn for the holiday season or Halloween party).
That recipe for popcorn balls are the Halloween treats that I remembered from my childhood Halloween trick-or-treating.
So, I was a little skeptical about this popcorn balls recipe with marshmallows. (If you’re used to Halloween caramel popcorn balls, you’re in for a treat with this lighter version!)
These fun marshmallow popcorn balls are surprisingly good and make the best recipe for popcorn balls. This will be my new way to make these easy desserts (and new favorite popcorn balls homemade way) and they make perfect One-Eyed Purple People Eater marshmallow popcorn balls!
(Some people think they taste like a version of rice krispie treats, but I think this easy popcorn ball recipe with marshmallow tastes a lot different!)
If you’re looking for a popcorn balls recipe easy to make or a popcorn balls recipe without corn syrup, this is it!
Before we get to the popcorn balls recipe marshmallow, let’s answer some questions about making popcorn balls that will help you out with the recipe.
THESE POPCORN BALLS ARE SUPER FUN TO INCLUDE IN YOUR HALLOWEEN BOO BASKETS OR FOR TRICK-OR-TREAT HALLOWEEN GOODIES BAGS / DELICIOUS TREAT FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS!
ALSO FUN FOR HALLOWEEN HOLIDAY:
What are popcorn balls made of?
There are old-fashioned popcorn balls with molasses, popcorn balls recipe with caramel, popcorn balls with Jello, and popcorn balls with marshmallows. These are the popcorn balls without corn syrup, but it’s traditional to make popcorn balls recipe with Karo syrup or light corn syrup.
Our popcorn ball recipe using marshmallows (without corn syrup) stick together just fine! Sticky popcorn balls makes it easier to add the eyes and horn before they harden a little!
DON’T MISS THESE OTHER SIMPLE POPCORN RECIPES (MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES WITH POPCORN)!
How long do popcorn balls stay fresh?
So, how long do popcorn balls last? Popcorn balls will stay fresh for up to a week in a sealed container, but eat some immediately! They are best the day you make them!
How long can you store homemade popcorn balls?
How To Store Popcorn Balls:
Form the popcorn and recipe ingredients into popcorn balls and place them on waxed paper to cool, dry, and harden a little to set. Then, place them in a single layer in an airtight container or in large Ziploc bags at room temperature for up to a week. After that, the popcorn may taste stale or be too soft.
Can you freeze popcorn balls?
If you want to freeze popcorn balls, first wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag. Allow frozen homemade popcorn balls recipe to thaw completely before eating them.
They won’t be gooey popcorn balls after freezing, but they’re still good! Don’t be afraid to double this simple popcorn balls recipe if you want to freeze popcorn for later!
FRIENDLY MONSTERS ACTIVITY PACK FROM OUR SISTER SITE THAT IS FUN TO PAIR WITH THIS HALLOWEEN RECIPE!
Kid Printables Coloring Pages, Monster Activity Pages & MORE in this Printable Halloween Activity Pack!
Secret Recipe Tips for the Best Popcorn Balls
I have some super secret tips for making popcorn balls! Here’s how to make the best ever popcorn balls:
- I use white, unflavored popcorn. I think white popcorn makes a crispier popcorn ball and often seems to add less husks in popcorn balls. (This recipe for Halloween does NOT use purple popping corn!)
- SALT YOUR POPCORN! This is something that many people don’t do and then they talk about their popcorn balls tasting bland. The saltiness balances out the sweetness of the marshmallows perfectly for yummy popcorn balls and makes more sweet and savory popcorn balls.
- Although we love to make popcorn the old-fashioned way (on the stove, described in the recipe), for a few years now we’ve used this brand of popcorn maker that we absolutely love. It still has that yummy (oil) taste that microwave popcorn misses and it’s fast, easy, and fun to watch! (You can also use an air popper, if you prefer.)
- You can try purple marshmallows for this recipe, but they won’t be as deep purple as what you see in our pictures. I would stick with white marshmallows and the purple coloring described below for easy Halloween popcorn recipes.
- If you’re wrapping popcorn balls, let them sit and harden a little before wrapping them in cellophane, Halloween themed piece of wax paper (they make super cute popcorn ball wrappers!), or plastic bags. Wrap popcorn balls are super cute on a Halloween food table (and the kids can easily take home as party favors!).
- Best thing about this recipe activity? It’s a super fun Halloween recipe kids can make! Let them get involved in these popcorn balls halloween recipes. (These popcorn balls ideas work for any party theme.) So much fun to see who can make the cutest or crazy popcorn monster! It may even become family traditions each Halloween holiday!
DON’T MISS: What To Do With Leftover Halloween Candy?
OK! Let’s get to the gooey popcorn balls recipe and how to make colorful popcorn balls! (This really is one of my favorite fun Halloween dessert recipe ideas!)
