Game Day Colored Candy Popcorn {Beast Mode!}

Beastmode Popcorn IntroSo we’re going to get all sporty today on Our Best Bites.  Most of you know that although my home is now in Idaho, I’m a Seattle girl, born and raised.  And if there’s one thing Seattleites are (besides umbrella-free, tree hugging coffee addicts) it’s loyal sports fans.  I spent many days of my childhood walking the ramps at the Kingdome before it was blown to pieces (no seriously, it was literally blown to pieces– one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen), so naturally I’m ecstatic to see my hometown boys in the big game.  Denver fans- don’t tune out just yet.  I have you covered too, keep reading!  Before we before we get to the good stuff, I have something that will make you laugh out loud.  Really.  I dare you to keep it in.  If you’re at work, go get all of your co-workers and have them gather ’round your computer.  Tell them I said their boss said it was okay.  And hold some documents in your hands so you look busy and productive in case anyone suddenly interrupts your movie break.

Oh my gosh I love those so much.  Okay, back to food.  We’ve done lots of team-colored treats in the past and today I realized something.  Every major team I care about (and heck, even my kids’ school) has at least one of their colors as blue.  And blue is a little tricky when it comes to food.  One of my go-to color themed treats is our Fruity Candy Popcorn, but the one color/flavor combo that doesn’t really work is, you guessed it- blue.  It turns green when you bake it and gets all weird.  So I thought I’d show you another way to make basically the same thing, but with another product (that you might even have sitting in your pantry right now.)  This recipe has been floating around the universe for as long as I can remember, and it’s a good, easy way to make a sweet, crunchy popcorn with fruity flavors in any of your favorite team’s colors.

Start with some fluffy white popcorn.  You can use air popped or microwave popcorn, but I always advise using a natural or light variety if using microwave.  The heavily buttered varieties are so bright yellow that it often affects the color of your finished product here.  Lightly salted, however, is just fine.  Heaven knows we’re dumping enough sugar on here, so a little extra salt won’t do anything but help balance.  I like to use air popped just because it’s so clean and white and there aren’t any competing flavors.

Popped Popcorn

In a pot on the stove, combine some butter, sugar, and corn syrup.

Butter and Sugar in Pot

Stir it until it melts, and then comes to a simmer.  You’ll boil this mixture for 3 minutes, stirring it constantly.

Butter and Sugar

Then you’ll add a packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid, any flavor you want.  A little trick is to look at the photo of the glass Mr. Kool-Aid is holding (does that dude have a name?) and that’s the color of the mix.  Sometimes you get colors and flavors that are confusing by the packaging, so make sure you check that.


The Kool-Aid adds fruity flavor and a light color.

Kool Aid in Pot

If you want your color more intense, you can add a little food coloring.

Light Blue Candy Coating

I love these AmeriColor gel colors.  I buy them from Orson Gygi and I love that they are little squeeze bottles (as opposed to those little pots that you have to scoop out with a tooth pick and inevitably get all over your hands, the counter, etc.)

Food Coloring

As an avid fan of 3 teams that sport navy blue as one of their colors, I’ve found it’s nearly impossible to achieve that shade, so I’m okay with a bright royal, or anything close.

Mix it up and immediately pour it over your popcorn.

Blue Caramel

Spread the popcorn out onto a lined baking sheet.

Blue Popcorn

And bake in a low 225 degree oven for 40  minutes, stirring after each 10 minutes.  I made a batch of blue and a batch of green. Obviously.

Green Popcorn

Now, if you’re a Seattle fan and want to go all Beast Mode on your popcorn, you know you also need some of these.


See there’s this “thing.”  Seattle fans and their Skittles.  It’s all because of star running back Marshawn Lynch (nick name: Beast Mode), and I love this back story.  With all of the famous people, including professional athletes, who get media coverage for ingesting things like drugs and too much alcohol, this guy caught national news media attention because he constantly munches on, yes, Skittles.


