Old Time Popcorn Balls

Old Time Popcorn Balls

50 Reviews 1 Pic

“A favorite treat, very popular with my family, hope it's just as popular with yours.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 15 - 20 tennis ball sized balls



  1. Butter the sides of a large saucepan. In the sauce pan combine the sugar, water, salt, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook over medium heat to the hard ball stage 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Stir in the vanilla and slowly pour the hot mixture over the popped popcorn, stirring just to mix well.
  2. Butter hands lightly and shape into balls. Mixture will be hot so be careful. Place balls on waxed paper to cool.

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Reviews (50)

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helpful hint: when making mixture get a glass of cold water, drip mixture in and listen to it, if it crackles, its ready, just do this often you don't want your candy to burn! it works and they come out great. we love them



All of the one star/negative reviews are obviously from people who are not willing to invest the necessary time to make this recipe. To say "it never did reach hard ball stage" is a ridiculous statement. As with any taffy-type candy, it takes a while, but of course it will eventually reach that stage. I made the popcorn balls this afternoon and they turned out great. The only thing I may do differently next time is to take the candy to crack stage so it is a bit more brittle (personal preference). Thanks for this good old fashioned recipe, Lynne.

Scott I

Scott I

I loved this recipe, it tasted just like my grandmother's popcorn balls. I think those who tried this recipe and did not wait long enough for the sugar mixture to turn to hardball stage, just did not wait long enough. It did take quite some time to get to that point over a medium/low fire but it did reach the hardball stage. The end result was WONDERFUL and the mixture did not "sugar" after it had set for a few hours...they were perfect and tasted wonderful, just like Grandma's. Thank you Lynne for posting this recipe.

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Amount Per Serving (15 total)

  • Calories
  • 220 cal
  • 11%
  • Fat
  • 6.3 g
  • 10%
  • Carbs
  • 41.7 g
  • 13%
  • Protein
  • 1.1 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Sodium
  • 239 mg
  • 10%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Caramel Popcorn Balls


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Peppermint Popcorn Balls