Popcorn balls have been a staple Halloween treat for decades, and they’re a great allergy-friendly option. These Halloween popcorn balls are studded with classic candy corn and spooky colored sprinkles to create a modern version of this traditional homemade treat.
Why you’ll love these halloween popcorn balls
- Allergy friendly. These popcorn balls are super easy to make. Marshmallows, dairy free butter and popcorn are free-from most major allergens, which means that everyone can enjoy them. You can even make them vegan if you swap out the marshmallows for Dandies brand.
- Easy to make. Since we’re making them with marshmallows (rather than the more traditional corn-syrup version) they’re so easy to make. No baking. No candy thermometer. You can have these ready within 30 minutes.
- Kids love them. My kids go crazy for these little popcorn balls, especially when we add candy corn and sprinkles into the mix. And, when they get to help make them, they love them even more.
Here’s what you’ll need to make them
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Ingredients & substitutions
- Popcorn – You can make your own popcorn (we like to use our Whirley Pop), or buy store bought popcorn such as Skinny Pop. I like to make sure my popcorn has a little bit of salt to balance all of the sweetness in the popcorn balls, but that’s totally up to you.
- Marshmallows – We use mini marshmallows because they melt faster, but you can use any size you have at home, just make sure it’s the same total weight. If you want to make this vegan, make sure to purchase a vegan marshmallow brand, such as Dandies.
- Vegan butter – We used Earth Balance sticks for this recipe. Use whatever kind of dairy free butter you would normally use for baking or cooking.
- Candy corn – These are optional, but we love adding them for extra sweetness and the kids love them. If they don’t work for you, leave them out.
- Sprinkles – Some sprinkle blends contain whey, so make sure you double check the label on your sprinkles to make sure they are dairy free. If you are making these vegan, you will also want to avoid confectioner’s glaze.
How to make halloween popcorn balls
Make the glue. Heat the dairy free butter and marshmallows in a large saucepan, stirring them as needed, until they melt.
Mix the popcorn. Add the popcorn and candy corn to a large bowl (the biggest one you can find). When the marshmallow mixture is melted, pour it into the bowl and stir to coat the popcorn and candy corn as quickly as you can.
Shape the balls. First, spray or rub your hands with cooking oil to prevent the popcorn from sticking to you. Then roll the popcorn mixture into balls, gently pressing to remove air pockets.
Decorate the popcorn balls. Immediately add sprinkles to popcorn balls. You want to do this before the marshmallows have had time to set. I thin it helps to have two sets of hands to get this done faster, but one person can get it done. Just work quickly.
Everything you need to know about making popcorn balls with marshmallows
There are a couple different ways to make a popcorn ball. Some are made like a rice krispy treat, using marshmallows, while others are made using corn syrup to create a candy coating. Making popcorn balls using marshmallows allow the recipe to be a no bake recipe.
If your popcorn balls are not sticking together, try sticking them in the fridge after you form the ball shapes or pressing them together more tightly when assembling them.
More popcorn recipes you will love
- Nutritional yeast popcorn
- Tabasco honey butter popcorn (you will need to use a swap butter to make this dairy free)
- Honey peanut butter popcorn
More dairy free halloween recipes to try
- Vegan apple crisp
- Spooky eyed halloween brownies
- S’mores brownie cupcakes
- Sage-infused blackberry margaritas
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 6 cups mini marshmallows*
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 3/4 – 1 cup candy corn
- Halloween sprinkles, garnish
- In a large saucepan, melt dairy free butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and allow them to melt, stirring as needed.
- In a large bowl, combine popcorn, candy corn and melted marshmallow mixture. Stir until evenly coated. Roll popcorn into balls pressing gently to remove air pockets. Garnish with sprinkles immediately to ensure the sprinkles stick to the marshmallow.
- Allow the treats to cool completely before serving or packaging.
* if making this recipe vegan, make sure to purchase vegan marshmallows.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 50
- Sugar: 2.4 g
- Sodium: 31.6 mg
- Fat: 1.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 8.2 g
- Fiber: 0.9 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: halloween popcorn balls, popcorn balls with marshmallows, no bake popcorn balls, marshmallow popcorn balls, holiday popcorn balls, popcorn treats
Published: September 26, 2022. Updated: September 26, 2022.
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust.