Old-fashioned popcorn balls recipes (1950s)

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Popcorn balls - Vintage recipes

Popcorn balls - Vintage recipes

Old-fashioned popcorn ball recipe (1950)

Old-fashioned popcorn ball recipe (1950)

Yield: 15 popcorn balls


  • 1 cup Karo Syrup, Blue Label or Green Label
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 quarts unsalted popcorn


  1. Combine first four ingredients in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils.
  2. Continue cooking, stirring almost constantly to hard ball stage (260 F) or until a small amount of mixture forms a hard ball when tested in very cold water.
  3. Remove from heat; quickly add butter and blend.
  4. Slowly pour over popcorn in large bowl, while mixing well.
  5. Form into balls, using as little pressure as possible. Butter hands, if desired.

Makes 15 balls about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.


For pastel popcorn balls: Follow above recipe, using Red Label Karo instead of Blue or Green Label, and substitute granulated sugar for brown. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla with butter. Tint syrup desired shade with vegetable food coloring.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 140 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 4mg Sodium: 61mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 21g Protein: 0g
Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.
Old-fashioned popcorn balls recipe (1950)

All these tempting treats made with Karo

It’s so easy for you to make better homemade candies with Karo Syrup! Many cook books specify it, because Karo insures smooth, velvety texture… wonderful flavor. Use Karo Syrup for making creamy fudge, luscious fruit squares, candied popcorn balls, and many other candy treats.

Remember, Karo is rich in dextrose… food-energy sugar. All three kinds of Karo Syrup make dandy candy: Blue Label Karo (Dark)… rich, zesty, satisfying! Red Label Karo is crystal clear (Light)… mild, delicate! Green Label Karo (Maple-y)… with tangy flavor!

Vintage popcorn balls & other popcorn Christmas decorations to make (1968)

Old-fashioned popcorn balls rate tops for entertaining

Popcorn balls please the fancy of children and grownups alike. They’re tops for casual evening entertaining or for the children’s daytime parties. Popcorn balls are also popular snack-time fare because they’re so easy to make and serve. Just pour a syrup mixture over freshly popped corn, cool a little and shape into balls. Plan on about 20 to 24 balls from four quarts of popped popcorn.

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For variation, try several different syrups so guests can choose their favorite flavors. Wrap the balls in colored cellophane for a festive effect.

Old-fashioned peanut brittle popcorn balls (1953)


1/2 stick (1/4 cup) margarine
1/2 pound peanut brittle
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
4 quarts popped corn


Place peanut brittle and water in a saucepan or small skillet. Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Uncover and add corn syrup. Cook and stir until all the brittle is dissolved. Cook over low heat to 265 degrees F, or until a small amount of the syrup dropped into cold water forms a hard ball. Pour over freshly popped corn. Cool a little. Shape into balls.

Variations for more delicious old-fashioned popcorn balls

Recipes for Molasses popcorn balls – Caramel sugared popcorn – Confetti popcorn – Popcorn squares

Old-fashioned molasses popcorn balls

Ingredients: 2/3 cup molasses, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 3 quarts unsalted popcorn.

Follow the same method as for regular popcorn balls.

Caramel sugared popcorn

Ingredients: two tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 quart unsalted popcorn.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar slowly into a hot saucepan, stirring constantly, heat until melted and lightly brown. Add evaporated milk, corn syrup and 1 cup sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook slowly to 238 degrees or until it forms soft balls in cold water. Stir occasionally.

Pour immediately over unsalted popcorn and stir until all kernels are covered. Let stand until cool.

The original Rice Krispies Treats recipe & their delicious history

Confetti popcorn

Ingredients: two cups sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup water, food coloring, 1 teaspoon flavoring, 2 quarts unsalted popcorn.

Combine sugar, butter and water. Place over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring to 330 degrees; add coloring and flavoring. Make balls. You may repeat this with as many colors as you wish.

MORE  Make a delicious, chocolate Ghosts in the Graveyard Halloween dessert with pudding & cookies (1997)

ALSO SEE: Coffee popcorn balls (1967) and 7 ways to make popcorn balls (1956)

Popcorn squares recipe

A recipe for popcorn balls can be used to make tasty squares. After the kernels have been thoroughly covered with the boiled syrup mixture, pack in a greased dripping pan and cut in squares.

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