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Grandma’s Candy Popcorn Recipe + VIDEO

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 25 cups

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My Grandma’s Candy Popcorn is a must-make every Christmas! It’s fun and colorful and the kids love it πŸ™‚ Choose any colors to switch things up for game day, a birthday party or any other holiday. SO easy! Includes a step by step recipe video.


long overhead image of bowl of candy popcorn in pink green and yellow with title

This post has been updated from November 3, 2015

I’m going to be completely honest.

As soon as September rolls around, I’m waiting for Christmas.

It’s not that I want to rush the snow, or the cold, or the snowsuits and icy roads. But I think Christmas is my favorite time of year.

pink yellow and green candy popcorn in red christmas tin

I feel like such a child saying that, you know? I promise you it’s not all about the Lego waiting under the tree. It’s just that there’s nothing else we prepare for so far in advance. By the middle of November, for sure, I’ve got the Christmas tree and decorations up and am well into my Christmas shopping.

I love buying, wrapping and giving gifts.

I love a holiday that requires weeks of baking in advance (No Bake Christmas Trees or Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies anyone?).

I love the lights, the first snowflakes, and s’mores over the fire (inside!).

red christmas tin with yellow pink and green candy popcorn and sparkly christmas trees behind

This is my Grandma’s Candy Popcorn recipe, and it’s one I’m sure I’ve eaten every Christmas since childhood except the last.

Since my Grandma passed away last November, I find myself becoming more emotionally attached to family recipes.

For some people, maybe that’s strange. But for you fellow food lovers, maybe you can see the significance of cooking or baking the same things that your parents and grandparents made years — or decades — earlier. I hope to store up a good number of them here!

A simple air popper and a few other basic ingredients are all you need to make this fun treat that I promise the adults will love as much as the kiddos πŸ˜‰

This recipe is really simple, and can easily be customized. You could add flavored extracts if you wanted, change up the colors for any birthday, game day, or holiday, or mix in things like sprinkles, nuts, candies, etc. The options are endless!

overhead image of candy popcorn in bowl and all around bowl on wood background
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Grandma’s Candy Popcorn

5 from 2 votes
Candy Popcorn is an easy holiday treat that is perfect for gift giving! My Grandma’s recipe ?
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Cuisine American
Course Snack
Servings 25 cups
Calories 90cal


  • 1 1/3 cups popcorn kernels popped (about 25 cups popped popcorn)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon food coloring
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place popcorn in a large bowl (you’ll need room to stir the candy mixture in!)
  • In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring sugar, water, and butter to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir in food coloring and salt and pour over popcorn, stirring to coat (make sure you work quickly!). Spread on baking sheets lined with wax paper and let dry for 1-2 hours until no longer sticky.
  • *This popcorn lasts a long time at room temperature in an air tight container! It’ll be good for at least 1-2 weeks.


*I divided my popcorn in 3 to get 3 different colors. I divided my sugar mixture (after boiling) into 3 bowls, then stirred in Β½ teaspoon food coloring in each bowl, and pour that over β…“ of the popcorn each.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 90cal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Bailey Dexter says

    I love to make Tie Plates (Pizzelle) Our family is gluten free so I make these as a treat for other friends as well at Christmas!

  2. Rick Grona says

    My sister makes an excellent caramel popcorn that she sends out to all the siblings, nieces and nephews every Christmas.

  3. Jessica @ Sweetest Menu says

    AW I love this! Gorgeous recipe from your grandma. My mum actually loves candy popcorn but I never thought to make it at home. I should make this for her at Christmas, she’ll love it! Thanks for sharing Ashley! Currently wishing I was in Canada so I could win that thing!

  4. natasha says

    Growing up my parents always made fudge during the holidays, it was the only time if year that they made it. I loved it then and still love it today! Mmm chocolate peanut butter…

  5. Heidi Pawluk says

    Fav christmas is the Gingerbread House. Oh My, how I love putting it together with the kids & grandaughter. Let her decorate it the way she wants & it always turns out looking just like a sweet gingerbread house should look. With so many different candy options one can make it look anyway they want, but always a must a xmas time.

    Love, Love the wonderful colors on your popcorn, would make nice decorations for the tree…

  6. Anne Taylor says

    I adore the Christmas season. Some of my favourite treats are my grandmother’s shortbread (that I still don’t make as well as she did}, saltine toffee, sugar cookies and butter tarts!!

  7. Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says

    I love Christmas too! Actually I love all holidays. Just love the festive feel. This popcorn is such a great idea! You can literally use it for any holiday. Sorry about your grandma. Love that you’re making family recipes more and more. Those really are the best recipes around.

  8. Stacey @ Bake Eat Repeat says

    Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year too – and caramel corn is one of my favourite treats – that and the various cookies we make every single year! This popcorn looks amazing, as does this popcorn maker! I love how big it is!

  9. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says

    This popcorn is so cute!!! I’ve never tried making anything like this, but it really would be fun to make this during the holidays with red and green! I am with you, girl – I love the holidays too. The music, movies, gift wrapping, all of it. I savor every moment! I’m sure your Gma would be so happy to know that you are enjoying her recipes! This looks like a wonderful one!

  10. Cece says

    I love making (and eating) snickerdoodles for Christmas! My son was always fascinated with the name and loved helping me make them.

  11. Nora |Β Savory Nothings says

    I LOVE Christmas, it’s definitely my favorite holiday of the year! And I know what you mean with getting attached to family recipes, I’m just the same! Your grandma’s candy popcorn looks like such a fun treat to give away to friends and family, I know my niece and nephews would go crazy over it!

  12. Shashi at RunninSrilankan says

    Christmas is my fav time of the year and if I can wait till mid November to put the tree up – well, that would be swell, because our tree and decorations somehow managed to escape the storage closet and scatter themselves all over my living room floor this past weekend – crazy huh! πŸ™‚
    Ashley, your granamas popcorn is so pretty – perfect for gift giving!

  13. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says

    Christmas is our favorite especially for my husband. He couldn’t wait and put up the tree on Sunday hahaha. Love that this popcorn recipe is your grandma’s πŸ™‚ It’s so pretty and festive and perfect for the holidays!

  14. Dorothy Dunto says

    Hi Ashley! I would definitely have to bag most of this to give away because if I didn’t it would be gone! Have you ever noticed when you’re eating popcorn that all of a sudden the bowl is empty? My favorite part of every holiday is the food with family and friends! πŸ™‚

  15. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    I look forward to Christmas every year too, but I can definitely do without the freezing cold temps and snow! This popcorn is so fun, Ashley! I love the different colors and the sweet flavor. I think I could munch on this all day long!

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