Christmas Popcorn Balls

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4.75 from 64 votes
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Christmas popcorn balls made with marshmallows, popcorn, butter, M&Ms, and sprinkles make a fun and festive no-bake holiday treat.

For more no-bake Christmas treats give our peanut butter balls with rice krispies, reindeer bark, chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies, and Christmas tree rice crispy treats a try.

Christmas popcorn balls with marshmallows and red and green M&Ms and sprinkles on wooden serving platter

While many popcorn balls recipes call for corn syrup, these marshmallow popcorn balls are made without corn syrup. The marshmallows are what hold them together.

Christmas Popcorn Balls with M&Ms and sprinkles in paper gifting containers

Popcorn balls with marshmallows are fun to make with the kids, great for gifting, and a fun treat for holiday bake sales as well.

Place the balls in a cellophane baggie and tie them with a ribbon or twine for a festive and easy gift or bake-sale-ready goodie. Or add several to a goodie box for a gift for neighbors, friends, or co-workers.

Christmas popcorn balls with marshmallows and red and green M&Ms and sprinkles on wooden serving platter

Whether you enjoy them yourselves or make them for others, you are going to love this easy Christmas popcorn ball recipe!

Ingredients

All that you need are a few simple ingredients for this easy Christmas recipe.

bowl of unpopped popcorn kernels, bowl of mini marshmallows, bowl of red and green chocolate candies, stick of butter, bowl of sptinkles
  • Unpopped popcorn kernels– any kind of popcorn kernels will work here. I prefer to use unpopped kernels since pre-popped popcorn often has salt or other seasonings on it which can make the popcorn balls taste off. If you can find unsalted and unseasoned popped popcorn feel free to substitute. ½ cup kernels is equal to about 15 cups of popped popcorn. 
  • Unsalted butter
  • Miniature marshmallows– you can also use an equal amount of regular sized marshmallows
  • M&M candies– any kind of candy coated chocolate candies will work. I used red and green to stick with the Christmas theme but any color is fine to use. 
  • Festive sprinkles– note that the amount of sprinkles in the recipe will vary by the type of sprinkles you use. ⅓ cup of larger sprinkles will result in less sprinkles than ⅓ cup of very small sprinkles. Feel free to use your judgment as far as the type of sprinkles you use and how many sprinkles you prefer to be in your Christmas popcorn balls.  

Helpful Kitchen Supplies

How to Make Popcorn Balls

Step 1: Pop your popcorn kernels using your preferred method. Separate any unpopped kernels and set aside the popped popcorn. 

popped popcorn in large glass bowl

Step 2: In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is completely melted, add in the miniature marshmallows. Heat the marshmallows, stirring often, until melted and smooth.

Melted butter and mini marshmallows in large pot

Step 3: Remove the marshmallows from the heat and pour it over the popped popcorn. Gently stir to coat.

popcorn mixed with melted butter and marshmallows

Step 4: Once all of the popcorn is well-coated and the mixture has cooled a bit use a rubber spatula to fold in the M&M candies and the sprinkles. 

Christmas M&M candies and sprinkles added to sticky popcorn mixture

Step 5: Spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray. Keep the spray handy so you can spray again as needed while forming your balls. Using your hands, scoop about one cup of the popcorn mixture and form into balls by gently pressing the mixture together. Allow the popcorn balls to sit at room temperature until completely cooled and set. 

Popcorn balls with m&ms and sprinkles

You can visit my Christmas Popcorn Ball Story for the step-by-step recipe as well.

Storage

Keep these Christmas Popcorn Balls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

Expert Tips

  • It is much easier to form the popcorn balls with marshmallows if you grease up your hands first. Either use a small amount of cooking oil or spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray before forming into balls. You may need to re-apply once or twice as you go along to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. 
  • The warmth of the marshmallow mixture and the heat from your hands while forming the balls can make the M&M’s melt a bit. If you want to completely avoid this or are struggling with melting candies you can press a few onto the outside immediately after forming them into balls. 
  • I find it much easier to mix the popcorn and marshmallow mixture in a bowl rather than in the pot you melted the marshmallows in. The pot will hold heat for quite awhile after cooking and that heat tends to melt the M&M candies as you mix them in. 
  • How many Christmas popcorn balls you end up with will vary depending on the size you make them.  If you make each ball with 1 cup of the popcorn mixture you should get about 16 balls. I made mine a little larger and was able to get 13 popcorn balls that were about 3 inches in size.
Close up of a popcorn ball with holiday sprinkles and M&Ms

Recipe FAQ

Why won’t my popcorn balls stick together?