When asked what the deal was, he told reporters they’d have to ask his Momma.  And what did his Momma say?

“When Marshawn was 12 or 13, we’d go to his games and I’d always have little candies in my purse,” Lynch’s mama explained. “Before the game, I would say, ‘Here Marshawn, come and get you power pellets.’

“I would give him a handful of Skittles and say, ‘Eat ’em up, baby. They’re going to make you run fast and they’re going to make you play good.”

You guys.  Power Pellets.  This made me laugh so hard.  It totally sounds like something I’d say to my kids (says the woman who once treated a sore arm with a tic-tac magical orange super-healing pill) The tradition continued through high school and then onto his college football career, where they’d buy Skittles by the case.  I love that a silly tradition from a sweet mother still lives on even now, as he’s made it all the way to a respected professional athlete.  She must smile as she sees this Skittles thing take off.

It honor of Marshawn Lynch and the Super Bowl, Skittles even released a “Seattle Mix” (I so wish I could get my hands on those!) and is also donating some proceeds to charity. nfl_e_skittles11_600x400Since I couldn’t get my hands on any of those, I just bought a variety of other Skittles and picked out greens and blues (you certainly don’t have to pick them out, you can just toss regular multi-colored Skittles in there).

While we’re on this topic- can we just discuss tracking down the individual in charge of replacing lime with green apple in the standard Skittles bag?  And how they should be tied to a pole somewhere for a public shaming?

Green and Blue Skittles

I found that the Skittles stuck to the popcorn if I pushed them into clumps of hot popcorn the moment it came out of the oven.  It’s a little tricky to make them stick, but hey, it’s more about the symbolism anyway 😉

Blue and Green Popcorn for the Seahawks

This stuff is so buttery, sweet, and crunchy, and it makes a ton (especially if you make 2 colors).  It’s also great to make a day ahead,

Superbowl Pop from Our Best Bites

So whip up a batch and have it all ready for munching during the game.

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Seahawks Superbowl Popcorn from Our Best Bites

And Denver fans- You know I wouldn’t forget you!

Broncos Superbowl Popcorn from Our Best Bites

Facebook Battle

Now, let’s do something fun today; a Facebook showdown.  I’ve shared both of those photos on our Facebook page.  I’m curious to see who has more fans.  Share your team’s photo to root for either the Seahawks or the Broncos.  You can see and share Seattle’s photo here, and Denver’s photo here. Let’s see if OBB can predict the winner! (10am update- Seattle has a sizable lead!)



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Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Mine went weird after putting in oven. It became frothy and blackish/green. Before hand it looked pretty like yours and was a gorgeous purple color.

    1. Some colors of Jello do weird things in the oven! I’ve had that happen to me with certain colors as well. Super weird!

  2. I love this recipe. I made it last year for a Super Bowl party and is an instant hit! We love us some Seahawks and a repeat was the icing on the cake. This was specifically a request from out Super Bowl host! Thanks for sharing

  3. I recently made the and I feel that you should know that if you don’t immediately pour the sugar mix over the popcorn its is very difficult to mix. Also because that its males it hard to spilt the sugar mix to have two colors of popcorn

  4. Hi, i have a niece who is dairy free, can you substitute margarine or even canola oil for the butter? was thinking of making this for the fourth to put in your cute little paper plate holders 🙂

  5. I just tried this recipe and it is delicious! Thank you 🙂
    I did make a little mistake by baking the popcorn at 225 degrees celcius (and I presume you meant fahrenheit), so my pink popcorn looks like caramel popcorn, but it is so good!

  6. The recipe shows that you need baking soda, however in the instructions I do not see where it is used. Please clarify. Thank you!

  7. If you want true navy blue, you’ll have to use the food colouring that cake decorators use for icing and fondant, like Wilton. Thanks so much for your post!

