Sweet & Sticky Popcorn Balls, Two Ways

The perfect treat for a Halloween party, these popcorn balls look extra fancy but are actually a cinch to put together. Kids can even lend a hand in mixing the ingredients or making them into balls.

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24 balls (12 of each flavor)
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
25 min


  • 1 tbsp organic unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing bowls and hands
  • 7 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cherry flavor

  • 1/3 cup chopped unsweetened dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw unsalted walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 oz 70% cocoa dark chocolate, melted

Apricot flavor

  • 1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried apricot
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted raw almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted shelled pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas)


  1. Grease 2 heat-proof bowls with butter. Divide popcorn evenly between bowls. To first bowl, add cherries, walnuts, cinnamon and cayenne. To second bowl, add apricot, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Stir each bowl to combine. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine Sucanat and 1/4 cup water. Heat on medium and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (235°F) on a candy thermometer, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add 1 tbsp butter and vanilla; mixture will sputter. Stir gently. (Tip: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop a small amount of syrup into cold water. It will form little balls that are soft to the touch once cooled, about 20 seconds. If it doesn’t form a ball and dissipates, it has not yet reached the correct temperature. If it forms harder balls or shards, you’ve gone too far.)
  3. Drizzle Sucanat mixture over bowls of popcorn, stirring to coat. With buttered hands and working with 1 flavor at a time, form 12 golf ball–sized popcorn balls of each flavor around sticks. Transfer to prepared sheet; drizzle chocolate over cherry balls.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories 332
  • Carbohydrate Content 57 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 4 g
  • Fiber Content 19 g
  • Protein Content 18 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 1 g
  • Sodium Content 504 mg
  • Sugar Content 11 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g