Make sure you are giving the mixture enough time to cool before trying to form into balls. If the marshmallow mixture is too warm it won’t stick together and your popcorn balls will “melt.” On the other hand, don’t wait until the mixture is completely cool either as it won’t be as sticky and easy to form into ball shapes. 

Can I store these popcorn balls in the refrigerator? 

You can if you prefer to keep them a bit longer but take note that they will become harder as they cool. Keeping them at room temperature keeps them soft and chewy. 

Can I freeze these?

Yes. Allow the popcorn balls to cool and set completely then wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap. Add them to a freezer-safe container and keep in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Thaw at room temperature before removing the plastic wrap and enjoy! 

Christmas Popcorn Balls with M&Ms on round serving platter

More Fun & Festive Christmas Treats

Want more Christmas ideas? Check out all of our easy Christmas recipes!

Recipe
3 round Christmas Popcorn Balls with M&Ms and sprinkles in paper container for gifting with more popcorn balls in background
Recipe
4.75 from 64 votes

Christmas Popcorn Balls

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Christmas popcorn balls made with marshmallows, popcorn, butter, M&Ms, and sprinkles make a fun and festive no-bake holiday treat.

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 10 ounce bag miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup red and green M&M candies
  • cup festive sprinkles

Instructions

  • Pop your popcorn kernels using your preferred method. Separate any unpopped kernels and set aside the popped popcorn. 
  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is completely melted, add in the miniature marshmallows. Heat the marshmallows, stirring often, until melted and smooth.
  • Remove the marshmallows from the heat and pour it over the popped popcorn. Gently stir to coat.
  • Once all of the popcorn is well-coated and the mixture has cooled a bit use a rubber spatula to fold in the M&M candies and the sprinkles. 
  • Spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray. Keep the spray handy so you can spray again as needed while forming your balls. Using your hands, scoop about one cup of the popcorn mixture and form into balls by gently pressing the mixture together.
  • Allow the popcorn balls to sit at room temperature until completely cooled and set. 

Notes

  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 
  • The warmth of the marshmallow mixture and the heat from your hands while forming the balls can make the M&M’s melt a bit. If you want to completely avoid this or are struggling with melting candies you can press a few onto the outside of the popcorn balls immediately after forming them into balls. 
  • How many popcorn balls the recipe makes will vary depending on the size you make them. If you make each ball with 1 cup of the popcorn mixture you should get about 16 balls. I made mine a little larger and was able to get 13 popcorn balls that were about 3 inches in size.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 147kcal
3 round Christmas Popcorn Balls with M&Ms and sprinkles in paper container for gifting with more popcorn balls in background

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Easy Christmas Popcorn Balls

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13 Comments

      1. My mother wraps the popcorn ball around a tootsie roll pop so there is a handle to hold while you eat it. Plus you get a bonus in the middle!

  1. Hi Jacqueline I just made the popcorn balls can I wrap them with saran and put them in the freezer? says:

    Hi Jacqueline I just made the popcorn balls can I wrap them with saran and put them in the freezer?

  2. This is a really fun recipe! Exactly what I was looking for 🙂 I only needed 2/3 cup of M&Ms or so. 1 cup left me with a lot at the bottom of the bowl that wouldn’t latch on!

    1. I had to google rice bubbles since I didn’t know what they were… turns out they are the same as Rice Krispies! I haven’t tried to use them in this recipe though so I can’t say for sure. Sorry!

  3. We just made these for a birthday party! They were quick, easy, and a hit at the party!!!!!

  4. 5 stars
    I am new to this cooking site, and so far I love the recipes and user comments. Thank you so much for sharing these easy-to-do, and easy-to-eat items!

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