  8. I’m still crackin’ up over that Marshawn Lynch Skittle cover story & I love your post. Easy to do & fun. Thx!

  9. I think of all the over 1,000 sites I follow yours is by Far THE TOP SITE! Kudos to you gals on a job well done. You have incorporated all the ingredients I want on my own website. Varied content, personalization, minimalist look without leaving out key factors, great articles and recipes, and wonderful writing are the key to engage readers and keep them sharing and coming back! Congratulations on hitting the nail on the head!


  10. We did this last night and started smelling the burning at only six minutes into the baking! What did we do wrong? If we halved the batch, do you think that’s what could have done it? (Sorry if this is a duplicate comment. I’m not sure if my original was posted. Feel free to delete if so!)

    1. Sounds like your oven was too high (and if it was on the right temp, perhaps it needs to be calibrated?) 225 degrees is very, very low and I don’t think it could cause anything to burn!

  11. Did you use 12 cups of popcorn for both colors of candy or did you use more popcorn than that?

    1. The recipe as written is for one packet of drink mix, which uses 12 cups of popcorn.

  12. I’m TOTALLY making this! I was just looking through recipes last night as I wasnted ot make blue and green popcorn for Sunday. Oh, and I will forsure be adding the skittles. Thanks Sara. And thanks for being another Seattle lifey. Good times in a great city! Go Hawks!

  13. Ha ha ha! “Recipe from: The universe”. You crack me up. Football is not so popular here in PR, we are more into fútbol (you know, the REAL football…you lived in Brazil, so you know what UI mean, wink, wink!) I will be rooting for Seattle on your behalf, cause I love ya! Good luck!

  14. It’s been so long since I had Skittles I had no idea about the green apple! That will totally screw up the trifecta. Being in Portland (I know, totally not Seattle but close!), I’d be happy to send you some Hawks Skittles if I can find them…

  15. This post is hilarious! My husband and I have been watching the bad lip reading things lately…can’t get enough of them! The sports ones are the funniest because they don’t try to follow a story line like most of the movie ones do, though that Game of Thrones one is totally funny. Anyway, this popcorn looks totally fun, I’m going to make your Valentine’s, and St. Patrick’s day recipes but I think we will have to have some of this on Sunday. I must be the odd man out on the green skittle thing. I was super happy when they switched, never been a fan of lime flavored anything except for actual limes but green apple (even though it doesn’t really taste like apple…Love! Love you ladies, you make meal time around here awesome!

  16. Oh I can’t wait to make this popcorn! Nothing says football like flavored and colored popcorn! I’m with you on the skittles switch. My son says we need to start a petition “Resurrect the LIME!!” I have a jumbo bag of the original: it’s under lock and key. It’s for emergency use only.

    1. Oh my gosh- hold on to that and then sell it on ebay to pay for your kid’s college education, haha.

  17. Awesome! Two weeks ago I made the copycat recipe for Screaming Yellow Zonkers and then drizzled on navy blue and lime green candy melts I bought at a cake supply shop. I’ll try this now. Thank you and Go Hawks!

  18. There totally should have been some sort of Public Service Announcement about the green switch.


  19. Best post ever. I am still laughing from the video and am now addicted (Game of Thrones is even better) Also love the popcorn and skittles combo in honor of the Seahawks and well, any team you can conceive.

  20. Thank you for bringing up the very important (and tragic) issue that is the changing of the skittle flavors. It’s not right for a few reasons…#1, green apple flavor tastes nothing like actual apples, where lime is pretty much as close as you can get to tasting like an actual lime. #2, the green apple messes with the ability to eat your skittles as a citrus trifecta (lime, lemon, orange) and a berry duo (grape, cherry)…green apple fits nowhere there, it’s a lone wolf. #3, when they don’t WARN you, you have no idea what’s coming and you spit green skittle all over because that ain’t lime! Whew…caught me on a bad day I guess.

    Fun recipe, BTW…even though I have no team loyalty on this one 🙂

    1. The green apple isn’t so bad in and of itself but it completely screws up the taste of a handful of skittles and that it just makes me sad. I guess I’ll just have to keep eating them to see if I can get used to it…