Jack-o'-Lantern Popcorn Balls Recipe
Jack-o'-Lantern Popcorn Balls Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Jack-o'-Lantern Popcorn Balls Recipe

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Kids will have a ball with this Halloween favorite from trick-or-treats past. The cute candy faces add whimsy to the crispy, crunchy snack. -Melissa Hayes, Hundred, West Virginia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 4 quarts popped popcorn
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Yellow and red food coloring
  • 2 to 3 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla frosting
  • 8 candy spearmint leaves

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 477 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 422mg sodium, 87g carbohydrate (66g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein.


  1. Place popcorn in a roasting pan; keep warm in a 200° oven.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 250° (hard-ball stage).
  3. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla and food coloring (about 1 teaspoon yellow and 9 drops red) until blended. Immediately pour over popcorn and stir until coated. When mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3-1/2-in. balls, dipping hands in cold water to prevent sticking.
  4. Cut triangles and rectangles from candy bars for pumpkin eyes, noses and mouths. In a small bowl, combine the frosting with 5 drops of yellow and 3 drops of red food coloring; attach facial features with frosting. Attach a spearmint leaf to the top of each. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Jack-o'-Lantern Popcorn Balls in Taste of Home October/November 2009, p78

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tape01 User ID: 6252293 118423
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2011

"it was a great recipe and with the kids, it was a HIT! they loved them and couldnt get enough!"

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