Jack-o’-Lantern Popcorn Balls

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 30 min. + cooling


8 servings

Updated: Sep. 08, 2022
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


  • 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


  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.

Nutrition Facts

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

Recommended Video

More from Taste of Home