Fruity Candy Popcorn

AKA: Jello Popcorn. Ironically, the first time I was introduced to candied popcorn made with Jello, was in Brazil. As you might guess, it’s not a traditional local food there! I can’t even remember why we made it, maybe we were just craving something sweet and fun but my friend Kim suggested we make this because we happened to have all of the ingredients in our very bare cupboard. I had never heard of such a thing, and I thought it was the strangest idea ever! We mixed up sugar and butter and jello mix and in just a few minutes we had a rainbow of fruity smelling mixtures ready to be poured over fresh popped popcorn. It was delicious! We shared some with the locals and quickly the word spread that the American girls made crazy popcorn treats with Jello! That next week we were asked to make several hundred popcorn balls for a big church event and they were quite a hit.

It seems like I post some sort of popcorn concoction on every theme week we do so I thought this was appropriate! I love things like this because they’re so quick and easy and when you’re done you have a lot to share. You can experiment with different colors and flavors and see what you like. I have to say that strawberry is my family’s favorite, and it’s one of the most vibrant so it’s always a safe one to go with. Sometimes the lighter colors get little dark specks in them, but they still taste great! You could make an entire rainbow and layer it in a glass bowl for great party food, or this packs up perfectly for giveaway treats. This is definitely a kid-tested (and approved!) recipe.

Fruity Candy Popcorn {AKA Jello Popcorn}

8 cups popped popcorn
1/4 C butter (that’s half a stick)
3 T light corn syrup (honey is a good substitute)
1/2 C sugar
1 3.5oz box jello, any flavor (not the sugar free kind)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a jelly roll pan with foil or parchment. If using foil, spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside. Place popcorn in an extra large mixing bowl.

Place butter and syrup in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir until butter is melted. Add sugar and Jello and stir to combine.

Increase heat and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat so it just simmers. Continue simmering for 5 minutes. You’ll start off with a mixture that’s sometimes thick (depending on the flavor, see note at end) and as it cooks the sugar will dissolve and it will become a little more liquid-ish.

After the sugar mixture simmers for 5 minutes, immediately pour over popcorn in bowl. Be careful, it’s super hot!! Mix right away and keep stirring so everything gets well coated. Spread mixture onto prepared pan and spread out evenly.

Pop in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. I’ve noticed that some flavors of jello have more mix than others (kind of like my discovery about different brands/flavors of cake mix noted in this post). For example, the strawberry is usually much thicker than the lime. If you notice this, you might want to bake the mixture for a few minutes longer to make sure it gets cooked all the way.

Remove the pan from the oven and let cool to room temp. Then break into pieces and enjoy! You can certainly eat this un-baked as well and it’s just soft and gooey, but definitely bake it if you’re going to pack it up for giving, or serve it as party food so it will be light and crunchy.


My favorite containers for goodies like this come from the dollar section at Target. Check out the supply at your store next time you’re there- they always have cute ones!

And if you’re in the mood for Popcorn Treats, you must check out my all time Christmas favorite: Peppermint Bark Popcorn. It’s a reader favorite too! So is this Cinnamon Bun Popcorn.


  1. So what happens if you use sugar free jello? Thats all I have on hand and I wanted to try making this. But I'll definitely be putting regular jello mix on my grocery list.

  2. I have to tell you, you ladies are AMAZING! I have so enjoyed so many of your recipes – even my old picky eater is enjoying some of them. I'm talking about my husband, all the kids are grown and eat everything! :)Anyway, I would love that blender! It really looks incredible.

  3. I'm not really a fan of candy-coated popcorn (popcorn balls, etc) but I'm sure my kids would go ga-ga over this stuff!

  4. I remember making all of those popcorn balls! It was fun that's for sure 🙂 Those popcorn balls were a tradition in my family. We would make red and green ones and leave them in a popcorn bucket by the front door. When anyone would come visit they could have a popcorn ball! I'll have to try baking it!

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