Sweet Marshmallow Popcorn Balls are adorable when decorated with white candy melts and eyes to look like little popcorn ghosts! This sweet Halloween treat is quick and easy to make.
Popcorn Balls are a yummy and traditional Halloween snack. While the first recipe for popcorn balls was published in 1861, they were most popular in the 1950s, back when trick-or-treaters received homemade treats more frequently than packaged candy bars.
While old-fashioned popcorn ball recipes called for cooking a syrup of molasses and sugar, we’re making the popcorn ball process even easier by using melted marshmallows instead.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Classic Halloween Treat– Kids and grown-ups have been enjoying popcorn balls at Halloween for decades! These are sure to be enjoyed by any costumed crowd.
- Easy No Bake Dessert– Marshmallow popcorn balls are made just like Rice Krispie treats – but with freshly popped corn instead of cereal. There’s no baking required.
- Adorable Party Food –It’s not a Halloween party unless there are some themed treats to pass around! These are perfect for kids’ parties, or to send to school for the occasion.
Looking for a classic Caramel Popcorn Recipe? We have the best one!
Ingredients In Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Unsalted Butter: I like to use unsalted butter when I make popcorn balls, but they will work with salted butter if that’s what you have on hand.
- Miniature Marshmallows: Just like making Rice Krispie Treats, butter and marshmallows, melted together, make the best sticky coating.
- Vanilla: For delicious flavor.
- Popcorn: Pop fresh popcorn to make popcorn balls. You can use a popcorn maker, or make it on the stove. In a pinch, microwave popcorn will also work, but use a variety that is plain.
- Candy Wafers: To make ghosts, dip the popcorn balls into melted white candy wafers.
- Eyes: Pick up some candy eyes to make these spooky treats. These are easy to find around Halloween in the seasonal baking spot.
How To Make Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
- Make Popcorn: You can make popcorn any way that you like. Personally, I like to pop it on the stove in a heavy pot with a lid. Air-popped corn also works really well.
- Melt Marshmallows: Add the marshmallows and butter to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Mix: Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn in a large bowl, or add the popcorn to the pot with the marshmallows. Stir until all of the kernels are coated.
- Shape: Butter your hands, then take handfuls of the stick popcorn mixture and form it into balls. Place the popcorn balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Hey! You made popcorn balls! You can enjoy them just like this, or keep reading to learn how to turn them into ghosts!
- Dip: Melt the candy wafers. I used a Wilton candy melting pot, but you can also melt them in the microwave. Add the candy melts to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at 50% power for one minute. Stir, and microwave again for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir again. Continue microwaving at 50% power for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each, until the candy is smooth.
- Decorate: Dip each popcorn ball into the melted candy about halfway. Immediately add two candy eyes. Return all of the popcorn balls to the cookie sheet, and place in the fridge to set for about an hour.
- Butter Your Hands. Trust me, you can not get away with skipping this step! The popcorn coated with marshmallow will be extremely sticky. Butter will help it from sticking to your hands.
- Remove Any Kernels. If there are unpopped kernels in your bowl, be sure to remove them before you pour in the coating. Nobody wants to bite down into a hard kernel that is inside of a popcorn ball!
- Make Ghosts or other Creatures. Use Green, Orange, or Purple colored candy melts to create monsters or pumpkins for Halloween instead.
- Popcorn Balls aren’t only for Halloween. Decorate them with sprinkles to match any occasion, like Christmas, birthdays, or Easter.
Store marshmallow popcorn balls in an airtight container at room temperature. They are best eaten within 3 days.
You can individually wrap these treats with cellophane too. They make great gifts that kids will love!
More Halloween Party Food
If you’re having a party for Halloween, be sure to have a mix of themed food and delicious finger foods. Bonus if the food you’re serving is both themed and delicious! Try these:
- Halloween Taco Dip
- Candy Corn Jello Cups
- Apple Cider Margaritas
- Pumpkin Spice Fudge
- Asian Chicken Meatballs
- Pigs in a Blanket
- Pizza Sliders
You may want to give the popcorn mixture a minute or two to cool down, then try again.
Rub your hands liberally with butter or cooking oil before forming popcorn balls by hand. This will keep them from sticking to you!
Sure! I separated the mixture into 10 mostly even sections, but you can make your popcorn balls smaller or larger if you prefer.
These adorable ghost marshmallow popcorn balls are going to be everyone’s favorite treat this year! Be sure to pin the recipe for later if needed – it’s best to make these the day of or the day before you want to serve them.
- ¼ cup (58g) unsalted butter half a stick of butter
- 10 ounces (280g) mini marshmallows
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8-9 cups popped popcorn, unpopped kernels removed made from ½ cup of unpopped kernels
- 5 ounces (140g) vanilla flavored candy melts or white chocolate
- 20 candy eyes
- Prepare a large cookie sheet, and line it with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat, combine butter and marshmallows. Stir until melted and smooth, remove from heat immediately and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and stir until all the popcorn is coated. The mixture will be very sticky.
- Butter your hands, then take handfuls of the coated popcorn and shape them into ghost balls. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Melt the candy wafters. Add the candy melts to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at 50% power for one minute. Stir, and microwave again for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir again. Continue microwaving at 50% power for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each, until the candy is smooth.
- Dip half of each popcorn ball in the melted candy. Immediately decorate with eye candies and allow to set in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Be sure to add butter or oil to your hands before trying to form balls from the popcorn mixture. This will keep it from sticking to your hands.
- After you pop the popcorn, be sure to remove any unpopped kernels from the bowl before adding the marshmallow mixture. You don’t want those kernels in your popcorn balls.
- Store marshmallow popcorn balls in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy within 2 days.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen