Grandpa's Popcorn Balls

Grandpa's Popcorn Balls

134 Reviews 5 Pics
  • Prep

    10 m
  • Cook

    15 m
  • Ready In

    25 m
Recipe by  3KIDS5

“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!”

New! Find ingredients on sale

  • Tap On Sale, then swipe through different local stores.

  • Look through the ingredients list for store discounts!

This feature is in beta testing. Thanks for your patience as we improve it!

Your ingredient has been saved! Go to Shopping List.


Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 10 - 3 inch round balls



  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. Pour slowly over popped popcorn while stirring. Wait 5 minutes and shape into 3 inch round balls.

Share It

Reviews (134)

Rate This Recipe


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, drizzle a small amount of syrup off of a spoon into the cold water. When it has reached hard crack stage, it will form treads in the water. When you take the threads out of the water, they will be hard and brittle. If they are still soft and pliable, or if it forms a ball instead of threads, keep cooking and checking until you get hard, brittle threads.



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 a Christmas theme look. Another tip is to put each hand into a plastic sandwich baggy's and mold the popcorn into balls with these on. That way the warm caramel wont stick to your hands. These are sweet caramel corn tasting popcorn balls. Very delicious. If you dont like them sweet, you add the vinegar to tone it down. I used my hot air popcorn popper to pop 1/2 cup kernals.



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?

More Reviews

Similar Recipes

Best Ever Popcorn Balls

Best Ever Popcorn Balls

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Caramel Popcorn Balls

Caramel Popcorn Balls

Old Time Popcorn Balls

Old Time Popcorn Balls

Popcorn Candy Balls

Popcorn Candy Balls

Rocky Road Popcorn Balls

Rocky Road Popcorn Balls


Amount Per Serving (10 total)

  • Calories
  • 458 cal
  • 23%
  • Fat
  • 18.7 g
  • 29%
  • Carbs
  • 75.1 g
  • 24%
  • Protein
  • 1.7 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 24 mg
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 317 mg
  • 13%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



previous recipe:

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls


next recipe:

Spiced Popcorn Balls