Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

"I made these with my grandmother for years. They are soft and delicious- and NOT made with marshmallow fluff! If using bag popcorn- make sure it is not buttered and use 2-3 bags."
photo by cokiethebaby photo by cokiethebaby
photo by cokiethebaby
Ready In:
1hr 10mins
20 balls




  • Heat popcorn in oven at 300 degrees.
  • Stir and cook sugar, karo, water, butter and salt until sugar is dissolved.
  • Continue cooking WITHOUT stirring until mixture reaches 270 degrees on candy thermometer, (can use a kitchen thermometer) or until syrup forms a soft ball in cold water.
  • Add vanilla and pour slowly over popcorn.
  • Mix well.
  • Dip hands in water and form balls.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and enjoy!

Questions & Replies

  1. Hi, it says 2-3 cups of popcorn, is that unpopped because I saw another recipe that called for 18 cups of popped popcorn and says it makes 20 balls also? Thanks.


  1. Glad to have found this recipe, it tastes just like the ones my grandma and the neighbors made for Halloween! (My camera flash didnt work so it looks yellow in the picture with the red striped plate). This will go in my recipe box for sure and will save it here too for backup! Thanks for sharing :)


I am a fifth grade teacher completely dedicated to my job. I spend most of my time correcting papers, working on lesson plans, and bettering myself as an educator. I love to share my joy of cooking and baking with my class through the use of recipe integration with math. I also bring a lot of treats to my kids. :) I am also a newly-wed just finding my feet as a cook for more than one. My husband and I love to fish and hunt, and also to eat what we catch. We always have a freezer full of venison, elk, and various fish. I replace most of the beef in recipes with ground venison. Many of my cooking skills come from my mother, who managed an upscale restaurant for a number of years. She also learned from her grandmothers, who were well know n for being fantastic chefs. My favorite recipe book is her collection in an accordion file that she has gathered since childhood. As you can tell, I LOVE Spongebob. It is the best way to wind down from a long day- you don't have to think! :) I am an avid reader, and must always have a book with me. As a teacher, most books I read are fifth grade level, although I do get to enjoy an adult book every now and then. My husband is an avid Chicago Cubs and Green Bay Packer fan, so we watch a lot of sports. I love to be outside gardening, camping, taking walks, or just playing. We LOVE to grill, and my favorite is brats boiled in beer!! <img src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/adoptedspring08.jpg"> <img src="http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee177/pelysma/ssb08banner_300.jpg"> <img src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/IWasAdoptedfall08.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg271/MrsTeny/Permanent%20Collection/PACSpring09Iwasadopted.jpg">
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