Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls Recipe 

My Mom has made these every year as long as I can remember.
In the 1960’s, the recipe used to be on the back of the can of  JOLLY TIME® Popcorn.

The cans looked like the one in this picture.

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls


When they changed the packaging she was upset with herself for not saving the recipe. So on a trip to Sioux City, IA where my step-dad was born and raised. they went to
the JOLLY TIME® and asked for the recipe. These days the Internet saves us those worries. This summer while they were on a vacation, they made a special trip to JOLLY TIME®
and took the tour again. She bought a whole case of cans, the front looks like the original can, but no longer has the recipe on the back.

My mom makes these Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls to share with everyone! She ends up making them, I don’t even know how many times during the Christmas season.
So you can imagine how many batches she has made over the years.

Last week she went to my daughter’s home for a visit. ALL of her grandchildren call her Nana. They were all excited to make popcorn balls with Nana.
Here are some picture’s of her and her great grandchildren.

(Aren’t they adorable!)


Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls
Recipe type: Snacks
Serves: 12 Popcorn Balls
  • 12 cups popped JOLLY TIME® Pop Corn
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup light or dark corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Keep popped popcorn warm in 200 F oven while preparing syrup. In 2-quart saucepan, stir together sugar, corn syrup, water, butter and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking without stirring until temperature reaches 270 F on a candy thermometer or until a small amount of syrup dropped into very cold water separates into threads, which are hard but not brittle. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and several drops of food coloring; stir just enough to mix through hot syrup. Slowly pour over popcorn, stirring to coat every kernel. Cool just enough to handle. Shape into balls with buttered hands. Cool on foil or buttered wax paper.
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap; tie with a ribbon.



Making Popcorn Balls

 Yield: 12 medium popcorn balls

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Do not try to double the recipe.  Just make one batch at a time and make them different colors. Most of all have fun and enjoy these special memories with your loved ones.


Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Wrap them in plastic wrap and tie curling ribbon around the end to package them for a gift basket and just to keep them fresh and chewy.

These Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls are a treat your whole family will love! Not only in the making but in the eating.

Make it a family tradition, like our family has, and enjoy the memories.

You can also keep in touch with me at any of the following social media sites.





Coming in January, State Trivia and Link Party.

Here are some other Holiday Recipes to try:

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Million Dollar Fudge


  1. says

    ADORE popcorn balls! :) What a sweet family. Precious memories!

    I just found your blog through the Adorned From Above linkup – excited to follow via GFC and read more!




  2. says

    This was my childhood memory too! I made them for the first time ever this year. YUM. Thanks for the great post. Come and visit us this week. We are having a terrific giveway from a very talented Southern writer.

  3. says

    Hi Wanda Ann,
    What a fun project with your family, I just love Popcorn Balls and the Fudge looks awesome! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Marsha says

    I lost my original recipe due to a natural disaster. I may be approx. your mother’s age. My older sisters and I made these all the time when I was young, and I continued to make them for my children and grandchildren. Ours was written on a recipe card and called Jolly Time’s but I know it started with 4 quarts of popped corn. I remember always filling my 4 quart saucepan as the measure. And the syrup was cooked to a higher temp….resulting in a delicious brittle candy coating, not chewy at all.

    I wish I could find that recipe. I may just alter yours.

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