Recipe By 3KIDS5
Published Dec 29th
Prep 10m Cook 15m Additional - Ready In 25m
Servings 10 - 3 inch round balls Calories 457.7

Great, Great Grandpa Apell had a huge farm in Illinois with prize-winning corn. He made Popcorn Balls for all the Grandkids at Christmastime. He lived to be 106 and claimed workin’ the farm and eatin’ corn was the secret! This recipe is delicious!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water. Stir and heat to hard-crack stage or 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Remove from heat, add vanilla or vinegar; mix well.
  2. 2 Pour slowly over popped popcorn while stirring. Wait 5 minutes and shape into 3 inch round balls.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 457.7
  • Carbohydrate 75.1 g
  • Cholesterol 24.4 mg
  • Fat 18.7 g
  • Fiber 1.8 g
  • Protein 1.7 g
  • Saturated Fat 7.3 g
  • Sodium 317 mg
  • Sugar 48.9 g


  1. I am sure these are great and would love some advise. The first 2 or 3 minutes in the bowl it all started to harden and I could not get it up into a ball. It was hard as a rock. I started making them into balls right away and only got a few done - Read more ...
  2. These popcorn balls taste just like a gourmet popcorn shop from back home. They really taste rich and buttery! We must have popped too much corn because ours weren't covered as much as the photo. Does anyone know how many cups of unpopped kernels makes 5 quarts popped?
  3. I think your grandpa and my 92 year old grandma knew each other. She makes these every Christmas two separate batches one with green food color and the other red. My 46 year old husband and 39 year old sister fight like kids over them every year!
  4. We loved this recipe. I made a few batches for my preschooler to take to his Halloween party. We wrapped them in cellophane and tied them up with green pipe cleaners. I then attatched a green tag cut like a leaf saying Happy Halloween from my son. Next we curled up the pipe cleaners on - Read more ...
  5. oh boy, these are really good. It is really important to reach hard crack stage with these candies. To test for hard crack stage without a candy thermometer, use the ice water method. Have nearby a bowl of ice water. Periodically test the syrup to see if it has reached hard crack. To do this, - Read more ...
  6. What a perfect popcorn ball. Be patient with the syrup candy making can be tedious but so worth the results. I might experiment and add a tad more butter for more richness. Super super super
  7. These are absolutely the best! Just make sure you reach "hard crack" stage when doing the syrup. I did go to 300 deg. on my thermometer but it wasn't quite hard crack and these wouldn't come off my teeth and I had to toss. However the next batch turned out YUMMY and were perfect. I - Read more ...
  8. Thank you for sharing your Grandfather s recipe. I made two batches this evening and they turned out great. I decided to add food coloring to mine(red and green for Christmas)at the same time I added the vanilla extract.
  9. If you dont cook to the hard-crack stage, you will end up with sticky "caramel" on the popcorn. At the hard-crack stage, it becomes crispy when completely cooled. When you bite off a piece from the ball it is like caramel corn. As the mixture was cooling, I added some red hots to give it - Read more ...
  10. Kids of ALL AGES love these popcorn balls. Don't be thrown by the 1/2 cup of popcorn that is the measurement for unpopped corn. Makes just the right amount!

Add review

We use cookies and similar methods to recognize visitors and remember their preferences. We also use them to measure ad campaign effectiveness, target ads and analyze site traffic. Learn more