How To Make Popcorn Balls Halloween Treats (Purple Popcorn Recipe)
For our recipe for homemade popcorn balls, we made mini Purple People Eaters (or you can call them Purple Pumpkin Eater for fall treats!) and it made about 20 1- to 2-inch popcorn balls.
However, the number that it makes will depend on how large or small you make your popcorn balls. (Some people like to make them baseball size or soft ball size, but we prefer them more like popcorn bites!)
FYI: This a recipe for chewy popcorn balls because of the melted marshmallows and not a crunchy popcorn ball (probably not like that old school recipe for making popcorn balls). They are soft popcorn balls. It really is the best popcorn balls recipe!
This same recipe can be used for blue popcorn balls, green popcorn balls (like for witch popcorn hands – if you spoon it into a food safe glove like this the gooey texture will form a popcorn witch hand!), rainbow popcorn balls / various colored popcorn balls, pink popcorn balls (perfect for Valentines popcorn balls!), or any color Halloween themed popcorn! Just change up your coloring gel for your party theme colors to decorate popcorn balls.
You can even use this quick and simple recipe for Halloween Monster Mash popcorn with roasted peanuts, candy corn, candy eyes, Halloween sprinkles, mini marshmallows, M&Ms or any of your favorite candy. (Just spoon the popcorn and candy pieces into Halloween bags.)
Also, if you’re making these monster popcorn ba lls for Halloween parties, these Halloween popcorn bags are super cute for giving out to your party trick or treaters!
(They really are easy to make Halloween desserts for a party and your kids will have a ton of fun making them!)
Here’s how to make popcorn balls for Halloween or how to make colored popcorn balls for parties…
(No need for a candy thermometer for this simple popcorn ball recipe!)
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 Cup unpopped white popcorn (unpopped kernals)
- 8 Tablespoons butter
- 5 Cups miniature marshmallows
- Salt (to taste)
- Purple food coloring gel
- Candy Corn
- Jumbo candy eyes
- Decorating icing (optional, to affix eyes/candy corn)
- Non-stick cooking oil spray (for hands)
- Add vegetable oil to pan and heat on medium heat on stove top until hot.
- Add popcorn to pan and cover with lid. Shake pan to keep popcorn moving until all the kernels are popped. Immediately remove from heat when popcorn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl. Salt to taste.
- Melt butter in pot over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and continue cooking, stirring constantly until marshmallows are melted.
- Add purple gel food coloring to melted marshmallow mixture and stir until you get the desired purple. Immediately pour over popcorn. Mix with spoon (sprayed with cooking oil) and stir until completely covered.
- Spray hands with non-stick cooking oil spray. Make small popcorn balls (we made mini ones, about the size of our palms) by forming a ball in with your hands.
- Use your thumb to make a small indentation and immediately place the candy eye in the center.
- Gently push a Candy Corn into the top of the head for the horn.
- Place on parchment paper to set, about 20 minutes.
If the candy eye or Candy Corn doesn't want to to stick to the popcorn ball, use a little bit of white decorating icing (in the canisters with the spray nozzle) to get them to stick.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
Why won’t my popcorn balls stick together?
In some cases, you may find that your popcorn balls won’t stick together. If you’re making the popcorn balls with syrup or molasses, the liquid might be too hot and “thin.” It might help to let the liquid sit for a minute. Also, if the syrup is too cool or the popcorn mixture has cooled completely, you might have a hard time getting the popcorn to form into balls. If you’re using marshmallows, the popcorn will easily form into balls if you do it immediately and not wait until the marshmallows have cooled.
Does purple popcorn taste different?
Purple popcorn balls do not taste any different than other color popcorn balls. The coloring for popcorn doesn’t have a flavor, but you can add candy flavors drops if you want other flavors for your purple popcorn people eaters / purple halloween candy balls.
Purple People Eater Halloween Popcorn Balls Recipe Pairing
For our reading and recipe pairing, we didn’t… use a book this time.
Instead, we decided to do a singing and recipe project using the Purple People Eater song because my daughter (STILL) thinks that song is so funny! (Plus, it’s a fun Halloween theme!)
If you’re not familiar with the song, you’re in for a treat!
It’s actually a song from 1958 by the singer Sheb Wooley. (You can stream it on Pandora for free or find it on YouTube).
The song starts:
Well, I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee”
It looks like a purple eater to me
It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
(One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater)
A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (one eye?)
And, it just gets stranger from there.
It made for such a fun song to pair with this recipe!
We made Halloween popcorn balls, but you can make these as popcorn balls for Christmas by changing up the colors (and leaving off the horn and eyes). The popcorn ball recipe is the same for any party theme (and good for monster party food ideas, too!).
Have you ever made popcorn candy balls? Let us know how you like this easy popcorn balls recipe!